2016 in review

This time in 2015, SimpleMotion was but a glint in our eyes. Greg and I had been talking for years about how we could separately achieve our goals. For Greg it was always how he could design and manufacture a range of automation tools. For me, it was how I could take my digital leadership experience and turn it into something my own.

Finally, in January this year we sat on a beach in Sydney, Australia. Greg was still trying to understand how he could move beyond the rut he was in and I was still trying to figure out what was next for me. Greg was talking about how difficult he found it to develop his leadership and management skills as a sole director and felt this was really holding him back, while I was anxious about how I could establish something substantial on my own.

There is a chance we were a bit slow on the uptake but it did finally dawn on us that day that perhaps we should be starting something together. Three months later SimpleMotion was born.

And we hit the ground running...

We designed and manufactured a beautiful new track for Chris Mercer at Sydney Theatre Company for All My Sons, closely followed by a commission to create a new revolve also for the Sydney Theatre Company production of A Flea In Her Ear which was so successful we are now building them a modular revolve extension so they have a range of revolve sizes to suit any production. We have really enjoyed working with STC this year. A big thanks particularly to Chris Mercer and Kate Chapman for getting it when we suggested we could build them a modular revolve system.

It was also our joy to work with the lovely team at Grayboy Entertainment on their new production Slumber. It was such a great brief - build a bed that can tilt, be transformed from scene to scene, dancers can dance on but also come up through the bed...Oh, and it needs to be easily broken down and easy to assemble and take as little space as possible as the show is on a cruise ship! We were particularly proud to get a shoutout in their making of video.

But it didn't stop there. For Australian Opera's extraordinary production of My Fair Lady at the Sydney Opera House we designed, manufactured and installed the automation systems including a revolve and a flying system. We are so pleased to see this production going on an Australian tour in 2017 and look forward to continuing to support it.

Running throughout the year has been the development of a whole new magical experience at Phillip Island's A Maze 'N Things. Starting from sketches we have been working with Geoff and his team to realise their vision. With more than 12 individual automation projects including a rain wall, a chandelier and of course a beautiful Carousel, it has been a long project but the results are worth the wait. If you are down on the Island drop in to see it and be sure to look in every nook and cranny - the detail is beautiful.

Greg and the team over the years have supported many shows but the one we keep going back to is Phantom of the Opera. This year was no exception. A new production opened in Sweden this year and Greg went over to consult on the automation set up. 

And we're still going strong. The workshop is flat out building a train for a new children's production opening early in the new year, the finishing touches to Philip Island are being made in time for the Boxing Day holiday crowd and we have projects lined up for the Australian Ballet and a new musical as well as incredibly exciting discussions underway for a projection onto a moving surface project and a major new project that will change the way we think about arena productions.

Not bad for less than a year. That'll do.







paula le dieu