Gearhouse delivers for Nickfest
SOUTH AFRICA: Gearhouse Group handled all of the technical requirements as the second edition of Nickfest hit Johannesburg’s TicketPro Dome. Mushroom Productions and Nickelodeon teamed up with Glen21 Entertainment and Kinder Joy to stage the two-day extravaganza.
The design included a central multi-layered projection structure simulating a slime tank which was the focal point of the event. The tank comprised four full round screens and the same number of half-moon screens, mobile trussing clad with LED strips as well as circular trussing covered with white stretch fabric from Showtex which was lit from the inside.
FOH A/V operator, Tyrone Dobbin from Gearhouse Splitbeam, managed the A/V content for the event making use of a Christie Spyder X20 video processor to handle two Dataton Watchout servers, all projection and LED outputs and a TX camera feed input on HD/SDI. The projection screens on the central structure were used to display the ‘workings’ of the slime tank and required a Watchout programming server to handle the layering.
‘We used the Watchout primarily for its ease of programming, “cues on will” on multiple auxiliary timelines and its easy use of layering,’ explained Mr Dobbin. ‘I needed to apply a pre-made “circular bubbles” mask over the content to match the projection surface shape and used the SDI inputs on our Datapath input cards in the Watchout servers so that I could automate camera PIPs. I also created “Build” and “Dump” playback timelines using ROE LED visual strips to simulate the tank filling up with slime.’
The audio side saw Gearhouse deploy an L-Acoustics solution. ‘We had six hangs of four Kudo, weighing 392kg which were secured through a stable rigging installation,’ said senior sound engineer, Kgashane Malatji. ‘Sound-wise, we had to take the noise factor of an audience of boisterous kids into account and allow ourselves extra levels to play with on show day. Thanks to really good team communication throughout, the rehearsals went off without a hitch and when we saw the characters onstage and the excitement from the kids, how could you not smile and be proud?’
Robert Grobler, looked after the lighting design, ensuring that the renders by technical designer, Tim Dunn, translated through to the actual show. ‘One of the key elements we had to keep in mind was that, as a children’s show, it had to look “funky” but also be safe for the children at all times. So, from a lighting point of view we used LED units to give us rich colour everywhere as well a safe working light. We used 30 Phillips Nitros as our house lights and it worked perfectly. Martin Vipers and Robe Pointes were also used to deliver great textures and beam work, both on and off stage. I definitely wasn’t used to this type of show, but seeing the kids' excitement was rewarding on all levels, and I felt like a kid again, wanting to get involved.’
‘This project took over 90 hours to build amongst 60 crew members, so it was an epic achievement,’ concluded Gearhouse project manager Lefa Tsiane. ‘On this event, all hands were on deck; team effort and skill came into play and the job went off very successfully. It’s on events like this – where all parties put their expertise and minds together – that we can create and accomplish a complete solution for the organisers/promoters. From hard work and perseverance come positive results and happy clients.'