Renowned for producing big-package tailored events with unstoppable lightshows, Steward’s Productions utilizes a wide range of ADJ and Elation effects to achieve clients’ desired looks. So, when one bride and groom asked for the ultimate wedding with an up-scale Vegas-style feel, that’s exactly what they got.
With a keen eye for creating customized events that just look incredible, Brandon Steward, owner of Ft. Worth, Texas based Steward’s Productions, is no stranger to creating something special for his customers. So, when one client came to him with a request for a truly extraordinary wedding reception, Brandon couldn’t resist producing something remarkable! Using ADJ and Elation lighting, as well as Global Truss America trussing, he was able to put together what could arguably be considered the ultimate party solution.
“I met with the customer and they saw that we do good lighting and visual/video stuff, so they wanted the best package they could go with for their wedding, based on the venue they had,” Brandon says. “The venue had 15 foot ceilings and the client really wanted something that was going to pop, so natural lighting was a big factor, as was architectural lighting. We wanted to go for something elegant, but at the same time they were looking at some stuff we used for our proms: they liked the concept of putting lights over the dance-floor; that Vegas, up-scale, celebrity-type wedding look.”
Wanting to please his clients by meeting their request for the ‘ultimate wedding’, Brandon set about creating something special that he could also offer to future clients. Thinking big, he came up with what he now calls the ‘Ultimate Wedding Solution’ – a huge four-legged truss-spider that sit over the dance-floor, enabling Brandon to position lighting right above the floor and take the party to the next level!
“I was on the Global Truss America website (http://www.globaltruss.com) when I came up with a solution,” he explains. “I saw the same truss setup in a picture on one of their computer-generated CAD programs. I showed it to the bride and she said ‘Whoa, that would be amazing – if you can pull this off,’ and I said, ‘Oh yeah, we can do it – not a problem!’” And from that point Brandon set about purchasing all the trussing he needed in order to make his client’s dream wedding a reality. It was also important to get the lighting right, selecting a wide range of bright, professional fixtures from ADJ and Elation.
“We like to use a lot of ADJ wash lighting and also Elation moving heads,” confirms Brandon. “We used some custom GOBOs; for the first dance she wanted to have roses, so we projected them onto the dance-floor. I told her that the benefit of having lighting over the dance-floor was that her pictures and video would come out so much better than the average wedding – the cameraman had to put his flash away because he said he didn’t need it!”
Hanging from the trussing, these custom GOBO effects also proved useful during the father-daughter dance, during which a ship anchor/wheel, moving in a figure-of-eight motion, was projected down onto the dance-floor. This created a poignant, memorable moment for the bride and her father, who used to be in the navy.
When it came to controlling the lightshow, Brandon ran DMX across the entire setup. However, instead of a DMX splitter, he used four WiFLY Battery units, with one fixed to each truss totem that supported the rig. This proved to be a wise move, as later on when Brandon found a faulty cable it only took him hardly any time to sort, avoiding the hassle of extensive rewiring.
“We broke it up into four sections,” he tells us. “Every once in a while you run into a bad DMX cable, so the benefit here was that if we were to encounter a bad cable we would only have to rewire 25% of the rig. Each section had its own WiFLY Battery controlling it – and these were actually running from 1pm to 11pm but still had half their battery life left. The WiFLY Battery is something I strongly recommend, it just makes life a lot easier; I still use a DMX splitter if I have to, as a last resort, but I haven’t had to use one in over a year.”
This DMX-controlled rig included full-room uplighting in a custom red color and also pin-spot lighting for the cakes. Brandon used four ADJ PinPoint GO fixtures, highlighting the cake area and the sweetheart table, ensuring that the bride and groom were the stars of the show! He also ran pipe and drape, using the area behind to store cases and spare equipment. This cleaned up the area, and uplighting the drape enabled Brandon to create an extra visual feature.
Impressed by the lightshow and immersed in an electric atmosphere produced by the UV Flood 36’s dynamic washes, the guests had loads of fun – but couldn’t stop looking at the lighting! As well as the aforementioned products, Brandon utilized 5P Hex units to warm the truss totems, eight 12P Hex units hanging from truss and pointing in different directions, and four high-power COB Cannon Washes for flooding the dance-floor! It didn’t stop there, either; in the center of the floor, hanging from truss, he used two Elation Platinum Spot LED IIs, two Elation Platinum Spot 5R Pros and two ADJ Warlocks, the latter of which – thanks to its powerful Philips Platinum MSD 2R lamp – injected high-energy 360-degree scanner effects right into the heart of the party!
This energetic vibe was essential to the event, as the entertainment element was high on the bride and groom’s list: “It was definitely a must for the client,” explains Brandon. “They saw entertainment as a big factor and we actually cost more than the hotel did.” Crucially, he was able to not only play music, but used his MC skills to keep the crowd entertained and build energy amongst the crowd, combining his personable approach with his stunning ADJ lightshow to ensure a memorable time for the client and guests.
To achieve the levels of entertainment offered by his ‘Ultimate Wedding Solution’, the whole set-up takes Brandon 4.5 hours, with tear down taking over two. This process would take him even longer, but using his pre-programmed ADJ/Elation lightshow, Brandon estimates a total saved time of 3-5 hours. It’s a challenge – but one that he seems to enjoy, grabbing the bull by the horns in order to deliver a unique experience for each of his guests. This not only involved providing the DJ/MC services and dance-floor lighting, but also the videography, photo booth, uplighting, cake spotting, and pipe and drape.
With plans to move into photography too, these services are all part of the Steward’s Productions’ one-stop-shop. And though Brandon is already known for his distinctive lighting, 2015 has seen him take things up a notch, adding more trussing and more nightclub-style lighting, as well conceiving the remarkable ‘Ultimate Wedding Solution’. For us, it’s awesome to see ADJ and Elation products helping a forward-thinking company like Steward’s Productions take their services further and give even more to their clients by way of pure lighting excitement.
“The number one thing that has helped me sell this lighting to customers is capturing it on video. Once I get good content, I’m actually able to reinvest and buy bigger and better lights – new stuff coming out, like the Warlock. Upping our game on the wash lighting and intelligent fixtures has definitely helped the business,” Brandon confirms.
“Lighting really does make all the difference,” he adds, “who wants to dance in dark?” Well, Brandon, we couldn’t have asked a better question ourselves!
Company: Steward’s Productions, Ft. Worth, Texas
Lighting design: Brandon Steward
Photos: Courtesy of Steward’s Productions
ADJ 5P Hex (x12)
ADJ 12P Hex (x8)
ADJ COB Cannon Wash (x4)
ADJ Warlock (x2)
ADJ PinPoint GO (x4)
ADJ WiFLY Battery (x5)
ADJ UV Flood 36 (x1)
Elation Platinum Spot 5R Pro (x2)
Elation Platinum Spot LED II (x2)
Global Truss America (85ft – square truss)
Steward’s Productions “Ultimate Wedding Solution” Gig Log:
Watch the time lapse video of Steward’s Productions setting up the “Ultimate Wedding Solution:”