Lighting designer Eran Klein of Cochavi&Klein created lighting for the Weizmann Institute's event to honour the work of Israeli scientists and their contributions to an assortment of projects.
An all-Robe lighting rig has been deployed at an annual event honouring the work of Israeli scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. The university, which offers graduate and post-graduate degrees in natural and exact sciences, moved to a digital format this year but with as much live content as possible, such as lecturers, seminars, Q&A sessions and the bestowing of honorary doctorates and other awards.
Lighting designer Eran Klein of Cochavi&Klein was asked to create lighting for the event which was coordinated by communications agency FaZa.
Their team comprised Liron Zabari, Yoram Friedlander, Dana Klein and Hadas Vilensky, and the goal of all involved in the production was to ensure that Director Liron Zabari brought an essential ‘as live’ ambience to all those tuning in to the stream.
As well as being broadcast, recorded and streamed from the Weizmann Institute’s Sela Auditorium, presenters joined in live by Zoom, Teams and other remote conferencing platforms and three live entertainment segments featured performances by Miri Mesika, Ilanit and Arik Davidoff.
Set designer Izaq Ronen Wasserstein created a diagonally orientated stage with a lightning flash-shaped walkway with a plexi top which was lit from below. Klein used six Robe BMFL Blades, two of which were positioned out in the audience area on flight cases and the other four were rigged on two V-shaped trusses that mimicked the shape of the lightning flash on the stage.
On-stage a substantial LED screen on stage right was contrasted with five graduated columns of LED on stage left. The tops of all these LED sections were masked so they slanted, keeping the distorted perspective styling. This brought a huge depth to the space on camera and also created some keystoning challenges which had to be corrected through good lighting, elegant camerawork and some other visual trickery.
People moved to multiple positions all over the stage, with most of the presentation positions decided last minute to give a feeling of improvisation and enhanced the live vibe specifically sought after by Liron Zabari.
Klein also deployed 10 out of 15 Robe MegaPointes on the trusses with the other five on the floor – for effects – and 10 LEDBeam100s were also on the floor along the front of the stage as footlights and to enlarge the overall picture. Seven Robe Spiider LED wash beams were on the overhead trusses with the MegaPointes.
“Basically, I needed to know that I could quickly and easily get key lighting onto the guests,” explained Klein. “In this environment, colour harmony is extremely important, and Robe fixtures all have nice, refined and organic colour systems that produce such a great range of high-quality colours.”
Eran often uses Robe products for his shows – which span a wide range of disciplines – from slick corporates to flamboyant dance and EDM festivals.
Lighting rental company Simul had to cross-rent the BMFL Blades from Danor Theatre and Studio Systems for this event for which they also supplied audio and LED screens. All the scenic elements were delivered by Gideon Rokach. Klein programmed and ran the lights on a grandMA2 system with full redundancy.
Eran recalls how a massive effort made the live entertainment segments truly spectacular. Ensuring there was plenty of scope for producing effects and that production values were high was a key for all the creative team.
With no live audience, lighting and video effects were used to help create an atmosphere, a task that is “easier said than done”. Klein worked very closely with the OB truck team to ensure that the process went smoothly.
“The Weizmann Institute has a great reputation for high-end science and that needed to be reflected in the presentation which had to look official but be cool, sharp and on-point. It was a demanding task, but we all love challenges and being imaginative. Everyone was delighted with the results.”