Business News

Tomcat at Sandia CasinoTomcat at Sandia Casino
Thursday, 23 May 2002

The Sandia Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico received a new roof system from Quickbeam Systems recently, manufactured by Tomcat USA. The 60’ X 52’ KT7-like roof structure with a tan canvas top was installed to permanent columns in the amphitheater type facility next to the casino to host concerts and festivals in the community. The main grid is constructed of 54" X 31" custom truss, 54" X 26" internal custom truss members and 24" fixed triangle truss. The grid integrates with four steel towers designed by Dekker, Perich, Sabatini Architects.

Tomcat also fabricated head blocks and a custom guide system for each tower utilizing six 2-ton chain motors that run in tandem. "The Sandia Casino did not want the grid to block the view of the mountains and the lush casino that sits behind it, therefore it was imperative that the grid design could be easily lowered when not in use," explained Kurt Jaeckel, president of Quickbeam Systems. The system itself only weighs 18,000 lbs; however, after the grid is flown into position a custom rigging package is used making it possible for the grid to be dead-hung, holding up to 38,000 lbs. "The system seems to be working out great and we have been really happy with it’s results," stated Jaeckel.

The casino successfully pulled off the first show on 21 April, with the Little River Band. Other shows scheduled for this year include a variety of acts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, James Brown, Kenny Rogers, Billy Ray Cyrus, Kevin Sharp, Styx, Bill Cosby, Jeff Foxworthy, The Temptat

Dove Systems celebrates 20 yearsDove Systems celebrates 20 years
Thursday, 23 May 2002

July 2002 marks the 20th anniversary of California-based Dove Systems. It was summer of 1982 when Gary Dove left Teatronics where he was co-owner and vice-president of engineering, and started his own company in his garage. Gary took the Scenemaster product line with him: the Scenemaster was improved and other products were soon added to the line. In 1990, Dove acquired the WestStar company, a pioneer of memory lighting control on a personal computer. Lighting control products were developed for the Commodore, Apple, and IBM personal computers. In 1996, Dove acquired Hallikainen and Friends Inc, a broadcast equipment company. Along with the deal came owner and electronic engineer, Harold Hallikainen, who turned his expertise from radio and TV to lighting control. Today, Dove Systems has 15 employees including Gustav the mascot dove. Dove's products include over 25 lighting control products, as well as dental curing lights, industrial monitoring controls for oil field production, and the Braillemaster, a hand-held teaching aid that speaks, to help blind people learn the Braille language.

Gary's wife of 30 years, Cheryl, is a teacher. They have two children, Brandon, and Chelsea, both in college. Dove told us: "Cheryl and the kids have helped out too, through the years. This is truly a family business." Dove Systems will have an open house July 12 and welcomes all visitors.

(Lee Baldock)

CDA Lighting up the Ellipse
Thursday, 23 May 2002

Australia's premier contemporary dance company, Graeme Murphy's Sydney Dance Company, have developed a new production called Ellipse, which features, on-stage, use of a fully motorised 4K HMI De Sisti Rembrandt Piccolo. At a meeting between Coemar De Sisti's Australia's Peter Kemp (MD) and Richie Mickan (Technical Products Manager) and Sydney Dance Company's Graeme Murphy (Choreography & Concept), John Henderson (Production Manager) Nick Broun (Development Manager) and Hugh Hamilton (Head Electrician), the dance company concept was explained. CDA were very happy to be able to suggest that a standard lighting system from De Sisti Italy, the ICARUS, met the specifications exactly.

The Icarus system is fully customisable, and for this production features a Rembrandt Piccolo 4kW HMI fresnel in the motorised pan-tilt-focus Icarus housing. Combined with the luminaire is a De Sisti DEB 2500/4000W Dual flicker free electronic ballast. The fixture is mounted on a De Sisti motorised telescope, allowing for vertical movement of the unit, with the telescope located on a motorised trolley that runs along a 14m I-beam across the stage. Total system control is via DMX512 and all necessary cabling systems are included.

