Gearhouse SA Supplies 2009 Loerie Awards

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Gearhouse South Africa supplied technical equipment - rigging, sound, lighting, video, media, power, backline - for The 31st Annual Loerie Awards. This is the major element of the Loeries Festival, anecdotally considered the coolest, best and most anticipated party weekend for media professionals in the southern hemisphere!

After a hotly contested pitch between Margate, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Sun City, the Loeries Committee this year decided to move the awards to the Mother City and to give the event a high glamour, red carpet feel. Themed 'Feed your Ego', the 2009 Loeries poked fun at the sometimes egocentric aspects of the ad industry.

The two nights of Awards were staged in Cape Town's Good Hope Centre, a 6000 capacity theatre venue, and Gearhouse was working for production company H-Factor, who created the production design for the event. The first night's Awards were related to print media and communication design, and the second to TV, radio and digital/electronic. Both were recorded by SABC for broadcast.

Technical production was by Steve Collins and the project was managed on site for Gearhouse by Richard Blamire and co-ordinated in the office by Cape Town branch manager, Charl Smit. They worked with a site crew of 45.

Gearhouse also supplied equipment to the pre-show reception and after-party area in the Good Hope Centre foyer.

The 45 metre wide staging concept was devised by Heloise Fourie and Andrew Shelly of H-Factor and implemented by Leon Erasmus from Cape Town based LEG Studios, to resemble a giant, abstracted PCB, complete with 5 projection screens.

Lighting

Designed by Phillip Chames, the lighting rig was partially flown and supported by various elements of an extensive ground support system. This was installed to help get points and scenery supports in exactly the right places, and to boost the available rigging facilities, with some points also suspended from the venue's roof.

The requirement was to light both the stage - which was action-packed with Awards presentations, guest bands and DJs - and the audience for TV and live enjoyment.

The lighting was distributed between 20 sections of trussing hung above the stage and auditorium, ranging from 10 to 60 metres in length.

Chames used 70 moving lights - a mix of Martin MAC 250s, 2K Profiles and Washes and Robe ColorWash 700E ATs. The generic rig included Molefeys and 5K fresnels used for front key lighting from above, together with E/T/C Source Four profiles. Bars of 6 PARs were dotted all over the audience trussing. There were also 18 Atomic strobes onstage and 24 i-Pix Satellite LED 'bricks' for set illumination.

This was all run by Chames using a Hog iPC console, running in Hog3 mode.

Media & AV

Gearhouse Media's Chris Grandin collaborated closely with show producer Andrew Shelly from H-Factor to edit and produce a smooth flowing animated media stream for the two Awards shows. This process started a good 9 months ahead of the event. Once the set design was completed, Grandin decided on the kit and what would work best with the screen configurations.

This year, the Awards were projection orientated with some LED - a reversal of the concept for the 2008 event.

Two wide rear projection screens were installed at the back of the stage, next to one another, measuring 12 metres wide by 6.8 high and 8 metres wide by 6.8 metres wide, with areas masked by various set pieces.

About 50 square metres of Lighthouse R16 LED panelling was integrated into the set as digital scenery, and another three 4.5m x 4.5m projection surfaces were asymmetrically positioned to the sides of the set.

The content - including special logos and Loerie idents and Awards stings was supplied by two different agencies, juju (for Friday) and Wicked Pixels (for Saturday) under the creative direction of H-Factor and The Loerie Awards.

Juju also collaborated with the artists to produce graphics for the bands for both nights.

Grandin used an AV-stumpfl Wings platinum multi-Display system to complete all the editing and compositing. On site, 6 outputs were sent from the Wings to a Barco Encore/Screen pro 2 set up controlled via the Encore, operated by Craig McGinn. Camera ISO inputs and a mix from SABC's HD OB truck were also sent to the Encore.

The screens were fed by a total of 7 Christie projectors - two HD 18Ks, 2 16Ks and 3 8Ks.

Audio

Sound was designed by John Griesel, and featured left and right dV-DOSC hangs of 12 elements each, with 8 dV-SUBS on the floor. Revil Baselga looked after monitor world - which utilised 14 L-Acoustics coaxial 115XT HiQ wedges and a Yamaha M7 console, with another M7 for FOH. The 2 consoles were linked via an Optocore digital multi.

The mics-and-stands package included 6 channels of hand-held Shure UHFs and 6 channels of beltpacks.

The DJ booth was kitted out with two Tecnics SL1200 turntables and a pair of Pioneer CDJ1000 CD players, with a Pioneer DJM800 mixer, and Gearhouse supplied a generic set of backline that was used by all the bands. Guest artists included Jay Panik, Goldfish, The Rudimentals, Mannenberg All Stars, Lira and Mix n Blend.

Gearhouse Power used a combination of house power and two 300KVA RandAir generators to power the production.

Reception/Foyer

This got the party started during the pre-show gathering and was also an immediate after-party area for all attending the two nights of Awards. For the stage, Gearhouse supplied a Turbo Flashlight sound system and Soundcraft MH4 console, and another backline and DJ set up. Lighting included 12 moving lights and generics. Sound was run by Darryl O'Connor and lighting by Hilton Carelse.

Long Street After Party

For the real party enthusiasts, the celebrations continued with official Loeries Festival after-party area in Long Street, which was pedestrianised and taken over between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. both nights, incorporating several key restaurants and bars.

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