Nu Skin, a leading anti-aging-product company, held its most recent corporate event, Nu Skin Live, on October 10-13, 2017, with Lightswitch providing illumination for the sessions as well as a corporate gala and Maroon 5 concert at The Vivent Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
The premier anti-aging company Nu Skin has grown from humble beginnings in Provo in 1984, to a NYSE listed enterprise that distributes its products in 54 markets worldwide through a network of around 1.2 million independent distributors. Every two years, the skin care products conglomerate holds a four-day event experience that combines philanthropy, business sessions, recognition and entertainment into a dynamic mix.
For the past decade, Nu Skin has turned to Atlanta based Executive Visions Inc. (EVI) and its team of producers, directors and creative visionaries to create an exciting and memorable experience for distributors and guests from around the world. For 2017, EVI president & CEO Michael Marto had something very special in mind. “Nu Skin is an especially rewarding company to work with," says Marto, "as the culture of empowerment, opportunity and being a Force for Good influences everything they do. We wanted to weave an experience unlike any other, that broke new ground for a customized corporate event, and told the whole Nu Skin story.”
Of particular importance was addressing the difficult audience of millennials. Marto expands, “We wanted to use a massive social program to attract young people to the company as part of a strategy for growth for Nu Skin. We didn’t have Maroon 5 and Hans Zimmer just because they are colossal global talents, but also because they speak especially clearly to a millennial audience through the international languages of music, and movies.”
Marto turned to frequent collaborator John Featherstone, principal at lighting and visual design firm Lightswitch, to light a wide range of activities over the multi-day event, with a large, flexible rig. With such a diverse array of activities and needs across three days of the Nu Skin event, Featherstone was challenged to design a flexible and versatile lighting rig, with all events in the same room: Gala, Marron V concert, business sessions, Nuskins Got Talent evening, and Hans Zimmer concert. “We designed a core rig, which worked well for all functions and included some feature pieces,” says Featherstone, who is a partner and senior designer at Lightswitch. “We used close to 1,000 moving lights.”
Beyond the myriad moving lights utilized for the event —which included numerous Martin by Harman Mac Viper, Robe Pointes, and Claypaky Mythos II and Scenius Unico units —there were six 150’-long arrays of kinetic winches and LED orbs hovering above the audience provided by Glow Motion and managed by Mike Robertson. “Essentially each one of those orbs is a wireless RGB color changing device which was on the end of a high-speed cable winch,” explains Featherstone. “That was a whole kinetic sculptural piece that moved and ebbed and flowed.” The winches had 60' of travel, which allowed them to be lowered right above the audience's heads at times, and soar into the rafters of the arena.
The Nu Skin event marked Featherstone’s first use of Clay Paky Scenius Unico fixtures. He utilized 50 of these fixtures on trusses above the audience to “get comfortable with them and give them a good test drive,” he says. Featherstone heard about the Clay Paky fixtures from his daughter Hailey who was working on the Paul McCartney tour. A.C.T Lighting provided demos a few weeks before the event, and Video West opted to buy a complement of Scenius Unicos to “fill a hole we had for shutter lights,” says Donny LoDico of Video West.
“One of the hallmarks of Clay Paky lighting,” says Featherstone, “is that it’s organic: the Scenius Unicos fixtures have beautiful peak fields.” “EVI hung a series of kabuki drops to define the arena floor for the fundraising dinner,” Featherstone explains. “Then we wanted to light the audience for the Maroon 5 concert. Because of Unico’s peak field distribution we could paint the audience with soft light and texture. A beautiful undulating pattern of light and shadow rippled through the audience.” Unicos also lit the audience for the business sessions and for the Hans Zimmer concert. “Hans Zimmer's music engages and entertains audiences of all ages. His sweeping scores take the listener on a journey and transports them from the Coliseum in Rome for Gladiator to the rolling seas of Pirates of the Caribbean and everything in between,” explains Featherstone.
“Working with executive producer Michael Marto, we designed a lighting system that was equally transformative. Using hundreds of moving lights and kinetic orbs, we employed color, texture and movement to create environments that supported the dramatic footage from the motion pictures shown behind the orchestra wave textures for Pirates, a riot of color for Madagascar, hundreds of dramatic pin beams and moody purples and greens for Batman, and the russets and ambers of the Mediterranean for Gladiator,” Featherstone adds.
The rig did not include any automated LED fixtures "The throws were all too long, and LED moving lights are not quite there yet...and pretty much everything was moving lights," says Featherstone. Video West provided the lighting gear for a visually compelling event that successfully put Nu Skin in the spotlight.
Lighting Crew List:
John Featherstone, entertainment lighting designer
Christopher Medvitz, general session lighting designer
Matthew Thobe, assistant designer
Christopher Herman, general session lighting programmer
Michael Robertson, Prelite hoist, winch programmer
Dennis Connors II, entertainment lighting programmer
Jeffrey Johnson, master electrician, general session
Lacey Taylor, moving lights technician, general session
Stephen Thacker, assistant electrician, general session
Greg Garrison, master electrician, entertainment
Hurbert Tardif, assistant electrician, entertainment
Ryan Ivie, Video West Tech