Version 2 supplies EE BAFTA Film Awards 2024

TV, broadcast and event lighting specialists, Version 2 was the official lighting supplier for the EE BAFTA Film Awards.

Version 2 supplied lighting and manpower for the live Awards ceremony, artists performances and the traditional obituary tribute, as well as the audience lighting and the live event broadcast.

Also involved in designing for the Awards for the first time were Lighting Director, Tim Routledge, of Tim Routledge Lighting Design and Set Designer, Julio Himede from Yellow Studio New York, in a partnership first formed for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023.

“It’s a tricky show as you are only in the venue for a short time with a very short load in and load out,” explained Routledge.  “The live show starts at 6pm and is broadcast as live on television around 8pm, so there is a super-quick turnaround to get it out that night with editing happening on the fly.”

Routledge called on trusted suppliers to work with him. “I brought Version 2 on board because I use them a lot for my television design work. We have a great relationship and they always look after us very well.” Version 2 chose seasoned gaffer, Sam Healey, who has a track record working on the BAFTAs and with Routledge, to keep everything on track.

The centrepiece of Himede’s set design was a series of outlines of the BAFTA Award mask, arranged in a circular fashion and backed by a large, semi-circular gauze around the back of the stage.

The show was lit using a mix of the Royal Festival Hall’s house rig and lighting from Version 2. “We use 310 1m long Martin VDO Sceptron 10s rigged vertically behind the sculptural set piece, back-lighting the semi-circular gauze to add a load of sparkle and give the appearance of a giant zoetrope,” commented Routledge. “This involved a lot of work in the framework and the rigging of all those Sceptrons overnight!”

“We were able to collect the truss for the Sceptron in advance and spent a good couple of days pre-rigging them onto the framework, labelling and patching them so we were able to install it all within the short timeframe,” explained Healey.

With the central set piece predominantly washed in reds, blues and golds, the Sceptrons provided a twinkly backdrop behind the presenters. This changed to more vibrant, dynamic effects and content for Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s performance of Murder on the Dancefloor, with more sparkles added for comedian Nick Mohammed’s appearance. The mood was later transformed to a serene, ethereal monochrome with beautiful shaping of the stage and set during Hannah Waddingham’s moving rendition of Time After Time as BAFTA paid tribute to artists who had passed away this year.

Version 2 supplied Robe Forte fixtures for Routledge’s key lighting on the performers and presenters, with more Robe Forte units, in conjunction with a Robe Robospot system, as follow spots.

Martin Mac Aura XBs were rigged on the front truss and bridges, and more Mac Auras on the floor upstage by the drape. A half circle of Robe Megapointes were rigged around the curved onstage truss completed the onstage lighting inventory, while Astera Pixelbricks were rigged on stage facing outwards to light the star-studded audience.

Version 2 drafted in freelancers Tom Young as operator for the moving lights and Seb Williams for the key lights.

“The Royal Festival Hall is a tricky place to light because, not being a particularly modern venue, there’s not many rigging positions,’ explained Routledge.  “It’s a modern-looking show however so, for the first time this year, we added in more lighting features around the room, on the balcony fronts and down the walls to make it pop more on camera than in the past.”

To add definition to the room Routledge mounted 2m Astera Hyperion tubes horizontally on the front of the auditorium boxes which fitting neatly into the straight lines of the modernist architecture. He also added Robe LED Beam 150 fixtures to the back wall of the stalls and dress circle for eye candy effects during the walk downs.

“It is a pleasure to work with Tim as he does great plans and his paperwork and designs are fantastic,” commented Healey. “This makes life a lot easier, especially under such time contraints. Line producer Sophie Huda assembled some of the very best in our industry to cover all aspects and disciplines for this year’s show. It’s been an honour to be a part of this fantastic team.”

“Version 2 has been great as usual,” concluded Routledge. “Sam really looked after me and the V2 team are always on it. I can rely on them to pay excellent attention to detail. There’s no drama there!”