PRG Establishes Vantablack Partnership With Levitation 29, Surrey NanoSystems

Production Resource Group (PRG), Levitation 29, and Surrey NanoSystems are partnering to bring Vantablack super-black coatings and coated products to the global live entertainment and media sector. Originally developed for space applications, Vantablack coatings absorb light uniformly from all angles and have very low reflectance. These characteristics offer the unique ability to alter the viewer’s perception – making 3D objects look flat, things seemingly disappear and create the illusion of infinite depth. The partnership will grant creatives and set designers across the world access to the super-black technology that creates a far more immersive environment than standard black on stage and film sets, or even during live festival performances.

PRG will be exploring the technology’s application across the markets it serves: music events, esports, television and film, corporate events, and theatre. It will open a demo space at its Secaucus, NJ Digital Studio showcasing Vantablack’s unique properties and seed the imaginations of designers, content creators, filmmakers and DPs, and experiential agencies. The space will provide a first-hand experience of the impact that can be achieved when standard black is replaced with Vantablack.

“Vantablack is one of those things that you have to see to believe,” says Emma Laugier, CEO of Levitation 29. “We invite the industry to come and experience the future of black with their own eyes and to let it feed their imagination. We are excited about what this partnership could unlock for live entertainment and events as well as broadcast TV and new audience formats.”

PRG has a earned a reputation as the world’s leading provider of live entertainment and events solutions, and the team at Levitation 29 have been at the forefront of innovation on stage and screen, using new materials and emerging technologies to create world firsts that have captured the public imagination. Levitation 29 and Surrey NanoSystems developed the world’s blackest automobile for BMW and an immersive gaming experience for Activision’s BlackOps 4. In 2019, the pair worked with PRG on a landmark project where they created a 40- foot high Vantablack monolith for the French Techno DJ and Producer, Gesaffelstein. The partners worked closely to deliver the split monolith which premiered at Coachella music festival and later toured North America, leaving audiences speechless and generating massive publicity.

“Having worked with Vantablack and seen its impact on audiences, we believe it will open up new creative possibilities for our customers,” says Troy Atkinson, General Manager of PRG Scenic. “The potential here is expansive and game-changing for both live stage and filmed applications from creating total immersion as if in a black-hole, to things appearing to float in front of your eyes.”

PRG is creating a Vantablack product based on its proprietary LED framing system – making it portable and scalable. It will soon become widely available to rent via its East and West coast hubs for quick deployment or can be custom made for permanent installation.

“We’ve only just scratched the surface for super-black materials applied in entertainment and media,” says Ben Jensen, the inventor of Vantablack and CTO of Surrey NanoSystems. “With the combined experience of Levitation 29 and PRG, many more people will experience the magic of super-black surfaces and 3D objects.”

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