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ARRI’s SkyPanel lights up SBS World News

ARRI solutions completes the lighting infrastructure for SBS World News studio

To refresh the look of the studio used for the production of its World News programme, Australian broadcaster SBS has chosen to install an ARRI fixture package, which is designed and supplied by ARRI’s Australian lighting distributor and systems integrator, Barbizon Australia.

The fixture package includes multiple ARRI SkyPanel lights and fixtures — including the S120-C Black Pole Op, S60-C Black Pole Op and S30-C Black Pole Op — and multiple L7-C Black Pole Op and L5-C Black Pole Op LED fresnel lights. The project was managed by Paul Lewis, systems manager at Barbizon, who provided a turnkey solution, which included the designing, supplying, installing and programming of all the lights.

Lewis said: “For me as the lighting designer, the ARRI SkyPanel, and in particular the S120-C with an intensifier and 30Deg Honeycomb, provides a beautiful base source for news desk and panel hosting situations. It is broad and soft with a lovely wrap, yet at the same time is defined and easily contained.

“The light emitted from the SkyPanel with the intensifier also carries further, which means I can hang them further out, unlike traditional fluorescent sources, which appear to drop off faster and need to be placed close in. Using all three models of SkyPanel as my soft source for base, upstage kicker and fill, it was a natural fit to then use the matching ARRI L7-C for key lights and L5-C for backlights.”

The initial show commissioned was SBS World News, with the studio operating at a consistent 5500K colour temperature to match the monitors and screens built into the set. The new studio set-up runs up to 12 hours per day on average, depending on the breaking news of the day. With this level of use and activity level, the lights chosen and used are “absolute key” to the success of any show, said Lewis, who is looking forward to both the Barbizon team and SBS production exploring the possibilities of utilising the full colour gamut mixing capabilities of the ARRI L series for future programmes.

“Using the combination of fixtures that we have has allowed the studio to be refurbished, leaving a very clean and open lighting grid and making it very friendly for wide shots, thus fulfilling one of SBS’ main requirements. LED has also by its very nature increased the reliability of the lighting system, and has reduced power consumption by 80%,” he concluded.

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