This week, our mentorees are working with Donna Jackson on Regional Art Victoria’s Illuminated by Fire, a site-specific event bringing together fire-related works from 10 regional artists. We are acting as marshals for the event, leading the audience around the site with the aid of some giant lanterns. Guided tours are happening Thursday(30th June) through Saturday, starting at 7 pm in the BMW edge.
This event is particularly interesting for me, as I am interested in production and stage management, but haven’t had the opportunity to do site-specific work before. The logistics of safely moving a crowd around a site within time constraints are fascinating, especially when faced with the challenge of convincing a group of people to move from the warmth of the BMW Edge to stand outside in the freezing night.I’ve taken on the role of ‘top dog’ of the marshals, an spent an extra night discussing the logistics with Donna and the crew from Right Angle Events. We solved some interesting problems regarding moving many people and a tall lanterns through a single door, and working out the visual and times cues for the chiors and pyrotechnic boat. At one stage, we lead the crowd down the riverbank, following the voices of a trio of singers. This part of the event is familiar to me, as it strongly resembles the work I’ve done managing the closing parade at the National Folk Festival. The radio etiquette and crowd management experience from the Folkie is helping greatly with my role at Illuminated by fire .
Tonight is the opening night of the tours, and we will see how effective our planning over the last couple of days has been. I am particularly looking forward to our upcoming discussion with Donna about the processes and difficulties involved in producing and risk-assesing an event of this type.