Business News

Gearhouse Offers High-Tech Solutions
Friday, 24 November 2000

Gearhouse has launched a new division operating from Birmingham, the NEC and Manchester. Called Gearhouse Computer Rental Services, it has been started in response to customer demand, mirroring market trends where computer technology has become integral in conference and exhibition presentations. Duncan Murdoch is the new head of the division. Formerly a director of the highly-successful Gearhouse Multimedia operation in Surrey, Murdoch has worked with Gearhouse since June 1992 in several divisions of the Group. The new division offers a wide range of laptops, low- and high-end PCs, networking services and internet connections including routers and hubs, which are used for cyber cafes, and to enable PowerPoint presentation delivery. Printers, LCD screens and plasma screens will be available to clients in a turnkey service.

Amplifier Theft
Friday, 24 November 2000

ADSworldwide has been so successful with the sale of its range of amplifiers that the criminal fraternity has taken more than a passing interest. In an early morning raid on the company’s Stockport premises, BT lines were cut in a main street junction box to allow thieves to take a supply of Jeil, Paso and the new ADS amplifiers. If anyone is offered the above branded amplifiers from an unofficial source, please contact either the Stockport CID or ADS direct on 0161-666 6363.

The Training Initiative On The Road!
Friday, 24 November 2000

White Light’s Training Initiative, launched in 1999, took on a new form during October and November 2000: the White Light Wednesday Roadshows. These are an expansion of the popular Wednesday Workshops, open training sessions held at White Light’s Fulham base. Intended to allow the Workshops to reach a wider audience, the Wednesday Roadshows brought the familiar faces of White Light, plus established industry professionals, directly to drama colleges. Over five consecutive weeks, the Roadshows visited the Bristol Old Vic College, Rose Bruford College, LAMDA and Croydon College, as well as holding a specialist moving light session at The Moving Light Company’s new demonstration suite in Parsons Green.Aimed at students and young professionals who are keen to find out more about the industry, topics included ‘Pyrotechnics’, hosted by Le Maitre and Just FXs, ‘Health and Safety in Theatre’, ‘Using Scrollers and DMX Devices’, ‘Moving Light Operation’ taught by lighting programmer Rob Halliday, a specialist workshop on ‘Using Colour and Gobos’ with DHA Lighting and Rosco, and a seminar on Lighting Design Practice presented by lighting designer Jenny Kagan.White Light are already planning similar seminars to run in tandem with future college semesters, and would also like to extend the Roadshow schedule to include other colleges.

Stagetec Sets up Distribution Arm
Thursday, 23 November 2000

Stagetec (UK) Ltd has recently formed a new company to handle the product distribution side of its business. The new company, Stagetec Distribution Ltd, will take over the UK distribution of the Compulite range of lighting control and dimming products previously handled by Stagetec (UK) Ltd and has also just been appointed UK distributor for LSC Lighting Systems in Australia. The new company will provide a platform for further development of the distribution side of the business and enhancement of the dealer network, whilst ensuring that Stagetec (UK) Ltd can concentrate on the fast expanding sales and installation aspects of its business.

Scalpel, Swab, Lens Cap?
Thursday, 23 November 2000

Gearhouse Manchester proved itself a cut above the rest when it recently provided a live link between the operating theatre and restaurant at the Alexandra Hospital, Cheadle, for BMI Healthcare. Gearhouse has accommodated some wide and varied projects for clients, but a recent request asking them to get up close to supply images of the inside of the human body has got to be one of the strangest. Scott McAughtrie, general manager at Gearhouse Manchester, has worked with the hospital on a number of occasions, where the surgeons are regularly working on pioneering techniques and equipment, and has developed this unique relay of live pictures with sound to allow the hospital to share key information with other key surgeons and registrars around UK. Four Gearhouse crew were responsible for installing and operating various cameras including the tiny Polecam. This lighter, smaller camera was used for filming the more intricate work, often working within inches of the open chest without interfering with the surgeon.

