Gearhouse supplies South African of the Year Awards
SOUTH AFRICA: Gearhouse South Africa has once again been called upon to meet the technical needs of the South African of the Year awards show. The televised event from ANN7 (Africa News Network 7), which took place at Johannesburg’s Ticketpro Dome, saw various Gearhouse Group companies supply the set , LED screen, lighting, audio, power, rigging, and A/V equipment.
The event itself was a high profile, three hour long awards ceremony incorporating many high level local artists and headlined by Jason Derulo. Gearhouse’s Tim Dunn took on the role of production designer for the event and as such was involved in technical concept and design. ‘The design grew out of the requirement for something totally unique and grand to suit the profile of the awards and to fit a specialist and somewhat complex venue,’ explained Mr Dunn. ‘It was a massive set up with an 800 sq-m stage designed to take cars driving from one end to another and requiring 170 rigging points.’
One of the most important design considerations was the fact that the event was to be televised. ‘Obviously in a traditional theatrical performance you are looking straight on, but for a televised event you need to make sure that all possibilities are covered,’ reasoned Mr Dunn. ‘Every camera angle needs to present a clear and visually compelling shot. The incorporation of the curved screen went a long way to ensuring that every angle presented an interesting three dimensional aspect.’
While the camera angles were a major technical consideration, it was also important to get the right style of lighting for the broadcast environment. ‘It’s just a different scientific approach. You are having to think not only along aesthetic lines, but also manage levels, balance and temperature,’ explained Mr Dunn. ‘Lighting for television is not as forgiving as it is for live performance so it needs more careful consideration.’
While a large L-Acoustics PA was flown inside the venue to provide audio for the assembled crowd of dignitaries, including South Africa’s President, it was the visual side of the event that called on the largest variety of technology. Gearhouse supplied 180 sq-m of LED screens from Radiant and Lighthouse for the awards ceremony, adding up to over 2 million pixels. In addition to the screens, the visual content was projected onto a suspended ball using a pair of 21K Panasonic projectors via Dataton’s Watchout 6.
‘Considering the scale of the event and the fact that we worked across all areas of the Dome (there was also a blue carpet area), it was a huge undertaking to complete in three days with one day of rehearsal,’ reflected Mr Dunn. ‘The hours were long and the timing needed to be carefully calculated to meet the client's delivery requirements. Our crew were absolutely phenomenal, showing unity and precision throughout. The President was present for the whole show and we also needed to accommodate the usual presidential security protocols but their team was very accommodating and understanding.
‘I always want more time because the end result can always be improved with more time but all things considered, the feedback given by client and public was excellent. I’m very happy with the end result,’ concluded Mr Dunn.