Viewers’ Choice Awards show driven by light
Thursday, 20 October 2022
dstvmvca-25-june-2022-highres-255The awards honour those working in television, radio, music, sports and comedy
South Africa - It was a celebration of talent at the fourth edition of the DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards held at Time Square’s SunBet Arena in Tshwane after a two-year interval due to the pandemic. The event coincided with the lifting of all COVID-19 regulations in South Africa, allowing local celebrities and delegates to feel a sense of freedom as they attended the broadcast event produced by Don’t Look Down with technical by AV Unlimited and Visual Frontier appointed for lighting design.
The DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards honours those working in television, radio, music, sports and comedy, as voted by viewers living in South Africa. The show opened with a cameo appearance by Leanne Manas, was hosted by Lawrence Maleka and included performances by artists including Tuks Senganga, Boohle, Pabi Cooper, Kamo Mphela and Zakes Bantwini.
“What I love about working alongside DLD is expanding the boundaries on every event,” said Guillaume Ducray, co-owner of AV Unlimited. “You do not grow as a person unless you are doing something different. When working on a production like this we know that we are going to push the envelope, and afterwards, look back and think, wow, we did this!”
It was an impressive rig with a solid team made including Joshua Cutts, Andre Siebrits and Renaldo van den Berg on lighting, while Adriaan van der Walt headed the audio.
The full lighting list included 112 Robe LEDForce 18 RGBW, six Robe BMFL Blades, 12 Robe BMFL WashBeam, 12 Robe BMFL Spots, 91 Robe Pointes, 27 Robe Spiiders, six Robe Strobe IP, 32 Robe LEDBeam 100, 24 Robe Robin 600 LEDWash, two RoboSpots and 27 James Thomas 4-Lite (Molefay). From Martin, the fixtures comprised 28 MAC Viper Profiles, 96 VDO Sceptron 10 and 48 Atomic Dot CLDs. The lighting was controlled on a grandMA2 system.
“If you want results, you need to plan, and if you want a show you need to rehearse," Ducry says. "Every detail has to be looked at, drawing after drawing, and in the end, everyone knows what they have to do and can be more relaxed on show day.”

When it comes to the creative process, the experienced team from DLD involving Glenn van Loggerenberg, Anton Cloete, Tebogo Mogola, Philisa Bidi and Brendan Holtshousen run a tight ship. For lighting designer Joshua Cutts from Visual Frontier, who has regularly worked with the company over the past fourteen years, it’s always a positive experience, perpetually motivating every cog in the wheel to strive for an excellent outcome.
“We start by discussing the basic concept and then it's an intricate process, building our design and drawings that right from the start, consolidate with the graphic material supplied,” Cutts explains. “The lighting is influenced by DLD’s custom staging palettes, and all the screen creative for this production was designed by Rob Rae. We have extensive meetings every week, the drawings are changed multiple times and then we tend to sculpt and lock it down. The creative team spend a week in the studio with the tracks and 3D rig where we build as much as we can.
“It was light driven show and was intense to programme,” admits Cutts, who worked alongside programmer Andre Siebrits on a grandMA2 system consisting of two light and one ultra-light. “We wanted to create banks of beams that came from different angles on the set, from left to right and from the roof shining down. We had a combination of 30 BMFL fixtures used as key lights, backlights and followspots. I used two RoboSpots, my 'go-to' for television spotlights. I have such a problem because there are not enough of them around.”

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