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Green Hippo Drives Visual Elements for TV-Broadcasted Event

Green Hippo Hippotizer Karst media servers and Hog 4 consoles were used to drive the LED displays for New Zealand comedy TV show 7 Days Live's performance at the Queenstown Winter Festival.
Comedian Paul Ego performs with 7 Days Live at the Queenstown Winter Festival, with Hippotizer media systems and expertise provided by TomTom Productions. (Image credit: Still Vision)

When TV comedy show 7 Days Live visited the Queenstown Winter Festival, the festival’s production supplier, TomTom Productions, was on hand with its Hippotizer Karst media servers from Green Hippo. A favorite of TomTom, thanks to its advanced integration and control features, the Hippotizer enabled them to deal with the additional visual requirements of the television recording.

Produced by MediaWorks NZ, 7 Days Live is a popular TV comedy show in New Zealand. In June, the show took a road trip to the Queenstown Winter Festival, on the shores of South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, to film a TV special.

“The brief was fairly simple,” said Hamish Edh, director of TomTom and designer of the festival’s live stage video elements. “Background eye candy that looks great on camera, as well as for the live audience, and having the 7 Days logo on the screens for the wide shots.”

Simple enough, with the stage’s varied visual elements already in place. “The design concept was based around mismatching elements with different LED pixel pitches,” Edh said. “To create contrast between the different pixel pitches, I use Martin Sceptron 20 battens in an array to complement the 6mm LED panels and to add horizontal lines to the overall look.”

Edh used TomTom’s go-to media server system, Hippotizer Karst, running two outputs, one to the 6mm LED panels and the other to the Sceptron via the Hippotizer’s Martin P3 System Controller integration. The textures played out on the low-resolution Sceptron were from stock content, while the 6mm panels showed custom content including Queenstown’s iconic mountains, created by Tim Goddard of TomTom, as well as the 7 Days Live logo where required. The operator was TomTom’s Matt Cooper.

Edh’s design included four horizontal LED banners rigged at staggered heights, from the lower upstage to the highest above mid-stage, each with the mismatched pixel pitches of 6mm panels and 20mm Martin Sceptron. Visuals were controlled from a Hog 4 console, one of the many consoles which integrates with Hippotizer.

“The direction we’re going in with design is to integrate traditional video and lighting elements,” Edh said. “This is why Hippotizers are great for us—they’re designed around control from the lighting console, which gives intimate creative freedom to the lighting designer to manipulate the entire visual look of a show.

“The Hippotizer’s P3 integration for Martin Sceptron played a big part in our decision to invest in the Sceptron. Again, it gives us the freedom to design video and lighting elements into one product.” 

Following the comedy performances, the stage design and the use of Hippotizer changed again. “For the music night we dropped the 6mm screen and used the Hippo as a busking VJ machine,” Edh said.

“For anything using Martin VDO, Hippo is our go-to solution,” he said. “It’s also our go-to for anything where the lighting designer requires end-to-end control of all the visual elements, so live music in particular is made so easy with Hippotizer.”