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'Bespoke lifting solutions appropriate and adaptable for a unique environment'

Lites cinema studios in Belgium offer five sets from 250 m² to 1700 m², one of which is underwater (water stage), unique of its type in the world for high quality underwater and surface camera shots. For their lifting equipment they called upon Belgium's leader in this entertainment field; Verlinde and its Stagemaker range.

The Lites studios required lifting equipment for their 5 cinema sets including the water stage set, the only one in the world. The 24m x 21m set with a 9m deep tank, can be entirely submerged to simulate underwater environments. It contains a maximum quantity of 5 million litres in the tank and an additional 1 million litres when the floor is flooded. Indeed, the floor of the set is mobile, bears loads of up to 20 tonnes and can be submerged to different depths. The maximum water surface when the set is flooded is 1250 m². A unique and outsized water filtering and treatment system provides different aspects and effects (crystal-clear, sea, mists, rain, etc.). Waves of up to 1m high in the tank or on the flooded floor can be generated.

This facility required special equipment for lifting decor items, e.g. boats and for the lighting, sound system, cameras and screens (blue depths and black backdrop).

Verlinde first of all achieved a technical study for the underwater set. Equipment had to be reliable and practical for users, able to resist high temperatures (the water is heated to 30°C) and humidity.

Verlinde's project manager in Belgium, with the close support of a manufacturer member of the Europont network, proposed two overhead cranes, each weighing 3 tonnes with a special black coating enabling integration in the decor. It was also proposed that the cinema set needed four ceiling suspension points for the mobile floor and four EUROBLOC VT 3 wire rope hoists with a total lifting capacity of 25 tonne and a bearing surface of 25m complete the system.

They are fitted with VVF drive for travel and cross-travel lifting. Speed is variable, from slow to very fast, in order to be in phase with the camera. These items have been conceived for their integration in dynamic decors.

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