Martin Pro to Supply Lighting for Eurovision 2001
Wednesday, 22 November 2000

Martin Professional has reached agreement with TV station Danmarks Radio to supply intelligent lighting for next year's Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Copenhagen's largest outdoor stadium, Parken, on May 12, 2001. Danmarks Radio has ambitions to produce the most spectacular Eurovision ever, with a unique show that will boast one of the largest intelligent lighting rigs ever used in a single event in Europe. Lighting design will be a cooperative effort between Danmarks Radio and Martin's local subsidiary, Martin Danmark. Martin Danmark A/S will deliver 400 Martin moving head fixtures along with tracking systems, smoke machines and other equipment - the largest contract ever for the local subsidiary. The Eurovision Song Contest has featured Martin intelligent lighting the past two years, in Israel in 1999 and last May in Sweden. The Eurovision 2001 package will include a wide range of Martin MAC luminaires, including the recently-introduced MAC 2000.

Lighting Tech Buys Durango
Wednesday, 22 November 2000

Lighting Technology Group has purchased outright the equity of Durango, the French distributor and service centre for entertainment lighting products. Based just 30km to the west of Paris, Durango currently represents many well-known industry names including Anytronics, Andolite, Lite Structures and Powerdrive, on an exclusive basis within the French market.Lighting Technology Group's Garry Nelsson told us: "This is a great acquisition for the Group. It strengthens our position outside the UK, where channels of distribution have changed significantly in recent years. It allows us to offer a full service facility and showroom right in the heart of one of Europe's most influential lighting markets. "We now have the platform to duplicate in France the success we have enjoyed in the UK," continued Garry Nelsson. "With Durango's founders Jean-Francois Cheron and Brigitte Delehaye we have chosen two of the most experienced people in the French lighting industry as partners. This is another big step in what is a very exciting phase of the Group's development."

GET Light Relief
Wednesday, 22 November 2000, the UK’s internet trading portal for the entertainment industry has launched an Auction Campaign in support of Light Relief - a new fund set up to provide financial aid and moral support for professional lighting designers encountering severe personal difficulties. The interactive Auction Site area of G-E-T’s website is appealing to lighting equipment manufacturers and rental houses for equipment to be put up for auction with G-E-T - the proceeds of which will go to Light Relief. Visitors to the site can put in a bid in for equipment through the usual, easy-to-operate channels. The G-E-T campaign fund was kicked off by West London-based Entec Sound & Light who donated a Martin Centrepiece effect for auction and also by G-E-T themselves, who auctioned a new Palm M200 digital organiser. Light Relief has been set up by the manufacturers of performance lighting and equipment represented by PLASA and lighting designers as represented by the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD), which has over 600 members across all lighting disciplines.

Archaeological Breakthrough for LTP
Tuesday, 21 November 2000

When the audience arrive at the Land of Myths zone at Spain's new Terra Mitica theme park near Benidorm they come as witnesses to the climax of a major archaeological dig. As part of the ploy, whilst they are queuing in the pre-show holding area they are in the company of a TV film crew documenting the 'event'. A team from Lighting Technology Projects, sub-contracted by Electrosonic and working to drawings from DHA Design Services, supplied and installed all the lighting and control equipment. Once through to the 'ride', visitors are taken on a six-minute multi-media 'journey'. Equipment ranges from festoon lighting to embedded strobes, ETC Source Fours, Arri Juniors (to assist the film crew), Clay Paky Stage Zoom 1200s and Mini-Scans, numerous architectural fittings, MDG Atmosphere and smoke machines and two Helvar control systems working to time code one for the queuing area and one for the ride itself.

RSC Appoints TPC for Redevelopment
Tuesday, 21 November 2000

The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced the first appointments of professional advisors to work on the feasibility study for redevelopment of its theatres in Stratford-upon-Avon. The study is being undertaken jointly with a parallel study of local public realm and traffic issues commissioned by the District Council, Warwickshire County Council and Advantage, West Midlands. Among the list of advisors announced for the extensive redevelopment programme is Theatre Projects Consultants (TPC), which has been appointed theatre consultant, joining the design team led by the RSC’s principal architect Erick van Egeraat.

