THE BAHAMAS, 2017
In the summer of 2016, we were fortunate to provide production services for Spectacular Spectacular for an engagement event for one of their preferred clients. The event was a great success, and a lot of fun as always with our friends at Spectacular! Later that fall we were asked to provide production, décor and design assistance for the same end-client for their upcoming wedding planned for The Bahamas early the next year.
This was an incredible opportunity and a massive challenge in so many aspects. The end-client had chosen a well-known blue-jazz artist for their featured entertainment, and had directed their planners, designers and florists to create an atmosphere reminiscent of the elegant blues-jazz clubs of the famed 1960s ‘rat pack’ era. The challenge issued was to create a vintage, unique atmosphere, inside a tent, in which you could easily picture Frank Sinatra or Sammy Davis Jr crooning, beautiful ladies sparkling and gentlemen ever so debonair in black tie! Challenge accepted by all!
The first step was a huge amount of research and collaboration between all the teams involved to design and create this incredible event. Once ideas, selections and samples, and the designs began to come together, the first step for FireDog Creative was to create the concept in CAD drawings and 3D renderings. Beginning with the basic dimensions and layouts, our CAD artist began to draw. As the design teams added color selections, lighting and décor samples, our CAD artist would render the items in complete detail (note the chandeliers on the renders and the photos are exact! Amazing!) and enter them into the overall drawings. Detail by detail, the whole interior and exterior spaces came together into the final 3D renderings which were presented to the end-client for final approval.
The main reception space existed in a tent. However, the design teams did not want the tent to look like a tent, as is the goal of every designer and event planner. In this case, the design teams challenged FireDog into creating a round space inside a rectangular space. Hmmm…
In what was to become one of our grandest achievements, FireDog Creative’s CAD artist and Creative Director put their heads together to custom design and fabricate the entire circular room from drape & fabric; hard-set walls complete with cane inserts for air conditioning vents; gorgeous wallpaper installed across the back-stage wall; and designing the ‘rings’ that would support all the fabric and décor items the design teams had chosen.
A key element in designing the rings is taking into consideration the basic engineering logistics of transport and assembly, as well as weight allowances and safety. One of the most challenging aspects of the overall design was the center of the ringed ceiling. Many design options were put forth and rejected until the final design of a fabric ‘base’ with a custom designed, laser-cut medallion was reached.
In between the many, many yards of drape, are custom built and painted hard-set walls. A key feature when disguising the critical but unsightly air conditioning systems, the hard-set wall panels were also a part of the overall lighting design as they provided the vital space for the vintage wall sconces and medallions. The stage is designed and custom built with coordinating hard-set panels that both provide unity to the overall design and recreate the distinct stage style of the retro blues-jazz bands.
FireDog Creative worked tirelessly to produce all logistics / installations for this event - coordinating all freight forwarding and ocean travel for all the supplies and rentals. We were also tasked with sourcing and supplying all the chandeliers, wall sconces, wall and ceiling medallions and all production equipment for the ceremony, opening band and headliner. It was an incredible learning experience as well as it pushed everyone to ‘think outside the box’, and learn all the many critical aspects of International and US customs, freight processes and so forth.
Every detail, large to small, were critical in creating this unique and distinct occasion. The overall effect was one of elegance and opulence, with the vintage atmosphere of a blues-jazz ballroom. We had the great pleasure and honor of working with an amazing array of talented individuals from every aspect of the live event industry. In live event production, it truly does indeed take a village!
The Planners @shesaidspectacular @gabspectacular
The Creative Direction @toddkjargaard
Venue Old Fort Bay
Tenting / Rentals / Installation Labour @wildflowers_bahamas
Ceremony band @miles_raine
Dinner Band @seanjonesmusic