Ryan Dunbar from Gearhouse South Africa (GHSA), was the first South African lighting designer to be impressed by the Robe BMFLs fixtures after using the bright multi-functional luminaire at the 2015 CCI call centre awards held at Durban International Convention Centre (DICC).

The CCI call centre awards are an annual event usually hosting about 2 000 guests for an evening of entertainment and fun. At this year’s event GHSA was asked to design a custom stage complete with runway leading from the main stage to a circular satellite stage where the awards were being presented as well as supply the lighting, audio and video.

In conjunction with the BMFLs Dunbar also used nearly 100 other Robe moving lights – 24 x Pointes, 48 x LEDWash 600s and 24 x LEDBeam 100s, together with 48 x Robe LEDForce PARs and a selection of other lights. The BMFLs were positioned on the floor at the four corners of the stage and used to project massive gobo patterns in the air above the audience, taking the onstage excitement right to the back of the arena. “The zoom function is fantastic and the coverage is simply amazing,’ states Dunbar. When not in action for gobo projection and cool aerials, the BMFLs were panned and scanned as tight fat-beams of light around and across the audience just above head-height. “When in narrow focus, they resemble searchlights,’ says Dunbar. “They are truly impressive and instantly bring a big arena / sense-of-occasion atmosphere to any room,’ he says.

The backdrop at the back of the main stage comprised of three trussing “diamonds’ adding some serious razzmatazz, he says. The inside of each diamond shape was toned with four LEDForce PARs. LED panels were rigged in the centre of the diamonds, fed with graphics that gave the effect of movement and these combined with the LEDForces, looked like some kind of new super-fixture.

The front of the DJ booth was clad with a semi-triangle of truss fitted with LED battens which accentuated the general triangular design including the double triangles of the diamond trusses. The 24 x LEDBeam 100s were suspended just below the truss diamonds and Dunbar made the most of their fast movement and punchiness to create potent mid-air beam effects. Overhead were four randomly angled raked “finger’ trusses which added an edge and a bit of chaos to the picture, and on these were the Robe Pointes, the LEDWash 600s and more LEDForce PARs.
The Pointes shot their piercing beams from all angles and directions, “They are quick, bright and the six-facet rotating prism layered over the gobos is just fantastic,’ enthuses Dunbar. A 9-metre diameter truss was flown directly above the satellite stage, rigged with 12 x LEDWash 600s around its perimeter. Alternating LEDWash 600s were positioned on the two rails of the truss to give full 360 degree coverage on the circular stage. More Pointes and LEDWash 600s were also dotted around the circular truss which made a handy lighting position for both projecting lights out across the crowd or tilting them back to a centre mark on the stage below. Dunbar comments: “The LEDWash’s CTO whites are a superb feature and look great on numerous skin tones. The functionality of the LEDWash 600 means it can be used as a front key-light, making it a really versatile “all-rounder’.’

He ran the lightshow on an M1 lighting console. He’s been using Robe products in his design work for the last ten years. He comments: “They are solid, reliable, high quality workhorses that never disappoint.’