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Robe’s iSpiiders LED lights join the camp in Germany’s I’m A Celebrity…

The iSpiiders were tasked with providing location lighting over large distances bringing all the dramatic scenery, including a waterfall approximately 800 metres away.

Robe’s new IP65 rated iSpiider LED wash moving lights helped viewers see what was going on in the latest series of Germany’s Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier rau (I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here), which was recorded at Blyde River Canyon in Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Lighting was supplied by Blond Productions and designed by Mauritz Neethling for production company Triosphere who facilitated the series for franchisee ITV. The show is usually shot in Australia, but that was not possible this year due to Covid travel restrictions.

The iSpiiders were a new purchase specifically for this show at the start of 2022. This followed a site recce in late 2021 when Neethling met the German team including director Michael Maier and DoP Roberto Piersanti.

Image courtesy Blond Productions

When the series was broadcasting from Australia, due to the time difference, they were shooting in daylight from three different areas – the camp, the studio, and the trials locations. However, with SA’s time zone being so close to Europe’s, everything needed to be lit for night-time transmission. 

The iSpiiders were used for the show’s studio segment that facilitated the live link up, and tasked with providing location lighting over large distances bringing all the dramatic scenery, including a waterfall approximately 800 metres away.

The production team used HMI fixtures to illuminate the background and furthest parts of the bush, with the iSpiiders positioned for optimal lighting of the closer backgrounds that were between 10 and 30 metres away from the presenters in the studio. The lighting control position was around a kilometre away with no direct line-of-sight to the studio.

Three iSpiiders were deployed on the studio roof, two were positioned behind the studio in trees, with one on the jib platform immediately facing the studio. The lights were all purchased with the wireless DMX modules so data can be daisy chained from the first one, saving in cable and time during the set up.

Image courtesy Blond Productions

Neethling said he loved “the versatility, the accuracy of the colour rendering, the indexable moves and the fact they just work perfectly for television.”

Two of his regular crew – Lucky Kilur and Jack Mogoboya – provided his ‘eyes on the floor’ in the studio where they related information back via Grand Ma network so Neethling could tweak and update his lighting focus positions as needed for the recorded sections. 

Lighting was programmed by Braam Avenant – using his grandMA onPC with a Node and a Wing – who was highly impressed with the iSpiiders.

A different approach was needed when utilising these LED washes as studio lights in an outdoor environment, Said Neethling, but “both the director and the DoP saw first-hand the power and versatility of the luminaires,” and appreciated how using them saved a lot of extra kit being needed to create the desired spectacular results.