LED Media sets MTV Awards alight

Posted on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Click on images to enlarge

A 10,000 strong crowd and a long list of hot celebrities rocked Sydney’s Australian Technology Park for the MTV Australia Awards 2008. Celebrities included Mischa Barton, Leona Lewis, Brian McFadden to present and performances from 50 Cent, Eve, Juliette Lewis & the Licks who are among the eight set to entertain.

The fourth annual awards were held in a revolutionary new format at Australian Technology Park, Redfern, rather than the more staid Acer Arena, and the result was more of a party atmosphere.

As usual the lighting was designed by MTV’s world-roving LD Tom Kenny who liaised closely with Technical Production Manager James Klein. Sean ‘Motley’ Hackett operated the moving lights, Julio Hinede was the production designer and the lighting was supplied by both Bytecraft and Cairellie.

James Klein had to liaise between all the different technical people on the production and basically pull the event together.

“I drew the Australian Technology Park in CAD so we had a 3D representation of the venue making the planning of the event easier,” said James Klein. “It’s useful for all aspects of the event – for example MTV wanted to put in a flying camera through the venue so I could give the director different views and options of where to install the camera. This way, we discovered that the height limitations of the venue wouldn’t allow us a camera shot that was worth it – all worked out in Vectorworks without even entering the venue.”

It was decided that a video component down the centre of the main bay of the venue would be ideal but the venue posed several rigging limitations and weight restrictions. Fortunately James had used the Martin LC Panels before and knew that they would be the ideal solution.

“The LC Panels are great so I suggested them to the MTV team,” he said. “They’re lightweight and really easy to install. Cairellie supplied twenty-eight LC Panels fed by a media server with custom content from MTV and some additional content from Alex Saad who operated the Panels and did an awesome job.”

The client was stoked with the see-through capacity of the LC Panels as they surrounded the pillars. The Panels were rigged with 3mm steels to become somewhat invisible on TV so the panels just ‘hung’ in mid air.

Julio and James were keen to add some movement and colour to the floor of the stage and so they had the stage floor made of transparent acrylic and underneath were placed 180 Pro Shop LED Tubes. Evenly spaced, the LED Tubes were pixel mapped so that video could run through them (18 universes of LED Tubes).

“They looked really good on crane camera shots,” reported James. “People in the venue couldn’t really see them, but they looked fabulous on television and really the show is made for broadcast.”

A further 181 Pro Shop LED Tubes were placed in the roof with special rigging on the walls to make the install neat and tidy.

Moving lights were a mixture of Martin MAC2000 washes, MAC2000 profiles and Vari-Lites with control via a MA Lighting grandMA plus a grandMA Lite for tracking backup. Three MA Lighting NSP’s were used to control the LED Tubes. The LED Tubes data was distributed using ELC Switch 8’s and 8-way nodes with redundant network loops between stage and control in the event of a cable getting damaged.

“The event went very smoothly with Cairellie and Bytecraft doing a fantastic job,” commented James. “The new venue, the warehouse vibe that really fits the mentality of MTV and the shortened show (from last’s year three hours down to ninety minutes) resulted in a tight, together show that really went off!”