In December 2010 the wax figure of one of the world’s most flamboyant and individual performers – Lady Gaga - simultaneously took to the stage at eight Madam Tussauds attractions around the world.
Ensuring her London debut was a glittering affair Madame Tussauds’ Show Services Manager, Simon Morris, augmented the press launch lighting with the latest Philips Selecon LED lighting fixture – the PL1.
The most ambitious press launch in Madame Tussauds history, Simon Morris’s brief was to achieve high energy, live music atmosphere that would excite the media without compromising the press photographers’ ability to capture clear shots of the Lady Gaga figure: “My brief for the main lighting state was to emulate a photographic studio shoot,” explains Morris. “Our biggest challenge was achieving the same colour temperature as studio flash lighting, while conveying a theatrical and suitably dramatic style.
“The PL1 certainly delivered on its promise. Its fully tuneable, high output, LED light engine can support colour temperatures from 3000K to 5600K, plus full RGB colour mixing. We set the fixtures to 5000k. After that it was simply a case of balancing the levels to achieve the desired effect.”
Morris used two PL1s for backlight, which illuminated the infamous telephone hat while creating a dramatic halo effect during the unveiling. The fixtures also gave real depth to the Lady Gaga figures handmade outfit. Further PL1s provided side and top light, ensuring the figure was evenly lit from all angles. The result was that the impressively realistic wax figure looked three dimensional and almost alive in every photograph.
Morris confirms the satisfaction of the Madame Tussauds team: “Their comments have been proof positive that we met and exceeded the brief, he reports. “We will definitely use the PL1s on all future figure launches. The fact that we can control the fixtures’ colour temperature and keep it consistent, even when dimmed, is a real advantage.”
Paul Rees, Sales Director for Architainment Lighting, the company that supplied the PL1 fixtures to Tussauds, says: “This marks the first ever UK sale of the PL1. They made perfect sense in this application. Chris chose the PL1s because they offer a fully tunable colour LED source with a high level output that can easily cut through the moving light output. What impressed him most about the PL1 is that it can maintain the same colour-rendering characteristics, even at low light levels (less than 50 Lux). The added bonus of a variable beam (14º-50º), plus beam-shaping barn doors, meant that Simon could keep the lighting tightly focused, sharp and professional looking.”
The Gaga wax figures are currently on display at Tussauds attractions in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, New York, Hollywood, Las Vegas, Shanghai and Hong Kong.