A Rendez-vous for Robe

Leading French television Lighting Designer David Seligmann-Forest used a selection of over 100 Robe moving lights - LEDWash 300 and 600s, LEDBeam 100s and MMX Spots - to light the studio elements of the latest “Retour de Terre Inconnue” programme.

Broadcast on France 5 and the France 2 network, the show was originated and is presented by Frédéric Lopez. It involves taking a celebrity to an unknown destination and meeting unknown people, with the aim of discovering distant people whose culture, traditions and lifestyle are threatened by the advance of ‘modernity’, in the process  re-discovering a ‘different’ celebrity when they are dealing with a completely new and different environment.

The studio section of the show - recorded at Studio Deux Cent Dix, St Denis, Paris - takes on a talk-show format and follows on from the location movie. The most important parameters for lighting are providing good shadow-free facial illumination for those on camera and making the studio – which includes a live audience of 200 – look interesting and intimate for the discussions that follow.


Retour de Terre Inconnue has been running since 2004 and Seligmann-Forest  - also the Director of Photography – was called in by producers Adendium TV last year to freshen up the lighting and give the general aesthetics of the show a boost and a new look.

Seligmann-Forest has been a Robe fan for the last 10 years and specifies Robe products for all his major work, which includes shows like Le Grand Battle, Master Chef and many others. He is also very keen to utilise LED lighting wherever possible and worked closely on forging the visual identity of this one with set designer Michèle Sarfati.


Above the spherical shaped set, three circular trusses were flown to provide the main lighting positions  and lower lighting positions were incorporated in and around the set screens.

The LEDWash 300s were used for back-lighting the audience and set; the LEDWash 600s for audience key lighting and highlighting the set and the LEDBeam 100s for ‘beam technology’ and interesting looks. The five MMX Spots primarily projected clouds across the set to match the background for the show’s graphics and idents.

Lighting was programmed and run by Ted Hall using a grandMA2 full size console and the Robe lights were supplied by Yes Rental.

“Using these Robe units gave me all the flexibility and dynamics I needed to light the show very nicely,” says Seligmann-Forest, who likes Robe for the quality and precision of the products and the excellent light output … as well as their reliability.


On this occasion, the show benefitted from the crisp, clear and well defined images created using the MMX dual graphics wheel to produce the impressive cloud effect.

He chose the LEDWashes for key lighting because of the softness of the light, the very accurate colours and impressive different colour temperature whites.