A new company has been formed in Italy to offer marketing services to the entertainment industry. Located in Gradara, Italy, and headed by Stefano Bossoli, Made in Italy will act as marketing and business consultants, and will offer overseas contractors, installers and distributors with a consultancy service covering the cinema, theatre, live event, pubs and clubs markets.
Production Resource Group has restructured, combining the PRG Lighting Group and Audio Group into a single operating unit, the Lighting/Audio Group. The two divisions will continue to be branded separately in their individual markets, but will be managed by a single group of senior PRG management. Some of the key elements of the new organisational structure include the appointment of Don Knezovic as the chief operating officer of the Lighting/Audio Group, whilst Steve Terry becomes President of Lighting Systems. Nick Jackson continues as president of Light & Sound Design (LSD) with Jeff Senkovich promoted to the new position of vice-president of Lighting/Audio. Don Stern, chairman of the Lighting/Audio Group, is assuming responsibility for Production Arts' rental sales and operations.
A package of film production initiatives backed by a total fund of £22 million has been launched by the Film Council, the new strategic organisation set up by the Government to create a coherent structure for the UK film industry and to develop film culture in the UK. The package includes a Film Development Fund of £5 million a year to support the development of a stream of high quality, innovative and commercially attractive screenplays; a Premiere Production Fund of £10 million a year for the production of popular mainstream films, and a New Cinema Fund of £5 million a year to back radical and experimental film-makers, especially new talent, and to explore new electronic production technologies.
Martin Professional's Florida-based US subsidiary, Martin Professional Inc, has announced plans to move into a new facility early in the year 2001. The new office will be built in the Sawgrass International Corporate Park in Sunrise, Florida, just a short drive from the existing building. It will give Martin US personnel twice as much working space with a 3,106sq.m warehouse, 200sq.m showroom, and nearly 900sq.m of office space and other facilities. Completion date for the new building is expected to be just after the start of the new year.
WWG's Peter Wynne Willson is providing some stunning liquid lighting effects for the second leg of Roger Waters' 'In the Flesh' US tour, which opens at the Ice Palace in Tampa, Florida. Wynne Willson's relationship with Waters goes back to the early days of Pink Floyd, and has now gone full circle between the 250 Watt QI projected effects of the Floyd Shows of the Sixties, with the 6kW HMI TeleProjector, from French company Chameleon that will be used for effects projection on this millennium year tour. Wynne Willson has created a 'Fried Slide' system with small bubbles and immiscible liquids to make coloured liquids 'boil' across a giant screen behind Waters during his performance. To ensure some consistency of appearance, WWG has provided a semi-automated system to enable a competent operator to manage the delivery of the images at showtime. Lighting designer for the tour is Simon Sidi and set design is provided by Jonathan Park.
Pro sound amplifier specialist Chameleon Audio Limited of Cinderford, Gloucestershire won the contract to supply the amplifier/speaker combination for the world-famous Vienna Festival which is running from 12 May - 18 June. Chameleon competed with five other world class pro sound equipment manufacturers for the project, with live tests being carried out in a local theatre and in the open air outside the Vienna City Hall. Both classical and rock music were included in the test, attended by the Austrian Broadcasting Commission (ORF) and the Vienna Festival organisers.10 Chameleon 3500 DP2 amplifiers with Adamson Y-Axis speakers carried 25,000W of high quality sound from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir to an audience of 40,000 outside the Vienna City Hall on the opening night. Alex Schlosser GmbH of Cologne supplied the equipment for front-of-house. The 10 Chameleon amplifiers were fed from two BSS Omnidrive 355 Compact Units and all programming and measurement was by Alex Schlosser.
The BBC's FutureWorld exhibition is touring nine major UK cities throughout this year. Designed in-house by BBC Resources, it aims to promote new digital technology, at the same time as revealing the making of its recent successful 'Gormenghast' and 'Walking with Dinosaurs' programmes. The exhibition is divided into 11 zones, many of them hands on with computer equipment provided by LG Electronics, each defined with OPTI Trilite trussing. International exhibition contractor Networks of Sheffield are responsible for both installation and moving of the exhibition from venue to venue and are using seven 45ft trucks for this at present. The Newcastle venue, The Lightfoot Centre, sees the first use of an auditorium built by Networks with feature work using OPTI Trilite. There are in fact two sets of exhibition material being leapfrogged around the country. The exhibition is free and details of the remaining venues and dates can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/futureworld.
