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Unit 8, Reynolds Industrial Park
Tel: 01733 554950
Fax: 01733 892807
It’s time to meet another member of the hard-working Pearce Hire team – this time we’d like to introduce one of our dedicated warehouse staff - Robin Hutchinson.
Robin joined the company in May 2018 and his remit was to help develop the workshop and moving light departments where Pearce Hire’s extensive hire kit is fixed and maintained. He is always looking for new ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this beating heart of the warehouse!
Robin loves the importance Pearce Hire places on the company ethos and values which stretch right across the company. In his own words “it’s a refreshing change to see how everyone at Pearce Hire takes care of our clients and we are all prepared to go above and beyond to deliver 100% client satisfaction”. As a relatively new member of the team, Robin was delighted how he was made to feel very welcome from the get-go and that the team spirit across the warehouse, and the company in general, is very strong.
Robin isn’t alone when he says the most challenging part of working in this industry is time. It isn’t unusual for the team to be working towards tight deadlines – often involving long hours. But he certainly says it with a smile because of course it’s why he loves his job and the challenge it provides! Although Robin is keen to stress that quality and attention to detail is just as important at these demanding times as at any other time.
Robin has had a number of highlights throughout his career so far, but cites his first role in the film & TV industry at the Wimbledon Studios as a particular achievement. At the time he was juggling university studies with working part time but when he was offered a full-time role he dropped his studies and never looked back – as he took on the role of Studio Liaison and Media Village Facilities Liaison. During this time, some of the productions Robin worked on included ITV’s Tipping Point, various BBC programmes and feature films including The Iron Lady. From there, Robin became Technical Manager at Malcolm Ryan Studios, before taking on his current role at Pearce Hire.
During his free-time Robin travels as much as he can, and regularly takes on new challenges – having recently climbed Mount Snowdon in Wales, and run the Great South Run for charity.
The best piece of advice he has ever been given is to respect people – and that you earn respect yourself through the way you treat people, the actions you take and the way you live. He believes that all this combined helps create a great working environment, the opportunity to forge great friendships in the industry and a wide network of contacts.
For any young person looking to enter the industry, Robin would encourage everyone to knuckle down and work hard and never be afraid to ask questions as people are always willing to help people who are keen to learn. With this approach he believes opportunities will come your way.
Thank you for these wise words Robin, and we look forward to seeing where you travel to or what challenge you take up next time you have some precious time off!
Pearce Hire regularly collaborates with corporate production specialists Hawk Audio Visual on large scale events. Drawing on their individual areas of technical expertise and working seamlessly as one team, this successful partnership recently provided a breath-taking circus themed entertainment and dining space for over 1,000 company staff and stakeholders at the BGL Awards Ball held at Manchester Central.
BGL Group is a financial services company based in Peterborough and the biennial event which celebrates and rewards staff achievements, was also this year part of the company's 25th anniversary celebrations.
Pearce Hire’s project manager John Huson provided some insight into the support and co-operation between Hawk and Pearce Hire. “Hawk Audio Visual has been a client of Pearce Hire for over 20 years and during that time we’ve actually partnered with them on four previous BGL Balls alongside many other events which usually averages 15 to 20 jobs every year. Hawk Audio Visual was the main technical producer for the BGL Ball – we supported them by providing lighting, audio and staging equipment and a dozen crew members on site.”
The brief was a simple, yet challenging one – to produce an event which was both visually stunning and sounded great, and all to be worthy of the desired circus theme.
As well as project managing for Pearce Hire, John was appointed as the BGL Ball lighting designer, a challenge which he relished. With the evening combining many elements of dining, awards presentation, circus cabaret performance and live music, his design had to be flexible and adaptable to each aspect of the evening.
“I wanted to create a high octane, glittering lighting design to complement the circus and gymnastic performers who were going to be on stage and entertaining guests around the room. We needed to create a real ‘wow’ factor for everyone attending this celebratory evening.”
Essentially LED technology was at the heart of the lighting design and to produce the look that John was seeking to create. “We drew on our significant stock of Robe Pointe and Robe 1200 LEDWash fixtures, alongside our recent investment in the new Vari-Lite VL2600 Profile fixtures to provide the key elements of the lighting design for the main stage area,” explains John. “It was also an opportunity for us to use the Robe RoboSpot system for the powerful BMFL fixtures being used for the live circus performances. The overall lighting control was operated from Chamsys across the event.”
With over 200 Robe and Vari-Lite fixtures as the main work horses on the rig for staging and effects lighting throughout the evening, additional effects lighting was provided by Ayrton MagicBlades. The bar and VIP areas were a mix of Martin MAC 700 Profiles, SGM P-5 washlights and i-Pix BB4’s.
John explains how the ‘big top’ atmosphere was created, commenting that “It was actually one of the simplest elements of the lighting design as we used a substantial amount of festoon lighting strung between trusses to create a domed big top effect. Each individual string of festoon was individually controllable to produce some dynamic effects. The festoon was a mix of dimmable warm white LED lamps and also some Glasson RGB LED digital lamps which were built into the LED screen surround and pixel mapped as part of the key look of the set.”
