Thursday, November 12, 2015
Celebrating 25 Years of EMA, Part One

ema at wb
Warner Bros. Studios is proud to have been the venue of choice for Environmental Media Association and its annual awards show for the past five years. In its sixth year here, it was also EMA’s 25th anniversary. After 25 years of honoring environmental good deeds in the media, it was time for EMA to celebrate its own good deeds and the work of its founder and president, Debbie Levin.

One of the benefits of holding an event at Warner Bros. is that we get to collaborate with outside producers and designers. This year, we worked once again with Hillary Harris, now owner of Hillary Harris Events. Working closely with our special events team, together we put the plan in motion.

ema at wb
For the second year in a row, the awards were held in the SJR Theater, taking full advantage of our state-of-the-art theatrical capabilities. The stage, theater, and lobby were decorated with greens in honor of EMA’s hashtag and call to action this year – #green4ema!

But the real design work took place on New York and Brownstone Streets for the after party. To begin, our team worked with Harris and Levin to create a computer aided design (CAD) of the space. With 15 restaurant and beverage stations, eight gifting sponsors – including Toyota and Lexus – and three NGOs, it was imperative to have a very clear layout for all participating vendors. Color coding the blueprint helped us map out placement and coordinate all logistical needs, from power lines to product drop offs.

ema at wb
This year, lantern tents from Town & Country Event Rentals were the design anchors for the VIP reception and gala for 750 guests. They served as both covers for the 360-degree bars and Harris’ design muse for a theme loosely based on the phrase, “it takes a village.”

Using state-of-the-art wireless LED lights, each tent was programmed to change colors throughout the night, corresponding to the complementary colors projected on to the streets, commercial buildings, and storefronts. There were eight different looks programmed to slowly transition every 15 minutes. By working with the WB set lighting team and a plethora of intelligent lighting, we were able to diffuse gobos to create soft patterns of textured color, constantly changing the environment throughout the evening. See more of the design process on EMA’s blog here.

ema at wb

And as for additional lighting, there is nothing more celebratory than festival or “stringer lights.” Twelve hundred feet of lights zig zagged down New York Street, their elegant swags created a ceiling of light. To add more ambient lighting, the 30 10-foot-tall ficus trees that were placed between the restaurants and sponsor cabanas were festooned with white lights.

ema at wb
Linens added a unique visual element to the design theme. Three were chosen from La Tavola Linen: “Tree of Life,” a vibrant coral color with trees and birds; “Miranda,” with oversized slate blue sunflowers; and “Tribal Sunset,” showcasing ethnic medallions in chocolate, slate blue, coral, and gold.

ema at wb
These colors also became the inspiration for the award show’s digital graphics, event signage, lighting, and even the coral evening gown worn by the trophy presenter on stage.

ema at wb

Through much preparation and thoughtful design work, the stage was set, the green carpet was laid, and the evening’s honorees – ranging from Jessica Alba to Gwyneth Paltrow – began to arrive on a perfect night at the studio.

EMA at WB

Tune in next week for a look at how the messaging of EMA’s 25 years was underlined through design.
Photos: Nadine Froger