Our most recent foray into international event lighting began at the Yacht Club de Monaco. After an initial site visit with Los Angeles event producer, SO EVENTS, we were back to produce a series of over-the-top parties for Magic Johnson and his wife, Cookie who were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.
As the starting point for the celebrations, the yacht club’s upper deck offered the perfect place to view the sunset while modern white lounge furniture with gold accents set the tone. As the golden glow of sunset faded, it was replaced by pink lighting, the color palette of the evening.
After the cocktail hour, guests went one deck below to a dining area where unique circular tables were “lined” with a pave of flowers while candles placed in the center created a warm glow. Pinspots were strategically placed on a special lighting truss to add additional lighting to the inside of the tables. Other fixtures — as well as equipment for the deck area projection — were hung on that truss as well as an existing shade structure. For dancing afterwards in the club, we installed LEDs and moving lights.
Mirrored tabletops and gold serving ware increased the wow factor during the evening. As the guests continued to enjoy the evening, we were already en route to the next destination in St. Tropez with the production team.
With three events over seven days, six of them were all production. It was a heavy schedule due to the travel between the first night in Monaco, the main event in St. Tropez and the final night in Antibes. “We had to always stay a day ahead of the parties and with the complexity of the events, this was a 24-hour non-stop installation,” lighting director Curt Stahl recalls.
The Images by Lighting team had preceded the guests’ arrival in St. Tropez by a day to install the entertainment stage for what was to be a magical main event. As the yacht with the guests pulled into the dock of St. Tropez, it created not only a dramatic entrance, but became part of the event’s perimeter. “We brought in special City Light LED wash fixtures to light the yachts in tones of blue,” Stahl says. “In fact, there were two parked on two sides of the event. We lit them in two tones – an uplighting and a cross wash from the sea wall on opposite side of the event and then up lit from below the yachts.”
The lighthouse on the dock was also used to dramatic effect. Video projections on it ranged from fire and water scenes.
The evening was very theatrical with multiple performances. Each set of entertainers featured choreographed lighting with hours of rehearsal time and lighting cues for each performer on par with Cirque du Soleil. We designed a concert lighting rig, with lighting from the top and bottom of that structure creating a variety of color blending in blue and magenta. The color palette underscored the vibe of the evening — sexy and magical with surreal moments, fantasy and glamor.
One of the many unique effects during this party was this giant helium ball. The patterns and textures were projected on it by our team and later, it floated over the crowd. Certainly, this amazing evening had left everyone floating on air.
Our production team remained to the end of the event before heading off the next day for Antibes where the final night was being prepared.
At the well-known restaurant, Michelangelo’s, SO EVENTS had designed a vineyard setting under a clear top tent. Chandeliers and string lights were installed over guest tables set amid the “vines” for a truly romantic final moment for the couple and their guests. After dinner, they went inside the restaurant for a final night of dancing.
From sunset in Monaco, to a fantastical event in St. Tropez to an evening in a “vineyard” in Antibes, this team made sure that every detail was magic.
Producer: SO EVENTS
Photography: Kevin Weinstein
Lighting: Images by Lighting