A brand new sporting awards event - the Sport Awards Gauteng 2011 - was staged at the Emperor's Palace in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, South Africa - an initiative by the local Gauteng government to reward and acknowledge those in the province who excel at various sports. It was broadcast live on the Supersport 4 satellite TV channel.
Lighting designer Nicholas Michaletos' rig contained 80 Robe moving lights, which were the core of the lighting, supplied by locally-based MGG productions - plus a large generic rig - all of which was programmed and run by MGG's Kevin Rieck using a grandMA console.
The lighting design was based around a set and production design by Wayne Sproule of Pendragon Dezign. He gave Michaletos a very clear idea of what he wanted in terms of lighting aesthetics, and the result was a slick and smooth fusion of classical theatrical and televisual styles.
The set provided a translucent framework to the space that needed to be lit so it would change colour and style to match the content being displayed on the video centrepiece - the back of the set consisted of a large LED screen. The set took texturing and colouration extremely well, and this plus the clear brief from Sproule, made lighting the show "relatively straightforward".
The rig included the new ROBIN 600 LEDWashes - MGG was the first rental company in South Africa to take delivery of these. Their range of real whites at different colour temperatures is said to be extremely useful for television environments, together with the dynamic 15 - 60 degree zoom and the smooth colour mixing.
On the Sport Awards, the LEDWash 600s were positioned front-of-house, and used primarily for audience cut-away shots, but once Michaletos discovered "how effective their whites and CTO functions are," they became very useful to fill the stage apron as well.
Joining the 12 ROBIN 600 LEDWashes on the rig were 20 Robe CitySkape 48 LED floods, 20 LEDForce 7s, 14 Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs and 12 ColorWash 700E ATs. These were arranged on four overhead LX bars in the theatre's roof, with some on the floor.
"My aim was to provide a visual clarity with neat, clean looks giving good television and media shots,” said Michaletos, “while the set and video visuals provided the sparkly bits and the magic required.” The lighting rig featured conventional back-lights, side colour booms and white key lights for entrances, the presenters, the podiums and the stage apron. "The overhead Robes gave me colour, beams and gobos," he continued, adding that they offered all the flexibility he needed, while PARs provided his basic three colour washes from the sides and overhead at the back.