One of the biggest events in Australia’s sporting calendar is the Australian Open. Providing the first grand slam tournament of the four majors of the international tennis circuit, this event helps to launch the professional tennis season.
Multi-Media Events – one of the leading event production companies in South Africa – has invested into the new VuePix LED video walls. DWR Distribution, the VuePix partner in SA, took the opportunity to ask Tim Fish, the owner of the company, a few questions about his recent purchase.
Multi-Media, has historically always placed more emphasis on its AV inventory rather than the other disciplines. We invested in the correct tools to allow flexibility in delivering picture perfect multi-screen and widescreen applications. As the business grew, we started investing in premium audio and lighting brands to support the AV inventory. For us it has always been about delivering an exceptional product and rather understating our product/service, to exceed the expectations of our client base. The acquisition of the high resolution VuePix screen was a natural extension of our inventory, offering flexibility in a variety of applications.
Why did you choose this particular product? How many panels do you have?
We chose the 3.6mm product to differentiate us from that of our competitors. The other main factor is that the majority of South African venues have very low ceilings. With the high resolution, we can now offer creative AV concepts in smaller venues. Guests can also be seated closer to the screen and still have a detailed image. We chose the VuePix product, as there is extensive flexibility in the manipulation of the image quality, particularly in the refresh rate, and the gamma, and colour correction. For our first purchase we have acquired 90 panels, we are however realising that we will need to make a further investment to keep up with client demand.
How do you see this product changing your events? In the Virgin Active Star Awards production hosted in Johannesburg recently it served as a digital background, used less set, and even lighting took a back seat?
We have done a series of events in venues with a high ambient light factor. The screen really alleviates this problem and clients have reacted to this very favourably. The black levels are exceptional too in these environments.
For the Virgin event, we used the 3.6mm as the main content screen in widescreen format. We then used the 12.5mm screen as a digital set element. The content at times would work together and also separately to not detract from the key points within the content. It was great to make use of less set pieces and offer the client wider visual platform to engage with the audience on a much larger scale.
Were you the full technical supplier at this event?
For the Virgin event, we were contracted to fulfill all the technical elements for this particular project. There was a Conference day, the Awards area a Party area and a preliminary dinner. The full equipment component translated into roughly 36 tonnes between all the areas.
We contracted MGG Productions for the 12.5mm screen and additional lighting fixtures. We were very impressed by this product. It is exceptionally versatile and comes in at a great price point. So much so, this resulted in us placing an order for a 100 panels of this product for an upcoming project in Zambia.
Did you use the Vuepix for the first time on this particular show?
The Virgin event was the 3rd event for the 3.6mm screen. The screen has been out for two other events before hand. The first of which was in a Depot/warehouse with a lot of ambient light, the other in a client’s Atrium, again with a lot of ambient light. We have since used the screen on a golfing event at Sun City, which was also very well received by the marketing team for that particular corporate.
Anything else you may want to add, highlights, feedback you may want to include?
On the Virgin event the 3.6mm product was superb. The image quality in this environment far superseded that of projection! A completely uniform, bright image with no mission of trying to blend projectors. We did however have a challenge in designing a structure for the screen as we could only hang 100kg per point from the roof of the venue. This resulted in us designing a Prolyte structure with an our-rigged cantilever. The full screen weighed over a ton, so this was an interesting challenge. The other huge learning curve with LED is that it takes time to set it up and it takes time to take it down, particularly if you want to look after the screen properly.
I guess the main issue for us now is trying to develop critical mass with the product. Rumor has it that there are a few other industry players who own other VuePix products who are interested in the 3.6mm.