It is anticipated that Bob Ayling, the chairman of the New Millennium Experience Company, the operation behind the Millennium Dome, will resign today as part of a deal to secure funding. Britain's Millennium Commission offered a cash injection of £29 million yesterday on condition that Ayling goes. The Dome's chief executive, Pierre-Yves Gerbeau, had approached the Millennium Commission for the extra money in the hope of saving 5,000 jobs and preventing bankruptcy. Despite being the UK's most popular tourist attraction it has fallen way short of its stated visitor target and speculation that it may be sold before the end of the year is gaining momentum.
A large TOA paging and sound reinforcement system has been specified to provide the public address throughout the new Weald Sports Centre in Cranbrook, Kent. TOA's commission came from engineering company, Consulting engineers MVM M&E have designed the system around TOA's V-Series equipment, working with E-1231 graphic equalisers and AC-120 loudspeaker controllers. The feature clusters of TOA CS speakers are suspended over the swimming pool and the sports hall, while a pool aerobics system utilises the F-500 Series speakers. In the creche and aerobics room, a portable flight-cased rack system houses TOA WT870 diversity radio mics, a mixer, CD and tape player, which are all on jacks linked back to the amplifiers.
Star Hire has started the new Millennium by committing to work towards the Investors In People National Standard. This step has involved detailed inward examination of the company's policies and working practices, with subsequent formalising and tightening up of existing procedures. The company has developed its own training programme and have recently implemented its largest ever training programme.
Celebrating the renaissance of Vietnamese art and culture in recent times, the Hue Festival recently took place in Vietnam's Hue city during April. Live sound was engineered exclusively by Allen & Heath mixers which comprised one 32 channel, and two 16 channel GL2200s, supplemented by four MixWizard WZ16s and two WZ20s. Allen & Heath distributor, Nguyen Hoang Company of Ho Chi Minh City, supplied all the equipment.
One of the longest-established names in specialist tour and corporate event freighting has a new identity this month with Phil McDonnell's launch of Horizon McDonnell Entertainment Cargo. McDonnell's 30-year career in the music production business has embraced production management for such luminaries as Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac, The Cranberries, Clannad and many more. The company will focus specifically on the music touring, corporate event and exhibition markets.
An all-new website for the Low Power Radio Association (LPRA) has just been launched. Features of the site include a database will full details of all member companies, a section devoted to the LPRA's Radio Solutions exhibitions and conferences and useful links to regulatory bodies and organisations across Europe.
The UK's first ever media industry census takes place today. Backed by major employers, trades unions and the government, Britain's first broadcasting census is the culmination of a major consultation exercise by the cross-industry group examining future training needs in the media industries. The initiative is part of a programme of work developed by the Audio-Visual Industries Training Group (a joint venture between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Skillset) and is chaired by Roger Laughton. Our industry has long been hindered by the lack of accurate available information and the Census should provide reliable estimates of how many people work in the industry, and a picture of what they do and who they are. If you are a company working in any sector of the industry you can complete the census form online.
The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) has awarded seven lighting projects with Lighting Design Awards of Merit. These went to The Albert Memorial in London designed by Graham Phoenix and Michael Sampson of London-based Lighting Design Partnership; New York's Radio City Music Hall Restoration designed by Paul Marantz and Scott Hershman of New York-based Fisher Marantz Stone Inc; New York Public Library's Rose Main Reading Room, designed by Barry Citrin and Richard Renfro while based at Fisher Marantz Renfro Stone Inc. Samsung's Rodin Museum in Seoul, South Korea, by Thomas Thompson, Christine Sciulli, Jonathan Plumpton and Russ Burns of New York-based Thompson & Sears Inc; Northeastern University Multi-Faith Spiritual Centre in Boston, designed by Paul Zaferiou and Glenn Heinmiller of US-based Lam Partners Inc; Zollverein Kokerei in Essen, Germany, designed by the Lighting Architects Group of London and Edinburgh; Downtown Helsinki Master Plan, Finland, designed by Ross de Alessi Lighting Design, Eero Metso of Helsinki Energy and Erkki Rousko of Cadvance, Helsinki. The IALD also offered two special citations to Plantation Place Marketing Suite Beacon, designed by David Hymas and Haico Scheppers of London-based Arup Acoustics and the UBS AG headquarters in Stamford, US, designed by Stephen Margulies and Stephen Szynal of New York-based Cosentini Lighting Design.
Vari-Lite Inc has relocated its Las Vegas office recently after the operation outgrew its former 5,600sq.ft facility on McLeod Drive. The new Las Vegas office, on E Maule Avenue, has tripled the location's warehouse space.
