NEWPORT, RI – With its towering portico, opulent marble hallways and sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, Newport’s Marble House mansion has served as a majestic backdrop for everything from movies like The Great Gatsby to television series and high profile photo shoots. Victoria’s Secret has even used this Beaux-arts palace as a site for its holiday commercials. Recently, an inspired lighting design by Derek Iorfida and LD Freddy Thompson of JDI Productions gave this classic structure’s grounds a dynamic and colorful new look with help from a collection of CHAUVET Professional fixtures and LED video panels.
Iorfida and Thompson used the Chauvet products to impart a spirit of excitement and sophisticated elegance to the stately mansion during the awards ceremony at the Volvo Ocean Race, which drew 125,000 spectators. A global event that takes place in 11 ports around the world (Newport is the only US stop), the race involves six identical 65’ sailing yachts. Aside from the presentation of awards, the ceremony at the Marble House mansion also featured dining, entertainment and a colorful multimedia presentation.
“We used a number of CHAUVET Professional fixtures at multiple sites in Newport throughout the Volvo Ocean Race,” said Iorfida. “I would say that our most impressive and exciting show, though, was the awards ceremony at Marble House, which we got to run side by side with the Ocean Race’s touring production crew led by Senior Event Manager Clare Cavalier.”
The ceremony was held in the backyard of Marble House under an 80’ by 130’ tent. “We hung a 35’ 12 x12 truss from two of the tent’s center poles,” said Thompson. “To create some exciting effects in the tent area during the entertainment, we hung 12 Chauvet Legend 412 moving RGBW LED fixtures and four Legend 230SR Beam moving beams. The compact size of these fixtures made them ideal for working in the tight spaces we found in the tent. Of course they also made a big impact on the event as a result of their fast movements and rich colors.”
Another compact fixture that was well suited for the awards ceremony tent was the COLORdash Par-Quad 7, a lightweight par-style fixture with seven quad–colored RGBA LEDs. “Setting up a high impact light show in a tent with limited space and tight load restrictions made it essential that we use fixtures that weren’t bulky and that didn’t generate a lot of heat,” said Iorfida. “At the same time, we wanted fixtures that were powerful enough to engage the people in attendance.”
Iorfida and Thompson used 12 of the Par-Quad 7s to uplight the backdrop of the awards ceremony. They also set up two large video walls made with CHAUVET Professional PVP S7 LED video panels. The 7.8 mm pixel pitch panels were used to display high res graphics and IMAGE video images.
“The PVP panels were key to the multimedia show,” said Thompson. “Their high resolution was critically important to this event because the crowd was looking at the panels from all different distances. I think people were really impressed with the colors and vivid images shown on the panels.”
Of course creating impressive visual images is nothing new for the Marble House, which was completed in 1892 by William K Vanderbilt at a cost of $11 million, most of which was spent on 500,000 cubic feet of marble. With its wide assortment of murals and statues, the house was called a “temple to the arts” at the time it was built. For one night during the Volvo Ocean Race week, JDI Productions did this tradition proud.