From an audio point of view the remit was to provide audio suitable for a traditional awards show whilst also ensuring suitable reinforcement for the after dinner band, and pre and during dinner circus performances. “It was quite a challenge” smiles John. “Essentially we had three different, independent audio systems on the go throughout the evening – one for the main room (which had to be multi-purpose as outlined above), alongside separate systems for the VIP reception area and the bar area – both of which had background music requirements and live circus performances. The audio was controlled throughout the event from Yamaha, networked by Dante, and in total we installed x84 L-Acoustics loudspeakers and operated from x28 channels of RF.”
The staging demands were also complex with over 200 metres of curved truss and 410 metres of standard truss being specified, with 79 rigging points installed by KRS, alongside a significant amount of Pearce Hire’s Prolyte Litedeck units, plus almost 2,000 metres of drape from the Pearce Hire inventory.
As is often the case with corporate events, the timescales the production team were asked to work to were testing, with just 12 hours for load-in, followed by intensive rehearsals on the day of the event itself. Load-out was achieved within a six hour timeframe. “The pre-planning and pre-programming was an essential element to the successful delivery of this event, on time, and in time. But we managed it” comments John.
Marcus Lawday from Hawk Audio Visual is clear why they choose to work with Pearce Hire: “With our long-standing partnership with Pearce Hire we wouldn’t go anywhere else! It’s always a pleasure to work with their team. The circus theme warranted an imaginative lighting rig and creative truss formations and the festoon lighting design introduced by John helped draw the guests into the performances happening around them. It was a challenging brief, delivering specific expectations drawn up by our client, along with the strict budget and limited build time. The Pearce Hire elements of the production were delivered on budget and to an exceptional standard, and the client was delighted.”
John adds: ‘It was a challenge as corporate events always demand the highest production levels and last minute changes aren’t uncommon, but we were delighted with our contribution to the overall production. It was a pleasure to be involved and we look forward to future collaborations with Hawk Audio Visual in 2019.”
Pearce Hire provides full technical production services for outdoor events around the UK, regularly supplying over 2,000 events per year on Greenfield sites, at festivals, for tours, exhibitions, architectural installations, sporting and entertainment productions. And so the demand for easy-to-construct, versatile staging structures are something Pearce Hire are frequently asked to specify.
To address this growing demand, Pearce Hire’s latest addition to their extensive hire stock has been a Prolyte Arc Roof staging system, supplied by Stage Electrics.
Stage Electrics are the premier UK stockist of Prolyte products, distributing Prolyte for over 15 years. With an in-depth understanding of the product, Pearce Hire had no hesitation in approaching Stage Electrics to deliver on this investment.
“Our relationship with Pearce Hire goes back at least 10 years and we were delighted to be working with them again to fulfil their requirements, and to provide an after-sales service which included training for the Pearce Hire team. It was a speedy turnaround of ten days from point of order to delivery, including the training day, but we were happy to meet this expectation,” explains James Cookson, Stage Electrics.
“We’ve got a significant amount of Prolyte kit already – trusses, towers, rigging towers and accessories. So we were already familiar with the quality of Prolyte products and ease of handling,” continues Jim Brown, General Manager, Pearce Hire. “We were particularly attracted to the Arc Roof system because of its well-considered assembly process which is critical to the challenging set-up times our client projects often involve,” he explains.
The Prolyte Arc Roof System is a fixed construction, based on three inward-curving trusses which are mounted to side masts. It offers different configurations with optional side sheets and is an effective, small/medium sized roof system, incorporating non-climbing towers, an arched truss roof, ground ring for reduced ballast requirements and PA/branding wings – all of which are appealing features for many users. As Jim continues. “It is perfect for a broad range of installations, and with the diversity of our clients and their production requirements for a stage roof of this nature, an investment in this type of structure makes a lot of sense. In fact, I would go as far as saying it was an easy decision to make. It is ideal for live production, product launches, awards ceremonies and more besides. Prolyte’s innovative design allows a significant loading capacity on the 8m x 6m Arc Roof structure which we have invested in – providing just under 2 tonnes of UDL (Uniform Distributed Load). We were also attracted by the updated system which incorporates box corners to enable PA wings to be added more easily than before.”
Pearce Hire encourages a consultative partnership with their clients, and this is the same with their suppliers. “We chose to work with Stage Electrics on this purchase, and the product training mainly because they took on board our short delivery time and they were prepared to work with us to guarantee delivery and provide training for our team within the timescales we had. The sales process, the delivery and the subsequent training day provided by Stage Electrics, supported by Paul Hadfield from Prolyte was seamless and went without a hitch. We were delighted.”
Paul Hadfield, Distribution Manager for Prolyte Products was pleased to help. “Prolyte take pride in our association with Pearce Hire – who have been a loyal customer over many years with a notable inventory of Prolyte and LiteDeck staging products. We are very happy to now include an Arc Roof System within their range and look forward to a continuing relationship with them. I was impressed with the knowledge demonstrated by all the Pearce Hire team and the facilities at Pearce Hire HQ were perfect for training the whole team on this latest addition to their stock.”
Jim adds, “Following a thorough and informative training day delivered by Paul at Prolyte, our team are fully conversant with the structure. Installing the stage system is very smooth and the training gave hands on experience to all our crew before the structure left the warehouse for the first time. It also generated plenty of ideas from the team on what other events the structure could serve. Our new Arc Roof system promises to be in high-demand!”
Since its delivery, the Arc Roof has already been active for a recent festival, and an urban running event. As the Autumn and Christmas season gets underway, it has also been specified for several Christmas Light ‘switch ons’ and outdoor Winter festivals in the coming weeks.