The ceremony took place at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse arena in front of a live audience
USA - NFL legend Joe Thomas stepped out to lead the Greater Cleveland Sport Awards recently, staged to honour athletic achievement in Ohio. The ceremony took place at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse arena in front of a live audience and was filmed for streaming. Lighting director Derek Hons, from NPiAV, specified Vari-Lite VL5LED, and VL2600 Series luminaires from Signify for the event.
NPiAV has a longstanding relationship with The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, delivering regular events across Northeast Ohio. The Sports Commission approached Hons to design a lighting solution that would add bright washes and audience overhead effects for both those in attendance and for the live stream.
“I have been a part of this event for 15 years, so I knew the flow of the show very well,” says Hons. “In terms of design, timing, familiarity and execution were important factors in laying out the plot and how the fixtures would be used. I knew the VL2600 Washes would be great for keys and fills for the stage, the VL2600 Profiles would be used for scenic, décor, effects and the VL5LED would be used for audience lighting and effects. The VL2600 Wash fixtures provided plenty of brightness for the stage and looked great on camera – with their barndoors we were able to manipulate where we wanted light and where we didn’t.”
A host of big names showed up to celebrate or present awards, including New York Jets defender Justin Hardee, former Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel, and former NFL player Ted Ginn Jr., who was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The VL5LED luminaires were rigged on trusses that were dedicated to lighting the audience and providing moving and dimmer effects for presenters and award winners. “The VL5LEDs did a great job of subtle colour variance - their brightness is surprisingly great and they have continued the traditional great look of the VL5 and VL500,” says Hons.
The VL2600 Wash fixtures were rigged from trusses surrounding the stage at roughly a 32’ throw, and the VL2600 Profile luminaires were used to lay texture over the main audience. “With the gobo selection offered by the VL2600 Profiles, it was an easy fit,” Hons continues. “As presenters entered, texture would change, as well as color, and these fixtures were the main source of movement to provide dynamic looks for the well-known Cleveland Area Presenters and Award winners alike. The VL2600 Wash fixtures were chosen because of their brightness, weight and flexibility of having barndoors to be our key and fill lights.”
Being staged in the round presented some challenges. “Having even lighting for the stage in these situations can be troubling, however with the flat, even field of the VL2600 Wash as well as control of the barndoor feature, the challenge was met and exceeded expectations,” says Hons. “The main success of this design was being able to successfully direct attention to where it was needed - simple effects to celebrate a winner, even and color corrected lighting for the camera, letting the online viewers see those that were celebrated as well as the in-person audience reaction.”

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