Robe for Brigada Tech TV series

Brigada Tech is a new Spanish TV series presented by Luján Argüelles, directed by Eva Castillejo, and lit by Manuel Ricoy, broadcast on prime time LA1 the first TVE (Spanish Television) channel of RTVE (Radio y Televisión Española, S.A.). The format sees ‘digital mentors’ and popular SoMe influencers assisting people with limited access to the information superhighway in tackling assorted digital challenges that can benefit their day-to-day living.

Each episode was recorded at a different location around Spain, including Avilés (Asturias), Laguna de Duero (Valladolid), Tudela (Navarra), Canas de Morrazo (Galicia), Altea (Alicante), Torrelavega (Cantabria) and Puertollano (Castilla la Mancha) – facilitating a pop-up studio segment, for which Manuel was DoP and LD.

He chose a selection of Robe moving light products – 12 x FORTES, 8 x MegaPointes, 12 x Pointes, 16 x LEDBeam 150s and 12 x LEDBeam 350s – which were supplied by Valladolid-based rental company Use Sonido S.L who purchased them from Robe’s Spanish distributor, EARPRO&EES.

The lights helped produce the streamlined, modern and slightly edgy aesthetic that everyone wanted for this studio aspect of the production, for which Manuel combined techniques and the disciplines from concert touring and television lighting to produce a great-looking show each time in a variety of venues, typically theatres and cultural centres. It was effectively a ‘studio tour’ project.

He worked closely with set designer Joaquín López, as his design helped shape how the show was lit. It was the first time they had worked together and proved a very positive process commented Manuel. This coupled with director Eva Castillejo’s vision and the various venues all defined this new show’s production lighting design.

When working in the different venues, 80% of the luminaires were hung using the available house LX bars, with additional flown production trusses or truss ‘totems’ rigged on the deck to complete the design.

Seven of the 12 x FORTES were rigged on the house LX bars to cover the stage entrances and exits, sofa positions – specifically for the cameras positioned at the foot of the stage and at the front of the audience.

The remaining 5 were on an additional truss flown in front of the set, utilised as fill in for the middle part of the sofas, for completing the general lighting looks and to make up presets for when the presenter and guests were in standing positions.

FORTES provided the primary key lighting on the presenter, guests and some audience members who were also prominent in the programme.

Manuel loves the high CRI of the FORTE, the zoom range, and its sheer power especially for the long throws necessary in the larger venues. “Thanks to the quality and consistency of the FORTES, distance was not an issue,” he noted.

The MegaPointes were placed on the first LX bar and the Pointes on vertical truss sections in front offstage positions each side of the set. Both Pointes and MegaPointes completed the camera shots with beams, adding depth to the picture. They were also used to create ‘motion presets’ to accent presentations, guest entrances / exits and the series outro.

Manuel has used both fixtures extensively, especially for situations where camera shots filled with light are needed. “They bring such a huge choice of different effects and can be used in so many diverse scenarios that for me Pointes and MegaPointes are go-to tools for any genre of lighting,” he said.

He particularly appreciates the choice of both fixed and rotating gobos, prisms, colours etc.

The LEDBeam 150s were placed on assorted LX bars over the stage, used to bring flourishes of colour to the set and effects that further boosted its three dimensionality which could be highlighted and made to appear more futuristic at the touch of a button, matching Brigada Tech’s content and concept.

LEDBeam 150s were picked for their intensity and quality of light and for the small size as they had to share the space with other lights in the venue, so they were an ideal choice, and the same was true for the LEDBeam 350s. These were also hung both on the LX bars and on horizontal trussing sections rigged mid-way around the audience seating – again their small size was ideal – and from both these positions they illuminated the audience very efficiently and looked great on the wide shots.

Manuel has worked with Robe products for several years and says, “Having been able to compare them with other luminaires and brands, Robe offers more quality fixtures than others. I have always favoured Robe for my designs because the results are consistently good and reliable.”

While Manuel concentrated on lighting Brigada Tech for the cameras and photography direction, programming was completed by gaffer / console technician Óscar Marchena Herrero and Jesús Estaban Pelayo who was also a console technician.

The biggest challenges were adapting the recording of each program to the space in which it was being staged, but “thanks to a fantastic lighting team and the creativity and flexibility that the Robe products brought to the table it was all doable,” concluded Manuel.

As a freelance DoP / lighting designer based in vibrant Madrid and picturesque green Asturias, he works a lot with acclaimed DoP Iñaki Irastorza, and extensively on news programmes and sports, technology, and entertainment segments. Manuel has been a lighting professional since 2005 working in numerous different disciplines and scenarios, and since 2020 has focused his expertise on DoP work and creating dynamic lighting for multi-camera broadcast environments.

Photos: by Manuel Ricoy

Info: www.robe.cz

 

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