The VIP gala dinner event was staged in a special Super Dome structure built by In2structures
South Africa - LD Renaldo van den Berg and production manager Victor Vermaak from Johannesburg based design and technical production specialist AV Unlimited created a spectacular lighting scheme utilising Robe moving lights for the South African leg of the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone launch.

The VIP gala dinner event was staged in a special Super Dome structure built by In2structures and erected adjacent to the Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Illovo, Johannesburg. AV Unlimited was brought on-board to create the technical production design by event producers Mela Events, and Robe moving lights were right at the heart of the lighting concept.

AV Unlimited has worked on several Samsung launches for Mela Events in recent years. However in terms of format, look and feel, this one took a departure from previous ones, and instead of being styled around a DJ / party atmosphere, the entertainment theme of the evening was set by an electro-classical band.

Renaldo used four types of Robe product - Pointes, LEDWash 600s, LEDBeam 100s and LEDForce PAR 18s - 48 of each ... plus some other moving lights.

The evening started with the launch of the phone onstage which included a multimedia presentation played out on a 110 metre wide projection screen that encircled most of the venue's interior, with a complimentary row of LED panels below it, also going most of the way around the room.

To keep the environment clean, elegant and high-tech and aligned with the oeuvre of the product at the centre of the event, the layout of the lighting fixtures - mostly rigged on six trusses flown off the venue's structural elements - was vital.

The trusses were black, so the lighting fixtures themselves were well concealed and out of the way with only the actual lightsources visible.

The Pointes were rigged on three different layers above the screen at the back of the stage area, all of them used for rear lighting and high-impact effects shooting right down the length of the auditorium. "They worked fantastically well," Renaldo enthuses. "The sheer punch of the Pointe for the size of the light is incredible."

The LEDWash 600s were distributed all over the rig - over the top and around the sides, washing the stage and audience from all angles. Renaldo has been using these work-horse fixtures in his designs for some time, and AVL Unlimited's LEDWash 600s are constantly out working on shows.

An eight camera record was taking place, so the LEDForce PAR 18s were dotted around strategically to fill all the back-of-shot gaps in between the LED panels.

The LEDBeam 100s were on the stage floor and all around the back of the stage, used extensively and very effectively as background filler for the cameras. Some were also used in the pre-registration area to introduce beam work and colour on the décor.

Renaldo ran lighting for the evening from a grandMA2 full size console and grandMA onPC as backup, with an MA VPU feeding video content to the LED screen elements.

Additional Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 2500E ATs were used to light the Dome's exterior and create plenty of visual magic for arriving and departing guests.

All the lighting and video equipment was supplied by Gearhouse SA, with AV Unlimited providing the visual and technical concept designs. Renaldo and Victor worked alongside a crew of 15 lighting and video technicians.

The stage and set was designed by Gareth Castelyn and built by Just Sets and the audio equipment was supplied by Audio Logic.

(Jim Evans)

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