Maestra London supplied a full video package – cameras, LED screen, control and PPU – for the 2017 UK Music Video Awards (UKMVAs) – staged at London’s Roundhouse, working closely with producer Louise Stevens of Ballistic Events and production manager Paul Corrick from Reality Ltd.
The event saw the presentation of 30 Awards honouring the talent, innovation and success of video and commercials directors, cinematographers, producers, editors, stylists, art directors, visual effects creators, animators, colourists and commissioners – both established and emerging stars – and their work over the last 12 months.
Ballistic Events and Reality created the stage design and, together with Maestra, specified the equipment which was delivered to site and installed by Maestra’s crew, led by project manager Lizzie Bishop and technical managers Ed Higgins and Paul Hayes.
Given the nature of the Awards, the calibre of the guests and the fact that they were among the best and most inventive practitioners in the video production universe, the pressure was on to ensure an outstanding live production, lots of WOW factors and a presentation that was absolutely spot on.
Onstage a central video wall was flown offering a 7.5 metre wide by 4.5 metre high surface. To the (house) left of that were four columns of LED, three of them half a metre wide then a fourth one (nearest the central screen) at 1.5 metres wide, all with 4.5 metre drops. Another half metre wide by 4.5 m tall strip was rigged on house right / stage left.
All these elements were flown, and Maestra needed to get their rigging points and calculations spot-on to maintain the integrity of the design and ensure there were no delays during the short set-up period.
The arena floor was filled with dinner tables for the gala event and, either side of the stage, two 65 inch LED screens on floor bases were positioned as relay screens, to ensure that guests all around the room had a good view of the onstage action.
The asymmetric LED design was interesting and also boosted the depth and 3D nature of the stage aesthetic. All of the screen was Absen A3 3.9 mm product, running with Novastar processors with inputs fed into an Analog Way Ascender 48 switcher.
Video playback content was supplied by the client and run on a series of MacBook Pro laptops, mostly via Keynote.
The Maestra team ensured that the resolution and aspect ratios of all the materials was correct, tweaking these parameters where necessary on site so everything fitted the screens perfectly. The requirement was for content to play out across all screens as one large surface, and sometimes be fitted to the individual screen shapes.
A PIP was designed for the centre screen to show video relay from the three live cameras.
Maestra supplied 3 x Sony HXR NX5E HD cameras for the IMAG feeds, with two (one operated and one locked off) positioned at the back of the room, and a third operated on a tripod in front of the stage and constantly moving around.
These were mixed by Cameron Macleod using a Panasonic AV-HS410 mixer/switcher, and the show TX was recorded on an Atomos Shogun.
The majority of Maestra’s kit was loaded in the previous day, as it had also been on The GRM Daily Rated Awards show in the venue, then everyone worked intensively from 8 a.m. on the day of the UKVMAs to be ready for show time. The operation went smoothly, assisted by Maestra’s intimate knowledge of the venue and how it works.
The event itself was a big success, and once dinner was completed and the awards bestowed, guests could groove the night away with a DJ set afterparty.