Summit Steel Helps Make it Fly for Sainsbury's

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Summit Steel supplied a Kinesys automation system with K2 control and all associated trussing and rigging to fly and track 5 projection screens in the main presentation area of the 2009 Sainsbury's Our conference, staged at the NEC, Birmingham, UK.

Summit was working for West Midlands based drpevents, who supplied all other aspects of the event production, including sound, lighting and video, which took place across 5 halls of the NEC. When it came to the automation elements of the show designed by drpgroup's Dale Parmenter, Production Manager Steve Pamplin wanted specialists onboard, and chose Summit Steel for whom the job was project managed by Chris Walker.

It was the first time that Summit had worked with drpgroup. "Chris impressed us and made us feel very comfortable," says Pamplin, adding that the time was tight to get the elaborate production installed and up-and-running, but they were convinced that Summit was the right company for the job.

The main presentation area saw Hall 20 of the NEC transformed into a large auditorium that seated the 4,000 delegates. The moving screens were just downstage of a 26 metre wide rear white cyc, and in front was a shallow stage and a small thrust area.

This session of the conference was preceded by a lively 10 minute choreographed dance sequence featuring 8 street dancers and 4 freerunners, complete with a full theatrical light show, pyro, the 5 flown moving screens plus two more ground-based screens that were pushed into and out of the performance area on trucks.

The screen video content - all created by drpvideo - was stored on a Hippotizer digital media server which was hooked into the K2 system and synchronised with its positional data. This enabled the video to be tracked along with the screens in real time as they moved.

Four of the screens tracked and moved up and down, while the centre one flew in and out.

For the presentation sessions which followed, the screens were also moved into different 'scenes' between sections, allowing an alternative AV format for each of the presenters.

The screens - all different sizes and a mix of 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios - were rigged by Summit onto two 40m wide I-Beam tracks and were moved by 4 motorised, Kinesys enabled beam trolleys attached to the I-Beams and raised and lowered with ten Kinesys wired half-tonne Lodestar JJ hoists. The beam trolleys and hoists were all controlled by Kinesys Elevation 1+ drive units.

Summit also supplied the trussing and hoists for the upstage cyc truss which moved up and down. The cyc was attached top and bottom to 2 runs of James Thomas 30cm Supertruss, the bottom of which was raised and lowered on a further 4 Kinesys wired hoists.

Gareth Williams operated the K2 system. Summit also supplied Kinesys technician Steve Belfield for the pre-production and show days, and they were joined by two additional Summit riggers for the load-in and load-out.

Chris Walker comments, "It was the first time we have used the K2 linked into the Hippotizer like this and it proved to be a reliable way of providing some stunning moving projection effects. It was also good to work with drpgroup who put a lot of effort, imagination and detail into producing a slick, good looking show".

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