We all need a bit of magic in our lives, and lighting designer and technical director of PepsiCo Worldwide Events, Steve Nield, brought plenty of magic to the Ballroom of The Hotel Sofia in Barcelona for the PepsiCo International Franchise Forum.

He chose 112 Ayrton MagicPanel R fixtures to introduce an exciting, colourful and versatile element to the backdrop for the evening’s presentations that took place in front of an audience of 400 people. The MagicPanel Rs were rigged in a side orientation, in clusters of 14 units – 2 wide and 7 high – filling the space between large LED screens which formed the backdrop for this 40m x 21m ballroom.

“The intention was to incorporate the MagicPanels into the scenic design to carry complimenting colours and tone across the whole visual canvas,” explains Nield. “The fixtures were run in full channel mode to allow some pixel mapping, however the inbuilt FX macro proved to be more than sufficient to create the dynamic effects.”

Some of these effects proved to be a happy accident: “The client was PepsiCo and as part of a brand presentation for PepsiCo’s 7Up, the internal FX macro that produces an “Up” arrow was utilized,” says Nield. “This was not a predetermined idea and we had no knowledge of the presentation content, however the presenter noticed this macro while we were programming and requested a mixture of the number 7 and the Up arrows on alternate fixtures at a certain moment in his presentation. It was perfect!”

Nield was able to take advantage of MagicPanel R’s square shape and versatility for this event: “With the fixtures rigged in a side orientation and in such close proximity, we were able to change the whole appearance of the set simply by rotating the fixtures 45 degrees so the squares became diamonds. This combined with screen content gave the opportunity to create some truly dynamic effects.”

Nield was delighted to find other features just as helpful, “The inbuilt Macro’s were very useful, by far some of the most practical for multiple applications; the colours were totally consistent and the functionality was flawless.”

This is not the first time Nield has specified Ayrton products: “This production was redesigned in 2019 when our intention was to use the Dream Panel Twin for the 2020 event. However, because of the two-year delay due to the pandemic we replaced them with the Magic Panel R which proved to be a successful substitute. We chose it because its square face profile was perfect for the space, and of course for the reliability of Ayrton products.”

Nield, who is based in Malaysia, concluded, “I have worked with Ayrton fixtures before and find them to be extremely reliable. Ayrton would always be one of my preferred tools for any job.”

The 112 MagicPanel R units were supplied by Spanish-based Amograe International.

Text: Julie Harper
Photos: © Steve Nield

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