In addition to the De Sisti component of the lighting design, a Compulite Sunset douser/scroller has been added to the fixture for additional control and variety in the show. The Sydney Dance Company's specific requirements for the system included features such as specific motor travel speed and 16 bit accuracy for all movement parameters, all of which the Icarus

Stage Light Design in Las VegasStage Light Design in Las Vegas
Thursday, 23 May 2002

Exhibition creative lighting design specialists Stage Light Design has enjoyed a busy spring. In Las Vegas, Stage Light’s John Rinaldi and Alastair Crooks were both in action, but not at the slot machines. At the enormous broadcast industry technology NAB show, they designed imaginative lighting for Snell & Wilcox (for designers 2LK) and Quantel (for HBM) stands respectively.

Both clients also wanted to use identical stand lighting at IBC in Amsterdam in October, so the logical solution was to create the lighting design, source equipment locally for the US show, and for Stage Light Design to supply the equipment in September.

The Quantel stand features 80 Source Four PARS, four Source Four profiles and four Martin MAC 2000s, controlled with an Avolites Pearl console. The Snell & Wilcox stand lighting utilises nine MAC 2000s, over 100 Par 64s, Par 56s plus an assortment of other generic lanterns. Over 40 different gobos feature in the show, with all fixtures controlled by a Wholehog II console. Lighting instruments were picked for their easy availability both sides of the Atlantic, and the Las Vegas show proved an eye-catching success for both clients.

At the NEC near Birmingham, SLD lit the SGB Scaffolding stage at the Hire Achievers 2002 Exhibition - the landmark show for the plant hire industry. SGB built a 20m wide x 6m deep stage, with 6m of headroom, and SLD supplied a full lighting rig, dimming and control and a backdrop. The stage was used for an access tower construction speed event - where four teams competed to see who could erect a 4m tower the fastes

Free advice for UK designers and architects
Wednesday, 22 May 2002

With recent revisions to Building Regulations concerning conservation of fuel and power coming into effect, UK architects and building design professionals will be pleased to hear that a design advice service offered by the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme (EEBPp), to improve the energy efficiency of all building projects is available to them free of charge.

Design Advice offers all organizations, from both public and private sectors, free, objective advice on how to maximize both the financial and environmental benefits of providing quality built environments with minimum operation costs. As part of the campaign, Design Advice is offering free independent site energy assessments for new build and refurbishment projects with a floor area of 500sq.m or above. The assessment will be undertaken by one of a network of 160 specialist consultants and will assess every aspect of the design’s use of energy, offering key recommendations on increasing energy efficiency, making environmental improvements and saving money.

For further information on the free consultation call the Energy Efficiency Best Practice programme helpline on 0800 585794 and ask for information on Design Advice.

(Ruth Rossington)

Nady drum up a storm in Granite City
Wednesday, 22 May 2002

Nady wireless microphone systems are experiencing something of an explosion - up in the Granite City. And it has earned Bruce Millers, Aberdeen’s premier music shop, the appointment of specialist Nady dealers, by UK distributors, Lamba plc.

In particular, home recording/project studio enthusiasts at the 100-year-old department store have started turning on to Nady drum mics, according to instrument buyer, Shawn Skinner. "Everyone was doing radio systems and we needed an entry level mic. We were turned on to Nady by the rep and immediately picked up on the balanced outputs of the Encore GT instrument series. We have done particularly well with the DMK-5 five-packs and CM85 cymbal condenser mics for the overheads." The multiple package includes four DM70 tom/snare mics, a DM80 kick drum mic and case. DM70s are ideal for miking snares, toms and percussion with no bleed through from other pieces, while the DM80 is specifically designed for kick drum with extended low-end response.

