London, UK based event design and production specialist Eclipse Presentations designed, produced, specified and co-ordinated all the technical production elements – lighting, video - including creation of all content, audio, staging, rigging, etc. - for the 14th annual Platt’s Global Energy Awards in New York.
The high profile event, considered the ‘Oscars of the energy industry’ and presented by CNBC news anchor Amanda Drury, recognizes and honours excellence in leadership, innovation and performance in the highly competitive world of energy. It was staged in the famous Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, one of the city’s landmark venues, and attended by top international executives from the leading energy companies worldwide.
A production team of four from Eclipse Presentations was led by Robin Purslow who says, “We have worked on this event for the last 14 years, and each year the challenge is to create a fresh and imaginative look that is appropriate for the occasion and sympathetic to the surroundings. Working in the magnificent Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf, it was important to ensure that the environment was an integral element of the evening’s visuality”.
On site Eclipse worked with the venue’s in house staff and technicians and the local preferred equipment vendors to produce a slick, streamlined and eye-catching space for the gala dinner and awards. It involved the installation of a cutting-edge production that matched seamlessly with the numerous classic features and the overall style of the Ballroom space.
Video & Visuals
Eclipse’s production design for the stage was based around 900 square feet of Mainlight’s newest Soft-LED 2.5 backdrop product which, forming the upstage backdrop and together with two side-stage projection screens, was used for all the video playback and IMAG projection. The contrasting resolutions between the surfaces produced an edgy and interesting aesthetic … something a bit different to a standard Awards set up.
All the speeches and presentation video playback material were stored and run from two Mac G5 towers running Keynote 5.3. connected via Datapath X4s to a Barco Image-PRO II processor and output to screen through a Barco Encore screen management system.
A three camera PPU comprising operated Sony HXC100s was also on the Eclipse technical spec, and this was used for IMAG footage of the action that was sent to the side screens via the Encore system. Images were projected on to the side screens by Panasonic 20K HD projectors.
These operated cameras recorded the whole event of which edited highlights were broadcast on the Energy TV cable channel the next day.
The left and right sides of the stage were masked with starcloth effectively connecting the LED backdrop to the actual room and finishing just below the offstage edge of the side screens. This added plenty of magic sparkle to the picture and looked great as a background filler on camera for the speeches.
Eclipse designed a set of custom Perspex fronted steps that were built locally by All Access and positioned between the stage and Ballroom floor and back-lit with colour changing LED strips. They were shaped to emulate the curves of the ruches in the house’s Austrian curtain onstage.
The lighting design utilized the house Vari*Lite wash moving lights which are installed in the ceiling recess above the main space, together with a quantity of spot and profile fixtures rigged on lighting bars positioned round the arena and between each of the balconies.
Fourteen Clay Paky Sharpy beam lights were added to these house balcony bars and the striking architectural columns around the room were highlighted with LED uplighters. These two sets of lighting fixtures - the Sharpies and the LED up-lighters - provided the WOW factors for the awards presentations and other key moments in the evening.
About 20 ETC Source Four profiles, also on the balcony lighting bars, were used for front and stage lighting in conjunction with another 12 on an upstage LX bar.
Lighting was programmed and operated by the Waldorf’s house technicians to the Eclipse team’s brief, and the additional kit was supplied by locally-based company Intelligent Lighting.
For audio, the house d&b system – the main loudspeaker arrays are concealed behind a series of scenic grills that blend into the room – was utilized plus some carefully considered additionals to ensure that the sound image was optimized all around the room.
d&b Q-Series front fills augmented the set up together with M4 wedges onstage for the presenters and speakers. The show was mixed by the venue sound engineers using a Yamaha LS9 console, and all the mics, etc. were spec’d by Eclipse and supplied by the house.
The 2013 Global Energy Awards New York event capped an exceptionally busy year for Eclipse Presentations which also included producing awards programmes for Platts in London and Singapore.