MTV Video Music Awards
Video Music Awards 2013
For the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, the familiar Moon Man Logo was re-imagine through the eyes of New York Based artist KAWS. His vision of the Iconic Character used some of his trademark features, such as X's for eyes, and a general skull and crossbone motif.
The Moon Man was the main element in the staging, and appeared as an impressive sixty foot tall inflatable (provided by Airworks) at one end of the room. In addition his head was also used as a band shell for the main stage, and another head (with a visor which opened) was also used at a presenter stage in front of house.
The inflatable required fairly straightforward support - a grid with fourteen inverted quarter ton motors to provide individual pick point adjustability. The presenter head sat on the floor, and merely needed a track system to raise the various component parts, traverse them about thirty feet, and then lower them to the mezzanine level. The band shell was the major concern for Kish Rigging's head rigger JR Cassidy.
The structure weighed 26,000lbs, was a little more than fifty one feet tall, and over forty six feet in diameter at its widest point. It had been designed by Tait Towers to be assembled on site in a modular fashion, starting with the top of the head, and growing in eleven successive layers. There were 180 MAC Aura lights inside it, along with a lattice of 1800 LED pixels.
In order to achieve this task without damaging the fragile, incomplete structure, Cassidy elected to provide an overall 'Mother Grid', (comprised of sixteen 2 ton hoists, and weighing 12,000lbs ), for the assembly, with twenty-eight individual inverted one ton chain hoists in specific locations to pick the elements as the head grew in diameter.
He considered it essential to include Eilon Wireless Load Cells on each two ton, to monitor the loads as they were applied. The dependability and simplicity of the system gave the near-instant feedback which was needed to avoid damaging the building, or the support grid.
The assembly took two days, and involved a layer being built, rigged, safety checked and flown. Once the next layer was built, it would be rigged, and then the prior layers and grid would be lowered, and the new one would be added until the entire structure was complete. It was a large amount of up and down movement, with a lot of mass, but with the readily available load information, it went smoothly with only a few creaks and groans along the way.
The relief was palpable when the structure was finally lowered onto the turntable, and the grid and associated motors were disconnected and raised to their out of sight position, to await the load-out.
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