(Ruth Rossington)

Biamp’s Audia Heard in Norway
Wednesday, 22 May 2002

When faced with the need for real audio flexibility, Anders Heftye and Arild Egeland, technical designers for ABC Audiovisuell Teknikk AS, turned to Biamp’s recently released Audia Digital Audio Platform.

One project included two 8 x 8 AUDIA units installed in Innovasjonssentret, Oslo, a conference facility with a main hall seating 250 and a smaller meeting room seating 100. Another AUDIA installation was the Quality Hotel Conference Center in Tønsberg, Norway, which has three rooms that can be reconfigured in a variety of combinations. According to Ian Hodgkinson, Biamp’s European manager, "these are the ideal applications for AUDIA. The product was designed to be economical and easily interfaced with all of the other equipment being installed."

In Innovasjonssentret, Heftye and Egeland needed a system solution that featured multiple inputs and outputs, auto-mixing, EQ, delay and other processing capabilities. It was apparent to them that AUDIA was the most economical solution offering the necessary programming capabilities and system control from a remote location. The fact that AUDIA easily interfaces with Crestron was also a key benefit.

The Quality Hotel presented other challenges. Again, AUDIA provided the necessary flexibility and control to accommodate a conference room space that changed in size and shape frequently. One AUDIA (8 X 8) and one 12-microphone extension box answered the Hotel’s needs. AUDIA’s TCP/IP programming capability was essential due to limited rack space or room for extensive cabling.

(Ruth Rossi

PALME arrives in the Mid East
Wednesday, 22 May 2002

One of the world’s most successful trade show series is being brought to the Middle East by IIR Exhibitions. Pro Audio Light Middle East (PALME) is the region’s first dedicated professional sound and lighting communication showcase. It will run at the Dubai World Trade Centre from February 16-18 next year.

The show joins a strong IIR portfolio of professional sound and lighting trade exhibitions, which includes PALA, Asia’s largest entertainment technology event, which alternates between Singapore and Hong Kong; PALMM Philippines, which attracts over 7,000 specialised trade visitors; and CALM China, which spans over 25,000sq.m, boasts over 400 exhibitors and attracts 17,000 visitors. "Our entertainment technology showcases have been tremendously successful in the Far East and we are now looking to emulate that in the Middle East," said Jessica Sutherland, general manager, IIR Exhibitions & Conferences. "In the past, the Middle East market was too small to justify the investment, but a huge surge in entertainment, tourism and leisure facilities over the past few years has convinced us the region can now sustain this highly specialised exhibition.

"Our research shows that these industries are set for spiralling growth in the Middle East. Major new tourism and leisure facilities are planned and there’s a huge catalogue of investment in entertainment projects resulting from a need to satisfy one of the youngest populations in the world," explained Sutherland. "We anticipate the show will not only serve the direct needs o

Coe-tech announces Robe Dealership
Tuesday, 21 May 2002

Coe-tech has announced an exclusive UK distribution dealership with leading Czech lighting manufacturer Robe. Robe equipment is already a familiar name to users of TAS, Futurelight, Sagitter and Movietech since the company has been making the moving light units sold under all these brand names for some years.

Coe-tech MD Ian Brown comments: "We were looking for a new, good quality, range of moving lights to add to our portfolio. Robe fits the bill perfectly, and I jumped at the chance of representing them in the UK." He adds that Robe’s technology and engineering qualities are already tried-and-tested, and that Coe-tech is determined to establish the Robe brand at the forefront of moving light technology. The announcement of the Robe deal is the latest in a series of brand restructuring moves undertaken by Coe-tech. "Our philosophy is to increase Coe-tech’s new ranges and improve the breadth and scope of our existing product ranges, and also to ensure that all the moving light brands available through Coe-tech are readily accessible and represent great value for money."

