Standard Bank gets a record breaking 360-degree projection screen for their
Corporate and Investment Banking Conference.
A 360-degree projection screen surrounded 1 200 delegates at Standard Bank’s
biennial Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) Conference, a one-day event
which took place at the Sun City Super Bowl on 6 September 2014.
Standard Bank approached Sean Mackenzie of O’MAGE to assist them with making
their dream conference a reality. The bank requested a central stage environment,
allowing the audience to get much more engaged with the speakers. This opened
many opportunities for the lead creative, Peter Blond, whom ultimately decided
upon the 360-degree screen surrounding the audience.
O’MAGE awarded the technical to CI-Nation, specialists in show control and high-end
playback, under the leadership of Mike Fynn and Stefan van der Walt. Their passion
for perfection and dedication of running flawless events, proved right yet again.
After serious contemplation of suitable suppliers, they chose MGG as their technical
partners, to provide rigging, lighting, projection and audio.
Denzil Smith, general manager from MGG pulled in a crew second to none to assist
with the challenging event.
The screen, likely the most anticipated part of the event, measured 170 metres long
by 8 metres high, starting just 0.5m off the floor to eliminate shadows being cast on
the screen from performers, delegates and crew members. Disguising the existing
Super Bowl stage was a 20-metre kabuki section which nearing the end of the day
dropped to reveal a surprise performance.
The projection surface was Cyclo 200, provided by Showtex South Africa, under the
guidance of Michael Spaan. It was perfectly hung around the exterior of the floor
area, reaching far above the bleachers, and almost right up to the festoons.
“Working to plan was a necessity in this environment. Kay Page drew up every
aspect of the venue in Auto Cad giving us a clear vision to imagine the space prior
to our arrival on site,’ explains Fynn.
“Content creation on a screen of this magnitude is crucial and thorough planning
was necessary,’ says Fynn. The screens displayed a resolution of 22 954 pixels
wide x 1 080 pixels high, which is full HD all around. Blond created well thought-
through storyboards from start to finish. These were treated like the bible to the
team of five animators (with noticeably different creative design qualities) whom
created all the custom content over a two-month period. Their different abilities and
techniques were highly appreciated as each of the business units’ presentations
were unique, allowing the audience to be captivated and entertained throughout the
Each of the 11 Business Units (BUs), were given a 20-minute slot to entertain or
enlighten their colleagues. Working closely with the O’MAGE team, these BUs were
able, through the use of mind blowing graphical treatments and performances key
to the message delivery, achieve their goals and inform their audience in a
Smith brought in Marcel Wijnberger, Bradley Hilton and Grant Reyes to handle the
AV side of things and take on the mammoth task of blending the monstrous screen.
A total of 14 x 20K Christie projectors were chosen as the right tools for the job,
and that they were. The four of them worked tirelessly in teams to achieve the
Cameras and Vision Mixing
Brendan Marsay from EFX Productions was given the task of recording and filming
the event for playback. “He gave two separate outputs from his vision mix allowing
for amazingly dynamic looks and feels when in the venue and being engulfed with
the visuals,’ says Fynn. Marsay used an eight-camera rig, which comprised three
operated with long throw lenses, a wireless steadycam, three fixed cameras in the
roof and trussing as well as a wireless action cam used on presenters whom
abseiled down from the catwalk.
The team chose to use Dataton Watchout as the playback system
It took three weeks of programming all the content with just over six terabytes of
animations, all of which required encoding and slicing for optimum playback. Once
on-site, Dylan Finlay assisted in this process ensuring smooth playback of all last
minute videos and sound clips. Due to the risk involved when trying something new
and with the massive amount of media, it was crucial to test the system at full
resolution off site: “We setup a ring of 65-inch full HD monitors to preview all the
material. This was necessary so that we could see where some animations needed
adjusting as we realised that certain graphical movements were just too vicious.
Previewing the material also gave us confidence in our machines for stable
playback,’ says Fynn.
Due to the extreme playback requirements, CI-Nation invested in four new
Watchout Display Servers, from Penmac, to handle the required 30 full HD displays
(15 main and for 15 back-up). Each machine was fitted with raided solid state
drives, Firepro Graphics Cards, S400 sync modules, 3,7Ghz Intel Processors, 16GB
RAM and dual DVI Capture cards, fed by individual seamless switches, allowing for
a multitude of sources for capture. “These new puppies handled all that we could
throw at them with an absolute breeze, never a stutter nor
Francois van der Merwe of Wizardry Group had the challenge of complementing the
screen yet not overpowering the projection, undoubtedly, he created “magic’, with
over 400 fixtures in operation, from Sharpys to Pointes, and B-Eyes to Batons, “…all
of which came together and looked phenomenal,’ beams Fynn.
Stage and Set
Craig Pretorius of SDS, with Kim Akester leading the team on site, built the central
stage incorporating a 7,5-metre revolve along with other set elements. They also
built six double doors into the screen, which were used as access into and out of the
venue which, while closed, disappeared into the screen allowing for some
interesting theatrical entrances alongside graphical treatments.
As a centerpiece above the stage, a 6,5-metre circular projection screen was hung
from trussing and inflated to achieve the desired “contact lens’ shape. This displayed
lighting and graphics to complement the various animations and themes throughout
Adriaan van der Walt of Matrix Sound led the audio team and mixed FOH on a
Soundcraft VI6. Nathan Thiart of Audio Logic handled the stage and monitoring
requirements. Jaco Beukes of MGG was the systems technician, and he pulled out
all the stops, even teaching the old dogs a few new tricks. Beukes installed the rig
of JBL Vertec’s on six separate hangs from a central circular truss with eight double
18s on the floor surrounding the circular stage giving a clear equal distribution to all
areas of the venue. On the main stage the audio team hung the JBL VTX rig for the
concert later that evening.
Demetris van Zyl of Darc Industries had his hands full managing the 26-piece
orchestra, the 30-piece choir, drum cafe, a multitude of public speakers and
surprise international act Dave Stewart from the “80s duo the Eurythmics.
The festivities continued into the evening after an incredibly fast turnaround, under
the guidance of 24 Carrots. They achieved a futuristic look and feel with a multitude
of performances and decor elements to enthrall the audience late into the night.
Calling the show was intense, with thousands of cues to be precisely hit, Fynn with
the help of Edgar Laubscher, met each of them perfectly.
“Keeping everyone together and running like a well-oiled machine was the core of
the team being Shereen Knox and Sean Mackenzie, from O’MAGE. They had been
involved in the process for eight months, dealing with all the clients’ requests,
budgets, logistics, schedules, accommodation, catering and venue management.
Without them, this amazing event would not have come together so seamlessly,’