Sony Holds First European Pro Dealer Convention
Tuesday, 21 November 2000

Sony Broadcast & Professional Europe (BPE) recently held its first Professional Audio Dealer Convention at the new Sony Center in Berlin. The two day convention was attended by 50 dealers from 14 European countries. A welcome evening was followed by a day of presentations and discussions, during which details of new CDR and Mini Disc recorder products were revealed, along with the latest software developments and support products for the DMX-R100 digital recording console and DRE-S777 sampling reverb. Details were also given of Sony BPE Prime Support, a new package aimed at DMX-R100 owners, which provides on-site repair and servicing of consoles, as well as other support services, via the Sony BPE dealer network.

Rain Doesn’t Stop Play for TPC
Tuesday, 21 November 2000

Despite considerable amounts of unseasonable rain this summer, work has continued on the construction of a new concert hall for the Philadelphia Orchestra, designed by Theatre Projects Consultants.

The project is managed by David Taylor (pictured) from the Connecticut office of TPC, but George Ellerington of the London wing of Theatre Projects provided the unique theatre equipment package with an array of stage lifts, acoustics banners, hundreds of reverb chamber doors and a 40-ton three-piece canopy, all controlled from a custom PC-based memory system.

The concrete is complete to auditorium level in the concert hall and, to stabilise the building, the attic floor overhead is being poured at present. Despite the difficulties in construction over the summer, the site is being considered for an OSHA safety award. The second performance space, a 550-seat recital theatre is also underway. In this space, the entire auditorium floor can drop on a lift to give a flat floor. A 75ft diameter revolving stage allows for quick change around between a recital hall with a solid end wall and a full-flown dance and drama proscenium theatre. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts completes in December of 2001.

Compulite Control for BskyB Studios
Monday, 20 November 2000

Stagetec has been awarded the contract to supply five new Compulite lighting control systems to the BSkyB studios in Isleworth. Four of the studios will be fitted with Photon systems complete with rigger’s controls, and an additional SparkTOP system, which can be moved to different studios as required, will also be supplied. One of the systems will be installed in the 24-hour Sky News studio, which necessarily called for a high level of reliability. Compulite’s reputation for reliability, along with Stagetec's standard provision of 24-hour call-out and technical help line were the prime reasons for BskyB’s choice of system.

HHB Opens Online Media Store
Monday, 20 November 2000

The full range of HHB Advanced Media Products professional recording media can now be purchased from a new online media store at Following a secure and intuitive process, customers can order and pay for HHB media products at the site, with quantity discounts where applicable. Orders placed before 3.00pm, Monday to Friday, are delivered on the next working day - with a guaranteed pre-10.00am delivery also available at an additional cost. The HHB media range is widely acknowledged for delivering exceptional levels of performance and archival security, and currently comprises of 27 products covering CD-R, DAT, MD, MD Data, ADAT, DTRS, MO and DVD RAM formats. At present, the HHB online media store in only available to UK customers.

To the Lighthouse . . . With Illuminatum
Friday, 17 November 2000

Illuminatum, outdoor lighting and laser specialist, put on an impressive show for the re-launch of the New Brighton Lighthouse near Liverpool, part of the invigorating ‘New Wallasey’ regeneration programme. The council-sponsored project will see £116,000 spent on rejuvenating this historic landmark for the 21st century, including permanent architectural and feature lighting of the structure itself. Illuminatum supplied eight of its 7 kW Diablo mega searchlights which were stationed around the lake, panning, beaming into the air and honing in onto the lighthouse.The lighthouse itself was internally lit with red Codas for the side windows and two Coef MP250s in the central light chamber which created different coloured effects. The company also supplied a 45 Watt YAG laser positioned down one side of the lake, in between the Diablos, run from a Magnum controller.