Robe is based in the Czech Republic and currently employs 250 people. It operates from a modern factory facility, featuring the latest CNC machinery and automated production. It also has a team of in-house designers and an active R&D department. Robe’s Josef Valchar comments: "It’s great to be working with Coe-tech. They are one of the most respected UK sales companies, and have a great hands-on work ethic that has fuelled their success in the moving light

E//T//C UK makes magic at King's CrossE//T//C UK makes magic at King's Cross
Tuesday, 21 May 2002

E//T//C UK, the large format projection specialists, created magic at King's Cross Station last week, as Platform 1 was transformed into Platform 9 ¾ for the launch of the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone DVD/video. Copies of the coveted DVD arrived onboard the Hogwarts Express, and were handed out to eagerly awaiting Harry Potter fans by members of the top grossing film’s cast.

When the idea of projection was thrown into the production mix, E//T//C’s Ross Ashton was approached by Chris Slingsby and Dave Hurd from Imagination. The platform was already decided upon, and then they needed over 100 different cross-fading images projected, large and clear, onto the wall at the end of the platform. The images were to be projected onto an arched projection surface, custom designed by Harkness Hall, attached to the wall at the station end of the platform. Since the rest of the station functioned normally, packed with commuters going home from adjacent platforms, the main challenge was in overcoming the high ambient light levels. To address this, the 6kW PIGIs were located on a bridge 125m away, with two pairs of projectors lined up together to maximize the intensity. At the start of the show, all four projectors were overlaid to produce one single bright image, but as it got darker, they were able to switch the show to the two pairs and start the cross-fading sequence.

The get-in time constraints were also tight. The only slots for the projection team to work were between midnight and 4 am on the three nights preceding the event. The first of these wa

x.Spot HO to brighten flightpath of Eagles Tour
Tuesday, 21 May 2002

When The Eagles take flight on their North American summer tour starting at the end of May, High End Systems' new x.Spot HO High Output automated luminaires will brighten their concert path.

Nick Sholem returns to take the reins as lighting designer/director on the tour, and although it's been six years since he was with the group on their 'Hell Freezes Over' stint, he was involved with their recent benefit concert in Los Angeles for the Recording Artists Coalition. "The group was delighted with the design I did for the LA fund-raising show in February," says Sholem, "so they approached me about doing the tour. Steve Cohen was going to be busy, so I said yes, provided I could beef it up in a few areas."

To help him in this, Sholem specified 12 x.Spot HO units with a 2:1 lens. "I saw a demo of the x.Spot HO a few months ago and could see how super bright they were." He also added 8 Studio Beam automated luminaires for the floor of the stage, and will control the rig with a Wholehog II console. Sholem recently ran through the design work on WYSIWYG at High End Systems' large demo facility in Van Nuys, California. "This is a fantastic place for WYSIWYG-ing," says Sholem. "You've got Marty Wickman with CW Productions on one side of the 405 (freeway) and High End on the other. It's great!" Wickman programmed the show with Sholem. LSD/Fourth Phase is supplying the gear as the lighting contractor on the tour and members of its crew include crew chief Russell Jones, crew Charles Cochran, Jim Petrussen, Russell 'Bits' Lyons, and

CT NEC in print
Tuesday, 21 May 2002

CT NEC supplied a wide array of AV equipment to over 80 stands at the recent IPEX print exhibition at the Birmingham NEC. The most notable of these was the Xerox stand, produced by PGI, which covered 65,000sq.ft of the venue. Both CT NEC and CT London provided video technology, hardware, software, installation and manpower to the stand throughout the nine-day event.

PGI - who have offices in 30 cities across the world - offer business-to-business communication, exhibition and trade show services and destination management, and have been working with Creative Technology for over three years. A purpose-built theatre, which ran demonstration shows eight times each day, required three remote control cameras and four lipstick cameras which were placed on the new Xerox DocuColor iGen3 in the theatre and at various other places around the Xerox stand. Throughout each show, presenters were able to cut to real-time camera shots, to show the operation of various machines.

