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Solid Studios produces a quality partnership

Solid Studios produces a quality partnership

Solid Studios produces a quality partnership

South Africa:

A partnership between SOLID Group founder Alex Van Dyk and lighting designer Alan Muller led to the creation of Solid Studios in Cape Town which ran from April through to the start of October 2020.

Having met during the lockdown, the pair initially started chatting about PPE, hoping to generate an alternative income. The conversation turned to how many people were now streaming, and it dawned on them that if they paired up, created a studio and ran it as if it were a TV paying client, they could achieve broadcast quality.

Van Dyk is the owner of technical supply company Solid Group and had the space to facilitate a studio and the necessary quality gear, including a Green Hippo Amba+ media server. Muller, in turn, is a lighting designer for EDM type festivals, who prior to lockdown worked on We Love Summer in Maputu, Leee John’s Imagination mini tour, Sandsations EDM festival and some of Black Coffee’s Africa is not a Jungle. In the industry for close to 30 years, he has gained knowledge and skill for both TV lighting and set design.

Furthermore, the space was also the Cape Town studio for the #LightSAred live broadcast, a campaign which saw 505 sites and buildings lit in red across the country to represent the live events industry. “We decided to put in an actual set and make a proper show out of the events happening on the day,” explained Muller. “We didn’t have the money, but we had the skill and the time. For me it’s all about the people and with the amazing people who came on board. It felt like old times.”

The pandemic sparked an interest in artists, some who had not recorded in years, and there were many acts of kindness demonstrated on the platform. “Eventually we had to make the decision to take down the studio,” said Muller. “When we first began, we were able to cover some of the rent and pay the crew, but as restaurants and venues started opening up again, it has become unsustainable.”

On a positive note, the venture helped everyone to put bread on the table, form new relationships and allow work and creative juices to ease their minds. “I’m sure we will be seeing more hybrid events, and I hope as an industry, we will continue to move forward with safety in mind,” the lighting designer added. “I’m so glad we had this opportunity. It was fun, to say the least, and what a team.”

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