In 2016, one of France’s largest cinema groups decided to create a new premium theater. Seeking a way to make movies even more immersive, it came across a recent RYGH innovation: LightVibes. The result was a movie-going experience like nothing ever seen before.
The story of CGR and LightVibes started in 2014. Sébatien Bruel, CTO of CGR Cinemas, met Niels Van Duinen, Venture Manager of LightVibes, at a Philips trade show in Las Vegas. “We were looking for innovations to introduce in CGR’s new premium auditorium, and I found the luminous effect stunning,” says Bruel.
The idea behind LightVibes was to deliver compelling video and led spot lighting effects to every viewer’s peripheral field of vision, intensifying the cinema experience. LightVibes complements the on-screen content with engaging color, light, and motion that are distinct yet subtle. The approach respects the initial intention of content creators, while keeping the audence’s focus on the main screen.
Bruel continues: “When Jocelyn Bouyssy, Chief Executive Officer of CGR saw the demo, he was very enthusiastic.” The decision was soon made to include ‘surround lighting’ by LightVibes in a new premium cinema dubbed ICE (Immersive Cinema Experience).
Architect Bertrand Pourrier, who has been working with CGR for years, helped to create ICE. “We understood immediately the contribution that luminous effects could make” he says. “Apart from the Luminous Textile led panels on the sides of the rooms, we had to figure out how the general lighting should be installed. We worked with the Philips Lighting teams and CGR technicians to develop a new design.”
Nathalie Bozzi, Lighting Application Specialist at Philips Lighting France, talked about the technical process. “We chose to install six Luminous Textile panels on each side of the theatre with very soft lighting and colors. Back lights, moving head projectors and ceiling spots completed the led spot light”.
With the system in place, subtle lighting effects augment the content being projected on the screen. But while the lighting is subtle, its effects on viewers are profound. Bozzi explains: “Activating an audience’s peripheral vision has a major impact on its emotions – expanding and deepening the experience”.
CGR group inaugurated the new ICE theatre fitted with LightVibes in December 2016. Jocelyn Bouyssy and his team took the opportunity to showcase what could be done with ‘surround lighting’, and quickly won the interest of a renowned director.
“Luc Besson choose LightVibes for his upcoming release, ‘Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets’, says Bouyssy. “We had to train Digital Factory, the post-production house for Valerian, to add LightVibes to the movie”. In only four months, a total of 20 ICE auditoriums were created across France, ready for Luc Besson’s movie release on 26 July.
“We were extremely pleased to continue our exploration of immersive cinema with CGR Cinémas, and to demonstrate the impact of lighting as a cinematographic tool,” says Niels Van Duinen. “Many innovations in the world of cinema are centered around sound and projection technology. With RYGH’ LightVibes, light now offers unmatched immersive experience to moviegoers, and new creative opportunities to filmmakers”.
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