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Robe BMFLs are Pretty in Pink

Robe BMFLs are Pretty in Pink
Robe BMFLs are Pretty in Pink

UK - Full production and solutions provider Hawthorn was the first UK company to invest in Robe’s new Big Multi-Functional Luminaire (BMFL) Spot moving light fixture … and the first event for their newest lighting purchase was the fabulous Pink Ribbon Ball, staged in the majestic Central Hall of the Natural History Museum in London in support of the Breast Cancer Campaign.

The prestigious and highly acclaimed social event – now in its 20th glorious year – was this year hosted by top TV presenter Kate Thornton. A gala dinner featured performances by the Pink Ribbon Ball house band, aerialist trio La Luna, magic from Chicks With Tricks, while Brit Award winning artist Lisa Stansfield topped a memorable evening’s entertainment.

Hawthorn is one of the high profile venue’s selection of ‘preferred suppliers’, and a production lighting design with the BMFL Spots at its heart was created by Hawthorn’s Tom Walsh and Chris Smith, who also project managed the event for Hawthorn.

The big technical challenge was that all departments involved had just 90 minutes from when the NHM closed its doors to the public at 6 p.m. until the event started at 7.30 to get in and set up … in which time the environment was completely transformed!

A stage was installed on the impressive staircase at the far end of the room where eight of the BMFL Spots were used in various positions on custom plinths at the top, middle and bottom of the stairs and along the back of the stage, to provide dramatic lighting and effects for all elements of the action.

The BMFL Spots were also used for throwing impressive gobo projections onto the celling and for texturing and colouring the walls of the room – their 1700 Watt light sources making a powerful visual impact even without haze or other atmospheric enhancements.

To heighten the sense of occasion for arriving guests, another BMFL Spot in a weather dome was positioned by the front gates and utilised to project the Breast Cancer Campaign logo onto the entranceway, which looked suitably spectacular.

This was also the first time that Tom and Chris had used the BMFL Spots on an event. "They are extremely bright and the gobos are sharp and crisp," states Tom, adding that the custom gobo of the logo was very well received. Chris adds that he really liked the inbuilt animation facilities, and both are looking forward to using them on future projects.

Lighting for the Pink Ribbon Ball was run from a grandMA2 console programmed and operated on the night by Paul Bird. They managed to visualise and achieve a good amount of pre-programming in advance, all of which helped, but the pressure was still on everyone to deliver a great show … which naturally they did!

Hawthorn’s MD Martin Hawthorn committed to purchasing their BMFL Spots immediately after watching a dress rehearsal for the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow which featured 64 of the fixtures in a design by Tim Routledge. The lights were delivered by Robe UK and are now in Hawthorn’s hire stock which currently includes 16 units.

photos: Hawthorn

3rd November 2014

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