Production Design and Manufacturing

Production Design and Manufacturing


Specialz creates lighting that blows the crowd away.









Photography courtesy of Jonathan Blackford.

Cate Carter of Bryte Design:


"The ethos at the heart of Specialz is the company's completely open nature to a designer's ideas and concepts. Backed up by a breadth of experience, skill and, what could be best described as industry savvy, Dave and his team offer a unique service to us as a client."


Cate Carter needs little introduction as one of busiest and most successful lighting designers 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 realize her design concepts.


"I think it was back in 2011 when we needed to adapt a piece that we rented for an Elbow tour. It had originally been made by Specialz so, on a recommendation, we went back to them and they did a magnificent job creating a chandelier from the original set piece. Since then we have returned time and again with a wide variety of projects, from backdrops to bespoke lighting fixtures and the huge metallic fan set pieces currently gracing the Editors' stage; they have never let us down."


The fans on Editors have enjoyed a significant re-imagining since their initial construction as Dave Smith explains, "We were originally commissioned to build six large fans. The intention was to use them for lighting effects with lamps positioned behind for rotating gobo-like effects and more fixtures in front to play onto a theatrical drape behind. Additionally, the fan frames themselves would have strobes built into the corners with some moving lights on top of each unit."


"Each fan was self-contained on castors and just needed to be wheeled into position and plugged in. The Fans gave the Editors a unique look for their European dates, achieving a truly theatrical feel. Technically, the fan mechanism was controlled with a DMX card capable of achieving speeds from extremely slow to quite spritely, including a forward and reverse setting. The steel framework and fan blades were given a distressed, rusty feel with the fan blades enclosed within a coarse steel mesh."

"The newly reimagined look for the fans offers Cate a whole new set of visual options; the blades now have a more reflective metallic surface with the frames juxtaposed in matt black: perfect for silhouetting looks."


"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!"