In 2011, a non-profit organization focused on growing entrepreneurship in the local environment, approached PDC Productions’ design team with a challenge: Create a unique, dynamic experience for 500 executives awarding $150,000 in prizes to students.

The challenge was three-fold. First, the organization was cost-sensitive but required a special experience for its guests. Second, there were concerns that many of the student award recipients may not have the skill set to speak about their projects in front of such a high-level group. Third, the event theme had to be carried throughout set design, décor, video, lighting, sound, scripting, and event execution.

How did PDC design and execute in a multi-level venue, with award recipients not comfortable speaking in front of the crowd, all with a tight budget? By collaborating as experienced video, lighting, audio, and set design experts, all part of Team PDC.

The venue entry was transformed with motion graphics on plasmas. Video solved the challenge of nervous award recipients pitching their projects and receiving their awards. A green screen studio 3D set was created in the rear of the room for the students and a tri-caster HD system to create a virtual set for the emcee, allowing the students to focus on their message rather than the audience. This exchange was projected using a Barco R20 onto an 18’x32’ center screen, allowing the audience to view the pitches as if they were viewing them on national news. The impact? Significant! The look? Flawless.

PDC understood that sound would be a critical element. A combination of live and recorded music, wireless microphones for speaking, and video playback with intricate soundtracks were heard through a Meyer Sound system, rigged from the ceiling, placed strategically for all to hear a full experience.

PDC used enhanced the experience with Robe Color Spots and Wash units and four High End Systems Showguns and well-placed Design LEDs. Using a Road Hog Full Boar, the lighting worked in tandem with the music and sound support to ensure a dramatic effect.

To enhance the theme, projection was in HD using Christie Digital 10K HD projectors onto 9’x16’ screens with I-Mag from three cameras including a jib. The projection showcased sponsors in a way that none had ever experienced. Four HES DL.3s projected onto a 72’ horizontal cyc, decorated the wall opposite the entry, displaying sponsor logos, creating an extraordinary visual experience, showing the sponsors significant value.

The graphic design department embraced the challenge of creating a complementary package of services that flowed seamlessly with the client’s expectation of the evening’s experience including name and title motion graphics, logo animations, custom scripting, news openers, sponsor placements, and commercial breaks.

The outcome was a singular event that garnered rave reviews from the client, attendees, award-recipients, and industry partners. Most importantly, the event garnered a repeat client that learned the benefit of quality and the understanding of value.

Creative Team
Patrick Boylan, Director
Zac Muir, Stage Design/Lighting Designer
Robin Mickel, Stage Manager
Tony Pasquale, Creative Director/Video Director
Matt Rogers, Audio Engineer
Matt Drake, Animation

Equipment
Video

2 Christie Digital Roadster 10k on 9'x16' Screens
1 Barco R20 on 18'x32' Screen
4 High End Systems DL.3 Digital Light on 58'x12' Cyc
1 Live Green Screen Studio
Tricaster HD 850 for Virtual 3D Set
3 Panasonic HPX2700 Cameras including jib
4 AJA Ki Pro Deck

Sound
Full Meyer Sound

Lighting
1 High End Systems Whole Hog 3
4 High End Systems Shogun
Robe Color Spots and Wash
ETC Source Four Stage Lighting
Design LEDs

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