West Midlands UK based Central Presentations Ltd (CPL) supplied full technical production - video, sound and LED lighting - to the 2016 SEMTA Awards, staged in the Ballroom at the Park Lane Hilton hotel in London.
The Senior Skills Council for Science, Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies (SEMTA) is a not-for-profit organization specializing in engineering training in the UK, and this prestigious annual Awards event recognizes excellence within their various nationwide apprenticeship schemes.
CPL worked for the third consecutive year alongside Redditch based production company Eclipse Communications. The production design was a collaboration by Lee Gruszeckyj from CPL and Dave Bowring from Eclipse. This year’s host was business journalist and BBC Breakfast co-presenter Steph McGovern.
"It was great to pool forces and work together with Eclipse," commented Lee.
Dave Bowring had been involved for several months prior to the Awards in producing VT material from interviews and from shadowing all the candidates which were presented to the judging panel to assist the process. Edited versions of these video clips were also shown on the night, and the VT footage essentially set the tone of the event design.
In addition to this, several other bespoke pieces of content were produced including awards stings, sponsor footage, custom ambient content and a range of other video materials.
All the video - stored on a series of MacBook Pros running PlaybackPro and Dell laptops running slides and sponsor logos - was front projected into two 14 ft wide screens fed by 12K Panasonic laser projectors.
Live action feeds from two of CPL’s operated Sony HXC-100 broadcast cameras were running into a Panasonic vision mixer and output to screen via a Barco PDS switcher which added an extra level of excitement and anticipation to the evening.
The lighting spec was designed to get good camera footage and to make the room look special for the occasion, with a majority LED rig chosen both to reduce both power consumption and heat emissions, an approach that worked extremely successfully.
The general ambient washes around the room were created with 8 x ARRI L5 fresnels, complimented by ETC ColorSource Spots for the profiles, plus a mixture of Clay Paky Sharpies and Martin MAC Aura moving lights, controlled via an Avolites Quartz desk with a playback wing, which also ran an LED star cloth backdrop with red, white and blue sections for some additional fun and pizzazz.
The 10 metre wide by 3 metre deep stage was supplied by the hotel to CPL's specification and covered in red carpet.
CPL designed an d&b audio system comprising flown Y8 line arrays left-and-right of the stage, with two V-SUBs a side under the stage and a centre cluster of four E12s flown on a separate truss (to the left and right arrays).
d&b’s compact E6s were used for front fill and foldback, while Q7 speakers made up the DJ system on the dancefloor for the after-party section of the event, with all sources run through a Yamaha QL1 console.
The microphone package included four tie-clips / belt packs and two hand-heads, all on DPA headsets.
Lee led a crew of 10 experienced CPL technicians and engineers who worked alongside a team of locals on the get-in, which was early that same day … and ready to roll for a technical rehearsal at 3 p.m.
The familiar tight timeframe scenario meant there was absolutely no room for error margins on site, so the prep needed to be thorough and detailed – exactly as you would expect from a CPL production!
Familiarity with the event format also assisted this process and sourcing all the equipment from a single provider ensured continuity and consistency of service as well as being cost-efficient.
Guests – around 500 this year, the largest SEMTA Awards to date – started arriving at 7 p.m. and the slick, successful event ran until midnight.