Festive Launch for Molton Brown



Dec 18, 2016

Maestra London – working for creative production specialist DesignScene - supplied all technical elements including sound, lighting, video and SFX - for a recent event to launch the 2016 festive season campaign for upmarket UK cosmetics brand Molton Brown.

Staged in the main ballroom at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Park Lane, London this was attended by the brand’s key distributors and partners.

One of the central visual concepts involved recreating the Northern Lights in the ballroom for the evening gala dinner and awards event, which was preceded by a full conference schedule during the day.

The Maestra team was headed by James Backer. The first task once he and the technical crew were onsite was to build a large free-standing structure – designed and engineered by Maestra – to provide a neat solution for rigging a 25 ft. wide by 5 metre high projection screen that covered the entire length of one side of the ballroom. This made great visual impact.

Maestra brought in CT to assist with the video elements. The projection, which was created using four double-stacked pairs of Panasonic 20K projectors hung on the house trusses, and two roving cameras provided live footage and IMAG feeds of the speakers for the plenary and Awards presentations in the evening.

The Northern Lights were recreated using some imaginative and dramatic lighting and sparkling gobos.

They made the most of the balconies around the ballroom and created some discreet lighting plinths blended in around the tables for the main lighting positions. On these was a mix of Clay Paky QWO 800 moving lights and CP a.leda K20s fitted with B-EYE lenses, used to create the majority of the effects.

The walls, drapes and other room décor elements were highlighted with CORE ColourPoint Mk 2s battery powered uplighters, and six CP Alpha Spot 300s were deployed in the reception areas to ramp up the atmosphere and light the band, together with more up-lighters.

All the lights were programmed and run from a ChamSys console.

Maestra specified that a perforated screen was supplied which enabled the majority of the audio system to be installed behind this for neatness and aesthetics.

Some of their brand new Y-Series d&b speakers were utilized for this, with four Y7s and four Y-SUBS plus two T10s a side as side fills. This was used for speeches and presentations during the day and the awards and background music in the evening.

The cosy log cabin themed reception area also featured a live band, so a similar audio system but about half the size was provided there.

Both sound systems were driven by d&b D20 amps. The FOH console in the main room was a Yamaha QL5, and a 12-way Sennheiser 2000 radio mic system was also part of the audio package, together with a selection of wired and wireless comms for the full technical team.

Maestra also delivered a range of special effects including low CO2 fog for the evening’s entrance moment.

James was joined on the crew by Maestra’s Justin Hammond and Ed Higgins, plus nine specialist technical crew to cover all the disciplines and locals.

Most of the team had worked in the venue before so that familiarity helped with the smooth running, but the main challenge was the tight build schedule. They had 15 hours to get in and construct the set and screen structure, install the audio and video and light everything before the rehearsal schedule started.

The turnaround from the conference session to the evening event was just two hours but with an experienced crew and lots of advanced planning … this was a completely seamless operation.

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