Distributed around the rest of the stand were approximately 20 plasma screens, which ran looped video advertisements, displayed PowerPoint presentations and were also connected to the PC’s and Macs that run the Xerox print engines. Plasmas were also erected on seven remote satellite stands around the rest of the IPEX exhibition area, which acted as three-dimensional poster sites. Video projection technology, LED screens and plasma screens were also provided for the Keynote conference held by Xerox on the first day of the exhibition - catering to approximately 500 attendees.

(Ruth Rossington)

Tribute in Light, New York
Monday, 20 May 2002

Six months on, and it’s the smell that still gets you. It’s worse at night: even if you had somehow not known what had happened at the place now called Ground Zero, you’d know it was something tragic.

It’s a tourist attraction now; they queue for hours to walk up the viewing platform, buy pictures of the burning buildings from street vendors. They look up into the clear blue sky and find the strangest part of the whole experience - that there is now nothing to look at. The long, dreadful task of sifting through the remnants of the World Trade Centre is nearing completion.

Fundamentally, they are looking at an empty hole in the ground and empty space in the air. In downtown Manhattan that, in itself, is unusual; to see the damage to the surrounding buildings, some eerily shrouded, silences the observers. The collapse of the Towers has left a void in many people’s lives, and it has left many people - particularly many in the arts fields - feeling useless, their skills and talents not the practical skills of the fire-fighters and workmen who have worked at the site ever since 11 September.

Now the artists have found a way to contribute: the Tribute in Light, two giant, square columns of light situated one block north of Ground Zero, re-creating the geographical relationship of the Towers, filling the void in the skyline while extending higher than the physical towers ever could. That was partly their intent, yet they are redolent of so much more: of the floodlights that have lit the site every night since September, of World War Two searc

BFI Moving Pictures Exhibition
Monday, 20 May 2002

Moving Pictures is a new touring exhibition exploring the experience of going to the cinema and watching television, celebrating both the past and present, as well as looking to the future of digital technology.

The exhibition showcases favourites from the extensive collection of film and television material held by the BFI chosen from thousands of films, programmes and production materials. David Atkinson Lighting Design was contacted by Land Design Studio to come up with a cost effective, flexible and dynamic lighting design to cope with the scope and scale of the exhibits, as well as the touring schedule. Land devised a bespoke modular steel system, with the resulting architectural solution having something of a warehouse feel.

As the designers wanted to use colour to define areas within the exhibition, Atkinson chose to use a large quantity of Encapsulite fluorescent fittings, sleeved in varying colours, which were set into acrylic panels. A grid wall system with steel mesh panels suggesting a studio atmosphere was lit by industrial MR16 low voltage fittings fitted with the new BLV lamp, which produced a cool six Kelvin colour temperature.

By simply utilizing Fluorescent and low voltage sources it was enough to give the impact required to create a very stimulating exhibition.

ABTT , 19-20 June 2002
Monday, 20 May 2002

The ABTT Show, which attracts over 100 exhibitors from across the wide spectrum of supplies and services necessary to stage a production or equip a theatre building, will set up base once again at The Royal Horticultural Halls in London from 19-20 June.

In addition to the main exhibition, there is also a complementary programme of theatre-related seminars, which includes the following. Revitalising Health & Safety: Eric Pirie, a health & safety inspector, will discuss publicly funded bodies and the Government in relation to key pieces of Health & Safety Legislation, together with a discussion of the role of the Broadcasting & Performing Arts Joint Advisory Committee.

Sound System Design in the Theatre: John Taylor of d&b audiotechnik UK Ltd will look at issues of sound intelligibility and in particular, the acoustic part of the signal path between the loudspeaker and the listeners’ ears. Training and Skills Forum: John Faulkner will chair a session on minimum standards for the theatre technician. The ABTT Training & Education Committee will shortly be publishing a Guide to Minimum Standards to assist theatre managers. Rikki Newman from the Phoenix Theatre in London and Catherine Devenish, Chairman of the ABTT Training & Education Committee, will introduce the paper.

