Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) combined its expertise at lighting automobiles and corporate events when it designed luxury automaker BMW’s twin presentations in Atlanta recently. The three-day event, produced by Media Loft, was held to reveal new products and company plans to the BMW team. Tony Siekman of The WIT Company was the technical director.

BMW led off the three-day gathering by unveiling the BMW X6 SUV in an airplane hangar at the DeKalb Atlanta executive airport. The reveal carried the theme “Ready for Take Off,” in the converted airplane hangar that had been carpeted, furnished and detailed to create a ultra-modern look in line with BMW's branding. A stage was erected and a white-walled metal and plexiglass set installed. “The client was interested in a simple yet elegant lighting look,” reports UVLD’s Paul Sharwell who designed the lighting with UVLD’s John Ingram. “Simple can be challenging as it is harder to hide flaws.”

Although the client’s branding esthetic called for a subdued treatment, the lighting turned appropriately more frenetic when it came time for the car reveals, “I had more liberty during that segment of the show—I could run with the upbeat music as the cars came through a sliding door under a single central video screen,” Sharwell explains. “As soon as the cars were onstage, they wanted the look to be austere. Shades of blue and a lot of white light was required for the stage and stage elements.”

Sharwell lit the cars with a package of MAC 2000 washes, while visual interest was provided by Vari*Lite VL2500 spots on a circle truss above the stage. The scenery for the reveal was lit with Mac 2000 Performances and Mac 2000 Profiles. Networked grandMAs served as the show’s console.

“The client was very concerned about how the cars looked in the light: I had to treat them perfectly with no dark shadows,” Sharwell continues. “To tie into the airport theme, little ramps were built for the cars to drive down into the audience and park in the back where they could be examined after the show. They wanted the ramps lined with cool-looking runway lights so we set up small PAR cans that could chase.”

The BMW business meeting, which followed the reveals, required a more straightforward yet sophisticated lighting approach. Sharwell lit the event with conventional fixtures again focusing on the elegant style characterized by BMW events.

Christie Lites supplied UVLD’s lighting package.