On stage with...

Kasper Lange

Eurovision song contest 2014, Denmark

 

When the world’s biggest music event returned to Denmark in May, creating the right lighting would not be easy. As one of the country’s most celebrated lighting designers, Copenhagen-born Kasper Lange was the perfect person to take up the challenge.

 

Philips On Stage caught up with Mr. Lange shortly after this year’s event to talk about his spectacular design and the challenges associated with lighting up Eurovision.


How did you feel when you were offered the job?

Kasper Lange: I was delighted. Eurovision is one of the biggest TV shows in the world. It’s an opportunity you can’t say no to – especially in a small country like Denmark.

 

My intention was always clear – the bigger the show, the simpler the design. If a show needs to have an impact on 200 million viewers it needs to be simple. The contest was open to almost 40 different nations and each nation’s set needed a different lighting look. The challenge for us was to make each song look unique but also to introduce an organic flow throughout the show and not create a ‘mash’ of 37 songs.

 

Kasper Lange, Lighting Designer

Show design

The show design consisted of four basic elements: An LED back wall (110 m x 16 m), an interactive LED stage floor, an LED grid structure – and the lighting production.

Magical effects

For some acts, like this one from Sweden, we used a circle of floor lights that lit up a mirror ball, to create a separate smaller space on the stage.

Grand and powerful accents

To create grand and powerful accents, we used around 300 moving lights behind the LED wall to shoot light through it.

Powerful beams above the stage

To outline the top of the back LED wall, and to create a ceiling of light above the audience, we rigged around 100 powerful beam lights on a line above the stage.

Do you believe the choice of lamp for a fixture can influence the lighting effect – and what role do the bulbs play?
Especially working in TV, the color temperature and output are essential. These two parameters have an influence whenever I specify fixtures in a design.

 

What lamp improvements do you recommend from your perspective?
The stabilization of color temperature.

 

Do you have a preference for specific brands when you specify fixtures and lamps?
Luckily we had no sponsor obligations, so I could choose freely from the whole market. That’s why there was a big mix of different products – but most of the fixtures were Philips Vari*lite, Clay Paky and Martin Professional and since I choose quality in everything, Philips is the natural choice for lamps. I have always been a huge fan of Philips Vari*Lite, because of their fantastic optics and groundbreaking products. And of course coming from Denmark, I was raised with Martin Professional products. As a lighting designer I always look out for new products, and like the rest of the business I have been blown away by Clay Paky’s Sharpy series (with Philips Platinum lamps). They have given a brand-new look to productions since their arrival.

 

What was it like working with the show’s Producer/Creative Director, Per Zachariassen?
He is by far the most demanding artist I’ve ever worked with. He gives himself completely and will not accept anything less from the whole crew around him. He has a fantastic ability to make people deliver their best, and if he senses that something can be done differently (and perhaps, better), he will find a way to squeeze out your last energy to make a better show. I do not always agree with him, but I have so much respect for his courage. He is never afraid of trying something new. And that is inspiring!

 

*On Stage would like to thank Kasper Lange for taking the time to speak to us.

Find out much more about him and his work at: http://www.kasperlange.com
All photographs © Ralph Larmann

Kasper Lange

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