“I don‘t think this sort of production and staging is done a lot,” muses Solomon Rosenzweig, president of DaVinci Fusion.
As guests cross the Bay Bridge and exit on to Treasure Island, which lies between San Francisco & Oakland, the old military base seems almost deserted. As they turn on California Ave and drive past the numerous old military hanger type buildings, they soon realize that they are not heading to someplace ordinary. Valet parkers in white coats rush out to greet them in front of the San Francisco Bay, with the Bay bridge looming like a giant toy in the background. They have arrived at a very special event at Treasure Island, Ca.
As they enter into a building that, by most people’s expectations would surpass the largest armory building they have ever seen, they are mostly struck by how intimate everything feels. Lighting and graphics soften the feel of the space with trees and vines projected onto beautiful crisp white drapery. Clean, colorful graphics in a contemporary design grace huge panels of white with reminders of why they came. They came to support a great fundraising effort and give back to their community. Super wide lensed Celedon projectors with air-cooled slides accomplished the lovely graphic scenery.
“We reinforced our clients message and purpose with projected scenery on large 20′ x 60′ white fabric walls,” recounts Rosenzweig. “These scenic elements of the foundation’s graphics were used as a décor piece, the message was strong and consistent, and established a strong identity for the cause: “Nurture the Seeds of Hope.”
So after a cocktail and bidding on their favorite silent auction item, the roll of drums and the crash of symbols said watch me! The graphic panels fell away kabuki style, (always a rush for the audience) and a new environment enveloped them, covered in colors of vibrant greens and deep blues. Not a bad table in the house with every seat a great seat. Centered in the room was a 32‘ diameter turntable with a sexy wraparound circular screen that looked as if it was floating in the air.
DaVinci Fusion, the production company for Safeway Foundation‘s yearly gala benefit, outdid itself–not only expanding the size and scope of the event, but creating an experience that was as intimate as it was memorable.
The talk of the evening was the surprise entertainment! The circular screen served to monitor the live onstage acts (among them, headliner Melissa Etheridge), as well as footage related to some of the causes that Safeway Foundation supports including health and human services.
Notes Rosenzweig: “The curvature of the screen adds a certain sensual quality of image. They added a sense of close-ness that was almost subliminal. You just felt that much closer to the scene.”
“Among the items and entertainers that played on the screens was an interview we did with athlete Augie Nieto, who suffers with ALS (Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or “Lou Gherig‘s disease”). He is totally engaging and very funny, and for someone so young to be that debilitated was truly a emotional time with the audience. The interview we produced gave enormous weight to the evening. We did that interview live on the floor. Everything we did was supported by multiple cameras.”
With the interview feeds and exciting on-stage acts, DaVinci Fusion created an “intimate ‘video magazine‘ experience for attendees who were either within sight range of the live action, or could view the footage on the screens.” Rosenzweig likened it to filming a TV show with the TV audience right there.
“What we do and how we handle events of this scale is pretty cutting-edge,” concludes Rosenzweig. “We can take a large event and make it an intimate experience!”
Drawing a whopping 2,000 people Safeway was able to raise $1.4 million at the gala.
DaVinci Fusion is one of Northern California’s premiere full-service event design and production companies specializing in custom designed environments and technical production, with more than 20 years of experience in the special events industry. The company unites a team of experienced event specialists with the latest technology and 50,000 square feet of workspace to meet client’s goals efficiently and effectively.
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