Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) recently marked its ninth collaboration with Curt Reed, executive producer of St. Louis-based See Our Solutions on a major corporate event for John Deere. Curt hired UVLD and led the creative process on a 24-day series of meetings at Poland’s Warsaw Expo Center for the Agricultural Division’s European dealers. The conference, held every five years, coincided with the 50th anniversary of John Deere’s presence on the European continent.
Approximately 5,000 dealers attended the meetings, which unrolled in six geographical waves and encompassed 15 languages. UVLD lit new products for the opening night celebration, provided speaker support for the sales meetings that followed, and was entrusted with designing the reveal for a concept vehicle on the closing night. Working closely with Curt Reed, John Ingram was UVLD’s lighting designer for the project. David Rees served as associate lighting designer and moving-light programmer.
Earlier in the year, UVLD lit John Deere’s US national sales meeting, held in Omaha, Nebraska. The transition from a US city to an Eastern European one required some attention. “We need to be careful when a client’s expectations are based on a previous production,” notes John Ingram. “Working at home, it’s easy to fall in to a business as usual approach; it’s critical to respect the inherent challenges international work brings. However, working with Frankfurt-based Statis&Fy, we were able to create a show that was consistent with their expectations.”
“The size of the moving vehicles left no room on the floor for any scenery--leaving it up to lighting to define mood and texture,” David Rees explains. “It’s unique lighting farm equipment because their sheer size and shape present challenges you don’t get with other types of vehicles. Also, the brand colors allow us to use hues that other clients may find too bold: It’s fun getting to use a palette of yellow and green.”
UVLD was faced with the limitations in the Expo Center’s rigging capacity. “We weren’t able to hang truss in the center 40 feet of performance space,” notes Rees. “John overcame the challenges with a combination of creative lighting positions and angles to minimize the compromises.”
UVLD deployed an array of Vari*Lite automated fixtures for aerial effects with the atmospheric haze, to define texture and space, and to light John Deere’s tractors. The moving lights consisted of 30 VL3000 spots, 28 VL3000 washes, 36 VL2500 spots, and 13 VL2500 washes.
Twenty-four Martin Atomic 3000 strobes furnished additional effects during the reveal portions of the opening-night show; four DF50 haze machines generated the atmospheric haze.
Sixty-six Source 4 ERS and 74 Source 4 PARs provided mostly white light for speaker support; they were also tapped to front light the tractors driving across the stage. Ten confetti cannons gave a festive finish to the meetings’ finale.
UVLD controlled the lighting instruments with two active, and one back up, Hog iPC consoles running Hog2PC software. A pair of Hog iPC expansion wings were also utilized.