From one thing to another.

One of the great and enjoyable things about this job is the variation in the type and size of work I get involved in. Currently, I have two rather large arena events on the drawing board, lots of space, power and, to some extent money. I have a massive catalogue of lighting instruments and effects at my disposal.

How about a 3m high company office space, wall ring main, terrible access (glass everywhere), tightish budget and it’s just you and one other? Well, I recently did just that. With all of the above constraints, the client wants to turn the space into a ‘look-a-like’ TV chat show. Having done TV I knew exactly what kind of look they were after but how do we do with a 3m high roof, no access, rubbish power and so on?

Well, we had to go and look at the site and see exactly what we were up against. After an hour and a half, we had measured the room, sought out what power was available and how do we get the gear in and out without smashing a window!

Once I had a working CAD I was able to use Capture to ‘extrude’ a three-dimensional space to start dropping in the kit and working out the power. Hold on though… how do we hang lights in a vanilla, bog-standard office space?

First visuals

The production came up with the idea of building three arches that get smaller towards the back. Easy you would think. But not so. The arches have to be off-the-shelf truss sections that can be just pinned together. A search was undertaken to find the truss and make sure that it fits without too much compromise in size and shape. The truss was found and careful measurements were re-taken to make sure that it would do the job. This truss would be ‘the set’.

Another meeting was set up with the client to check our work so far and to show them my visuals from Capture. They were over the moon but I detected a little scepticism in their voice, a voice quietly saying, “No way. I’ll be surprised if it really does look like that“, but there was still a strong bond of trust that we would deliver.

We placed small LED fixtures in the truss arches to give them colour and attached Martin Skeptrons to the upright legs. Attached are some small LED units on the truss for the backlight, and some groundrow to light the drape at the back. The front light was just a couple of upright poles with source 4 JNR profiles to provide the key light.

We went from this…

…to this

We used all of the 13 amp sockets in the room, after making sure they were all on the same circuit, blacked out the windows, disconnected the in-office lighting and hey-presto we had a TV chat show look-a-like. The client was delighted. Oh, and we didn’t break any windows.

The team. That’s me with a brew. Of course.

All in all, a nice little job, a nice couple of day.