Lighthouse at the drive-in
3 November 2006
UK - Drive-in movies are still relatively unusual in the UK and are an ideal format for television broadcaster Channel Five to promote its commitment to showing films. 2006 is the third year of the FiveDrive campaign held in conjunction with car manufacturer Peugeot, which sponsors Channel Five's film content. During July and August it took in four locations around the UK at which giant Lighthouse LED screens provided the perfect big drive-in experience, with local publicity (plus a chance to win £1,000 in cash at each venue) ensuring that the events were well attended.
The technical production was supplied and organised by leading screen company Massteknik UK. Each event was directed by the company's managing director Christopher Milnes, with the project managed by Mike Chesterton.
In order to provide a full event experience, each show took place over three days and included live presenters, trailers, adverts, graphics and of course, the film. A different film was shown on each day, the evening (Friday and Saturday) events featuring Three Kings and Thelma and Louise respectively. The Sunday event was specifically for families, kicking off at 2pm and featuring the film Cats and Dogs.
All venues featured 40sq.m mobile screens, those at Saltwell Park (Gateshead) and Culzean Castle (Ayr) featuring Lighthouse 25mm panels. At Thrumpton Hall (Nottingham) Massteknik deployed Lighthouse 16mm pixel pitch screen, while at Berkeley Castle (Gloucester) R19 19mm panels were used.
"We chose Lighthouse screens mainly for the picture quality, but also for the way it enabled us to use a digital signal at all of the events. This ensured that audiences enjoyed maximum quality throughout, which was very important," says Mike Chesterton.
"At each event we were switching between two Digital Beta players, one for trailers and the other for the films, a camera feed for the live presenters, a jackpot graphic showing who the thousand pound winner was and a holding logo," Chesterton continues. "This was either produced on a portable production unit brought in by us, or in one of the production cabins which are part of our mobile screens."
This being the third year of the FiveDrive campaign, Massteknik has the event down to a fine art. Chesterton adds: "The Lighthouse screens have great picture quality and superb colour rendition. On many screens you look at the monitor and then at the screen, and you'll find that the screen is a little redder, or the white isn't as crisp. But with Lighthouse, the colours and quality are a perfect match."
Lighthouse drive-in UK Channel Five showing films third year FiveDrive campaign film took screens perfect experience events production screen company event Mike Chesterton live presenters trailers featuring mobile panels Massteknik picture quality Chesterton
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