XL Video UK supplied LED screens, projection system and Catalyst media server control for singer/songwriter Rita Ora's first full production tour of the UK promoting her debut “Ora” album.
Photo credit: Louise Stickland
The tour was completely sold out, and has been acclaimed for its unique look, high production values and arena style presentation as Ora establishes herself as one of the UK’s most exciting new live performers.
The tour's video treatment was designed by Ora's Creative Producers Bronski (also Production Manager and FOH sound engineer) and Amber Rimell (also stage director) in close conjunction with Lighting Designer Andy Iliffe.
It's based around creating looks with movement and interest, as well as working with a series of props to produce a constantly changing visual environment.
Ora supported Coldplay last summer and Bronski was impressed with the service they received from XL's crew on this, so he approached XL Project Managers Jo Beirne and Macca (Paul McCauley) to help devise a suitable package for the tour.
Pixled's FX-11 indoor / outdoor product was selected - 60 tiles for the main surface area upstage centre - with the option of having two 1-tile wide by 6 tile deep left and right columns either side of this for the larger shows with greater stage width.
The screen was chosen as the best medium resolution surface to optimize the content - produced by Bronski and Rimell plus a selection of other video artists - and also because of its light weight and easy assembly. This was a real asset in some of the venues, which were primarily Academies combined with a few theatre and concert hall spaces.
Projection provided a high-impact intro to the show. A 12K Barco machine was located at FOH on a scaffolding tower, beaming content onto a white kabuki drop covering the whole mouth of the stage. After a minute and a half, this fell to reveal Ora in her radioactive tent.
Video was central to the performance. Carefully interwoven with the lighting, costumes, set and props, all elements fused to create a dynamic, layered visually entertaining performance space.
It helped the process of connecting Ora with her fans, and was also used to show her appreciation of their support, with footage of meet-and-greets and fan photos from an Instagram competition shown onscreen during ‘Meet Ya’, one of the personal moments of the set. Screen footage was also instrumental in scene and theme setting for many other songs.
One of the challenges, explains Bronski, was the extremely short time-frame in which they had to create all the video content from scratch. Macca and XL were very helpful with this, offering experience and accommodating all their needs. The content was produced in 1080p resolution for the most flexible future options.
XL's Joe Makein was video technician and Catalyst operator on the tour.
Macca said, “It was really refreshing to be involved with Bronski and Amber at this early stage of Rita Ora’s touring career. They understand the power and impact of using video properly and appropriately. The artist is very creative and everyone contributes with a real passion to making the performance outstanding and memorable.”