Working with ITV’s event team on Lorraine’s High Street Fashion Awards 2015 gave Metro Broadcast’s designers and crew a real challenge. In just one day, the Grand Connaught Rooms had to be transformed to accommodate a fashion show, awards ceremony, backstage working space, a press area and the after-show party. The event was to be filmed live to camera and shown on Lorraine’s programme the following morning.
Working with ITV’s production manager and set designer, Metro’s Project Manager Grant Mitchell brought in Marvin Vidler, Head of Set and James Lockyer, Head of Lighting to help bring the team’s design concepts to life.
The set for the awards ceremony, including a runway and projection screen, was the central feature. The design incorporated Polybond flooring to reflect light on the catwalk and give the stage a high gloss finish. Instead of traditional flats, a Scanachrome material was stretched over frames - pre-printed in pastel-coloured, geometric shapes to echo the brand. To add depth and dimension at the back of the set, the design incorporated coloured, Perspex shapes backlit with LED uplighters.
It was lighting designer James’s job to bring drama and atmosphere to the event. Five trusses were brought in to support moving lights, and a colour-changing wash added glamour and excitement to the stage. Running the event straight to TV meant that the first few rows of audience seating had to be lit to allow celebrities, finalists and hosts to be seen.
To ensure the show ran smoothly on stage and to camera, the backstage area needed to be carefully planned to accommodate production staff, models and presenters. Prolyte structures were used to create decks backstage, allowing for organised stage entry and exit. Prolyte is not only lightweight and durable, it can be transported and installed quickly and safely.
The show itself was fast-paced lasting only 50 minutes although many guests stayed later to enjoy the DJ and entertainment in the adjoining VIP area. To maintain the momentum of the evening, Metro branded the existing bar, added moving lights to the room and cast gobos echoing the catchphrase and hashtag for the event, StrikeAPose.
Metro’s sound technicians installed a full PA system across both rooms and managed all of the evening’s audio requirements including sound for the opening entertainment act, X Factor’s Only The Young.
Project Manager Grant Mitchell and crew were also being filmed for most of the day during the installation with live footage being shown on Lorraine’s breakfast show building up to the event. Grant said, "With so many viewers and celebrities waiting for the glamorous setting to be revealed and an event that was going straight to TV, everything had to be perfect.”