Promo Image Show
Unit 8, Reynolds Industrial Park
Tel: 01733 554950
Fax: 01733 892807
Published in Lighting & Sound International - October 2017
Name, age, place of study & course?
Jake Langham, 19, Peterborough Regional College, BTEC Level 3 Production Arts
What attracted you to this business?
I lived two doors down from a freelance LD who was mates with my Dad, Dad would occasionally get roped in as a 'box pusher' for an event and I would go along to the venue, sit in the corner and watch in awe! When I was about 12, the LD asked me to run the desk for him while he focussed the kit, and eventually he got me helping out with lighting amateur shows for a local venue. With that bit of knowledge and the confidence I gained, I was hooked on this business and decided to apply for a part-time job at the Key Theatre, Peterborough. It was here that I got some broader experience in lighting, sound and stage management. At the end of the day, nothing beats the feeling of setting up an event from an empty room or field and making something magical happen.
What do you think of the course you've studied?
The natural progression from my ad hoc introduction to the industry was to achieve some formal qualifications to improve my knowledge and fill in the gaps I'd missed while learning-by-doing. The Theatre Production course at Peterborough Regional College (PRC) has been incredibly helpful with this; it guided me into what aspect of live events I wanted to focus on and was most sidled at. The two-year course is based on a mix of hands-on experience, case studies and practical assignments with reflective essays. The more formal parts of the coursework covers areas such as show design, prop design, health & safety and general business/budgeting skills to help us be successful if we chose to become freelance.
What work experience have you had so far?
Since I was at school I have worked at the Key Theatre - initially as a spot op before progressing to stage management; I was working there pretty much full-time before starting my course at PRC. I then continued on a freelance basis at the theatre whilst studying, As part of the coursework, there was an optional opportunity to apply for work in the industry. I wasn't going to turn that down, and I was lucky enough to be offered an internship at Pearce Hire. I must have done something right, because at the end of my course, Pearce Hlre offered me a job as 'Lighting and Rigging Trainee'. That was a year ago, and since then I've been all over the country working on a huge variety of festivals and events. The company has a wide range of clients so I've been on the streets of many cities at 4am (completely sober!) setting up power and PA systems for large-scale events. I've operated lights for a motorcycle festival and loaded in lighting rigs in various venues and festivals around the UK. Since Pearce Hire provide temporary power dstribution to a lot of festivals, I've pulled in a lot of power cabling across many greenfield sites. When I'm not out on-site, I'm prepping and maintaining the lighting stock under the watchful eye of lighting supervisor Gareth Seal.
Who have been your biggest mentors?
Jim Brown - Warehouse Manager for Pearce Hire, and my boss - has taught me so much about working in the industry and has always been more than happy to answer the hundreds of questions I ask him. He really is my mentor and has ensured I consistently achieve the highest production standards. Also, Gareth Seal has patiently and methodically taught me about attention to detail.
What's the best career advice you've received so far?
More haste, less speed. Although you still need to be open in time for doors!
What's the most valuable lesson you've learned so far?
Check it. Double check it. Then check it again.
Who would you most like to emulate?
Oli Metcalfe - Muse's Drones tour was phenomenal.
What would be your dream project to work on?
I'd like to be designing lighting rigs for large festival stages and tours.
What's the toughest thing about entering this business?
In the early stages, it was finding the right place to develop your confidence and feel comfortable learning from those around you. And definitely remembering to keep your sense of humour when you're up against it. What's your experience of the industry's attitudes towards students? Everyone I've worked with has been very helpful, supportive and encouraging, and seems to enjoy giving me their advice „ , which is normally swiftly followed by a story about that one time they didn't follow their own advice!
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Do it and never pass up an opportunity to learn something new. Also, I'm 6ft 4" so you might want some stilts to keep up.
What do you want your job title to be in 10 years' time?
Pearce Hire had good cause to celebrate earlier this month with a winning week at two prestigious industry awards ceremonies.
For the third year running, Pearce Hire was shortlisted at the Total Production Awards 2017 for Favourite Power Supply Company and whilst they were unsuccessful in being announced the winner, Pearce Hire was proud to have been nominated, shortlisted, and recognised for their work.
Later the same week, Pearce Hire was once more in the spotlight having been shortlisted at the 2017 Event Production Awards for Green Supplier of the Year and Best Temporary Supplier of the Year. These important awards for the live and outdoor events industry saw Pearce Hire crowned winners of the Best Temporary Supplier Award, with a well-deserved Highly Commended in the Green Supplier of the Year category.
“We are extremely proud of our award” comments Shaun Pearce, MD of Pearce Hire. “It has been a long time coming, and full credit must go to the dedicated team at Pearce Hire for their continuing hard work which has resulted in this award, and will, I hope, see further accolades in the future.”
