Leading South African rental company MGG supplied over 200 Robe moving lights for a recent indaba at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg for a high profile financial industry client.
LD Kevin Rieck made the bold move of using front and back rigged Robe LEDWash 600s for all his key lighting, following a great success with this methodology during a press conference by US President Barak Obama in Soweto last year, which he also lit.
He also seized the occasion to use four of Robe’s new BMFL Spot – bright multifunctional luminaires - for the first time.
The stage and set design for the main plenary session of the major two day conference was originated by MGGs Denzil Smith - who also Project Managed and co-ordinated all things technical. The overall room aesthetic was based around an 80m widescreen projection that brought a dramatic filmic ambience to the setting, staged ‘side-on’ across the room.
Kevin Rieck has lit the indaba’s main rooms for the last three years, and his initial concept this time was to base the trussing configuration on the original theme of 'technology' which involved a network of metalwork hung in the roof mimicking the tracks of a PCB. The idea was to have lighting chases flickering and pulsing through this for the changeovers, introductions and dramatic moments, emulating the energy of the electrics whizzing around.
"It was a fun design" explains Kevin, "and also complex because absolutely nothing is symmetrical!" The installation needed 72 points of rigging and some considerable bridling to get everything in the right places.
After that brain-teaser, the next big challenge was to ensure that the lighting had a good harmonious balance with the projection.
Traditionally a great believer in using generics for key lighting, this time again he decided on an LED approach, which worked beautifully, due to a combination of good lamp positioning and the superior colour temperature characteristics of Robe’s LEDWash series.
Eighteen LEDWash 600s provided the front keys, with six for back key light. They had the additional luminosity created by white light bouncing up off the white high gloss stage to deal with, and once again found the subtle tunability ability of the LEDWash whites a real asset in achieving a great look for the cameras doing the IMAG relay.
Twenty-four LEDWash 1200s and another 48 x LEDWash 600s were positioned all over the trussing and used for audience washes, warming up the room and generating an overall ambience.
Forty-eight LEDBeam 100s along the top of the screen formed a border around it, together with some other beam lights.
"Like most conferences, it really wasn’t about a lightshow,” commented Kevin. “It was about creating a vibey and interesting looking presentation space for the speakers and the delegates," says Kevin, "Together with razzamatazz moments for entrances and speaker introductions. The most important thing was for the lighting to be appropriate.”
In addition to all the business presentations, there was one dance act and a performance poet right at the top of the conference - and that was the only entertainment which had to be lit.
This is where the four BMFL Spots came in, rigged centrally on the back truss and used extensively to highlight the dance piece.
It was the first time Kevin has had a chance to use the fixtures and he thought they were excellent!
“Especially the colour wheels and the way they snap directly straight to the next colour, and the zoom is pretty amazing too!" he declared. He also likes the fact that the BMFL Spot’s animation wheel has its own separate pre-set colours. "This can really bring the stage alive!" and he thinks the auto focus is an extremely cool and unique feature.
Kevin adds that the BMFL Spot is smaller and lighter than any of the other ‘high powered’ fixtures currently on the market, which “For the amount of functionality it offers - is great!” Apart from that, it keeps the crews happy.
Other Robe fixtures on the rig included 50 x CitySkape 48s and 24 x LEDForce 18 PARs.
He programmed the show onto a grandMA2 full size, with a light running as backup.
The projection was fed via eight Christie 20K projectors also supplied by MGG together with the VTX 20 PA system.
Photos: Louise Stickland