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An Insane production for Miss Soweto 2020

An Insane production for Miss Soweto 2020

An Insane production for Miss Soweto 2020

South Africa:

For the fourth consecutive year, Insane Sound and Lighting was appointed to supply the full technical package for the Miss Soweto beauty pageant hosted at the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani, Johannesburg. The hybrid-event, which accommodated 100 guests and was recorded for television, gave Insane Sound and Lighting owner Vimal Rawjee the opportunity to incorporate his 12 brand-new Robe ESPRITE Profile LED fixtures for the first time.

Having not worked on a large-scale production since the start of Covid-19 pandemic, the experience was a mixed bag of adrenalin and nostalgia. “The nerves!” recalled Rawjee. “I was scared but excited, as it has been a while. But I have a good team of guys who always step up and make my craziness happen as best we can, and this really was a milestone for us.”

Rawjee also assisted with the artistic direction for the pageant. “What I have learnt from Koogan Pillay, a master at Big Set Design, is to sit in the audience and see what you are designing. All I want is for my client to walk in and say ‘wow’,” explains Rawjee. “To my advantage, I have many toys to throw in to make my shows amazing. At Insane Sound we have grown from my grandad’s garage to a well-equipped warehouse that has enabled us to meet international tech riders.”

The equipment used on the Miss Soweto event over the past four years has grown from two 6,000 lumen projectors to now include over 200 LED panels. “While we are the main technical supplier, we sub hire from Bass Mechanics and ShowQuip, which is my way of spreading the love,” he added.

In addition to the 12 ESPRITEs, lighting equipment comprised eight Robe LEDBeam150s and four MAC Quantum Wash fixtures, while 212 LED screen panels were used to create a striking backdrop. Lighting control via a grandMA2 with content running off a Green Hippo Karst. The semi-circle Prolyte Stage deployed included 70 Prolyte stage decks.

The Green Hippo Karst was used for displaying content on the panels. “Thanks to Mfundo Masikane who ran the AV, and Dylan Jones from DWR Distribution, we were able to use the machine to its full potential,” said Rawjee. “This was also the first outing for our new ESPRITE fixtures and they were not stage shy! They did an amazing job and added so much to the production, even cutting through the LED panels. Lighting designer, Shaniel Lallao, was as impressed as I was.”

Jones provided the Hippotizer technical support. “This was not a simple set up with all the LED screens – left, centre and right – making a single canvas,” he explained. “Vimal had an interesting approach to making a panoramic background for the event. Each part of the show had a different look that completely changed the set for the Miss Soweto event. The idea really worked well, with one of the backgrounds transforming the square-like structure into a banqueting house, where oversized chandelier set-pieces hung from above and really created glamour for the participating contestants.”

Working at The Soweto Theatre was very different from former years, with all safety precautions in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The entire team put in extra effort, pleased to be able to work. Vimal added: “Shaniel was super enthusiastic to be behind a desk again, while Bass Mechanic supplied an LED screen. They are always there to assist with whatever I need, and even helped with a last-minute generator. Crewsaders Event Crew really pushed hard, and within five hours we were loaded out. A big thanks also to Ramesh Singh and Darlington Kwanda who worked extremely hard to make the set and technical come together. Supplier DWR Distribution popped over to visit and we had a few laughs, they helped with a technical issue, and then we laughed some more, but I am also thankful to the entire DWR team including Duncan Riley, Keith Pugin, Dylan Jones, Marlene Riley, Schalk Botha and Robert Izzett.”

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