Devon, UK based drapes, starcloth, LED and visual effects specialist S+H Technical designed and built a custom ‘Crufts’ LED sign and supplied quantities of its standard RGB LED starcloth for the main show ring of the 2014 edition of the world’s most famous dog show.
The event was staged at Birmingham, UK’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC)
The Kennel Club initiated the idea of the sign and the starcloth, used for the first time in 2012 by Jon Pope, the show’s Lighting Designer since 2009. Having a special, flexible and highly visual ‘Crufts’ ident in the form of the colour changing sign has been a great benefit to the background aesthetics of all the presentations taking place in the ring.
The main show ring – in the NEC’s LG Arena - is the hub of the action for all four days of the event which culminates in the renowned ‘Best in Show’ competition. It’s broadcast on More 4 and Channel 4 national TV and also streamed daily on You Tube.
Pope wanted a dynamic backdrop that would complement his lighting for the show ring. As well as being able to change the mood and feel of the space, he needed something that would look great on camera, especially as a visual filler for the ‘back’ of the shots.
His biggest creative challenges with the lighting were to satisfy the demands of both the live event and the live TV coverage … and to give all involved – including the participants – ideal conditions in which to work.
The closed sides of the ring were draped off with a 30 metre wide by 10 metre high standard S+H RGB starcloth forming the main backdrop, and three 3 x 3 by 4.5 metre runs of RGB Starcloth were utilized to clad one of the TV camera towers that was also frequently in shot from other cameras.
The custom Crufts sign was made up from SHOWLED RGB LEDs, with a 40mm pitch and approximately 1200 lights. It measured 6.5 metres in length with a 2.5 metre drop, and 8 -channel control enabled full colour mixing and chasing etc.
This was prominently displayed throughout the duration of the event.
The starcloths and the sign were DMX controlled by Pope via his ETC Congo lighting console, through which he also controlled the generic lighting system.
Pope has worked with S+H on various projects since the start of 2012. He comments that their pricing was competitive and that they were “Very helpful and constructive in making suggestions about how the Crufts starcloth should be built”.
He adds that both the starcloth and the Crufts logo brought an “Impressive backdrop to the event which looked great on camera”. Both items gave him a large back-cloth and enabled him to “Greatly enhance the lighting and ambience of the space.”
S+H’s Terry Murtha comments, “It was brilliant working with Jon as always, and this project was also really good fun. He had a very clear idea of what he wanted and listened and took onboard our ideas and experience in this specialist area. The results looked truly spectacular!”
Pope worked on the show which was directed by Nick Brooks-Ward, with Moving Light Operator Phil Cole and Production LX Nigel Hollowell Howard. All the lighting equipment was supplied by rental company Neg Earth.
Crufts 2014 ‘Best In Show’ winner was Ricky the standard poodle.
Photo credits: onEdition