Sangue e Arena – Bringing History to Life With Tools of the Future

The Colosseum in Rome is one of the world’s main tourist attractions with over six million visitors per year. Now, under the management of archaeological park director Alfonsina Russo, it has again become a venue for all kinds of events. Last year, visitors to the Colosseum were treated to a spectacular show, Sangue e Arena, at nightfall. This international collaboration between Canada and Italy offered a totally immersive experience, in English and Italian, with lights and remarkable holographic video effects at the heart of the ancient monument.

wysiwyg was at the center of all the action

Photo courtesy of Lumin-ART

The incredible Sangue e Arena project was the result of a collaboration between Italian company, Electa Editore, under the direction of the Parco Archeologico del Colosseo. Graphics eMotion and Lumin-ART gave life to the Colosseum, an iconic world heritage site. Canadian company, Lumin-ART, are avid wysiwyg users and supporters of CAST Group of Companies Inc.

Shouldered by an array of talents, Lumin-ART met several needs of Sangue e Arena. With the help of his team, Simon Gauthier, who acted as lighting designer, took care of design, programming and rendering of the lighting aspects of the production through wysiwyg. Simon teamed up with Graphics eMotion to project historically accurate animated pictures and 2D/3D models reminiscent of the era on the outer and inner walls of the Colosseum, as well as on a see-through, hologrammatic screen. The experience is compounded by lighting and sound effects.

Photo courtesy of Lumin-ART

“wysiwyg allowed us to preview our ideas in 3D, make changes at the right times, and help other departments to understand our choices. wysiwyg gives us the opportunity to show hypothetical scenarios visually to be able to discuss artistic and budgetary choices intelligently. wysiwyg is a proven tool we have been using every day, for a long time. We have a special relationship with the software because we know it can validate our designs and plans and ensure a successful realization of our projects. ” – Simon Gauthier, Lumin-ART, Director of Lighting Design

This historical show projects the visitors back to the ancient Roman Era for 30 minutes of breathtaking action, featuring gladiators, ship battles, ferocious beasts and mythical characters. The script, based on extensive scientific and archaeological research, by a dedicated team of specialists, recreates the authentic experience of the great Roman Games of the first century AD, after the construction of the Colosseum.

Working with so many stakeholders, it was important for everyone be on the same page for the production. wysiwyg not only saved time, it allowed the directors to make important decisions before investing the money. Illustrating the imperative for large productions that changes can be made on the fly, when necessary.

Photo courtesy of Lumin-ART

“The software has many tools, but more importantly for us, it’s a big time-saver. wysiwyg reduces the time and energy to work with fixture manufacturers, test and reproduce the exact same result. This is because CAST Software has already done it, and frees us to reproduce our cues, calculating with precision the effect we want, confident that the software is giving us an accurate picture. It allows us to fully validate our decisions before any negotiation. Our mastery of the software has allowed us to develop methodologies to deliver massive productions within a short timeframe. ” – Simon Gauthier, Lumin-ART, Director of Lighting Design

This collaboration allows Lumin-ART to continuously improve and develop new skills and processes. For this exhibition, extensive collaboration was required between the museums and exhibitions division of the Italian publishing house Electa, the management of the archaeological park and a research team of historians, artists, architects and archaeologists.

Something is always on the horizon for Lumin-ART and wysiwyg. It was phenomenal to see the past come to life with the tools of the future. Sangue e Arena project was the result of a close collaboration between countries, even though separated by time zones and an ocean, brought together by a love of lights, superior programming and passionate teamwork. Beautiful work from all involved.


More about Lumin-Art

For over 15 years, Lumin-ART has become the goto lighting house to support complex visual designs from a creative and technical point of view. Their track record of major projects with productions such Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion and Moment Factory, enables Lumin-ART to create technically challenging lightscapes for any venue.

More About CAST Group of Companies Inc.

Established in 1994, Toronto Canadian-based software and hardware developer, CAST Software is a member of the CAST Group of Companies Inc. CAST Software serves its core markets in entertainment production, special events and meetings.

CAST’s award-winning flagship software products are wysiwyg – lighting design and previsualization suite, and Vivien – Event Designer and the new real-time tracking technology, BlackTrax.

All products are designed and created in-house and supported by an established global distribution and re-seller network.