Content is king for Hawthorn at D&AD Awards
Friday, 26 May 2017
dad1The 55th D&AD Professional Awards Ceremony took place at Troxy, London
UK - Billed as the creative industries party of the year, the 55th D&AD Professional Awards Ceremony took place at Troxy, London on 27 April 2017, with creative technical event production expert Hawthorn providing full technical production.
Since 1962, D&AD have been inspiring a community of creative thinkers by celebrating the finest in design and advertising. With the D&AD Pencil recognised globally as the ultimate creative accolade, the pressure is always on to create an event that challenges convention and leaves a lasting impression on guests and award winners alike.
Working in partnership with brand experience agency SomeBrightSpark, Hawthorn devised a production design that utilized and celebrated the iconic nature of both the venue, and the pencil.
To keep the winning work at the heart of the event, the team created a ‘digital’ set using LED video panels. The 12m wide by 3m high main show screen was built using panels of high resolution Absen 3.9mm LED with a 12m by 2m 10mm GLUX wall staggered behind this. To really frame the stage, two further GLUX LED ‘banners’ were also constructed on each side of the stage. Using Hawthorn’s new to stock d3 4x4 media server, the GLUX panels displayed different sections of content pulled from the main show screen, creating a unique, abstract aesthetic.

To create movement and an element of ‘theatre’, the 3.9mm panels were rigged using Kinesys. This allowed Hawthorn to make full use of the unique space within Troxy, dropping the LED wall to reveal a high rise hidden performance area. This played host to the after-party entertainment, legendary DJ Mr. Scruff.
SomeBrightSpark were responsible for producing all the creative content for the event. With judging for the awards taking place on the same week as the ceremony, the team devised a system for rapid video deployment. Using a large team of chase editors, they created and edited over 700 individual profile videos for each of the winners within 72 hours. They also designed the presentation environment within Troxy, displaying content specifically created for the event onto large LED screens.
Mat Bartram, design director at SomeBrightSpark said: “We knew that the D&AD Awards were going to be a great challenge for us, but it was also a great opportunity. We proved that even though we are a small agency, by working closely with great partners like Hawthorn, we can deliver exceptional, high profile live experiences.”
The lighting design for D&AD needed to be very sleek with a variety of different fixtures needed for each individual elements of the show. The design used the two existing house trusses with a mixture of seven Martin Viper Performances for key lighting, twelve Martin Viper Wash DX for stage lighting and seven Martin Viper Profiles for aerial effects into the audience. Thirty-four Martin Rush Par 2 were also spread across the two trusses, providing a colour wash onto the audience for the awards section of the evening whilst also adding twinkle for the after-party aspect of the event.
With the high-resolution LED wall dropping down to reveal Mr. Scruff, an extra lighting package of six Clay Paky K20, twelve Martin Aura XB and four Robe Pointe fixtures surrounded the DJ. Furthermore, Six Clay Paky Sharpys were placed either side of the stage to provide a high impact beam to frame the performance space. All lighting, along with the media server, were driven from an Avolites Arena console with a Tiger Touch 2 as live backup.
Ensuring that the audio for evening was also on top form and complementing the content perfectly, Hawthorn installed two hangs of 12 d&b V Series, each featuring 10V8 and two V12 boxes per side. Alongside this were two hangs of two flown V Subs with a V Sub Array also installed under the stage. d&b T Series were then used for front-fills, with Y Series used for delays.
All amplifiers were d&b D80’s and one of Hawthorn’s Duel Q-Lab System Racks was used for playback. Audio for the main ceremony was controlled using a Yamaha CL-5 console for front of house, with an additional QL-5 and CL-5 used for the artists.
James Hunter, Project Director at Hawthorn, said: “We’ve worked on the D&AD Professional Awards since 2012 and it’s always a privilege. With an audience that spans the creative industries, the pressure is always on to deliver something truly unique.”
(Jim Evans)

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