As the project custodians of the MTN SAMAs (South African Music Awards), Vertical Limit Productions provided a complete 360˚ event, production and live broadcast solution for this year’s edition, which took place at Sun City on 10 and 11 May.
Vertical Limit Productions executive producer Delmarie Seaward describes the MTN SAMAs as one of the highlights of the year. “We always push to be different and are never scared to take a bit of a risk to ensure that we produce something that does not just make our client feel proud, but also all the sponsors and the artists on our stage, as well as the TV viewers at home.’
In terms of the SAMA broadcast on SABC1, TV director and co-executive producer Gavin Wratten of Nevermachine was faced with the challenge of creating a show that was as entertaining for the live audience as for the viewers at home.
“A great deal of creative energy and time was spent in trying to make each performance memorable in its own special way,’ explains Wratten. “We introduced elements that took the show outside of just a stage production. For example, the ChianoSky number where we started her performance backstage, and the Desmond and the Tutus performance where they crashed through the set onto stage.
“We tried to ensure that each performance had moments that were uniquely special for the TV audience and other moments that were special and exciting for the live audience.
“This was only achieved with all the different departments working closely together to ensure that staging, lighting, creative, music, choreography and TV fit together seamlessly.’
According to lighting designer Joshua Cutts, a unique element of this year’s production was the use of time-code built into the audio tracks to help sync the lighting with the audio and video.
“This allowed us to trigger the lighting cues with precision and musical accuracy. I believe the strong beam work we were able to achieve with the 48 Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures in the rig was a first for South Africa,’ comments Cutts.
Sean and Robert Hoey of Dreamsets, who were responsible for the set design and technical elements of the show, say: “Vertical Limit Productions is the best production company you can ever dream to work with and to collaborate with them on the SAMAs was a highlight for us.’
Also full of praise for Vertical Limit Productions is Nhlanhla Sibisi, CEO of the MTN SAMAs.
“My dream production team of Vertical Limit Productions and Nevermachine outdid themselves this year. They delivered the best MTN SAMA production yet!’ says Sibisi.
By Martie Bester
screen africa magazine – june 2013