You can see the flown truss and lighting effects in this photo. The black wall to the right of the picture was created with draping.
Theo chocolate factory occupies an historic and sparse building at the corner of 34th and Phinney. If that sounds like a familiar corner, the building formerly housed the Seattle Trolley and Red Hook Brewing.
You need to squint at the old bottling warehouse a little in order to see the beauty of the room as an event space. Roberto and Tino Perrina owners of the local Maserati dealership did squint and thought the space would work to showcase the Seattle unveiling of the 2008 Gran Turismo.
While bare brick walls, old cement floors, and large support columns can pass as industrial cool, it is a stretch to call it chic. A makeover was needed. The key to transformation is in knowing what to emphasize, what to hide, and how to tie it all back into your event.
In the case of the bottling warehouse, we started with what to hide. We brought in Triumph Expo and Events for draping. We chose black drapes to serve as a dramatic backdrop for showcasing the Gran Turismo. After yards (acres?) of draping were hung, storage areas, the old keg conveyor belt, and the iron and concrete support columns disappeared.
We wanted to heighten the mystery and excitement surrounding the car, so we had Triumph bring in a red carpet. The carpet both increased the drama of the night and served as a visual divide for the room.
With the room’s flaws masked and map in hand, we took stock of the room’s positive points: soaring ceilings, exposed brick, open air, and the car. These were the items we wanted to emphasize -- it was time to bring in the lighting expert.
Here you can see uplighting on the walls behind the bar and spotlights emphasizing it.
Joe Cole Lighting was a great fit for us to work with. After taking stock of the room, Joe suggested uplighting, a flown truss, and blue gels.
Me either…so let me explain:
- Uplighting: when you position the light below and aimed up at the object you wish to illuminate. Generally the effect is dramatic. However, depending on the object, you can have different effects. “We uplit the glassware behind the bar and created a sparkling effect.”
- Flown Truss: fancy name for a support beam that is suspended above the crowd/floor. Lights are then positioned on it to further illuminate the room. The flown part means you are getting the truss off the floor. “We used a flown truss to give us more room for the guests.”
- Gels: lighting device that changes the tone of the light – warms it or cools it. It isn’t so much a change in color as a change in feel. “Those blue gels cooled down the spotlight to match the chrome on the ride.”
Joe uplit the exposed brick walls to emphasize the brick and ceiling height. He loved the openness of the room and brought in the flown truss to achieve the lighting effects without eating up the floor space. He used the truss to position spotlights on our bars and their car. Softer lighting was brought in for the cocktail table area. To emphasize the sleekness of the car, he added the blue gels to the spots.
Allow me my metaphor… Joe acted as a sculptor, bringing out the best in that rock of a room. If you don’t believe me, check out the photo gallery.