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Elite Multimedia and Big Events create a “New Spain” feel for the Frist Gala
USA – For over 20 years, Big Events, Inc. has been designing and creating unique, customised events that guests will remember for years to come. So when they were approached by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts to help them create a contemporary “New Spain” club atmosphere for their Annual Gala, president Malcolm Greenwood leapt at the opportunity to showcase the design firm’s creativity. Wanting to implement the highest production-value the event had ever seen, Greenwood then called upon Nashville-based Elite Multimedia who provided him with a complete lighting, audio and projection package for the black-tie dinner and cocktail reception.
“The Frist Gala has always been one of those events that we wanted to be a part of and this was our first time getting that opportunity,” began Greenwood. “When the event organisers told us they were looking for a ‘New Spain’ feel, we were comfortable with what they wanted because we had a designer who actually lived in Spain for a while. Wanting to go heavy on the multimedia for a contemporary club atmosphere, we knew this would also be the largest production package the event had ever seen. To bring it all together we would need a partner who could provide quality gear and service, and after meeting with them to discuss the full production package, we decided that partner was Elite Multimedia.”
Now getting to work creating the full production package to support the Frist Gala, Greenwood and the design team wanted to make a bold statement that would encompass the entirety of the venue. Needing to include the main lobby, hallway and an exterior tent structure throughout the evening, Greenwood and his team laid out a production design that would catch the guests off-guard and make the night a truly memorable event.
“In the main lobby which was the first point of entry for the guests, we utilised an extensive lighting and audio system that welcomed them to the event with a lively and colourful experience,” explained Greenwood. “The guests were then led down the hallway which continued the feel from the lobby, to the tent where the black-tie dinner would be held. After dinner, the guests then came back into the lobby where we transformed the venue into a contemporary Spanish nightclub with UV black light and tile mosaics with UV paint. The waiters had white gloves and ties that glowed in the light, and the dancers on elevated platforms were also dressed in ultra-violet material as well. It was really like the room flipped because when the guests arrived we were using the tungsten and LED sources light sources to illuminate the room, but when they came back and we hit everything with the UV light and it became a completely new design that took everyone by surprise.”
With the main lobby design in place, Greenwood and the team turned their attention to the production design for the 50’ x 100’ tent structure set up behind the Frist Center. It was inside the tent where the main portion of the event would be held, and it was also here that Greenwood had yet another surprise to reveal.
“For the black-tie dinner in the tent, we really wanted video mapping to be the main visual element in the design,” added Greenwood. “We knew this type of technology had never been implemented at this event before so we wanted to approach it as truly creating visual art. To do this we created a series of cubed-boxes that were connected together at 45 degree angles and then this ‘cloud’ structure was flown from the roof of the tent. At the beginning of the evening we wanted the guests to think it was a colour-changing chandelier, but then we slowly started hitting it with custom video mapping content. We started slowly and minimalistic, but then over the course of the evening we gradually ramped up the video mapping and intensity of the content, and it worked fantastic, once again catching everyone completely off guard.”
As with any live event, not all the aspects of the production design went as smooth as hoped. During the set-up for the event, a strong weather pattern struck Nashville which did some damage to the outdoor structure, but it was then that Elite Multimedia once again showed Greenwood that he had chosen the right partner.
“During the set-up we had 50-60 mph wind sheers in Nashville that did some damage to the tent so we had to come back in and redo a lot of what we had done,” admitted Greenwood. “Regardless, Elite Multimedia had a phenomenal attitude and they really went the extra mile for us. To have a partner so willing to provide such incredible service allowed us to really push right on through, and their gear was second to none delivering on every count. In working with Elite Multimedia, I really enjoyed their combination of service, equipment and creative design ideas.”
With the full design now in place, it was time for the 2016 Frist Gala to open its doors in an effort to raise money for the Frist Center education and outreach programs. Watching as the night unfolded, Greenwood was excited to hear the comments from both guests and organisers alike and he knew that they had represented both Big Events, Elite Multimedia and Nashville in the best light possible.
“We really wanted to take the guests at the Frist Gala on a journey with us throughout the evening and by the time the journey was drawing to a close they were commenting that they had never seen anything like it before and were completely amazed,” concluded Greenwood. “We also heard numerous comments from the Frist Gala organisers that they had never experienced anything like this and they were absolutely blown away. With our background in production, we really wanted to show the guests at the event that Nashville was an incredible market for the production arts, and Elite Multimedia certainly helped us do that.”
photos: Kristin Sweeting
21st June 2016
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