West Midlands based Central Presentation Ltd (CPL) supplied full technical production - lighting, video, audio and rigging - for the 2015 SEMTA Skills Awards, an annual event that celebrates the achievements of people, businesses and training partners in the engineering, science and manufacturing technologies sectors, enabling UK industry to compete on the global stage.
The event, a 450 capacity gala dinner, was staged in the ballroom of the Riverbank Park Plaza Hotel in central London and presented by TV presenter Michael Underwood. It was project managed for CPL by Lee Gruszeckyj, and was the second time that CPL, working for producers Eclipse Communications, was involved following the event’s inauguration last year.
The set design was simple and effective, a presenter stage with an awards table flanked by two scenic ‘wings’ with then two 10 by 6 ft screens on the outer edges. The design ensured that there were clear sightlines to the stage and that everyone in the room could get a good view of the presentations.
CPL provided two separate projection systems. While the side screens showed VT playback plus some IMAG video relay, the 8x8 ft wing sections were mapped by CPL using one of their Pandora's Box media servers. Graphics included the SEMTA logo, assorted other video backgrounds running during the conference section of the evening, and flags, fireworks and other effects when each winner was announced and came up to collect their Awards.
Two Panasonic 10K machines were used to feed the side screens while two 7K projectors took care of the mapping onto the wings.
These were fed into a Barco PDS multi-screen switcher together with other sources which included laptops running PowerPoint and Keynote, together with PlaybackPro which ran the VT. The mapping was completed using MadMapper running on a standalone Mac.
CPL installed two trusses in the roof which ran widthways down the ballroom, and these were rigged with a combination of Martin MAC Aura LED wash, MAC 350, Clay Paky Sharpy and CP a.leda K10 B-Eye moving lights - 18 in total - plus 18 Martin LED PARs.
Eight MilTec LED battens were used to wash up the set panels and a mixture of profile and fresnels provided basic stage lighting and keys.
The K10s, fitted with the B-Eye lenses, were positioned in the floor and proved highly effective for creating assorted funky kaleidoscopic eye-candy effects for the Award announcements and walk ups, and they were also beamed onto the set and used for texturing.
One of CPL’s new Avolites Quartz consoles was used for all lighting control.
The audio system was all d&b – one of CPL’s ‘house’ brands - a mix of two pairs of E12s flown off the trusses and a pair of Q7s for the delays, together with some E6s onstage for front fill and two Q-SUBS concealed in the set to add some body.
A Yamaha QL1 was provided for the mix, and all the playback audio was stored in an Instant Replay HDD machine providing a neat and quick solution. A selection of mics was part of the package.
Some audio feeds from the VT tracks were also integrated into the main sound system and Sony PMW 200 cameras were used for a basic IMAG relay to screen.
The schedule was tight. Everything was done in a day, getting in early in the morning. The room had to be set and ready for rehearsals followed by the show almost immediately, and the get-out commenced as soon as the show ended.
Lee comments, "It’s great to be involved in an event like this which is related to technology that is surrounded by plenty of buzz around it and is growing and expanding. We had a really good crew and everyone worked hard and harmoniously on the day to ensure a very smooth operation on site". Next year the event moves to a larger space at a new venue.