Chauvet creates intimate looks on The Vine
Wednesday, 8 June 2022
thevine3The recording featured the Soweto Gospel Choir
Zimbabwe - Napoleon Nyanhi knew what kind of look he wanted to project for the music video he was directing on 30 April for The Vine music collective in Harare. It had to be warm, intimate, and all-encompassing to reflect the familial spirit of the Grammy winning Soweto Gospel Choir and other artists in the ensemble.
What Nyanhi was less clear on was how he was going to create this image on a small music video stage that would hold as many as 78 performers at a time. That was when he reached out and called his friend Tatenta Gaylord Rushwaya of Events Evolution.
“Napoleon’s request was straightforward; he wanted a beautiful harmonious stage,” recalled Rushwaya. “But when he told me how many people would be on it, the request was suddenly not that simple.”
Taking the challenge, Rushwaya contacted his friend and colleague Blessing Bero and described some of his initial ideas. Bero set to work drafting a design and a day later came up with a layout. Using a mix of geometric patterns, such as a circular overhead truss flanked by two V-shaped bars, a two-tiered video wall, and three gently curved scenic pieces on either side of the stage, the layout would make the performance area seem balanced, graceful, and aesthetically fluid, with no hint of crowding.
With Rushwaya serving as assistant director/technical director, and Berro as set/lighting designer, the music video recording session at the Harare International Conference Centre exceeded Nyanhi’s most optimistic expectations.
Key to helping the inspired set design come to life was Bero’s artful using of his lighting rig, which included 11 Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures, as well as six Rogue R1 Beams, four Rogue R2 Beams, four Rogue R2 Washes, and 11 Rogue R2 Spots from Chauvet Professional.
Bero’s decision to utilse the white staging structure as a blank canvas created a central visual tool to focus attention on the performers. Drawing on the sharp output of the Maverick MK2 Spot and Rogue R2 Spot fixtures, which were positioned from trussing structures above the stage, on the floor, and on the sides of the stage, Bero was able to shower bursts of colour onto the white stage background, thus making the whole stage pop with a vibrant flurry of pleasing colour combinations.
In the same way that The Vine’s music appears to elude a beautiful, effortless simplicity, Bero was able to create the perfect visual accompaniment to the live show by introducing soft, rolling colour changes to complement the ebb and flow of the music. This was further highlighted by the positioning of Rogue R1 Beam and Rogue R2 Spot fixtures from the overhead circular trussing to place the orchestra and the performers in the simplest, most poignant light.
Working with the production team, Rushwaya and Blessing put this set and lighting rig together over six days of intense work. “It stretched us creatively, physically, mentally, and emotionally,” said Rushwaya.

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