QUICK LOOK | Designing for Pride Festivities

Image courtesy of Ami Hanna and Luma Box.

June is Pride Month, a month honoring the 1969 Stonewall riots, but also a time to celebrate members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Pride Month brings parades, festivals, and more wonderful events. And at Vectorworks, we love seeing how designers like you put on productions to honor the month and community.

One such creation is from Ami Hanna, a production designer, technical director, and LSO for Luma Box Designs. Read on to learn about her work for Salt Lake City Pride.

Ami Hanna’s Design Work for Salt Lake City Pride

“You’re going to make me cry. Give me a second; this is really important to me.”

Ami Hanna stammered ever-so-slightly and soldiered through as her eyes welled up with emotion. A stage designer for the Salt Lake City Pride event each year, Hanna cites the community and her own sexuality as reasons why the event means so much to her.

“I’m not gay, I’m not straight, I’m somewhere in between,” she said. “This is the one Stageline show a year that I do, and I do it because this community means so much to me. I love the people I work with.”

Hanna’s passion was palpable, even through the screen of a Zoom call.

She also mentioned that her daughter even participates every year. These personal connections have driven Hanna to develop a great stage design at #PrideSLC.

Taking Over the #PrideSLC Stage Design

Hanna took over the Stageline production for Salt Lake City Pride in 2015. She inherited the job from a colleague, Nick "Murph" Murphy, who went on to start Murphy's Production Services.

Murph supplied Hanna with a detailed draft of the event’s Stageline 250 — a drawing he did in Vectorworks. This served as the foundational starting point for each of Hanna’s designs for the following years.

Hanna said that the #PrideSLC event always contains a video wall. “In 2015, video walls weren’t as standard in the industry as they are now. So, we were using a 24 mill. outdoor blow-through wall that used Linsn processors,” said Hanna.

Video wall technology advanced over time, but Hanna decided it shouldn’t be the sole subject of her attention. This is because most of the festival and its performances took place during the daylight, barring a couple of hours on Saturday night.

Instead, the details of each design were centered around one thing: the headlining act.

Prideful Considerations

“I would modify things to accentuate whoever the headlining act was,” said Hanna. “There was always a video wall, always a front light, and I would make sure that SLC Pride gave me all the banners on time.”

New Orleans’ Big Freedia headlined SLC Pride in 2017. Big Freedia’s act is known for having several dancers on stage. Hanna opted for a minimal stage design to let the act shine. “I cut my truss towers by the back video wall, just because I needed to account for having more dancers on stage. I needed more space.”

There’s Plenty More to Learn from Top Designers in the Entertainment and Live Events Industry

If you want to create moving events like Hanna, check out some tips from some of the best in the industry.

blog-1440x800_Sooner Rae Creative

Image courtesy of Sooner Rae Creative and Todd Moffses.

Sooner Rae Creative, for example, works for some of the biggest names in music, and the team has tons of great advice on how you can better use Vectorworks Spotlight to create amazing projects.

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Topics: Entertainment


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