AutoCAD Forum: David Ripley from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Steve Green of Scottish Opera will lead a discussion on CAD theatre drawing standards which will include a demonstration of AutoCAD 2002 City & Guilds, followed by a hands-on ‘clinic’.

Running prior

CP Sound large in ManchesterCP Sound large in Manchester
Monday, 20 May 2002

CP Sound, the creative audio design and installation specialist, has completed two major projects in Manchester. Both are new build venues within a few hundred metres of one another, and both now feature sound systems designed by CP’s Colin Pattenden, featuring a variety of JBL speakers powered by RSE amplifiers.

At Waxy O’Connors, part of The Printworks complex, the acoustic challenge was to produce a clean multi-layered system. The Waxy’s site is a busy, good looking labyrinthine complex of passageways, spaces, snugs, small meeting/drinking rooms and several bars, spread across four floors. A stunning stripped wood, sculptured tree stretches up through a high atrium space slicing vertically through all four floors. Pattenden - who has also designed and supplied sound for the very successful Waxy’s sites in London and Glasgow - has used a mix of JBL speakers, including Control 25s, Control 28s and SB2 subs, all driven by RSE amps. CP Sound also supplied a Rolec hard drive computer music system for backgrounds music, and spec’d the separate CD player source for the toilets. Waxy’s sound is divided into eight individually-controllable zones - all fed through a Cloud Zone 8. The picture was completed, audio-wise, with a DJ set up, designed to plug in to the Red Room, consisting of a Denon DN-1800 twin CD player and a Citronic CDM 10:4 mixer to feed the whole building as required.

The Zinc Bar & Grill is the latest in a series of Conran Restaurant sites for which CP Sound has designed the audio. Once again, the brief was for excellent so

Screenco chooses Barco for Commonwealth GamesScreenco chooses Barco for Commonwealth Games
Monday, 20 May 2002

Screenco have purchased an opening stock of Barco’s DLite 10 tiles - primarily for use in the new £32m Manchester Aquatics Centre for the upcoming Commonwealth Games swimming events. The 144-tile order will give them a maximum 30sq.m presentation area, which will be split into three separate displays. Screenco also purchased additional rental structures to allow greater flexibility in creating non-standard shapes.

In view of the humidity in the pool, one of the recommendations made by Screenco was the need for displays to be rated to IP65 for dust and water protection, as confirmed by Graham Andrews, Avesco plc Audio Visual Services Division managing director. "We chose the D10 on its price versus performance ratio and its IP65 front and rear characteristics, which make it ideal for the high degree of outdoor arena and stadium work in which we specialize."

(Ruth Rossington)

Gearhouse Broadcast supply B800s for World CupGearhouse Broadcast supply B800s for World Cup
Monday, 20 May 2002

Gearhouse Broadcast have purchased five Soundcraft B800 multi-bus broadcast mixing consoles and ten BSS 9088 Soundwebs from Harman Pro, as part of a massive investment in their audio rental stock. A key factor in this investment are the requirements of Host Broadcasting Services (HBS) and German broadcasters, ARD/ZDF, for the 2002 Football World Cup, as well as ongoing commitments to Tennis Properties Limited (TPL) for the Tennis Masters Series coverage over the next three years.

"Having made large investments in video equipment, we recognized the need to upgrade our audio mixers to higher specification units in order to cater for the increasingly complex audio production requirements of our clients, and the scale of the events," remarked Kevin Moorhouse, technical director of Gearhouse Broadcast. "In particular we required compact, but powerful units in order to make shipping more cost-effective. The B800s fulfilled this requirement, while the specification met and exceeded the requirement of the sophisticated audio plan for the Football World Cup."

