UVLD provided lighting design for pharmaceutical company Forest Laboratories when it unveiled a next-generation beta blocker at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.
The event reunited UVLD lighting designer Greg Cohen with longtime client Altered Image, which produced the high-profile, four-day event attended by Forest’s national sales staff with entertainment headlined by John Mayer and the innovative dance troupe Pilobolus. Actor Avery Brooks hosted the event. UVLD supported the corporate aspects of the gathering as well as the dynamic performances of Pilobolus, which appeared interstitially, and Mayer who closed the event. The entire production was supervised by Gregory Hermanson of ShowTx.
“Forest was launching Bystolic, a next-generation beta blocker that solves the problems of traditional beta blockers. With the meeting’s theme being ‘Beyond the Ordinary,’ we wanted to devise a show that would make people think differently,” says Frank Ward, owner of Altered Image and the show’s executive producer.
“Once that was established, we began to work with Pilobolus, which is known for always thinking outside the box,” Ward continues. “They made a big splash last year with their roll-ins for the Academy Awards. We were interested in their shadow performances, but they’ve done most of those sketches in black and white. We wanted something against a colored backdrop. Pilobolus was intrigued by our plan and by working in an HD environment while performing in conjunction with animations we were creating. The dancers were really jazzed about it.”
Ward knew that Greg Cohen was familiar with Pilobolus because of his theater background. “We’ve worked with UVLD on a number of large projects, and they always do a phenomenal job of making things come to life,” Ward says.
Altered Image partnered with the dance troupe and scenic designer Patrick Fahey of 8 Hands High to craft a unique set, which suited the auditorium’s odd shape. “Using two outboard HD screens which flanked a larger HD widescreen at center, we wrapped the whole screen set to bring the audience of 3,000 people into the presentation,” Ward explains. “That gave Greg a tremendous canvas to work with while still focusing attention on Pilobolus. I knew Greg would come back with something great without having to give him too much direction.”
”It was great to have this unique opportunity,” notes Cohen. “Working with the team at Altered Image is always a treat, but brining Pilobolus to the table gave us the chance to do something different. A dance company of that relevance is a variety on the corporate stage, and it was great to be able to both concentrate on mimicking their traditional lighting while treating the larger scenic canvas.”
Pilobolus formed the name of the new drug and interacted with graphics and text like "share" and "attention." They appeared as black silhouettes against a sunset orange screen. Colored, stylized arrows flanking the center screen changed colors.
The PRG-supplied package featured 200 lights, 100 of which were movers. "It’s was a fairly large package,” adds Cohen, “but Altered Image never shies away from technology. They give us great direction initially and then the freedom to run with our ideas. It’s a great collaborative environment, and I think it brings out the best in us all.”
UVLD’s Cameron Yeary created the lighting for John Mayer’s performance on the event’s closing night. “It was an acoustic night, and we wanted it to feel intimate,” says Ward. “We created a really cool backdrop with HD IMAG, graphics and images. Cameron really shines with this kind of thing. We know we can let him run with it. And he did an awesome job of making a noisy, 3,000-person room feel intimate. Even John Mayer, who often plays that room, was impressed.”
“Once again we were delighted to team with Altered Image,” says Cohen. “One of the things that makes it such a pleasure to work with them is that they’re a family-owned business so there’s a really close-knit feel to these shows that we love being a part of. Everyone trusts each other, and that allows us to do exciting things in their shows.”ShowTx, lead by principal Gregory Hermanson, served as overall production managers for the event. LMG provided both the video and audio for the show. The set was designed by Patrick Fahey of 8 Hands High. On the UVLD team, Mark Nead served as production electrician, assisted by Paul Cottrell