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Clay Paky at the Nestle Conference and Gala Awards
Lighting Designer
Christopher Bolton
MGG Productions
Photo Credits
Christopher Bolton
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SOUTH AFRICA – Keystone Productions were awarded the role of Production Company, and MGG Productions as technical supplier, for the Nestle Conference and Gala Awards, held in two different venues at Champagne Sports Resort which is surrounded by majestic mountains in central Drakensberg. With over thirty presentations, each with a unique theme, lighting could not take a back seat and included Clay Paky at a function where video predominantly featured.

This was the first time Nestle, which produces various prominent consumable products, hosted a single event for the entire company. It was aptly attended by a thousand employees who lodged at Champagne Sports Resort and nearby surrounds for the three day conference. “It was a massively long project,” said Christopher Bolton from Keystone Productions, who was appointed the position by client Dithatha Productions. Keystone designed the show and took care of FOH and control, while MGG Productions were asked to supply power, lighting equipment and crew. Bolton’s set design was built by Dream Sets.

The Conference incorporated thirty individual presentations. Bolton came up with an idea to utilize multiple shaped blocks at different depths to work as one white screen. “It’s similar to projection on a building,” explained Bolton. Video mapping was projected onto the wall, which cleverly tricked the eye to make the image appear 3D. The set included a small stage for presenters.

“Lighting did not take a back seat and it never will,”
commented Bolton. He says with the use of video, it becomes even more pivotal to ensure the person on stage is lit up correctly and that the fixtures do not wash out the video projections.  “Sure video stimulates the eye but lighting stimulates the senses, creating a mood. The effective sweep of the beam or color change, at the right moment, can create emotion.”

Purposefully deciding against generics, the conference lighting included some Clay Paky Sharpys. They were positioned on deck “because of their ability to cut through the air like a knife cutting through butter.”

The Gala Awards Dinner was split over two evenings where the Drakensberg Choir and Drum Machine provided entertainment. Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPE 1500s created a generic wash during the performance of the Drakensburg Choir but also did some jaw dropping gobo work on the set. The Sharpies created mid-air effects for the Drum Machine.