Video Design Rocks Reading And Leeds With Biffy Clyro

Photo: Andy Wilsher

Biffy Clyro recently headlined Reading and Leeds festivals, with Video Design and Set Designer Misty Buckley handling the visual aspects of their performance.

“The stage is a square walled tunnel, a series of four portals of LED that enclose the full stage, each smaller than the next as you move upstage, and with a large landscape LED screen across the back,” said Video Director Jack Banks. “Looking at what Misty has come up with you can’t just put flat pictures behind the band. This is something entirely different to work with, it was great to get away from the classic ‘big slab of telly’ look. The portal screens introduce an amazing perspective to the video element and it was a chance to really think about how I could make content travel in and out of the set.”

The portals, rear screen, d3 servers, and an extensive camera package were supplied by Video Design.

“The portals required some close attention if they were to be a practical proposition for back-to-back festival shows,” explained Production Manager Paddy Hocken. “Alex Leinster at Video Design worked with Brilliant Stages to have the portal support trusses, onto which the LED panels are attached, made in such a way that all the LED and power supplies could remain permanently mounted for these shows.

“Portals one to three are hung on Litec D.S.T. 52 ‘track’ truss (66 metres in total) to allow the vertical portals to be tracked offstage during the day using a Kinesys driven tracking system provided by Neg Earth. The D.S.T. trusses are also hanging on one ton Liftket Kinesys hoists so that the ‘tracks’ can be lifted but kept level. Portal four – the smallest – is hung on standard 30.5cm Supertruss also lifted by one ton Liftket Kinesys. All of the portal hoists as well as the back LED screen hoists have Kinesys Libra Loadcells provided by Rigorous Technologies. All of this infrastructure allowed the portals to stay rigged but with the ability to conceal them during the day’s events, then bring them back in for our headline appearance.”

“I have worked with Video Design before, but always previously with just a camera package and a typical slab of screen upstage,” continued Hocken. “This was different, the integration required was pretty complex but Alex struck exactly the right balance working with Brilliant and the whole process proved a pleasure to deal with.”

Video content was produced by Banks, alongside Nathan Prince at Silent Studios. Video Design also contracted Luke Collins, a d3 specialist, to assist. “Luke took all the pressure off me in terms of technical management; he set up my project and managed it for me throughout allowing me to focus on the creative elements of the show,” said Banks.

Leinster also invested in a couple of the new Bradley Robocams with x30 lenses. “With these new cameras I was able to get shots I wouldn’t normally have been able to without the addition of extra camera operators on stage,” he said. “And the x30 lenses were fantastic, I could get a great head-shot close-up of Simon [Neil, lead singer and guitarist] pretty much wherever he went.”

Biffy Clyro will be touring European and UK arenas in October and November.