On the current Depeche Mode tour there's a half-sphere of Barco MiTrix that we engineered specifically for the tour, and all the content works with it. There are some very clever things that can be done when you've got really creative designers driving the content.
N. Hollywood, CA (PRWEB) September 23, 2009
While XL Video has become the leading supplier of video production technology and creative expertise, from concert touring to major theatrical productions in Europe, the company is less well known in the United States. Under the guidance of Phil Mercer, recently appointed managing director of XL Video's West Coast operation, that's about to change.
Since the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, GA, XL Video has become a leading rental supplier of LED, projection and camera systems with offices around Europe and across the United States. These days much of the focus is on concert touring acts; XL Video is currently providing customized creative solutions for artists including Jay-Z, U2, Depeche Mode, Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Pink, Blink 182, Il Divo and the Ting Tings among others in the US, for example.
Mercer has extensive international concert touring experience and prior to this appointment worked for XL Video U.K. as a project manager. He comes to the company's Los Angeles office determined to raise standards and quality, while increasing market share. "I want to focus on what we do in Europe, where we're number one," he states.
He elaborates, "In Europe a lot of our work is bespoke and most of it is quite creative. We are well known for providing more than the usual rectangular screens. Generally, both with cameras and projectors, we get involved with the more adventurous projects. It's something we're very good at, quite proud of and something we're keen to pursue. I'd like XL Video to be the company that people turn to first when they've got a really complex creative problem to solve."
The diverse range of equipment and technology available from XL Video's U.S. and European operations puts Mercer in a good position to achieve his goals. In addition to staple products such as cameras and projectors, the company has invested in lightweight LED screens. He reports "Now, you can rig a huge screen with very few people very, very quickly and requiring very little support.
They're finding themselves in places they would never have previously been seen."
"XL Video's lightweight screens are typically from lesser known manufacturers rather than the more obvious name brands", he says. "Unlike some of our US rivals we actually own our equipment 100% rather than act as middlemen for a larger sub-rental supply company. But the most important thing for us is that we are very impartial in terms of the manufacturers we work with. We've been a bit more adventurous than some other companies and for the most part it has paid off."
Where XL Video really stands out from the competition, Mercer believes, is in its ability to fabricate creative video production design elements. "You're moving away from how many hundreds of dollars a square meter of screen is per week and into something that is slightly more unique," he observes.
For example, "On the current Depeche Mode tour there's a half-sphere of Barco MiTrix that we engineered specifically for the tour, and all the content works with it. There are some very clever things that can be done when you've got really creative designers driving the content."
Furthermore, as a company with a multinational presence, XL Video can offer designers unique elements on one continent that have never previously been seen on another. "We have these LED discs that are eight feet in diameter out on Blink182 at the moment. These have been used in Europe previously, but have never been seen over here. We are really pushing creative shapes and solutions that are ready to go, using certain LED technologies and coming up with some creative ways of using them. We want to have things that designers, at short notice, can incorporate, and that are designed to break down, pack up and tour properly. I think that's what we're very good at and we're putting resources into that."
There is another advantage to being a truly international company, remarks Mercer. "Often management really wants to deal with one company globally. I think, because of the way the dollar has been against European currencies, it's very attractive for American -managed artists to do that kind of deal. If you're multinational you can offer that deal. We really are one of the very few companies who have premises, staff and equipment on both sides of the Atlantic. We have to play to strengths, and that is certainly one of ours."