Each of the desks will be allocated to a flyaway as the main sound desk, with two BSS 9088 Soundweb DSP matrixing devices forming the hub of each of the five associated processing racks. The B800s have been configured with 24 mono inputs, 12 stereo inputs, four mono and two stereo groups, and there are two fully independent stereo master output modules. Six mono and two stereo aux sends are also provided, while extensive monitoring and cue facilities include stereo AFL/PFL and several sets of speaker and

RMS Provides Software Solution for Stageco
Monday, 20 May 2002

Rental Management Systems, provider of advanced software systems for the entertainment industry, has recently completed one of its most comprehensive multi-site systems installations to date, for European staging rental company, Stageco.

Founded in Belgium in 1985, Stageco now has rental operations in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany and the USA, and has serviced some of the world’s most high-profile tours, sporting events and festivals, counting the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Pink Floyd, U2 and Robbie Williams among its clients.

The company stocks in excess of 7,000 different products - sometimes holding as many as 10,000 examples of each - making for a stock-holding which numbers literally millions of items. Consequently, the logistics of tracking movement and availability presents a huge administrative effort, hence why the company turned to RMS.

The system that Stan Gunkel of RMS came up with treats the company’s various stocks as a single entity, and uses internet connections and a 150MB database to track movement across the company’s six sites. Regular online updates to the database mean that each Stageco branch has an exact up-to-date record of what is available, as well as where and when.

The system incorporates a library of AutoCAD designs and elements, and once a drawing is completed it is exported to the RMS system which then automatically generates all the required documentation, guaranteed error-free. When drawings are changed and updated, all documentation is updated accordingly. For jobs where the equipment list alone can r

Coup for Westminster Theatre campaign
Monday, 20 May 2002

A surprise last minute decision from Lord Falconer, Minister of State at the DTLR, agreed with Save London's Theatres Campaign's request to 'call-in' Westminster’s decision to demolish the Westminster Theatre. Falconer's finding has given new heart to the campaign which had all but given up hope of a reprieve for this unique theatre and arts centre. The final decision on its fate will now be in the hands of the Secretary of State following a full Public Inquiry which is likely to take place this summer.

The Secretary of State has declared that he is 'very selective' about 'calling-in' planning applications, and usually only takes this step if 'planning issues of more than local importance are involved' and 'that the application is one that he ought to decide himself because he considers the proposals may conflict with national and regional policies on important matters.' This vindicates the Save London's Theatres Campaign which has made a strong case for 'calling-in' believing that the demolition of the Westminster Theatre could create a dangerous precedent.

The Campaign has been battling with the owners and Westminster City Council for six years now to save the Westminster, which they feel is so much more than just a theatre. The campaign has received backing from a number of high profile individuals, including Paul Scofield CH, Sir Donald Sinden and Corin Redgrave, not to mention the support of key organizations such as Equity, the Musician's Union and the Cinema Theatre Association. English Heritage is also opposed to the demolition.

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The Birmingham Hippodrome
Monday, 20 May 2002

Dramatic changes are taking place in the middle of Birmingham. Much of the city centre appears to be under construction, and - as increasingly seems to be the case in such projects - the civic redevelopment has been led by the artistic facilities at its heart: the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre has recently completed a development project that lasted almost two years.

Following a £24 million National Lottery Award through the Arts Council of England and further support from the European Regional development Fund, Birmingham City Council, donations from businesses and individuals and funds raised through appeal, the project has seen practically every part of the building reworked. The foyers were demolished and re-built providing greatly improved access, including lift and disabled access, together with a restaurant and other catering facilities - all wrapped within a design that feels light and airy. On the other side of the building, the purchase of adjacent land has allowed for the creation of a new complex housing facilities for the Hippodrome, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, which uses the Hippodrome as its home base, and DanceXchange - the national dance agency for the West Midlands.

Expansion back from the stage has also allowed the most useful improvement to the theatre as far as those who tour into it will be concerned: the building has always been blessed with an enormous stage, but unfortunately it is 3.5m below street level, and the get-in has always been slowed by having to use a lift and/or ramp. Now, a new rear-stage extension houses a 15m lift that can c

Top Taiwan studio chooses ARRI (GB)Top Taiwan studio chooses ARRI (GB)
Monday, 20 May 2002

When the Leader Group, Taiwan’s top media post-production company, completed its five-year planning and construction project to develop a Hollywood-style studio facility, it insisted on state-of-the-art technology to achieve optimum filming quality - including the lighting.

