Continued from May 2011 CTI Newsletter
Tisch WNET Studios At Lincoln Center
TV Lighting Designer Bob Culley
recently consulted and specified the lighting equipment for the new Tisch
WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in the Alice Tully Hall building in
Manhattan. Both the ground floor and second floor studios have large windows
open to the street and a view looking out onto the bustling intersection of
Broadway and West 66th Street. As it was a re-purposed space from its
original intent, the ceilings were quite low which led to some dilemmas in
mounting the lighting fixtures that were solved by using City Theatrical's Track
Power was limited which helped
to direct the studio towards a predominantly LED fixture package supplied by
Barbizon Electric. The decision had
been previously made to install a Unistrut grid in the fully DMX studio. The
ceiling height was10'-3" (3.11m) in the downstairs "sidewalk
studio" and the larger, second floor studio ranged from 10'-0"
(3.04m) to 10'-6" (3.18m) or more in places.
Unistrut is a common adaptable
building material used by electrical and HVAC contractors for a variety of
purposes. One purpose we've seen it used for is in lieu of a pipe grid in a
low-ceilinged performance space or studio. On a pipe grid you would normally
use a pipe clamp to hang lighting fixtures but it adds several inches of
height and was not practical in this case. While Unistrut hangers exist
going to a 1/2" bolt to hang a lighting fixture, they're not
well-suited to the fast change-overs and re-hanging of a busy TV Studio.
Having selected his lighting
fixtures but faced with such a tight ceiling height, Culley needed to
research mounting the fixtures as tight to the ceiling as possible. A
creative solution was needed that had to be safe, speedy to change, and
versatile enough to fit a number of fixtures.
City Theatrical's Track Tamers
are mounting devices that separate the lockdown of the track from the
lockdown of the fixture. They come in a variety of forms, including hex
nuts, star-knobs that can be turned without a wrench, 5/8" Baby Pins,
and split couplers to carry pipe. They are easy and fast to hang equipment
with and have a rated working load of 500lbs. (10-1 safety factor).
Culley researched various
hangers and, working with Barbizon Project Manager Josh Baker, selected
Track Tamers. Having used City Theatrical accessories in the past for top
hats and Color Kinetics accessories, etc., Track Tamers stood out for their
variety of configurations. The Track Tamers made it standard and easy to
install and move the wide range of fixtures ranging from LEDs, Kino-Flo’s,
Chroma-key fluorescents and some conventional units from the 33rd Street
Studio (controlled by local grid-mounted dimmers). The Track Tamers could
also be used with City Theatrical Vertical
Extension Tubes (VETs) to drop a Lite Panel down 18” or 24" from the
grid to light seated talent.
Culley felt the Track Tamers
were money well spent in the installation and that they worked out
exceedingly well. When the time came to add more fixtures to shoot in some
hallway and stair areas, the Track Tamers and DMX distribution made it easy
to accommodate and lent to the "TV ready" environment.
The Tisch WNET Studios are
connected by fiber optics to WNET’s central control room in Midtown
Manhattan. This allows for remote operation of robotic cameras, audio
mixing, and two-way video feed transmission. The entire facility (including
common areas) is equipped with pre-installed lighting positions that help
make the whole space "TV ready." Built around LED and rear-projection
technology, the set is easily transformed for individual programs and
events. Inside, there are 14 televisions, including a 103” plasma visible
from the street.
For further info on our Track
Tamers, please see our Training Videos.
|Studio photo credits:
Tobin Neis of Barbizon
CTI # 521 Track Tamer with Knob CTI Vertical Extension Tubes 6", 12", 24"