South African creative production and visual design practice Collective Works staged their new ‘Black Box’ live show concept at the 2017 Mediatech entertainment technology trade expo in Johannesburg. Black Box is an experimental show and visual design space / experience conceived by Collective Works – Chris Bolton, Josh Cutts and Bradley Hilton – in conjunction with Simon Robinson, show director of the expo which attracts visitors and exhibitors from all over Africa. At the heart of Black Box was “Designing with Light – A Way of Thinking”, an educational seminar in three parts developed by Chris and Josh. This was open to anyone, but is specifically designed to energise those
interested in embarking on a career as a lighting professional. The first, ‘Getting Started’, was presented by Chris and dealt with the myriad of considerations – from managing the client’s expectations to feeding the crew – that have to be taken into account before a single lighting cue is even programmed! Josh then followed with his ‘Console Workflow’ presentation, demonstrated using a grandMA2 control desk. The third seminar, presented jointly, was a walk-through of how to programme a Cue-Stack on the grandMA2. Of course it was also extremely exciting to be able to use some excellent new products, for the first time in South Africa, 48 of Robe’s new LEDBeam 150 were used prominent in a show, together with 24 x Robe Spiider LED wash beams, 12 x Spikies, a single BMFL Blade and 24 x CycFX8 moving LED battens. An MA VPU light was used to store some of the video playback content, together with a Green Hippo Borreal media server. The video sources were played out on a Barco FLM 20K projector onto an upstage screen. Joining Josh and Chris on the Black Box FOH crew were assistant LDs Jade Manicom and Andre Siebrits., Head of Technical, Paulos Modise, Laser Programmer George Mkowe and Douw Grobler who custom designed the Track- It movement used to move sections of truss on and offstage for the Main Show. The fabulous sound system was designed by Marinus Visser and delivered via a d&b system and a DiGiCo SD10 console supplied by Blue Array.