Simon Grant

    PHOTO CREDIT: © Alex Knowles, Encore Project Technician

    Global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) staged a corporate event at their London HQ in mid-2022, for in-person team members and remote staff around the world via a live stream. Events solutions provider Encore collaborated with lighting designer Simon Grant to elevate the look of the lighting, aiming to create on-brand colors and eye-catching effects that would look great on camera and on set. Together, they specified 100 Vari-Lite VL5LED WASH luminaires.


    The high CRI RGBALC Color System with SmartColor Control built into the VL5LED WASH was clear to see as a wide range of vivid color options were used.


    The video team used a six-camera set-up to capture the seminar with three large LED screens rigged in the space, which were provided by Creative Technology. In the room, the audience sat in the round, with an OB truck standing by to live stream the seminar, supplied by NEP. The event was produced for GSK by the Visual Response agency, with creative aspects delivered by Toucan.


    LD Simon Grant’s brief was that the event be all about the broadcast and fully lit for camera, and he was also tasked with being master draftsman producing all the Vectorworks drawings for production. Grant says that he immediately knew that the VL5LED WASH, a modern update to the legendary VL5, was the right tool to light the job, progressing to work alongside Alex Knowles, one of Encore’s project technicians, to source them from fixture supplier, Niclen UK.


    Knowles was tasked with facilitating technical delivery for the event. With the project coming to him with a short lead time, Knowles harnessed his good relationship with Niclen to provide the large amount of VL5LED WASH luminaires and expertly manage the complicated logistics. “This event came into us about three weeks before the live date, so we had to move quickly and efficiently to pull it off in time,” says Knowles. “We faced some challenges in acquiring equipment within that timeframe but, thanks to the Niclen team, we managed to get everything we needed.”


    Simon Grant comments: “I have always loved Vari-Lite, so when I knew the VL5LED WASH was available I jumped at the chance to use them. Having used some of the very first VL2600 in the UK, I was very impressed with the LED engine. So, I knew the VL5LED WASH would be amazing.”


    The VL5LED WASH fixtures’ ability to provide a bold color palette and its sleek styling provided a strong visual element, and overall reliability meant that the light sources would look great on camera, on the set and fabrics, and to the live audience, as Grant explains: “For me, fixtures have to physically look good as well as perform on stage. The colors really hit the mark. Even though this show was predominantly orange-themed, I took the chance to check out the color range. When I saw the mint green the VL5s could produce, my mind was blown. And they are very reliable, too.”


    The VL5LED WASH was noted as offering high-output, Vari-Lite quality wash out of a compact LED fixture, with its wide range of vivid color options easy to program.

    GSK - © Alex Knowles