Photography courtesy of Cate Carter.
Cate Carter needs little introduction as one of busiest and most successful LDs over the last decade; her portfolio is long and illustrious with the likes of Editors and Ellie Goulding currently out on tour. Carter’s company, Bryte Design is a design production house run in conjunction with her business partner, lighting designer Mike Smith and Visual Producer Pablo Beckett. Even before the company’s inception, Carter had been employing the talents of Specialz to realise her design concepts.
“My initial submission for Ellie Goulding couldn’t have been more different,” continues Carter. “We wanted to create a floor package that would work effectively in a festival environment where speed of set up is always a pressure. I also wanted Perspex panels mounted on the front of the frames; these complemented the scenic designs on the risers downstage. Pre-lamped and wired dollies were the way to go but, as always, the devil was in the detail.”
Specialz constructed dollies that housed SGM Strobes and rows of GLP X4 Bar 20s with a removable top row to allow for efficient truck loading. An essential part of the build was to ensure the pods were robust enough to withstand the rigours of roll on and off on uneven stage surfaces and rapid truck loading without losing their structure or integrity. “Quality of construction is a given with Specialz,” comments Carter. “Their eye for detail and a real recognition of what the dollies have to withstand is what sets them apart. Anything I have ever had from Specialz has worked just as well on the last date as it did on the first show.”
Dave Smith explains, “We were careful to ensure the finished design would sit three across in a standard truck trailer. Samples of all the lighting fixtures were used to ensure a tight fit was achieved without comprising any fixture’s functionality. Everything was modelled in 3D and we employed some rather creative fixing solutions to make everything fit. A rear locker provided a cable store. We also ensured that the finished dollies were flexible enough to refit in the future if required.”
“The process with Specialz goes something like this,” concludes Carter. “We have an idea and an image of how we want something to look and what we want to be able to achieve with it. Nothing is ever ridiculed as silly or impossible! The collaborative effect is that we sometimes end quite a long way from where we started but the end result has never been less than perfect for the job. The Specialz team bring such a wealth of experience to the table. There is such an eye for those details that can often mean the difference between an end product that is OK and one that is brilliant – special, in fact!”