HOW WE BUILD THE UK’S LARGEST CHRISTMAS PARTY THEME SETS
INTERVIEW WITH OUR WORKSHOP MANAGER, SCOTT
23RD AUGUST 2019 //
AS THE WORKSHOP MANAGER, WHAT DUTIES DO YOU HAVE WHEN IT COMES TO ORGANISING THE BUILD OF THE THEME SETS?
Firstly, any drawings and ideas will be passed to myself so I can work a method of build, and also see what materials will be best suited to the job. Then the relevant materials will have to be ordered prior to the build. I will also oversee everything that is being built in the workshop.
YOU HAVE 5 VERY DIFFERENT THEME SETS TO BUILD; HOW DO YOU MANAGE SUCH A LARGE WORKLOAD?
Yes, it may seem quite daunting at first, but by just dealing with one theme at a time and getting that one as close to finished as we possibly can and packed away, it seems to bring the scale down a little, and makes the whole process a little more manageable. There will always be new ideas for extra things coming through for each theme, but once the bulk of each theme build has been finished, the other bits are easily dealt with.
DO YOU FIND IT DIFFICULT CREATING EACH SET WITHOUT PHYSICALLY BEING AT THE VENUE TO SEE IT IN PLACE?
That will always be a concern, it’s like most things, seeing a picture of something can be completely different to when you have a finished product standing in front of you. The same as when you build something in the workshop, you can work out the area you want it to cover and the height for it to stand, and when it’s built I can tell you it looks pretty spectacular sitting there in the workshop, you can take a step back to look at it and think, this is huge but when it goes into somewhere like the NEC, the sheer size of the place can make anything look a bit lost in there, so you do have to be careful when it comes to the size of the builds.
HAVE YOU EVER EXPERIENCED ANY PROBLEMS SO CLOSE TO THE OPENING NIGHT?
I would love to say no everything goes exactly the way we want it to go, but that would be a lie. There are always little issues with things, you just accept that and put them right. We always have at least one of the build team hanging around on opening night to deal with such things, or we’ll be loading the van’s up through the back doors, while the guests are arriving through the front, but I think the most stressful one would be the African waterfall. Water, you just can’t predict what it’s going to do. Just when you think everything is ok, there it is a leak and with the amount of water sitting in front of you, there is no way to pinpoint where it’s coming through, all you can do is empty the whole thing and start again with another pond liner, it’s not a good feeling when you see water coming from places it’s not supposed to.
WHAT HAPPENS TO EVERYTHING ONCE IT HAS BEEN MADE?
As and when the theme sets are completed it will be labelled up and stored away until the builds begin a week before our Premiere Nights. Due to the size of each theme set, storage can be a real pain! We are always on the hunt for more storage space as we continue to grow.
Thanks Scott, we can’t wait to see the finished product.