Cape Town’s First Green Hippo Amba+ Shoprite Super Service Awards

Photo: Andrew Gorman Photography.

Cape Town’s first Green Hippo Amba+ was put through its paces at the Shoprite Super Service Awards held in the massive 2400sqm ExecuJet Hangar at Cape Town International Airport, with a third of the space used for a jet parked inside the exclusive location.

Solid Group were appointed by Venturescapes Events to supply the full technical at the awards, attended by 600 guests. They took ownership of the Hippotizer Amba+ a few days before the event.

“We initially came up to visit DWR Distribution purely to attend the L-Acoustics KIVA demo with Richard Smith,” Alex van Dyk, owner of the Solid Group, explained. “Luckily we set aside enough time so that we could go through all the toys. Dylan Jones spent time with us on the Green Hippo, and we completely fell in love with it. Even having the baby Amba+, it’s incredible how powerful such a small unit can be, and this is the entry level unit! It packs a punch.”

Keystone Productions created the content around the three separate screens. “The nominees’ names would appear on the left-hand screen, and the area from which they came from would be on the right-hand screen, with an award category always on the centre screen with a rolling video,” Alex commented. “For some of the artists’ performance, they had a camera in the middle and video running on both sides or vice-versa. So we would split the screens up to do different things at different times which is exactly where the Hippo came in and did incredibly well.”

The Amba+ worked in conjunction with the live feed from Solid Group’s new NewTek TriCaster MiniAdvanced, with connection via NewTekNDI, which of course is so much quicker than an SDI feed. “The latency on the camera was unnoticeable,” said Alex.

The investment into Green Hippo was a huge step for the Solid Group. “It allows us to take our clients and their shows to the next generation of audiovisual technology. Green Hippo allows us to do projection mapping, custom content, pixel mapping, time code and timeline productions.”

In addition, the company’s Andrew Pettit and Dylan Edwards agree the Hippotizer is simple to use, with a friendly interface, saying that once your content is in, you can manipulate it as much as you want. It’s almost pointed and shoot.

Solid Group was born twelve years ago, but with a different name – Bundi Productions. “We had a partner in Bundi Adventures, and about five years ago, we bought the partnership out and created a PTY,” said Alex. “Because they owned the trade name, Bundi, we rebranded as Solid and we’re always known as Solid Event Technical. In September 2017, we decided to broaden our name and created Solid Group, consisting of the different services we offer from Venue Technical Management to Event Power, Event Technical and the Design Element of a show, where we have found the largest platform for us to grow. Clients want to see what a product will look like before they sign off anything. Being able to show them the lighting plots, the stage, the set design even to the point where the concert gets designed at an early stage, plays such a large role in making your client happy from start to finish.”

Alex says for a business to start off you have to be good at everything, but to excel at something, you have to hire people who are better than you. Solid Group consists of a strong team who have their eye on technology and creating the wow factor. The focus is to work with clients on a one-on-one basis to create a final product that exceeds their clients’ expectations.