With a crowd of 4,500 convened at the Lisaili Fort for Amway’s gala celebration, eclipse was tasked with the show’s design and technical specification from concept to completion.
Coordinating with the client based out in India, the site was accurately 3D mapped using a drone to provide a lifelike, immersive virtual version of the multifaceted event in its initial planning stages.
The use of 3D modelling allows accurate budgeting, helps manage client expectations and brings more accuracy and pace to finding solutions and delivering a detailed vision. The set construction was managed by a team who build sets for Bollywood films as the client wanted a highly detailed set with an excellent level of finishing. Aikta Tyagi, Associate Vice President of Special Events and Facilities, Amway India Enterprises, commented: “Right from the initial meeting to the execution of the event, we found eclipse to be very organised, competitively priced, detailed and professional. Your final plan stood in line with our expectation. Your contribution of creative ideas, business contacts, and personal time created a blend that ensured the event was a success.”
The lighting team had to deal with the challenge of delivering both practical and architectural show lighting from only 6 structures which had to also be shared with the video department. This presented a challenge in terms of placement of the structures to light a 2,000 sq metre area while minimising the visibility of the structures and fixtures.
On the video side, the team had to contend with both projection mapping onto the surface of the fort structure and an LED wall which was built into the set. The LED wall had to be installed in such way that it was seamless with the surface of the set, given that the content made it appear as part of the set. The projection mapping was faced additional complications by several palm trees which were very much in the way and created the need to add extra projectors to get around them.
For the audio department, flying the speakers was not an option as the client did not want to see any speakers. This meant that the ground-stacked d&b audiotechnik J-Series main speakers became integrated into the set and disguised. This required close coordination between eclipse’s audio department and the set builders to ensure the speakers were concealed without compromising the audio performance or the set design. Wissam Shaheen, Senior Audio Engineer at eclipse Staging Services recalled: “The biggest challenge we faced with the audio design was to keep our PA more or less invisible and completely clear of the video projectors’ aperture. We are no strangers to such challenges as we know that aesthetics is as important as the audio quality, especially in the corporate world.”
Despite the pre-production design work, there were several additions to the show requested by the client as the time got nearer. This included a zipline entrance over the audience and through the set for one of the award winners which was provided by High & Wired. This concept was met with skepticism initially until the engineering drawings and H&S documentation were provided, proving a big hit with all involved.
Nick Pain, Project Manager at eclipse Staging Services, commented: “The event location made the technical production aspect challenging. The site is mostly soft sand which meant all the equipment was moved around the site on four-wheel drive buggies with trailers. As a result, the warehouse had to be very careful in preparing all the equipment so it arrived in the right order and was delivered to the right place on site. All the cabling had to be buried in the sand which required us to come up with novel ways to protect the fragile fibre optic infrastructure and ensure site safety for event-goers.
“The addition of a zipline presented some interesting health and safety challenges which had to be overcome to reassure the client that the project could be safely executed. During the project, we experienced a wide gamut of atmospheric conditions from heat and sandstorms to rain and lightning storms. All the staff and equipment were well prepared to endure all eventualities and the project was completed with no injuries or near misses and no damage to any equipment.”
The HSE component of this show was very important given the environment which the show was built and delivered in. Detailed risk assessments and method statements had to be reassessed and updated with the assistance of eclipse’s in-house Group Health and Safety Manager to deal with the specific hazards of working in a desert environment. This was a useful exercise as it helped highlight potential issues on both sides and allowed procedures to be put in place to manage risks specific to this environment.