Launched last fall with partner Randy Jackson, former “American Idol” judge and well-known producer, Starwest Studios is the world’s first dance studio and broadcast production facility, with spaces for both music and video production. Starwest Studios Lot 2 houses a Roland music recording suite, a Newtek–powered live broadcast control room, and an incredible 3,800-square–foot clear-span sprung wood dance floor from StageStep suitable for filming as well as for large castings and auditions.
“We’re extremely excited about the potential of our new facility to support web-based, independent dance productions and broadcasts, a big growth area in the entertainment industry. And one of the things we’re most proud of is the technology on display,” said Sammy Oriti, Starwest Studios producer/partner. “We’ve dedicated Starwest as a showroom for the absolute leading edge in broadcast, video, and production technologies, including an extensive array of LED lighting from Litepanels.”
Oriti added, “The design of Lot 2 presented a unique set of lighting challenges. With almost 4,000 square feet of dance floor and robotic cameras from Bolin Technologies mounted in the ceiling to capture up to 200 dancers at a time, it was important to be able to cover the entire floor without any dead areas or shadows. I immediately turned to Pat Grosswendt, co-founder of Litepanels, to create a solution that would work for us. I knew from past collaborations with Pat that Litepanels LEDs are simply the best for film and television lighting.”
Litepanels LEDs are simply the best for film and television lighting.
– Sammy Oriti – producer, Starwest Studios
Grosswendt created a lighting design for Starwest Studios that would ensure coverage for every corner and every angle of Lot 2. Litepanels Astra daylight and bi-color panels are mounted in the ceiling, and battery-powered Astras on stands can be moved around the facility as needed. In the makeup room, for instance, staff applying makeup to performers can use an Astra to match the lighting the dancers will be under in the studio, and they can use the Astra’s tunable bi-color option to dial in the right color temperature for the on-air talent’s skin tone.
In addition, Sola Fresnel LEDs offer users the versatility to apply a spot or a flood as the need arises. Hilio panels are mounted in each corner of the studio to provide a strong, bright blast of light when required. Most recently, Starwest Studios has begun using Litepanels’ new Gemini 2×1 Soft panel, which combines daylight, tungsten, and red-green-blue LEDs to deliver highly flexible and precise color adjustment. The White Cyc built on top of the sprung wood dance floor at Lot 2 can turn any color instantly with the Gemini 2×1.
“We’re big Litepanels fans because we know that each type of lighting will blend and match perfectly with the others. Also, we’ve come to count on every Litepanels light to be completely flicker-free at any frame rate, a critical requirement in a broadcast production environment,” Oriti said. “But almost as important as the lights themselves is our relationship with Litepanels. Pat was deeply involved in every aspect of our installation, even getting up on ladders and marking spots on the ceiling for mounting the lights. With this type of dedication, we know we can count on Pat and his team to deliver much more than a set of lights. It’s a comprehensive solution that will serve us well in the long run.”
Grosswendt commented, “As the newest addition to the Los Angeles dance firmament, Starwest Studios is a remarkable production space. With advanced technologies like our LED lighting solutions, the Starwest founders wanted to create a production space that is truly on the cutting edge, designed to meet their own creative needs as well as those of their colleagues in the industry. And it’s a truly symbiotic relationship — since such a wide range of Litepanels lights is installed throughout the Starwest facility, it’s a valuable resource for our team to demonstrate the full gamut of products to potential customers. We’re grateful that Starwest offers such a comprehensive ‘showroom’ for Litepanels in Southern California, where people can see an Astra or Sola in use on-camera, with a ceiling grid of the lights being controlled by a central panel.”