Staged in Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno, Main Stadium the 2018 Asian Games Opening Ceremony was a high-energy, animated, colourful spectacular illustrating Indonesia’s origins and culture, and sending a strong message of peace and tolerance.
The event opened Asia’s largest sporting event and featured breathtakingly visuals created by Scott Givens and Libby Hyland who worked with Indonesian Creative Director Wishnutama Kusubandio. The live events were produced by specialists FiveCurrents while staging direction was provided by Michael Pena who worked with Indonesian Choreographers Denny Malik and Eko Supriyanto.
To assist in the grand spectacle the creative team also asked Montreal-based Lighting Designer Yves Aucoin to deliver an impressive lighting design for the ceremony, so he used 270 Robe BMFLs spots and blades alongside a host of other Robe fixtures for his lighting rig. The 60 Robe BMFLs were a brand-new purchase because Aucoin needed the brightest and most powerful luminaires to deal with the long throw distances and offer the multiple creative features required to light the two-and-a-half-hour show.
The show was inspired by the four elements at the essence of Indonesian spirit – earth, wind, fire and water, and culminated with speeches and the athlete’s parade. Josh Zangan’s epic set design was dominated by imposing rolling green hills, a smouldering volcano, streams, fountains and lush foliage detailing the wonder and magic of nature, surrounded by deep blue seas. It was 350 ft. wide, 96 ft. tall and filled one side of the stadium. The ceremony included some of Indonesia‘s most popular singers and musicians and was broadcast live nationwide and throughout most of Asia, watched by billions.
Aucoin worked closely with Lighting Director, Eric Belanger to craft a stunning show to match the occasion. They were challenged by the stadium roof’s weight-loading, which dictated that no lighting positions were possible on the inner ring; so all the overhead equipment had to be concentrated on the outer ring of the roof, and a series of trusses had to be installed. The 270 BMFLs Spots and Blades were distributed between three positions and made up just over a quarter of the moving lights used in the show. Aucoin made the most of their intensity and flexibility; their smooth colour mixing, the excellent zoom, the super-bright output and the precise shuttering of the Blades to control light, which kept the lights focused on the cast and off the projection surfaces.
Aucoin said: “It was vital to be able to highlight the performers properly, whether there were several thousand onstage or just a solo person, and simultaneously, I needed to let the beauty of the set and projection shine through. The projection was essential to the narrative and to everyone’s appreciation and enjoyment of the story.”
The BMFL Spots added depth, 3D shaping and texturing to the set without killing the projected imagery, while the Blades illuminated the cast faces’ accurately and tightly. In addition to being excellent tools for all the dramatic requirements, the BMFLs, known for their robust build quality, dealt extremely well with Jarakta’s notorious melting heat and humidity.
The 2018 Asian Games put Indonesia on a world stage for hosting a major sporting event with the whole continent and much of the world watching enrapt. The thrilling Opening Ceremony went down a storm and is thought to be one of the best and most visually exciting Asian Games Opening Ceremonies to date.