Robe was again a major sponsor of the TPi awards, supplying their latest moving light technology including 38 x BMFL Spots, 46 x Pointes, 32 x LEDBeam 100s, 21 x CycFX 8s and 70 x PARfect 100s plus an MDG theONE hazer … all of which looked truly fabulous in a design by Jack Sayer from Hawthorn, lighting rental partner for the 2015 event.
The annual jamboree - produced by TPi Magazine, part of Mondiale Publishing Ltd - honours the technical and creative achievements of the live production / event industry over the preceding twelve months – seriously upped the ante this year, moving to a new venue, Battersea Evolution in London, which offered more space for both guests and the production.
Over 1,100 leading industry professionals and personalities enjoyed a superlative evening of entertainment, networking and fun, hosted by comedian and actor Russell Kane who presented the 27 Awards.
Jack was very excited to be asked to LD the event on which he worked closely with Hawthorn Project Manager Tom Ring.
Jack, newly appointed as Head of Lighting for Hawthorn Cambridge’s live event division, admitted that being asked to light the event was great … BUT … knowing the calibre of some of the people in the room – who would be judging his work - really ramped up the pressure!
However this double-edge sword also inspired him to make sure he did an extra-special job.
One of the starting points was the trussing design which was originated by Tom Ring and comprised a series of chevron shapes across the room. This broke it up, added an architectural dimension and a dynamic that straight trusses simply wouldn’t have – although they would have been more convenient to install!
This in turn prompted Jack to group the various different types of Robe fixtures in specific areas of the space, which he thought would be perfect to showcase the versatility of their different features.
The 46 Pointes were spread out across six of the V trusses dissecting the room, allowing those high-impact Pointe beam and spot effects with prisms and gobos to swoosh dramatically across the entire room.
The BMFL Spots were used for lighting and the stage area. They very much added a touch of rawness and rock ‘n’ roll sexiness to the picture with their power and intensity!
Of the ten fixtures on the back truss, six were positioned centrally, with the other four as two pairs further out to the sides. The six in the middle were mirrored by six BMFLs in corresponding floor positions. All these provided incredibly strong and stylised back lighting, ideal for the fast-paced and edgy delivery of the Awards.
Three more BMFL Spots per side were positioned down the room, perched on flightcases. These skimmed over the tables and shot massive zoomed-out gobos around the room and across the ceiling.
Another 12 x BMFL Spots were used in the reception area – together with 60x PARfect 100s - rigged on three trusses and used for cool effects and colours and filling out the room really well. Another four BMFLs were rigged in the atrium / entranceway and used to shoot beams out across the car park to impress arriving guests.
It was Jack’s first time using BMFL Spots – and Hawthorn was the first UK technical production rental company to invest directly after the launch in Sept 2014 ... and we are pleased to report that they absolutely lived up to his expectations!
“They are incredibly bright, the gobos are excellent, the colour mixing superb, it has a lovely zoom and the speed of functions like the zoom and iris are incredible … I don’t want it to sound like a cliché … but they are really awesome lights!”
The 21 x CycFX 8s - run in full individual pixel control mode – were all rigged in a line on the back truss and used for down-washing and producing sweeps of light and colour as well as crazy pixel effects. Jack loves the colours, the speed and the zoom. “Like all these Robe fixtures” he enthuses, “They are super-versatile – there are simply so many things you can do with every type of fixture”.
Some of the LEDBeam 100s were deployed on the floor at the back of the stage – their miniscule size means they can be tucked almost anywhere, and they did a great job of back lighting Russell Kane and producing eye-and-camera candy (for the IMAG mix).
Another 16 were lined up on the front truss over the stage and used to produce vibrant fans across the whole audience.
Jack ran the lighting on an Avolites Tiger Touch II with a Pearl Expert Pro as ‘hot’ backup, and the vast majority of the programming was completed in pre-visualisation as there was almost zero time on the day … with ninety per cent of the rig going in first thing in the morning for the event that night!
The exceedingly tight timeframe was another parameter informing Jack’s design. “There was no question … it had to be practical. There was no time for any fiddling about, anything too complex or anything not to work in terms of rigging,” he explains, it had to go in, up and working in one fast, efficient and seamless operation.
He’s the first to big-up his Hawthorn crew in relation to making this happen in some considerable style.
The lighting Crew Chief was Steve Mulholland, who was joined by lighting techs Chris Green, Paul Bird, Amy Liddlington, Martin Frewer, Steve Cherry, Jack Jewell and Dom McClory.
Chris Wells took on lighting operation and on site programming for the reception area under Jack’s instruction, freeing him up to concentrate on the main space.
Hawthorn supplied all the trussing for the event plus the rigging kit and power infrastructure via their role as the ‘house’ technical provider. The TPi Awards rigging crew comprised Malcolm Wells, Chris Lamb, Oz Marsh, Mario Da Silva and Janos Hejj … and looking after power were Kevin Wright and John Hunter.
“It was a massive team effort to make it all happen on time,” concludes Jack, “I am very proud to have been involved and very privileged to have had such an amazing crew supporting me”.
In addition to the lighting, Robe enjoyed a phenomenal evening of networking and social interaction, hosting five tables packed with UK and international guests.
Robe CEO Josef Valchar said, “Each year the TPi Awards grows and flourishes, but this year I think the production values were taken to a new level on all fronts, Hawthorn did a really great job … and we are very happy to have been a part of this fantastic experience for another year”.
Robe also sponsored the ‘Favourite Lighting Rental Company’ Award which was won for the second consecutive year by Neg Earth.
Josef adds, “It was great to see Tim Routledge win ‘Lighting Designer of the Year’ Award – we have worked closely with him in the last year, particularly on the Commonwealth Games which was the world premier for our BMFL fixture. We think Tim has lots of talent and a great future … and wish him all the best”.
Photos: Louise Stickland