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Hawthorn Soar at the British Arrows 2017

Hawthorn Soar at the British Arrows 2017
Hawthorn Soar at the British Arrows 2017

UK – After 40 years as the most respected and coveted of British advertising awards, this year the British Arrows combined their ‘Craft’ and ‘Awards’ shows into one big ceremony, ‘The British Arrows’. Held at Battersea Evolution on 31st May 2017 and hosted by TV comedian Rob Delaney, over 72 Campaign Arrows and 32 Craft Awards were handed out to the cream of the advertising crop. Creative technical event production expert Hawthorn were on hand once again to deliver the full technical production for the evening.

Hawthorn has delivered the technical production for the British Arrows Awards since 2011, with the design and production values increasing in specification and complexity each year. With this year seeing the two events combine into one special show, the team at Hawthorn worked closely with the British Arrows producers to deliver a unique, stand out experience for the 1,000 guests.

With the concept for the evening following an open room format, guests had to be wowed on arrival as they overlooked the vast 50m x 75m main dining space at Battersea Evolution. The British Arrows team decided to break with convention, seating guests on long tables that stretched from the stage to the rear of the room.

Ensuring the winning video content was at the heart of evening, Hawthorn installed two 13.5 metre by four metre blended projections using Christie HD-14K-M projectors. These were the largest 3:1 format surfaces that Hawthorn have used within Battersea Evolution, maximising the on-screen content and removing the need for relay screens that would break the eye line from the mezzanine all the way to the stage. The screens were deliberately angled in to the audience to enclose the main stage area. Hawthorn also designed a custom awards table, produced by ESS, to display the prestigious Arrow and Campaign awards.

With the challenge of presenting Silver awards during dinner with impact and excitement, Hawthorn worked with Zest4TV to craft a unique approach using an exciting piece of kit, an ‘Eagle Cam’. The team designed a custom rigging solution in-house using 3D Cad which allowed the camera to be flown on lines spanning 70 metres across the roof space of the venue, picking out the Silver awards winners during the dinner.

To build anticipation for the award announcements, a large on-screen 10-0 countdown animation played out supported by a loud audio sting. As the countdown ended, the category and winner were shown onscreen with an IMAG PIP of the Eagle Cam ‘flying’ in to the recipient of the award. This unique delivery proved to be a fun and engaging way of presenting awards without the need for any onstage presentation.

All video content for the evening was controlled using Barco E2 and one of Hawthorn’s d3 4x4pro media servers.

Lighting for the evening was designed to complement the striking room layout and the unique Eagle Cam set-up. Sweeping across the tables for the announcement build-ups and to pick out the category winners, 48 Martin MAC Viper fixtures were rigged throughout the space. Alongside these, 72 Source Four Pars were arranged in clusters of three along the three 50 metre room trusses spanning the venue. This provided a warm tungsten wash over the long tables to provide adequate ambient lighting for the Eagle Cam. Ten Claypaky Sharpy Wash fixtures were then used on the floor to fill the edges of the screens.

To ensure the audio for the evening was on top form, Hawthorn installed two hangs of six d&b V-series for the main system, along with a further two hangs of four boxes used for delays. The team also ran three of its new d&b B22 subs each side in a cardioid formation, with the main awards run on a Yamaha CL5 console.

James Hunter, project director at Hawthorn, commented: “With the two award shows combining into one big event this year, it was more important than ever to deliver something spectacular. We wanted to get the audience talking and provide them with an experience that would make the ceremony a stand-out event. Creativity and excellence are at the heart of the British Arrows so it was important for us that we took the same approach to our technical production, crafting something truly unique. Janey always strives for perfection and innovative use of tech to deliver on all fronts, this is certainly a challenge we always relish.”

Managing director of British Arrows, Janey de Nordwall, said: “One of the reasons I love my job is that every year I get to work with Hawthorn and their technical team. Each year I set the bar higher and higher and each year James and his team deliver with passion, enthusiasm and technical expertise. The eagle cam this year was a bit of a risk as it hadn’t been tested in the location prior to the build but I trust the team so much now that I knew that the gamble would pay off, and it did.”

You can see footage of the evening shot by the Eagle Cam here.

9th June 2017

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