New Contract for New Company
Friday, 17 November 2000

Circle 8 - the new company set up by former PLASA Show Manager Nicky Rowland - has confirmed its first industry contract in its first week of business. Circle 8 will be managing Theme Magazine’s Bar & Restaurant Awards - a series of regional awards dinners, culminating in a spectacular final dinner in London in June 2001. The North West’s awards ceremony has already taken place and the next event will be taking place on Monday 20 November at Brighton’s famous Grand Hotel to celebrate the best in the South East and Home Counties. Circle 8 offers a unique blend of event management, sales and marketing skills that can be applied to the entertainment industry and beyond.

Do It In The Desert With Gearhouse
Friday, 17 November 2000

There are many places in the world where climate, lack of infrastructure or the absence of a suitable venue have made large-scale events impossible - and there are many such places in Africa. But now Gearhouse South Africa has announced that the Tensile 1 system has arrived on the continent.

Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest movable venue in the world, the system travels in 10 40ft containers and will be stored in Gearhouse South Africa’s warehouse in Johannesburg. Tensile 1 is a modular system that can be configured in eight basic formats, varying in size to suit requirements: 75m wide and up to 150m long in its largest configuration, the structure can accommodate 8,769 people in theatre layout, seat 12,600 people for a concert or banquet, or provide a dance area big enough for 22,500 people.

"We believe that Tensile 1 will provide exciting opportunities to South Africa’s event makers," says Russell Stephens, national manager with Gearhouse South Africa. "The African continent offers some spectacular venues for functions which have previously been inaccessible." Since landing in South Africa in September, the Tensile 1 has already been used for a product launch by Daimler Chrysler, a dance party in Johannesburg and a luncheon function for government departments.

Pulsar Announces 2001 Training Schedule
Friday, 17 November 2000

Continuing its training for excellence programme, Pulsar has announced its seminar schedule for 2001. The Masterpiece training has been expanded to two one-day seminars: the Masterpiece Intensive Seminar will cover basic programming of the desk, whilst the Masterpiece Advanced Seminar will encompass advanced programming techniques. Three different one-day seminars will be available for the Clay Paky range of products: the well-established Service Seminar will now incorporate the Stage Line, in addition to the moving head luminaires; the Display Line Seminar will give delegates practical advice on how to provide lighting solutions using this versatile line of projectors; finally, the Clay Paky Products Seminar will give delegates a good understanding of the entire product range.In addition, Pulsar tell us that tailor-made open days can be arranged to cater for colleges, installation companies, corporate users, etc.

A New Age for St. Aldates
Friday, 17 November 2000

13th Century St. Aldates, one of the oldest buildings in the City of Oxford, has completed phase one of a major reordering project that has resulted in one of the most advanced audio-visual installations in a church in the UK. Lighting Technology was appointed to manage the correlation of the design between the lighting, electrical, audio and video disciplines. The audio and video systems were designed by Brian Chapman of Chapman Communications and installed by Delta Sound whilst LTP's Simon Cooper worked closely with both teams to co-ordinate all the wiring facilities and with the Church's project director Claire McInnes to produce the front end to the system. This is based on an AMX touch-screen and an ETC Unison control with 48 ways of dimming.

The Big Mission
Thursday, 16 November 2000

Game shows just aren’t what they used to be and Denmark’s ‘Den Store Mission’ (The Big Mission) just may take the prize for, well . . . best prize.

The Big Mission is already generating a lot of interest in Scandinavia with the winner of the competition earning a trip into space aboard the first commercial spacecraft. The Big Mission went on air in October, billed as a competition whose lucky winner will be crowned "First Dane in Space".

The show consists of several ‘levels,’ each presenting a unique challenge in skills relevant to astronaut training - knowledge, physical skills, teamwork and mental strength. Contestants are eliminated over the course of several half-hour shows until The Finals in which 10 contestants remain. Much in the same style as the popular Survivor show, contestants will be eliminated one by one until a final winner remains. The elimination process will include a trip to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center in the USA, as well as authentic tests previously used to train astronauts.

