Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 24th 2014 Contents A30
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, March 24, 2014
To complete the illusion, he
blacked out everything that wasn t
stage or audience, designating the
extended wings on either side of
the stage a "no-fly" zone and
charging security with ensuring
that nobody, not even the Pres-
ident of the Republic, was allowed
to walk there.
The newly-appointed producer
also had to work with a team he
was largely unfamiliar with.
Brother Resistance had called on
The Players Workshop, led by
Gregory McGuire, Mervyn
DeGoeas and Giselle Langton, to
work on the theatrical aspects of
"So there s a month to go and
I m working with people I ve
never worked with in my life."
Henderson committed a week
and a half of his production
schedule to building chemistry
with the group, allowing him to
keep his focus on the technical
and presentation aspects of the
"I planned it on paper, but there
was never a full rehearsal," he said.
"We never got access to the stage
until Saturday night. The sound
check, dance rehearsal and set
construction where happening
simultaneously on Sunday."
I arrived in the Savannah at 11
pm on Saturday night and never
left until 3am on Monday morn-
ing. I had no sleep; I went right
"I can tell you that was a lot
easier when I was in my twen-
The first time Dimanche Gras
producer emphasised speed and
efficiency for the production. Each
calypsonian had nine minutes to
deliver each of their two songs,
which ensured that the production
would run to at least four hours.
Henderson s mandate was to
deliver a show that started at
seven pm and ended at midnight.
"I think what everyone
responded to was the flow of the
show and our determination that
there would be no lapses."
"The anthem was to play at
7pm, but there were problems
with security armbands, and we
started at 7:03. Good enough for
some, not good enough for me."
Technically, Henderson intro-
duced a dedicated bus to capture
and enlisted Robin Foster and
Samuel Jack to mix live audio dur-
ing the show for broadcast.
There s now a full 64-track
recording of the show to go along
with the HD video produced by
CarnivalTV for streaming.
The final statistics from the
event not only satisfied viewers,
but also justified Henderson s
decision to produce for television.
The HD feed pulled 75,000 view-
ers on Carnival TV alone. The
average viewing time was four
hours on that platform.
"Ideally," Henderson said, "a
show like that should be two and
a half hours long, maximum. I d
advise anyone not to let the show
run that long."
Ultimately, the Dimanche Gras
2014 producer notes that the suc-
cess of the show was largely owed
to the sense of common purpose
and commitment to excellence by
"At my last tech meeting an
hour before we began the show
I asked everyone what could go
wrong," Henderson said.
"Everyone explained what
might happen and what was in
place to manage it. After I listened
to that, that s when I finally
relaxed. The respect that I got
from Tuco and the calypsonians
was phenomenal, the NCC was
extremely supportive from chair-
man Allison Demas on down.
Everyone cooperated, and it all
came together because of team-
"I think my biggest success was
in motivating people."
Henderson recalls that the
executives of support companies
were putting down work to make
the project happen, Cheval Maraj
of All Events and Lighting Com-
pany and Ricky Raghunanan who
built the stage structure were right
there, alongside their workers
making the project happen.
"It s not rocket science," he said.
"Just do it right. You have to know
where your market is. There are
so many more things I could do
If I had the time and the budget.
I d produce a show that nobody
would forget for a long time."
"This is a game where there are
more coaches in the stands than
on the field. I decided it was time
to get my hands dirty."
"For Carnival I ve been a per-
former, I ve been on the stage,
I ve been in the audience. That s
the experience and perspective
that I bring to the table."
From Page A29
key for success
Carl "Beaver" Henderson at his St James studio. PHOTO: MARK LYNDERSAY
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