“Penn & Teller: Fool Us” returns to The CW in July to intrigue TV audiences with season four of the magic competition in which guests attempt to baffle Penn & Teller with tricks they can’t figure out. WorldStage showed off its broadcast television chops by providing LED and projection support for the hit show at the Penn & Teller Theater in the Rio Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas.
Bob Magee, senior account manager at WorldStage, has been involved with “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” since season three. While the set remains largely the same for the new season, “we increased the efficiency of the install and strike and updated the LED technology,” he reports.
“The LEDs carry the visuals on stage. This is a smaller theater, nice and intimate, so it’s easy for the performers to interact with Penn & Teller and the live studio audience,” says Magee.
“We use the LEDs as scenery as much as we can instead of just for straight playback,” says producer Danny Harris of 117 Productions, LLC. “Tom Elleman, our screens content creator, in conjunction with executive producers Lincoln Hiatt and Andrew Golder, has developed content that’s shared across the production design.”
WorldStage installed a high resolution 30x15 LED screen upstage center. Additionally, concave LED panels help define and follow the arch of the set at stage left and right. The center wall displays graphic packages, the show logo and the “Fooler” animation congratulating winning performers with the side walls providing ambient textured looks.
“The new resolution is almost better than real life,” says Harris. “The application for LEDs in entertainment are staggering, and WorldStage has the guys who think out of the box. It’s why we chose them.”
WorldStage also helped enhance this season’s overall design by adding a low-resolution creative LED solution between the set pieces and LED screens. “We surrounded the stage with it; every corner has something moving,” says Magee. “This newer LED technology is more reliable and efficient to install and dismantle.”
“The low-res LED keeps the colors and content going,” Harris explains. “It allows us to continue the content through the set, not just concentrate it on the center screen.”
WorldStage provided additional projection and video support for the show as well.
“It’s a pleasure to work with WorldStage,” says Harris. “Bob always steers us in the right direction; the upgrades this season wouldn’t have happened without him. We put our trust in WorldStage – after all, with a live audience there are no second chances.”
Magee returns the compliments. “I always enjoy working with Danny,” he says. “We have a relationship built on trust that delivers results for his broadcast TV productions, on time and on budget.”
Multi-Emmy Award winner Keith Winikoff was the technical director for “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” and Zac Cromwell the programmer. For WorldStage Shannon Robinson and Wayne Romanowski were the show’s LED technicians and Frank Musgrove the projectionist and engineer.
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WorldStage Inc. continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally. For more information visit www.worldstage.com