HippoSchool training with Suzy Stenning a great success

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DWR Distribution hosted the internationally acclaimed HippoSchool training course, with Green Hippo’s Product Specialist, Suzy Stenning, providing South African users with in-depth knowledge of the industry-leading Media Server during an intensive three-day course.

“HippoSchool was a smashing success and we couldn’t have asked for a better attendance,” commented Dylan Jones from DWR. “Everyone left with a greater understanding of the products and gained new-found skills to try out on their next show. Suzy was great throughout, ensuring everyone understood the Hippotizer workflow and concepts, with a brainstorm session for experienced users and their upcoming shows.”

The young and practical Suzy, joined Green Hippo six years ago, bringing her methodical exploration of technology and incredible affection for the performing arts to the company.

At school, Suzy loved performing on stage but one day saw a flyer asking students to get involved with “tech stuff” for school shows and dances. “It wasn’t a drama school, but it was heavily involved in the arts,” Suzy recalls. “I started getting involved with the lighting and instantly loved it. Going in to college, they knew that I had technical experience and was familiar with their current lighting console, so I’d always get asked, “Can you help? We really need you and you know how this desk works!” Many shows later and Suzy’s interest in lighting was greater than her desire to act.

When it was time to attend University, Suzy applied for a Lighting Designer course and came across Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, London’s International Drama School. “I went to Rose Bruford for an interview and while I was looking around, I saw people programming, which all seemed very natural to me.” she explains. “The lighting design course was very dedicated to design, but I wanted something more technical and focused on making things possible, so I changed my course to Creative Lighting Control and was offered a place. As the only female in the class, it was a bit daunting at first but it pushed me to become an even stronger programmer to rival my peers.”

Although not struggling to keep up with the course, Suzy felt that the others had a better eye for the design that came with the programming, but she soon found her niche in video. “In our first year, we did a training course at Green Hippo on the Hippotizer V3 Media Servers. I found it relatively easy and really understood the workflow, especially coming from a lighting background. We worked on timelines and other video techniques and realized I was very good at it.”

While still at university, Green Hippo got in touch with Rose Bruford, offering an opportunity to work on the prep for an industry trade show in London. “The opportunity was for product testing, and I thought, ‘yeah, I can do this’. I also knew that Green Hippo offered internships and with this, I’d have a better chance!”


Needless to say, Suzy’s effort, as a result, saw her awarded the internship. Then, later, as her time at university was drawing to an end, she received a phone call from Green Hippo, offering her a full-time position, which was needless to say, the result of her years of dedication and passion for Lighting and programming, supported by a solid foundation.


“This industry becomes part of you,” she muses. “I love going on site and helping people to deliver their vision. And when it’s all done, you see the end result and get the same buzz from front of house to the audience. One of my most memorable experiences was working on Imagine Dragons a couple of years ago. It was only a small production, but it was amazing. I worked on stage, surrounded by thousands of people.” It’s a feeling not easy to explain.


As a Product Specialist at Green Hippo, Suzy conducts site visits, working with customers to troubleshoot solutions and training. “Hippotizer is a powerful system. The scope of what you can do with it is incredible, especially SHAPE, our 3D Mapping application, where all you need to do is align four points and you have a projection mapped 3D model.”

This was Suzy’s first visit to South Africa and during her trip, DWR treated her with an opportunity to see the lions and explore a cave.  As for the course, she comments, “The people who attended the training all had a diverse skill-set, some new to Hippotizer and some very advanced but all came together to get the most from the Media Servers and have some fun.”


On behalf of DWR Distribution, a big thank you to all the delegates for joining the training and of course to Suzy Stenning for the excellent presentation.