MAC 250 Entour Shines for Big Brother Africa Finale

October 10, 2003

Originating in the Netherlands in 1999, reality show Big Brother first took Europe by storm in 2000, and then the US. Now, Big Brother lives on in Africa.

Big Brother Africa (BBA), the continent´s first pan-African reality TV show, was a smashing success. Arguably the continent´s most watched program throughout the summer, BBA was the first Big Brother of it´s kind, incorporating 12 strangers from 12 different African cultures.

M.J. Lighting

South African lighting and technical production company M.J. Lighting was awarded the contract by Effect 28Creative Solutions to provide lighting and structure for the Big Brother Africa final, held outside the M-Net studios in Randburg, South Africa on the 6th of September 2003.

MAC 250 Entour

Francois van der Merwe, M.J.’s in-house lighting designer, utilized a host of automated luminaires on the show including eight MAC 2000 Profiles and 20 of M.J.’s newest fixtures, the Martin MAC 250 Entour. The Martin gear was supplied through Martin’s South African distributor, Electrosonic. One of two new versions of Martin’s groundbreaking 250-watt automated profile spot, the Entour houses superior achromatic optics for bright output and a host of graphical solutions, as well as a specially designed dimming system and more. This rig was complemented with conventional lighting rigged off scaff towers as audience and front light for the stage.

Twenty of the twenty-four MAC 250 Entour units arrived in the country the Thursday before the Sunday event, and after minimal warehouse preparation were ready to work gobo and color effects onto the walkway and finalists stage. A pair of powerful Jem ZR 33 Hi-Mass smoke machines is incorporated into the set, creating both exceptional atmospheric smoke effects and a mid-air projection canopy.

LD Francois van der Merwe impressed

Francois was impressed with the brightness and head speed of the Entour and commented on how silent the unit was. Although minimal in size, the Entour was capable of generating more than adequate light output for the cameras. M.J. Lighting also provided an outdoor freestanding 22m x 8m structure of s-type, a-type and d-type truss from which side, top and back lighting was rigged. 

The successful finale was televised live to approximately 25 million viewers throughout Africa.