Andy Lopez has a pretty good idea on how to deliver for a celebratory event utilising emerging talent. Andy learnt these skills at the side of his mother, Mary Lopez AM who was the founding director of the NSW Schools Spectacular over 30 years ago.
Mary Lopez is now Artistic Director and CEO of the Talent Development Project and Andrew Bee is the Musical Director and Associate Director of the TDP.
Andy and Andrew are the driving force behind Out There Productions (OTP) who were chosen to produce the entertainment for the SCEC 25th anniversary dinner.
ASE spoke to Andy about their brief and what they delivered after Travis Henry from SCEC contacted OTP about helping with creative elements of the SCEC 25th year Celebration.
Andy said “Given SCEC has had every fabulous event manager in Australia come through their doors we were really thrilled to be asked” and although others were asked Andy was the first to say yes.
So what is it like producing an event for the industry? “Doing event industry nights is terrifying. You’re on a hiding to nothing putting on stuff to an educated event crowd. Everything’s been done before, or it’s naff, or worse.”
What was the brief from SCEC? “SCEC had a pretty clear idea about what they were after for the finale. They’d been using Alex Lloyd’s “Amazing” as a marketing and promotion theme for several years. They wanted their finale celebration – and let’s be honest … it wasn’t just a 25th birthday celebration; the night was a goodbye to SCEC, an awesome player in the Australian events industry – to capture everything that the centre was about. I think the brief from Travis Henry was “we want the finale version of Amazing to be a bit like Bohemian Rhapsody. Start slow, build, go big, drop in a choir, couple of good names, and make everyone cry. That kind of thing. What do you reckon?””
And your response? “Awesome”
“So what we aimed for was exactly what Travis and the SCEC guys wanted. We went for Timomatic and Samantha Jade as the leads because not only are they hot, current and … hot 🙂 BUT we knew they’d rock the crowd with their own shows, AND they’d get that the finale “Amazing” was supposed to be just that. And commit to it and do it right.
We used past and present performers from the Talent Development Project (TDP) to support Tim and Sammi for a couple of reasons. One, we knew that musically and professionally that the TDP would back up Tim and Sam perfectly. Two, TDP performers have been in hundreds of events presented in SCEC over the years both by us and other event agencies. In fact SCEC sponsor and support the TDP through hosting and supplying production to the graduation.”
And the result? “The finale was a typical OTP creation. An awesome Australian song “Amazing” (by Alex Lloyd)… torn apart and rebuilt with divergent musical genres from pop to rap, indie to opera to beatbox … effortlessly blended in a seamless musical piece deliberately created to make the audience feel, identify and react.”
The “Amazing” Production team from Out There Productions
Music Producer – Andrew Bee
Entertainment Director – Andy Lopez
Coordinators – Meredith Burton and Amber Alge
Track producers – Greg Agar and Murray Demsey
Arranger – Libby Bee
The “Amazing” Performers
Harry Ward (violin)
Lorenzo Rostinano (tenor)
Bernie Van Teil (beatbox)
Backing vocalists – Robert MacDougal, Anja Nissen, Cameron Little, Amber Dawn Finch, Benny Nelson
Strings – Bravura Ensemble