Robe plays lead role at TPi Awards 2020
Friday, 28 February 2020
Around 350 Robe moving light fixtures were used inventively by lighting designer Nathan Wan (photo: Lindsay Cave)
UK - Robe played a major role in delivering the lighting design for the Total Production International (TPi) Awards 2020, staged on Monday, 24 February, at the Evolution venue in Battersea.
Around 350 Robe moving light fixtures were used inventively by lighting designer Nathan Wan, associate LD Andy Webb and Robe’s own creative team, for whom the pressure was on to ensure that the 1,700 plus attendees and award winners were treated to stunning and memorable visuals for the evening. Wan and Webb worked closely with the video team from Visual Edge.
Robe took the opportunity to offer selected NRG (Next Robe Generation) initiative students the chance to work hands-on on a high pressure, high-profile gig including Becky Gaskill from the Backstage Academy who was Nathan’s assistant LD for the main room.
The theme for this year was a 1970s disco dancing vibe - inspired by legendary New York nightclub Studio 54.
With that as a starting point, Nathan’s lighting scheme was also developed to show off the scope and creativity of Robe’s latest technologies, in particular illustrating the power and versatility of Robe’s newest product releases - the Esprite LED Profile with transferrable LED engine and the Tetra2 moving LED batten.
An arched shaped LED screen along the back of the stage provided a physical focal point this year, while the video graphics and content were a neo-deco nod to Studio 54’s stylised graphics which themselves dated back to 1927, when the building first opened as an entertainment venue.
Nathan wanted to recreate some of the lighting ambience at Studio 54 during its 1970s heydays “but with a modern twist giving it a digital and contemporary look”. For this, he positioned 36 vertically rigged Tertra2 fixtures on drop-down bars on the upstage truss. These combined seamlessly with the video elements to create the Awards signature look for 2020.
“We were really keen on everything being very coherent and harmonious,” explained Nathan.
He also positioned 24 LEDBeam 150s small moving lights around the main screen arch to echo the video vibe and so they could match their fast screen sweeps and swipes.
A total of 56 x Robe Tetra2s were used, together with 40 Esprites and 64 x LEDBeam 150s. These were joined by 52 Spiider LED wash beams, 10 x ColorStrobes, 26 MegaPointes and seven T1 Profiles in the Main Room.
Five BMFL FollowSpots operated from five remote RoboSpot BaseStations around the room were operated by Robe NRG students.
The Main Room show lighting was programmed by Nathan and Andy onto two Avolites Tiger Touch II consoles, one dealing with the main show and effects lighting fixtures, operated by Becky Gaskill, with Andy running all the key lighting and specials on the second console.
The bar / reception / pre-show featured 48 Robe SilverScans as the feature lighting, plus 28 Tarrantulas - Robe’s largest LED wash beam moving light - plus four MegaPointes to light the 2m mirror ball centrepiece.
Along with those already mentioned NRG students, Nathan and Andy were joined by Ola Przytula from LAMDA as systems tech and RoboSpot operator, Rose Bruford’s Glen Leyser as lead RoboSpot operator / crew, working with Nari Smith from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and Gavin Kennedy from the LIR Academy on the RoboSpots.
In addition to supporting the show, Robe’s UK and International teams and their guests enjoyed a fantastic evening, Robe again sponsored the Lighting Designer of the Year Award, which was presented by JJ Valchar and won by Tim Routledge for the second year running.
(Jim Evans)

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