Hanover-based full service production company Rocksound will be providing all audio requirements for the Hanover EXPO 2000, which begins in June - catering for 153 days and nights of theatre, dance, music and cinema over 11 stages site-wide. Rocksound's head of sound Lothar Strunk said: "As it's such a long-running event that requires a huge amount of equipment both in use and as permanent spares, we've invested in a lot of new stock to maintain an appropriate inventory for the rest of our work. For example . . . we've just placed an order with Telex/EVI for an XL-4, a Heritage 3000 and four Heritage 2000s, with an option for a further two XL-4s and two Heritage 3000s." Two Heritage 2000s and two Heritage 3000s are permanently located in Hall 11, the rock and pop venue at EXPO 2000. An XL-4 will remain in permanent warehousing as an alternative board should the need arise. There will also be a further two FOH/monitor sets comprising an XL-200 and an XL-250 for use wherever they are required.
Presentation Services Ltd (PSL) have successfully defended a claim brought against them by former employee, Chris Mounsor. Mounsor had been employed as PSL's manager of Concert Touring, UK and Europe, from July 1996 until November 1999. Following his departure he alleged breach of contract and unfair dismissal. These claims were denied at an Employment Tribunal hearing in North London where PSL successfully maintained that Mounsor had resigned. In the circumstances the Tribunal held that Chris Mounsor's claim for establishing a fundamental repudiatory breach of contract fell at the first hurdle; the breach of contract and unfair dismissal claims both, therefore, failed.
OmniSistem Lights & Effects has been appointed the exclusive worldwide distributor of LPD laser products. The agreement adds to the company's already extensive line up of products which includes Programmi & Sistem Luce lighting & effects products, COEF intelligent lighting and moving yokes, Amabilia DJ cases and fibre optics. LPD, a pioneer in the development of laser projectors, is the name behind the Q beam laser and for the past five years it has also built components and systems for many laser show companies. Jim Hardaway, formerly national sales manager at LPD, has been recruited by OmniSistem to head its laser division.
London's Royal Albert Hall is undergoing its first comprehensive building development since it opened in 1871. Scheduled to complete in 2003, the £66.3m programme originally began in 1995. AC Lighting's Special Projects division has completed the upgrade of part of the lighting cabling and control system at the venue. The RAH's deputy technical show manager, Mark Jones, designed and specified the system. AC has upgraded the circle rail with new power and control wiring for the front of house circuits. All existing trunking panels were replaced with customised 2m front panel sections, each containing 12 16Amp sockets for six dimming channels, along with two independent power circuits for moving lights and colour scrollers. 12 DMX connectors, covering two DMX 512 universes, were also installed around the circle rail for additional DMX fixtures. On stage, AC installed three six-way stage boxes, and continued the new DMX wiring with a series of outlets at ground level. These then extended out to FOH, where more ground-level DMX connection points were also installed. AC was assisted on site by Scott Nielson, the RAH's assistant technical show manager.
Entertainment Design and Lighting Dimensions magazines have announced that the eighth annual Broadway Lighting Master Classes will be held from December 6 to 10, 2000 in New York, with Tony-award winning lighting designer Jules Fisher as creative consultant and faculty head. A new scholarship programme has been introduced to increase participation by university students interested in professional lighting design.
Sarner International has designed and produced 'Our Finest Hour' - a 13-minute multi-sensory film depicting events of the Battle of Britain, at the RAF Museum in London. The show has been designed to incorporate the now static, but original WWII aircraft in the museum's Battle of Britain Hall. Sarner's creative director Mike Bennett said: "Our brief from the museum was to create a visitor experience that would engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds in the Battle of Britain story. Using a combination of static exhibits, digital video and 3D transition techniques, Sarner has created a multi-level interactive show that generates a more theatrical effect than simple video projection."
ETC Europe held a series of technical training seminars for ETC dealers in early May, covering Unison and Sensor dimmers, and Light Manager and Unison Control products. This was the second in a series of ETC Focus 2000 certification courses allowig dealers to update product and installation knowledge, enabling them to work alongside ETC as the company's services and product range continue to grow. 22 dealers from the UK, denmark, South Africa, Turkey, Iceland, Austria, Portugal, Sweden and Ireland attended the three-day course at Heathrow, which was coordinated by ETC's Liz Cecil.
The Production Services Association (PSA) has announced that Her Majesty's Commission for Charity for England and Wales confirmed full charitable status for the PSA Welfare & Benevolent Fund on May 8th. The Fund is the only one in the UK live event production industry set up specifically for people working in the industry and their families, and this news means the Association's efforts to establish the Fund have been officially recognised by the Commissioners.Another excellent piece of news for the Fund is the confirmation of two new Patrons - legendary bassist Herbie Flowers and the equally legendary broadcaster John Peel. They join Founding Patron Sir Cliff Richard and his fellow Patrons Sir Sydney Samuelson CBE, Willie Robertson and Neil Warnock.