Pointing Out the Premios Max Awards
The annual Premios Max Awards celebrate Spanish individuals and organisations that have made outstanding contributions to the performing arts and are organized by the General Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE). This year they were staged at the Palau de les Arts in vibrant Valencia.
Lighting designer Juanjo Llorens took up the challenging task of lighting the high-profile event which was also broadcast live on TVE2, for which he utilized luminaires in the venue's house rig, together with some specials, notably 30 Robe Pointes, six BMFL WashBeams, and five PATT2013s. These were all supplied by Madrid-based rental company, Fluge Audiovisuales.
Llorens' starting point for the lighting was this year's theme of the Mediterranean and in particular the famous and beautiful Levantine light as depicted in the works of Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla. From this, the overall visualization of the gala evening was imagined by director Joan Font.
Llorens worked closely with set designer Curt Allen who followed the brief and created a large changing canvas of Sorolla-esque proportions onstage, compete with an elaborate theatrical tree on stage right and an elevated "studio" section area stage left.
A large upstage video screen displayed a range of images and backdrops and drapes could be brought in downstage of this to instantly change the ambience of the space. Custom video content was commissioned by Font and produced by Allen and Leticia Gañán in collaboration with Paloma Canseco with animation, editing, and sound by Irata Films.
Llorens thought carefully about the positioning of fixtures to ensure that lighting complimented the video elements and the two medias were harmonized.
The additional Robe lights were essential to Llorens being able to create the very specific looks he wanted. "It's essential to choose the right type and brand of fixture to tell a story with light," he stated.
Pointes were chosen for their brightness to size ratio and were all positioned on the floor, as he needed them to create a range of different dynamic effects for the cameras. He also wanted to make subtle movements with them especially combined with the low fog effects and beams creeping stealthily through the haze.
"The Pointes helped realize some of those truly 'magical' moments of the show as I could change beam angles, colors, gobos, prisms, etc. without losing any of the quality or intensity of the light output," he stated. He was also able to use them as super-bright columns of light shooting from the floor to break up different areas of the stage.
The BMFL WashBeams were rigged on a front truss and used for general lighting as well as key and highlighting, the shutters proving perfect for very accurate tight framing work.
The PATT2013s, due to their cool, elegant aesthetics served as props for one part of the show as a painter worked live in the "studio" and also for a number of camera angles where they looked fantastic in the background behind the artists.
"I love the warmth of the light and the look of the fixture," he said, adding that he could boost the intensity easily without disturbing anyone.
Llorens, who works in the fields of theatre, dance, musicals, and large multimedia events, first encountered Robe products in 2013 on a theatre show ... and has been specifying them ever since.
He thinks Robe is producing some excellent luminaires that are versatile and will work across multiple disciplines. He also appreciates the reliability for which the brand is renowned and comments on the great "evolution" made by Robe in the world of LEDs ... with "the LEDWash range bringing many joys to my work."
He is regularly in touch and kept up-to-date with the latest Robe news and technologies by Spanish distributor EES.
Working on a live broadcast gala event like Premios Max is always galvanizing and he thinks an essential trick for delivering a full pressure show like this is to surround himself with a good team. On this occasion this included lighting crew chief David Gavilán and programmer Pablo Zamora who he describes as his "partner in crime."
The two enjoy a great workflow, are a good balance of personalities and are also good friends.
The 2017 Premios Max was another huge success and industry talking point, hailed as one of the best looking such events to date.