Production Design for “ A night To Make It Right “Fundraiser Gala
When awarded the position of Production Designer by MIR & Brad Pitt for his "A Night to Make it Right" fundraising gala, Beese immediately went back to mindset of architecture, focusing on the elements of Make It Right, from featured colors to unique forms, Beese was striving to create a unique and cohesive production design with a signature MIR look.
To achieve a unique stage design for the charity gala, Beese utilized both the angular overlapping lines of the newly built Make It Right houses along with the culturally significant concept of the traditional NOLA "Front Porch". Both would need to tie together the three major staging areas that the event required: performance areas for Sheryl Crow and Rihanna, a location for Ellen DeGeneres’ interviews with Brad Pitt and MIR family members, as well as the gala host. Thus, it was important to create a set that could work like a TV set, award show and performance stage all in one.
The final result used a 15mm video wall as the farthest upstage layer, masked by physical set pieces that framed the LED wall. This physical set wall created the first and second upstage layer. With its front wall piece formally tying into the large wall section, these upstage walls created two entrance and exit points to the stage as well as a projection surface for the video mapping content. The upstage wall with the projection content and IMAG content, served as the primary design element for the gala stage. RE:BE Design carefully selected New Orleans centric content, including footage of the New Orleans skyline, Preservation Hall jazz performances, collections of MIR images and videos, as well as graphic content to create a dynamic backdrop for the gala stage.
Three lighting truss “sticks” installed over the set-- mimicking the traditional architectural post and beam method. In addition, a downstage truss was needed for the stage lighting and audio.
The raised platform -"Front Porch" served as the programmatic device, separating the large scale platform in discreet areas while also providing a connection to the audience with its large
steps that led up to the play area. The stage deck was covered with white and grey carpet, reinforcing the appearance of a two foot concrete slab.
The After Party stage design began by taking a simple line drawing of an MIR house and abstracting the form. By using truss, Beese was able to create a free standing structure to hang lights from and also to introduce the floating gables concept that dominated the design. A 30 mil back LED wall was hung up stage and divided by vertical truss to emphasize verticality in a low ceiling interior. To emphasize the vertical element and to create more height, Beese took the standard 8x16 side screens used in hotel conventions and turned them long ways-- also lending well to the lineup, as all of the acts were single performers.
The 30 x 60 stage deck was turned into the audience, creating a triangle thrust that allowed for the audience to wrap around the stage from both sides. To elevate the design linear tube LED lights were added to the truss to emphasize the flying gable element.
These flying gables created an intimate club like atmosphere in the completely darkened room for the performances of Soul Rebels, Seal, Snoop Dog, and Kanye West who brought up Rihanna to close the night out.CLIENT:
Brad Pitt & Make It Right FoundationPRODUCTION DESIGNER:
Stefan Beese, RE:BE DesignDESIGN ASSISTANT:
Jensen Killen, RE:BE Design3D DESIGN:
Seyavash ZohooriPRODUCTION COMPANY:
Rehage EntertainmentPRODUCTION MANAGER:
AUDIO GALA: Swank Audio
VIDEO GALA: The Solomon Group
VIDEO ENGINEER: Jonathan Foucheaux & Scott Bufford
CAMERA OPERATORS: YES Productions
LED TECHNICIAN: Jay Taylor
CAMERAS: YES Productions
IMAG SCREENS: Swank Audio
LIGHTING GALA: The Soloman Group
LIGHTING DIRECTOR: Jonathan Foucheaux
SET BUILDER: John Himmaugh and Co
AFTER PARTY STAGE
LIGHTING ARRIVAL & PERFORMANCE: See Hear Productions
LIGHTING DIRECTOR: Patrick Theriot
AUDIO : VER Audio
CAMERAS: YES productions
RIGGING: Corporate Lighting and Audio