For the third year in a row, Video Applications Inc. (VAI) has supported Trevor LIVE, the signature annual event of The Trevor Project, the leading national organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth. Held at the Hollywood Palladium, the ready-for-primetime show honored Kathy Griffin and featured guest performances by Sarah Silverman, Wayne Brady, Neil Patrick Harris and Queen Latifah. The special guest producing director was Adam Shankman.
"This year our creative goal was to increase the level of onstage production with our high-profile show director, Adam Shankman," says Jenifer Ortiz with The Trevor Project. "Budgetary concerns required us to focus on the necessary increased AV and technical components of the show. VAI was hired to handle all the audio and video technical production. I was hoping for a seamless live show with little or no technical glitches, and that's what VAI accomplished."
VAI's Shawn Oatey, who served as production manager and technical director, notes that this year Trevor LIVE "took a big leap technologically: It looked broadcast-ready. For us, this year's event was much more about the collaborative process and providing a lot of technical design and event management.
"Trevor LIVE combined a high level of talent and all the dynamics of a live entertainment show with the budget of a non-profit, so our goal was to engineer cost-effective solutions to deliver the production value that the show deserved," he explains.
VAI provided six Christie HD10K projectors for three separate, big screens switched via a Folsom Encore System and VAI's custom HDSDI broadcast switching package. The screens were switched independently and displayed IMAG, graphics and video roll-ins. A program cut of the show as well as camera ISO's were recorded for The Trevor Project to repurpose later.
The company furnished three Hitachi Z4000 digital cameras with Canon lenses and a VAI Digital MediaHUB II for digital video playback for all video sources. Extensive monitoring included numerous plasmas in the balconies, wings, and backstage areas as well as two VIP tents in the parking lot.
This year Trevor LIVE was staged at the Hollywood Palladium for the first time. The venue has inhouse audio and an audio support team, but because of the high-profile people presenting and performing, VAI brought in a number of key audio elements and staff. VAI audio engineer Ken Newman mixed the show, and they miked the talent with 26 Shure UHF wireless mic kits. Sometimes nine or ten people were performing in an ensemble, and there was a surprise performance by Katy Perry. VAI helped manage all this.
VAI brought in lighting designer Paul George to help with the show's lighting; George supplied an array of moving lights, moving LEDs and conventional fixtures to supplement the Palladium's inventory.
The show's logistics were also challenging. Equipment that VAI set up for a rehearsal had to be removed for another event at the Palladium. When VAI returned they began the show's load in at 4 am and wrapped at 1 am the next day.
"VAI is a highly-professional and experienced A/V company, and our collaboration was top-notch," says Ortiz. "They were friendly to everyone from the organization's Board of Directors to the stage hands - I would highly recommend them to any producer. I look forward to establishing what I hope is a long-term working relationship with VAI."
VAI's depth of inhouse talent filled many backstage positions for the show. Shane Zinke was lead video engineer, Geof Gibson handled video playback and graphics, Terry Nakamura was projectionist, Mike Liti lead utility, Bryan Dominick video engineer and Nicole Walter production assistant. James Sarro served as project manager for the early-morning load in.
Video Applications and Scharff Weisberg are collaborating partners to clients requiring unique and imaginative solutions for their event, spectacle and large-meeting lighting, sound and video needs whether local, national or worldwide. For more information visit www.scharffweisberg.com or www.videoapps.com.