Four Avolites Pearl lighting consoles were used in a spectacular guerrilla-style projection and lighting assault on the landmark British Telecom Tower in central London, marking the UK launch of rival phone directory service, 11-88-88.
Ireland-based 11-88-88 Conduit’s PR company, PR21, had the idea. They approached Laser Grafix to supply the hardware and technical expertise to coordinate the projection and lighting attack. In turn, Laser Grafix’s Richard Hawkins asked the irrepressible Darren Parker of Essex-based DPL Lighting Production to provide lighting crew, trucking, and power (from Vince Maddix of Phase Hire) for this audacious project. Parker, who relishes the challenges of offbeat missions, jumped at the opportunity.
Hawkins specified four 7.5-ton flatbed trucks and loaded each with six 7kW Space Cannons, an Avolites Pearl 2000 console, and DMX distribution. Each truck also towed a 100kVA generator. Laser Grafix in addition loaded its Hardware for Xenon projectors onto four separate trucks. The Space Cannons were de-lamped for the road journey, and both lighting and projection trucks drove to central London, keeping in close contact to coordinate their arrival.
The 16-person crew, led by Hawkins and managed by Parker, tested all their lighting gear, patched, and part-programmed the desks before leaving the warehouse. Parker chose Avo Pearls because he needed a lighting desk that was reliable and very easy to use live, on the fly, under intense pressure.
Everything moved at lightning speed once they reached site. The eight trucks pulled up in the streets, two at each of the four corners of the block housing the BT Tower’s base. Generators powered up, the crew leapt into action, lamped up and fired up the Space Cannons, using the Avo desks in live mode to focus and direct the beams onto the tower.
The 625'-high BT Tower was bombarded with massive, piercing shafts of green light (in honor of the Irish client), while the phone number was projected vertically in white up its side. The spectacle was clearly visible from over 10 miles away. The stunt was initially planned to run for a minute, just enough time to allow the amassed press and media to get the shots they needed. With the BT Tower successfully captured, crew, equipment, and media decamped to Battersea Power station and repeated the process.