Keystone Productions makes some important Pointes

Lighting Designer Christopher Bolton recently used 24 x Robe ROBIN Pointes to provide fabulous effects for a special gala dinner and evening of entertainment staged for business systems specialists EOH at Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Bolton was asked to light the event by technical service providers AVL Productions who were working for producers Jam Productions.

He worked very closely with Verusca DiZio and Paul Hughes who designed the stage and set including the video elements, and also with Show Director Samantha McGraw who collated all the musical content. This featured the Mzanai Choir, the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra and platinum selling singer and musician Elvis Blue, together with a house band that backed all the various performing artists in the action-packed entertainment schedule.

A massive amount of detail went into planning this event which demanded the highest quality production values to suit. AVL Productions have supplied the technical infrastructure – rigging, audio, lighting and video – for several years, and this was the second year that Bolton has lit it.

Some of the lighting rig came from AVL’s stock, and Bolton specifically requested the 24 x Robe Pointes this year, which were rigged in a line on one overhead section of truss with a 75 mm gap in between each one.

This configuration enabled him to enhance the look and dynamics of the high-impact beam effects which – due to the extreme brightness of the Pointes – reach right to the back of the SCC Pavilion.

He used them sparingly throughout the 2 hour show so they retained a great WOW factor each and every time!

“They are extremely versatile lights,” he comments. “I appreciate the fact that they can go from a tight and very bright spot beam to opening right up into a wash … and I also love using the 8-facet prisms and the gobos for ‘soft’ effects (as well as the more traditional hard edged ones).”

He also likes the small size, “It’s a great all-round fixture,” he concludes.

The EOH show set design featured four circular projection screens onstage – and four large square screens along the sides of the room, which ensured that everyone had a good view of the performances. AVL Productions also created custom video content to accompany each song.

The Pointes – and other moving and static lights and LED sources were controlled by Bolton using a Martin M6 console, which, together with Maxedia and Green Hippo media severs – were supplied to the production by Keystone..

The biggest challenge was the tight programming time – with over 30 musical sections in the show, many set to timecode – this required lots of intense concentration, a process in which he was assisted by Jade Manicom.

Bolton – among South Africa’s most imaginative ‘rising star’ LDs – started Johannesburg based company Keystone Productions 11 years ago. He and his business partner specialise in lighting, video and visual design and content creation for a myriad of shows and events, and also run their own sound studio.

Bolton used Pointes for the first time early in 2014 on the South African Business Awards and was hugely impressed. Following that, he spec’d them for the most recent series of the ‘Take Me Out’ reality TV show which was recorded at Durban ICC.

Images: Louise Stickland

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