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Clay Paky lights the South African Music Awards
Lighting Designer
Joshua Cutts
Dream Sets
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SOUTH AFRICA – The South African Music Awards (SAMA) could be described as Africa’s version of the Grammys. The Sun City Superbowl, situated in the North West Province of South Africa, awakens as the who’s who in the music industry and their dedicated supporters witness the unveiling of the best artists and albums of the year.

Last year’s awards looked so remarkable that photos circulated across the globe and product suppliers and various industry publications and websites used images for marketing purposes. With this enormous sensation it was hard to imagine how Dream Sets, the chief technical suppliers and an influential creative force on this production, would do it again for the 2013 SAMAs.

Millions tuned in to SABC 1 for the live televised broadcast and it was nothing short of another slick and impressive event. Dream Sets were commissioned by VL Productions to supply the full technical for the show, all except for the sound which was taken care by Audio Logic.

“You can create anything you want with the right people,”
said Robert Hoey from Dream Sets. Dream Sets subcontracted AV Unlimited to supply the video elements of the show including video mapping which played a massive part in this year’s awards. MGG supplied additional lighting gear while LaserX worked their magic with a display of lasers.

As early as November last year, Robert Hoey started working on the set design and concept with colleague Wayne Pettit-Sproule. When Wessel Albertse, the creative director from Enjoy the Company, came on board in January this year, he finalised the conceptualisation and all was set to go.

“The show looked great,” said Hoey, who has worked on the SAMAs twice as a technician and twice as a director for Dream Sets. “It was such a play of lights,” he said. “Both lighting and projection interplayed and combined to create different effects and looks.”

Joshua Cutts
from Visual Frontier worked on the SAMAS for the second consecutive year as lighting designer. “I’m very proud that I’ve reached this level in my career,” said Cutts. “It’s a privilege and this has been the biggest show I’ve worked on to date.”

8 Alpha Profile 1500 and 48 x Clay Paky Sharpys
were used in the lighting rig. “If I’m not mistaken, this was the first time such an amount has been used in a show in South Africa. It allowed me to fill the entire Superbowl with crisp, clean light at a touch of a button.  The Sharpys have such precision that it meant I could do well, orchestrated moves with large batches of fixtures. I loved them!”

Robert Hoey says while it’s hard to pin point the best part of the show, for him it was the way everything came together. “While time was the greatest challenge straight up and down, the set was up and ready within three days and ready for rehearsals. We worked 24 hours, with day and night shifts, for four days. In the end it was a seamless show. Sometimes there are hassles or logistical problems, but in this case everything fell into place and we cracked it.”

Well done to everyone involved with a special word of thanks to the unsung heroes. These included Dream Sets’ Bradley Leech and Bronwen Harpur who held everything together from a logistical point of view and to Eben Peltz and his team who ensured all overflowing work besides the SAMAs were taken care of. Thank you also to the individuals, Thomas Peters, Herman Wessels and Renaldo Van Den Berg, who helped make the event run as professionally as it did.