Pearce Hire provides temporary power and services to dozens of events around the UK each year, and, with a notable increase in festival work over the past 12 months their expertise in temporary power provision has never been more in demand. Pearce Hire powers a range of long-standing clients including Lovebox Festival, Forestry Commission Summer tour, the Cambridge Folk Festival and a number of classic proms and beer festivals; whilst an increasing number of new clients are appointing Pearce Hire, including Eldorado Festival, Ibiza Proms, Equinox Festival, Hull Freedom Festival and Detonate Festivals.
The Event Production Award for Best Temporary Supplier of the Year acknowledges Pearce Hire’s long-standing reputation for providing reliable temporary power infrastructures for all their clients, with a particular specialism in temporary power supply for Greenfield sites.
Pearce Hire defines itself by its consultative production approach and in doing so supports clients in achieving the shared goal of safe, reliable and energy efficient temporary power supply.
“We have a company wide commitment to providing excellent temporary power for all our clients. Each event and each set of circumstances is totally different and so we spend a lot of time working with our clients to ensure our power supply recommendations are fit for their purpose as well as being cost efficient and appropriate for the distinct requirements of each individual event. We work with our clients to identify any previous wasteful practices and, using our considerable expertise and knowledge we are happy to suggest alternative methods in order to deliver better priced and more sustainable power supply production,” observes Pearce proudly.
The challenges of temporary power provision have escalated over the past few years and Pearce Hire are regularly updating their power equipment inventory, reviewing their services and undertaking regular testing of kit to ensure it complies with all regulations. Pearce Hire assembles all its temporary power distribution units in-house and to exacting standards, and is currently developing a full telemetry system for generator monitoring and control which will be introduced for the 2017 festival season.
The temporary power supply infrastructures provided by Pearce Hire are supported by the expertise of the company’s project managers and highly skilled engineers. Pearce Hire is frequently recognised for their flexibility, the calibre of their onsite teams, their consistent levels of delivery and their exceptional attention to detail.
Worthy winners therefore, of this important industry award.
Earlier this year Pearce Hire, a Gold Sponsor of the e-Luminate Cambridge Festival, provided full production services, technical support and equipment for the stunning lighting event that, each year, dramatically covers the entire city of Cambridge.
The 2017 e-Luminate Cambridge Festival celebrated its fifth edition and during the past five years has become a key highlight in the city’s cultural calendar. The Festival, which ran for 35 hours across six nights, commemorated the diversity and rich architectural offerings of this historic city – with ‘Light’ as the star of the show.
Cambridge Live, the organisers of e-Luminate, which is recognised as a contemporary arts festival, approached Pearce Hire as their trusted technical production partner to work with the latest creative lighting fixtures to produce stunning architectural lighting illuminations at several venues around the city.
As the organisers explain, “Light seamlessly crosses both Art and Science, and the e-Luminate Cambridge Festival is a celebration of the infinite possibilities created by this intersection.”
Throughout the Festival, there were several architectural lighting installations for visitors to enjoy, as well as various activities, talks and concerts, all using the city’s architectural heritage as the backdrop. The aim of the Festival is to explore the expanding area of artistic practice known as ‘Light Art’.
“The concepts this Festival encapsulates underpins a key element of our day-to-day work – that of creating atmosphere for events through light installations,” observes Shaun Pearce, MD, Pearce Hire. “Except that with e-Luminate, ‘Light’ really was the focus of the event (pardon the pun!). So, when we were approached to sponsor the Festival, the team jumped at the chance to showcase lighting. Working closely with the organisers and architectural lighting manufacturers and designers, we were able to demonstrate what architectural and feature lighting can do to help evoke different atmospheres and reactions from audiences who may ordinarily only be subliminally impacted by the lighting of the event they are attending”.
The e-Luminate Cambridge Festival promotes itself as a low-carbon footprint event and so naturally the lighting needed to be environmentally sound, and reflect the very latest advances in lighting technology. As such, the lighting fixtures used by Pearce Hire lighting included several LED fixtures – all ensuring low emission and low power consumption. These included the Chauvet COLARado – an IP66-rated LED wash; the I-Pix BB4 LED washlight, which is good for large-scale lighting installations; SGM P-5 LED – a full colour LED washlight; in addition to the Robe Pointe – a bright, super-fast fixture.
Pearce Hire also provided a sample of their award-winning temporary power distribution and power supply for the venues – including a 25Kva road tow generator for County Hall and power distribution systems for other installations they supplied.
As Alessandra Caggiano, Artistic Director for the e-Luminate Cambridge Festival explains, “ Our mission at Cambridge Live is to offer shared live cultural experiences that everyone can be a part of; e-Luminate Cambridge Festival encapsulates this as well as an inclusiveness for all residents and visitors to the city.
“Working with Pearce Hire for the e-Luminate Cambridge Festival was literally an illuminating experience. Shaun and his team went the extra mile to provide great solutions for the several sites they worked on and in particular excelled in the technical illumination of Shire Hall ‘Rainbow’ installation. Colour, movement and a range of changing patterns made this piece truly one-of-a-kind.”