America’s Got Talent
America’s Got Lasers! Get a behind-the-scenes look at Image Engineering taking on the challenge of live television.
Playing to over 10 million viewers each summer, NBC’s reality TV darling America’s Got Talent’s concept is straight forward: host a series of open talent shows around the country designed to find remarkably talented individuals among ordinary, every day Americans. Throw in some celebrity judges, professional stage production, and some heart tugging back stories, and you have a summer hit on your hands.
It’s All For The Cameras
What makes AGT such a joy to watch is it’s attention to visual details. Each performance, whether it’s dancing, singing, or acrobatics, is framed with visually stunning production elements of lighting and video. The show’s designers spend a lot of time figuring out how to properly accentuate the performance without upstaging the actual performer. The results are a magical mix of drama, talent, and Hollywood style glitz making the show popular among its demographic. Pyrotechnic, cryogenic, and laser effects complete the package and add excitement.
Premiering New Technology
In the ninth season of America’s Got Talent, our laser diode bars were showcased on national television. The DMX controlled, modular diode bars created a curtain backdrop for contestant Jonah Smith.
Lights, Camera, Lasers!
Beginning in 2011, Image Engineering has provided laser display technology for the popular TV show. AGT’s creative team has a fundamental requirement when designing effects into performances: the “look” can’t mimic or appear to be similar to another contestant’s performance. While such a task may seem daunting, Image Engineering’s experience and creative abilities made this an easy accomplishment. With the help of Image’s flagship product, the Light Vector® laser system, our technicians created multiple looks for AGT producers to consider when designing the set for various contestants.
The broad color gamut and overall power of the Light Vector® laser system allows for a variety of laser effects which pair nicely with lighting. The gold colored laser fans filling in the background of Forte’s performance illustrate the Light Vector’s ability to match color at the appropriate power level to make a visual impact on TV. During Kenichi’s “robo-matrix” performance, Image’s Light Vectors were meticulously programmed to provide a surreal dancing partner for the soloist.
The Challenge of Live Television
Because AGT is broadcast live, the set-up and focusing of the lasers needed to be closely coordinated with stage management. In some instances, lasers were set, struck, then re-set in another location for a different performance, depending on the order of performances for the show. The Light Vector’s design made the quick set changes very easy to accomplish, even allowing for lasers to rig in the fly space of the theatre’s stage. Laser safety is paramount, especially in this situation as the theatre was filled with thousands of audience members. IE techs designed, rehearsed, then carefully executed alignment and focusing techniques.
The results were spectacular. The combination of lighting, video, and laser created what some called “epic” performances from the contestant finalists. These custom designed laser effects not only added choreographed visual punch to the musical scores, but also acted as an extension of the physical set extending well into the audience. The creative uses of laser as a design medium continue to push the boundaries of laser display in television broadcasts.
Premiering New Technology
In the ninth season of America’s Got Talent our laser diode bars were showcased on national television. The DMX controlled, modular diode bars created a curtain backdrop for contestant Jonah Smith.
All images and video are subject to copyright by NBC.