EPH at the South African Film & Television Awards
Tuesday, 8 May 2018
saftaThe 12th Annual South African Film & Television Awards was hosted at Sun City’s Superbowl
South Africa - The 12th Annual South African Film & Television Awards was hosted at Sun City’s Superbowl on 24 March with a further 2.3m viewers tuning in to watch the live SABC televised production. EPH Productions were appointed by ATTV to supply the full technical and the set for the show, as well as for the smaller Technical Awards held a couple of days prior to the main event.
EPH Production’s Danie Janse van Rensburg wore three hats namely as project manager, technical director and set designer. For the proposal, with a lot of support from Leon Pheiffer (CEO, EPH Group), they came up with an idea to use suspended LED screens as the main feature, knowing that when complimented with the graphic material supplied by ATTV (Andrew Thabo Television), diverse looks would take the audience on a journey from glamour to triggering emotions with bright and patriotic colours. A special screen, in remembrance of former South African president Nelson Mandela, marked the centenary of the legend’s birth.
The show was designed for camera. Nine LED screens were hung on motors while two automated screens at the back of the stage closed to create a 7m x 3m screen. When the screens opened, serving as an entrance for artists to walk onto the stage, an additional 5m x 3m screen was revealed in the background.
“Spacing was the biggest challenge and next was to produce a uniformed yet not symmetrical look,” says Janse van Rensburg. To do this, he positioned the screens at different angles. “It gave a more natural appearance without being too rigid. It offered extra depth and created a 3D feel.”
The set included a 300m and 600m level used for the choir and dancers, and steps which were lit up with LED strips. An artist hand-painted a SAFTA watermark logo on the stage floor, which was highlighted during the production.
To light the show, Janse van Rensburg called on the services of Kurt du Preez of Pan Tilt.
The lighting rig consisted of 140 fixtures in total. “The Robe BMFLs were awesome. I used two as followspots and I will definitely do that again! I had another 10 to lift up the audience for the awards and for reverse shots - they worked like a bomb.”
Eight Robe Robin LEDWash 600 fixtures were responsible for front lighting. There were 12x Robe LEDBeam 1000s, 56 x Robe LEDBeam 100, 24 x Robe Pointes, 24 x Robe LEDWash 300, 15 x Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures, sneaking through beneath the screens, and numerous parcans.
A full MA rig, running of a grandMA2 light, was in control. “For the first time I used Elation Nodes and it was the first time that I got ArtNet to work on MA,” said du Preez. “It was interesting, it worked and there were no issues. I had about ten universes, so it was very stable.”
(Jim Evans)

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