Located on the French Riviera and attended by some of the most well respected names in the movie business, the Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious events of the film industry’s calendar. Typically held in May, the festival is one of the first events of the summer calendar and is typified for having fine weather. However, the last few years have seen a distinctly different weather pattern with rain and stormy conditions. In order to keep the lights shining on the dazzling beach front displays, one company had the idea to turn to Hylec-APL for a solution.
Team Air Express is an independent international courier that specialises in transporting equipment for film, media and fashion events. It has worked with companies involved in the Cannes Film Festival for over a decade, including a number of UK based international film agents who are responsible for selling the distribution rights of films to the international market. As a value added service, Team Air Express is able to fabricate equipment to take to the festival and assemble it once on location.
Graham Seeley, film operations manager for Team Air Express, explained: “During the festival many of the seafront apartments are converted into offices. The companies occupying the buildings then place large advertising displays on the terraces and light them up for display during the night. We are able to design and build the lighting rigs, transport them to the event and then assemble and install the lighting.
“This is quite a challenge as some of the displays require up to 20 individual spotlights, and they all have to run from the domestic sockets that are installed in the apartments. As an additional challenge, after the poor weather conditions of the last few years, we also have to make sure that the rigs can withstand heavy rain.
“We have less than a week to set up all of the rigs once they arrive in Cannes so we need to design solutions that are easy to install. Finding electrical connectors that offer easy installation with reliable, weatherproof protection isn’t easy. Fortunately we approached Hylec-APL, who offer a range of connector components, right up to IP68.”
Having spoken to Graham about his requirements, Terry Spriggs, marketing manager at Hylec-APL, suggested a product from the Teebox (TH630/TH631) power distribution range of connectors. The distribution connector features a ‘1 in, 2 out’, T design, which is perfect for daisy chaining multiple lights from a single power source. Unlike many other high IP rated connectors on the market, the distribution connector is extremely compact, quick to install and doesn’t rely on silicone gel to guarantee the protection.
The distribution hub and associated cable connectors are manufactured from tough polyamide; and the cable entry points on each connector are protected thanks to a dome topped cable gland with high integrity TPE-V seals. Each connector is keyway protected and has a double O ring seal. These features prevent incorrect connector assembly to the hub and ensures the IP rating once the locking ring is securely closed.
This compact design not only improves the aesthetics of the lighting rig once assembled, it also helps to reduce the volume of the solution during transport to and from the venue. Because it doesn’t require silicone gel to protect the connection it’s easy to re-use the connector year after year.
Graham concluded: “We worked directly with Hylec-APL to ensure that we would be able to take delivery of the connectors in time to take them to the festival. They were able to help us through the specification stage and confirm a large order for very fast turnaround delivery. The TeeBox Power Distributor is high quality and ideal for an outdoor lighting application. I’m sure that they will help us to light up the film industry throughout the festival.”