Martin’s local distributor, Martin Danmark, supplied MAC moving heads including MiniMACs, MX and PAL scanners and a TrackPod followspot system to TV2 studios in Copenhagen. The luminaires were spread across a host of stages and incorporated into the lighting scheme at all levels of the show. Par cans were also used in the lighting scheme. Lighting designer for The Big Mission is Torben Lendorph, with lighting programming completed by Thomas Brockmann.

2000 EDDY Awards Announced
Thursday, 16 November 2000

The annual Entertainment Design magazine awards (EDDYs) will be awarded in a ceremony in New York on 8 December. The Awards are given for outstanding contributions in the field of entertainment design and technology, and will this year be awarded to: the design team for Blue Man Group Live at Luxor (Las Vegas); costume designer Ann Roth, whose credits include films such as The Talented Mr Ripley and The English Patient; the design team for Anne Bogart’s SITI company, including lighting designer Mimi Jordan Sherin and sound designer Darron L West; and Tait Towers, builders of sets for concert tours, whose clients include The Rolling Stones, Tina Turner and U2.In the product categories, Sound Products of the Year are the Digidesign ProTools 5.1 software; JBL’s EVO loudspeaker system; Level Control Systems’ CueConsole; Metric Halo Labs Mobile I/O Firewire; the Neutrik MiniLyzer ML1; and the Soundfield Mark 5 microphone system.The EDDY Awards’ Lighting Products of the Year are the Common Sense interface from Artistic Licence; the Hot Shot Distro Panel from George & Goldberg; the Figment DMX from Interactive Technologies; the IPS Capio dimmer series from Rosco/ET; the Strand SLD dimmer series; and the Vari*Lite VL2402 wash luminaire.

Lighting Technology in Central London
Thursday, 16 November 2000

Lighting Technology Group has opened a central London office at the Business Design Centre in Islington. The office will represent all areas of Lighting Technology Group activity but focus on attracting designers, specifiers and potential end-users. "The new office will be an appealing space for architects and designers to come into," said Lighting Technology Projects’ Bruce Kirk. "It will be permanently manned, and there is sufficient space for five staff and the appropriate meeting facilities. Our product and project managers will work between our HQ at Park Royal and the BDC to suit our clients' requirements. Our ultimate aim is to serve and support designers and provide an attractive and welcoming environment in which to discuss and progress their concepts." The showroom's display area will contain a constantly changing animated lighting presentation showing interesting 'old and new' solutions to lighting problems and provide visual demonstrations of new techniques.

GWR and Oxford Sound Co in £1m Deal
Thursday, 16 November 2000

GWR Group, the UK commercial radio group, has signed a deal with the Oxford Sound Company, in a contract worth £1m, to carry out the technical fit-out of a new Bristol Digital Broadcasting Centre. In one of the biggest radio contracts in the UK this year, the Oxford Sound Company will fit out 23 on-air production studios and other technical areas for the GWR Group. The deal represents a major investment by GWR Group for GWR-FM and Classic Gold in Bristol, GWR's nationwide programme production unit and GWR Digital, which originates the Digital Radio stations Core and Planet Rock in Bristol.GWR Head of Engineering Tim Donaldson said: The Oxford Sound Company has a proven track record as one of the best system integrators in the country, and I am delighted to have such a professional team on board for this exciting development in the future of the GWR Group.

Italian Cinema’s Intelligent Upgrade
Thursday, 16 November 2000

The multi-screen movie complex craze which swept across North America some years ago, has arrived in Italy with an added element of attention getting effect, namely Martin intelligent lighting. The Medusa multi-screen theater in Bologna is a 31,000 square foot theater complex featuring nine separate theatres. Outside the complex two Exterior 600 wash lights bathe the building in a colorful mix of yellows and blues while two PAL 1200 scanners add gobo and logo projection.Inside, in the large foyer, eight MAC 600 wash lights provide the colour wash with eight MAC 250 profile spots adding pattern and logo possibilities. All lighting is controlled from a Martin ProScenium, a DMX lighting control package for multi-media and architectural applications. Audio is provided by eight Mach Installation series M68 in-fill speakers, four Mach M208 subwoofers and four Mach M62 two way, near-field speakers.


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