The new Leader Asia Pacific Creativity Center (LAPCC) - now the largest facility in Taiwan - has thus been equipped largely with ARRI lighting. The studio is situated on nine storeys of office block, of which three floors have been removed to allow construction of three large stages - the first phase of a project which will see two further studios constructed over the next few years. Leader placed the ARRI order - worth in the region of £750,000 - through Cheng Seng Trading Co Ltd, ARRI’s Taiwanese distributor. The company was granted a special licence which offered reduced import tariffs for ARRI's range of luminaires.

Cheng Seng put together the lighting specification in conjunction with a consultant. Each of the three new production stages is equipped with ARRI’s proprietary series, including Daylight, Compact, Arrisun, Pocket Par, Minisun, X-Light, Studio and Arrilite. These were supplied with a full range of accessories, including ballasts, barndoors, filters, transformers and cable. The specification also included Arrilux 21/50 Minisun and Arrilux 125W Pocket-Par Pro kit (with gobo projection and liquid light tube and optic), representing the smallest combination daylight luminaire that ARRI has developed to date.

The new development means that Leader can now deliver comple

Christie lights up screen for Star Wars Episode II
Monday, 20 May 2002

Christie projectors have been used by Lucasfilm Ltd for the production, post-production and (commencing May 16) the exhibition of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones - the first all-digital major motion picture.

In 1999, Christie signed a three-year agreement to supply Lucasfilm with the latest projection equipment to meet its production needs. Christie projectors were first used by Lucasfilm in the post-production of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and were used even more extensively for Attack of the Clones. With the decision to shoot Episode II digitally, Christie projectors played an important role in the production of the movie as Lucasfilm took a Christie projector on location to Australia to review daily footage. In the final post-production phase conducted at Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucas Digital Ltd, the filmmakers used a Christie Digital Cinema projector for the editing and mastering of Attack of the Clones. As the first DLP Cinema licensee, Christie has worked closely with Texas Instruments to provide the film industry with sophisticated projection solutions.

On May 16, when Star Wars opened around the world, 67 theatres, furnished with Christie products, presenting Episode II digitally the way George Lucas intended it to be seen. On May 12, Christie projectors officially launched the release of Episode II at the Los Angeles premiere, held at the famous Mann’s Chinese Theatre.

(Ruth Rossington)

Heavyweight challenge for One Box Productions
Friday, 17 May 2002

Imagine the challenge of producing an event where your six star performers each weigh seven tons and are four metres high, three metres wide and up to 10 metres long. This was the task facing One Box Productions when launching ERF’s new range of trucks at Telford International Centre on 24 April.

The launch, to ERF’s dealer network and key customers, was particularly important because it is the first time ERF trucks have incorporated cabs developed by their parent company MAN. For One Box managing director David Langdon and his team, the challenge was to develop a show concept that would communicate the company’s heritage, the driver benefits of the new range and allow a large-scale product reveal. The solution was a dramatic AV presentation projected onto a 40ft high, 130-degree arc of drapes. This was delivered using Blitz Vision’s Suite P system and an array of seven projectors. The drapes were then drawn back to reveal the six trucks from ERF’s new range. The AV presentation was continued using five rear projection screens mounted above the trucks. Blitz also provided a d&b audio rig with 24-channel sound desk.

As well as producing the show and handling delegate logistics, One Box was also responsible for developing AV content. A dramatic opening video sequence made the connection between the need for product evolution in a fast moving technological age and the development of the new ERF range as the best of both MAN and ERF’s engineering genes. One Box show producer Andy Key, explains: "Our approach has always been to work v


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