Eurosport France adds ETC's Lonestar to new line-up

Date Posted: 3/23/2023

Recently renovated, the new Eurosport France set said goodbye to conventional fixtures to make way for the latest generation of LED luminaires. The compact and versatile Lonestar from ETC was the automated fixture of choice for Eurosport’s technical team and the lighting company Ar'Krys.

The main filming location at Eurosport France is a physical set with a large 215-square-foot (20-square-meter) LED wall as a backdrop. Despite its 484 square feet (45 square meters) of usable surface, it has everything you’d expect of a larger set, and can accommodate up to six presenters, columnists, and guests on the three benches and a standing position. Overhead, a grid of wash lights enables different color combinations. It is complemented by 20 Lonestar fixtures, intended primarily for lighting the talent and effectively rendering skin tones.

The luminaires were carefully selected by Baptiste Arnaud-Benaïs and Georges Krystkowiak from Ar'Krys, who were commissioned by the Eurosport team to propose a new lighting system for the set.  They discovered Lonestar in the ETC showroom in Saint-Denis. "We attended a demo at ETC France and then arranged a loan on-site to try the fixture in real conditions,” says Arnaud-Benaïs. “It checked all the boxes: compact but powerful, versatile with great quality of light, and very well positioned in price.”

Florent Marquaire, technical project manager at Eurosport, was keen to replace the existing 300W tungsten Fresnel fixtures, but the replacements had to meet strict criteria. “Previously, we needed a large number of fixtures to cover all the positions," Marquaire explains. “That's why we wanted to switch to LED. However, we had to find a compact model that was also good quality – both in terms of durability and color rendering – and with enough lumen output to limit the number of fixtures required.”

Ar'Krys proposed installing Lonestar around the entire periphery of the studio. Lonestar fixtures offer four-plane, full-curtain blades with 120° module rotation, making it possible to replace several static fixtures with a single automated one while adding the option of effects with rotating gobo and animation wheels. Despite the low ceiling height of the studio, the Lonestar fixtures met the size and power requirements perfectly. In addition, positioning the luminaires horizontally provided even more space.

"Going for 20 Lonestar seemed a little disproportionate for a set of this size, but it’s actually in response to the power of the LED wall,” explains Arnaud-Benaïs, who is also responsible for the programming of the studio. “To avoid the moiré effect, we wanted to reduce the depth of field,  open the diaphragm of the cameras, and maintain a significant luminous flux to work within the camera’s best performance range so we could play with ND filters or sensitivity settings (-3db -6db.) At the same time, the fixtures had to illuminate the talent adequately without allowing the brightness of the LED screen to take over. Lonestar does this, while covering a relatively wide range. Additionally, the fixtures achieve this without operating at full capacity which minimizes fan noise.”

In the final configuration set up by Ar'Krys, the fixtures are only used at between 30% and 70% of their power, depending on their positions. To capture the result, no less than seven cameras are deployed. Six of them are robotic, one on a dolly, and the seventh is a shoulder camera.

“The set is versatile. Between each show, the visuals on the LED wall change, as well as the color of the seats, according to each show’s concept,” explains Marquaire. “The desk in front of the benches is on jacks, so it can be easily moved from a sitting to a standing position. The fixtures also adapt to the show's guidelines and the number of people on the set. That's why we wanted a profile moving head – to be able to define the positions well.”

Arnaud-Benaïs concludes, "What I find exceptional is the frost. There are two progressive ones with a great gradient – no need to add gels like on other fixtures. And thanks to that, we have very well-defined positions, without it showing, because the transition between two Lonestar fixtures is just perfect!"

Excerpts from programs filmed on set and broadcast live on Eurosport 1:

•             Excerpt from a show on the Tour de France, with a yellow background:

•             Excerpt from a show "Les Rois de la Pédale" with its red background:

•             Excerpt from the show "Les Rois de la Pédale" with a blue background: