1st December 2008
The latest production of Living's Most Haunted Live was set in a location that would raise the goose bumps of even the most pragmatic onlooker!
The derelict and dilapidated Denbigh Asylum, was the setting for the live shows produced by Antix Productions and broadcast for four hours live each consecutive night for the week leading up to Halloween.
Antix Productions worked with Stage Electrics on the project having already delivered 13 Most Haunted Live programmes together over three years. The location, due to be demolished and redeveloped after filming had ceased, was initially visited by Antix, Stage Electrics and lighting director Warren Hodge in September, just eight weeks before the show. Its potential as the perfect location was instantly recognised.
Due to the dilapidated state of the buildings, Stage Electrics' Live Events team had first to ensure the building was structurally safe enough to host the programme's presenters, crew and daily studio audience, without disturbing the chilling atmosphere. Works included encapsulating dozens of broken windows, installing floors in both the temporary studio and chapel, clearing roads around the building and pulling down crumbling ceilings. Only then could Stage Electrics begin to supply total project logistics, scenic and power solutions, rigging and generic and performance lighting.
Stage Electrics' extensive experience in live TV broadcasting has proven that involvement with the entire team from the start of each project is key. Stage Electrics' project manager Russell Payne says "Working closely with lighting director Warren Hodge and Antix production manager Jackie McKinney right from the start really helps. We can advise on the venue choice and logistical options, and then design a package that works best to deliver an excellent product within budget."
Lighting director Warren Hodge explained that to enhance the eerie atmosphere of the surroundings, he unfashionably opted to stay away from intelligent lighting and chose instead to mix the cool and warm colour temperatures of generic lanterns, by using both daylight and tungsten sources. The main hall was to act as a temporary studio and he lit the adjacent corridors to help achieve the spooky effects he sought.
The temporary studio was fitted with over 100 generic lanterns including 1K and 2K studio fresnels, Source 4 profiles and par cans. In addition, Warren specified 5 Varilite 2000 spots all working off 4 Avo 48way Art dimmer racks and controlled by a GrandMA Light.
It was important to light the exterior of the building to compliment the atmosphere. This was achieved through installing 1 5K fresnel, 2 6K HMI fresnels and 8 2.5kW Citycolours.
Jackie McKinney was thrilled with the results which proved an excellent setting for the programme which attracts Living's highest ratings. She said that working with Stage Electrics meant that she could rely on sound, thorough and creative project management within an impressive set leaving her to manage the production. "Stage Electrics do it every time" says Jackie, "They work with us from conception to wrap. The quality of the technical equipment they provide is a given, but I'm constantly surprised at the calibre of their creative input, crew and project management. It just gets better and better which means that I can focus on the production."