Version 2 Makes Statement of Intent with Large Robe Investment

Above: L-R is Ashley Lewis, Robe UK’s key account manager for touring, TV, theatre & film, with Nick Edwards, managing director of Version2 Lights.

UK based television lighting rental specialist Version 2 Lights has made a large investment in Robe’s new FORTE moving lights with the purchase of 50 fixtures.

These have been supplied with both the HCF (high colour fidelity) and the HP (high performance) LED engines – to service V2’s upcoming projects.

Versions 2’s managing director Nick Edwards stated, “We needed a high-powered, high-quality fixture to meet the demands of the big shows, so explored a number of options and selected FORTE as the best fixture with optimum quality output for camera.”

The FORTES – among the first in the UK – will be working hard this winter, including on ITV’s new talent show, “Walk the Line” which is being lit by award-winning LD Tim Routledge. The show is produced by Simon Cowell and due to be aired in December.

V2 is known as a technology trailblazer and they collectively researched this major commitment thoroughly beforehand, with demos, camera tests and sounding out an array of industry professionals.

Other FORTE features impressing everyone included the super-accurate framing shutters and the spectacular range of gobos, but it was the overall versatility of the fixture, thanks to Robe’s TE technology, which made it a real winner in addition to the brightness and quality. The hugely flexible TE concept enables different and interchangeable LED engines – high powered, high CRI, “tungsten,” etc., – to be fitted into the same fixture hardware and quickly changed / ‘transferred’ in 5 to 7 minutes.

For Nick and V2, a product like FORTE has all the finesse needed for working with camera systems and in HD filming environments using the high CRI engine to effortlessly create amazing skin tones, plus the power, punch and effects required for more rock ‘n roll lighting treatments … and also for dry hires! It is a proverbial ‘win-win’!

V2’s first Robe purchase was two years ago for the 2020 edition of “The Brits Are Coming” at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, a broadcast announcing the nominations for that year’s Brit Awards. Tim Routledge also designed lighting.

“With LDs – especially in the LE (light entertainment) sphere – increasingly specifying Robe and a string of great new products coming to market, Robe had clearly been listening to the demands and challenges of the sector and the time was right,” explained Nick.

In addition to the new FORTES, V2 now has Robe T1 Profiles, MegaPointes, Spiiders, Spikies and RoboSpot remote follow systems in the inventory.

The T1 Profiles continue to be ever popular and are out all the time on medium-sized shows, and with the FORTES now onboard, the whole spectrum of different sized shows can benefit from having Robe fixtures on the rig.

The FORTES also tie in nicely with the RoboSpot systems the company already owns as they are an excellent fixture for this task. Eight FORTES are being run as follow spots on “Walk the Line”.

When productions momentarily stopped in March 2020 in the immediate aftershock of the pandemic, V2’s main work was a steady supply of small lighting packages for webcam livestreams from artists’ homes. However, with the demand for new content soaring, the sector bounced back robustly, and V2 was back providing lighting production for premium shows like “Strictly Come Dancing” (LD Dave Bishop) and “I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here” (LD James Tinsley) “The Epic Game Show” (LD Tim Routledge) “The Jonathan Ross Show” (LD Oli Richards) and many more.

Looking ahead to an already busy 2022, Nick comments, “As our company continues to grow exponentially, we are well resourced to make significant investments pertinent to specific productions. The FORTE purchase underlines our commitment to ensuring clients have access to the technology they need to be as creative as they want.”

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