Dreamlike: grandMA2 at the “18th Annual MTN SA Music Awards”

It took four to five days to rig the lighting equipment and at least two days to program

For the “18th Annual MTN SA Music Awards” recently held at Sun City, Dream Sets built the biggest set ever with the most lighting and AV. “Robert Hoey was the set designer,” explained Sean Hoey, partner at Dream Sets. “It was his vision and creation; he spent so many hours over several days at his drawing table that the chair he was sitting on eventually broke!”

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Their brief by the client Vertical Limit Productions (VLP) was for Robert Hoey to design his dream set, one he had always wanted to design, without any limitations and as they put it: “Something organic”. They worked together with Jeremy Doveton-Helps from Inflate Africa. As lighting designer, Joshua Cutts from Visual Frontier joined in.

For the show Cutts had to use 15 universes for the first time in his life. He programmed on Dream Sets grandMA2 full-size with two MA on PC command wing for back-up and one MA NPU (Network Processing Unit) for signal processing.

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The clock ticking was a constant reminder that time was not on their side. “Our crew, 54 people, just worked and never complained,” said Leanne Bancroft from Dream Sets. The little things mean a lot when you are working 12 days straight like ensuring the crew had meals, refreshments and comfortable accommodation. The support team from VLP were incredibly helpful with all the arrangements.

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Another challenge was the rigging. For the first time ever Dream Sets hired a huge 20m boomlift to reach into the realms of the Superbowl’s roof structure. Other companies who helped to get the gig ready and working on time included MGG Productions, AV Unlimited and Audio Logic.

Prior to the gig Cutts sat for hours trying to use straight trusses for the gig. “Then I decided to make everything curved and to raise the trussing by two meters. It didn’t make complete lighting sense, but with precise placement of fixtures, it worked.”

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It took four to five days to rig the lighting equipment and at least two days to program. “I did all programming on site,” said Cutts. While essentially it’s an awards ceremony with 11 performances, the size made it spectacular to work on. “Just the scale of it, to be in control of such a huge lighting rig, and then to have a team running all day and all night, was a highlight for me,” said Cutts.

DWR Distribution is MA Lighting’s exclusive distributor in South Africa.

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