May 7, 2021
THE SAM450 LANDS IN NAPLES, FLORIDA ON ITS FIRST US VOYAGE
At Naples, Florida’s Tiburón Golf Club, they’ve seen a lot of impressive things. Designed by legendary golfer Greg Norman, Tiburón has been host to the PGA’s QBE Shootout event since 2001, though Norman has hosted the event going all the way back to 1989. The QBE Shootout in early December is an event you go to expecting to be impressed—but when Taylor Made Productions’ Taylor Meredith and his team arrived to put the SAM450 in place for the weekend’s Live Fest musical component, they still took the scene by surprise.
“Seeing the SAM450 arrive at Tiburón Golf Course,” Meredith marvels, “that was a spectacle in itself! All of the golfers and tournament people were taken aback, seeing a giant 53-foot tractor trailer pulling this massive stage onto the driving range. That was a breathtaking moment—it is a monster setup, and there were a lot of people videotaping it coming on. It was pretty cool.”
Last December’s QBE Shootout also introduced the inaugural musical event Live Fest, which became truly unique when twin headliners Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum returned onstage to play a 30-minute encore set together.
With all that in mind, it’s easy to forget the first Live Fest was the first-ever event to use the new SAM450 in the United States—and Meredith says much of the success of the event hung on that choice of stage.
“We normally do the QBE Shootout,” Meredith says. “But it’s a smaller event with a smaller stage and a smaller private audience of 300 or 400 people, so we use an SL100. This year we took it to the general public and had about 11,000 people.”
Plans for the show originally involved an SL320 and additional platforms, but when Meredith and Stageline project manager Marie-Josée “MJ” Benoit began strategizing, they considered the options they had available and quickly realized the 450 was the ideal stage for Meredith’s needs.
“Once I got involved as a technical director or project manager, we quickly realized the SAM450 was going to be a better fit,” says Meredith. “MJ has great customer-service and communication skills, and she worked out a great plan. She presented me the opportunity to use the SAM450. When she came in with that idea—that I could be the first company in the US to try the 450—I jumped at it.”
Meredith was especially pleased to upgrade to the SAM450 which made life easier for him and his team. While they’d initially planned to build platforms next to the 320 and an additional outpost for LED walls, Meredith says the SAM450 and its options simplified everything:
“The SAM450 saved us a lot of money with the covered wings,” he says. “It also saved us a bunch of money with the 20-foot outpost to put our giant LED walls on. It was a raging success, and a lot of that comes down to the SAM450, and the brilliance of MJ. I can’t say enough about her. She was awesome to work with.”
About the Company:
Atlanta, Georgia’s Taylor Meredith describes himself as “the son of a preacher-man.” Growing up in the Church with a pastor father, Meredith learned not only to play the drums and piano, but also to run the sound and lights and even set the order of service. Meredith translated that experience into a company that does a great deal more than one thing. Rather than simply target live events, TMPAV offers an array of media services, from video production to live-streaming to packaging content for distribution.
“We love festivals and concerts, but we also love our meeting business, and our television live broadcast,” Meredith says. The difference is enormous: though his business officially opened in 2006, he’s quick to cite 2011 as the year everything changed when TMPAV began doing media production, storytelling, streaming, and broadcast.
“We do television and broadcast production, and we do live production because a lot of the synergies go hand in hand,” he explains. “Our office is set up to do that—we have as many cameras as we have speakers. So we can marry those worlds.”
TMPAV’s next plan is even bigger: Meredith plans to build a single large facility with multiple soundstages, a commercial kitchen, and a salon, to maximize shooting potential.
“I tried to be a music producer and that didn’t really work out,” Meredith laughs. “But I got into event and media production, and I’m building out my dreams that way.”