The Nose Knows


Known as The Oscars of the perfume industry, The 2008 Fifi Awards were held in May at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City with more than 1,000 guests celebrating the 36th annual presentation of these honors. Launched in 1972 by Annette Green, former president of The Fragrance Foundation, the awards go to those who excel in the world of fragrances. Fashion icons, actors, sports figures, and entertainers — from Vera Wang to Bernadette Peters — were on hand for an event produced by Dalzell Productions with design services provided by design one corporation, transforming the look of the Armory into a festive ambiance, primarily through dramatic lighting.

“Our goal for the lighting design was to create a fun, energetic space inspired by ideas like Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and The Beatles' Yellow Submarine as a perfume factory,” says design one's principal designer, Christien Methot, who adds that Dalzell Productions and Chris Jones Designs made up the rest of the design team. “Together we came up with the main design elements.”

The lighting gear — rented from 4Wall Entertainment Lighting — included over 75 moving lights with a mix of Vari-Lite VL2500 spots and washes, VL3000 spots and washes, and VL3500 spots, all controlled on an MA Lighting grandMA console by Esteban Lima. To add digital lighting to the mix, Craig Burros of High End Systems supplied four DL.3s programmed on a Wholehog 3 by Marty Postma. Additional fixtures included 71 Philips Solid-State Lighting Solutions ColorBlast 12s with the City Theatrical wireless DMX/battery-control and 26 Jesco T5 High Output fluorescents. The head electrician for the event was Eric Schoenberger.

“The rig was basically three truss spines, each over 200' long and trimmed at different heights to match the pitch of the Armory's ceiling structure,” notes Methot. “The wireless ColorBlasts were housed in the base of Plexiglas® columns, or scenic elements that acted as color-coded light bollards, demarking individual lounges. Specific colors matched people's ticket colors and helped direct them through the city block of an event space. The Jescos were also used within scenic elements, such as bars and drink rows.” The columns served as practical lighting in the lounge areas and as a surface for the ColorBlasts.

Glass gobos designed by Josh Cicerone from Dalzell Productions were used to project huge flower petals to surround the video screen during the awards ceremony. Scharff Weisberg supplied the video gear, with content created by Dalzell Productions.

“As the curtain rose and revealed the lounges on the other side of the room, the overhead moving lights defined the open red carpet aisle and created texture on the lounge areas,” adds Methot. “The DL.3s animated the perfume factory idea with rotating flower petals falling into huge caldrons.”

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