Edwin Shirley Staging (ESS), the international staging and structure specialist, is helping to bring international stars De La Guarda to audiences in Las Vegas for the first time. ESS has built the 18m high structure using ESS' successful Tower Systems that will house the acrobatic extravaganza. The $1.2million contract is the first major contract to be completed by ESS' new US office based in Austin, Texas. ESS Inc was formed in May this year when Edwin Shirley Staging took over the operations of Upfront Inc. ESS' staging will help bring the show to life with a 30m x 20m x 18m high structure. The structure forms part of the Rio Hotel complex in the heart of Las Vegas and will remain there for three years, the duration of the show. The production, called 'Villa Villa' is the same show that was performed to great acclaim in London's Roundhouse last year and still playing off Broadway in New York.
Sister companies Christie Inc and Christie Digital Systems Inc plan to form one company under the name Christie Digital Systems. The merger, expected to be finalised in April next year, will create one company dedicated to providing projection solutions for cinemas, conference centres, large venues, the rental and staging markets, and the emerging digital cinema marketplace. Under the new organisation, Christie Digital Systems Inc will maintain headquarters in Cypress, California and Kitchener, Canada. The company will continue to operate regional sales and marketing offices in Canada, Europe, Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US. Manufacturing operations will be based in California and Canada.
Are you a lighting student eager to visit the only International Colloquium on Entertainment Lighting? If so, Showlight 2001 may be able to offer you the opportunity of a lifetime! Exhibitors at Showlight have the option to sponsor one entertainment lighting student, to enable people at all levels of the profession to attend and participate. The essence of Showlight is to encourage attendees to talk, discuss ideas and mix with some of the top names from theatre, television, film and architectural and themed lighting, and the list of exhibitors encompasses some of the top names in the industry, including DHA Lighting, ETC Europe, Strand, White Light and Wybron, with confirmed speakers from the worlds of themed entertainment, television and outdoor events. For further details contact Ruth Rossington, Showlight 2001, telephone +44 (0) 1323 418401.
Built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1685, the Royal Hospital in Chelsea is a retirement home for old soldiers - the famous Chelsea Pensioners. The London landmark was an unusual venue for a technically sophisticated son et lumiere show, 'Men in Scarlet', commemorating its 300 year history. The Hospital itself acted as the projection screen, and backdrop for the light show, while the soundtrack was presented in surround sound. Manning the 48-input Midas Heritage console for a week of shows was Huw Richards, for many years the FOH engineer for Oasis - which some might say was ideal preparation for mixing a soundtrack of great British battles. He and his system techs Iain Reinhold and Jonathan Hitching battled torrential rains to present a soundtrack so accurate and realistic that one member of the audience suffered a heart attack. SSE Hire of Birmingham provided a predominantly NEXO Alpha sound system which was controlled by a TiMax acoustic imaging system from Outboard Electronics.
The PSA (Production Services Association) has launched a new service to help companies in the industry trace stolen equipment. The site is intended for use by the whole industry and is not restricted to just PSA members. To have stolen equipment added to this list, the following details should be emailed to Marco Van Beek at firstname.lastname@example.org: 1) Manufacturer. 2) Description. 3) Model Number/type. 4) Serial Number. 5) Date Stolen. 6) Area Stolen. 7) Contact Name. 8) Contact Number. 9) Crime reference number (this will not be shown on the website). The PSA is also happy to add links to specific web pages that deal with stolen equipment, if this information is submitted elsewhere.
Southwest Sound & Light have announced that hey will be organising and hosting the Southwest Sound & Light Show on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th January 2001, from 10am to 8pm both days. The venue is the Clubhouse at Golden Sands Holiday park, Dawlish, Devon, and admission will be free. Organiser Paul Goody said: "The event will be of interest to all people involved in the leisure industry - with clubs, pubs, holiday centres, leisure centres, bands, DJs and karaoke. Visitors will be able to see and try the latest in amplifiers, mixers, loudspeakers, microphones, CD players, mixing kits, effects units, harmonisers, lighting effects for stage and club and large screen video." Call Paul Goody for further information: 01626 890806
Strand Lighting's 300 Series console has recently been turning up in some unusual venues - including controlling the lighting in the middle of a road between France and Italy, and in an aircraft hanger in Germany! These were the locations at which singer Jessye Norman performed The Sacred Ellington, her concert of the sacred music of Duke Ellington, during September. As well as the legendary opera singer, the production features a pianist, a four-piece jazz combo and six-piece brass section drawn from England and America, a string quartet from Russia and a 12-strong gospel choir - plus a highly theatrical lighting design from British lighting designer Jenny Kagan. Kagan's involvement began with a production at the Barbican Concert Hall in London during the summer of 1999. There she used a Strand 530 console to control the Barbican's conventional rig and additional Martin MAC500s and High End StudioColors, brought in for the production. For the show's European dates, lighting director Rob Halliday, re-creating the lighting on Kagan's behalf, was keen to use a Strand console once again so that the Barbican disk could form the basis of the touring show.
Production Resource Group (PRG) has announced an expansion of its audio operations in the Las Vegas market. The West Coast Audio Group has relocated its concert touring inventory and assembly operations from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The Los Angeles-based audio sales staff remain at their current Cohasset Street location in Burbank. Sister company Fourth Phase Burbank (formerly Production Lighting Systems and Production Arts West) will join them in late October. Inventory to support the local corporate theatre, television and special event market, as well as technical service also remains in Los Angeles.As the expanded audio operations in Las Vegas required additional space, ProMix/Electrotec Las Vegas is in the process of relocating to the PRG facility at 6050 S. Valley View Blvd, already the home of Entolo Las Vegas (formerly Scenic Technologies) and Fourth Phase Las Vegas (formerly Cinema Services).
Barbizon Lighting Company, which has 11 offices in the United States, has announce the formation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) for the benefit of its employees, a plan unique in the entertainment lighting industry. Under the plan, Barbizon will become employee-owned, with employees acquiring shares of privately-held stock. Jonathan Resnick, president of Barbizon, says the ESOP recognizes the invaluable role Barbzion employees have played in the company's consistent annual growth. "It is our belief that our greatest asset has always been our employees. And it is their talent and dedication that will enable Barbizon to sustain its growth and innovation in this fast-changing business environment," he said. "The Board of Directors and I believe that they should be rewarded for their contributions."Founded in 1947, Barbizon, serving the domestic and export markets as one of the largest and most innovative providers of lighting products, rigging systems, installation services and show control solutions.
CP Sound, creative audio, lighting and AV designer and installer, is moving to a newly-acquired, hugely expanded premises in central Staines. CP Sound's operation has expanded so rapidly in the last two years that it has outgrown the site in Chertsey that has contained it for the last three years. The new building, workshops, warehouse space and offices are part of a purpose-built industrial unit. The extra space and rationalisation of resources will allow CP Sound's hectic production schedules to be managed even faster and more efficiently. It will also enhance its already well-established quality of service.As from today the company's new contact, the new contact details are Unit 3 Tim's Boat Yard, Timsway, Staines, Middlesex, TW18 3JZ. Tel: +44 1784 461614.
As we reported on 19 September, the police are in the throes of a major investigation into fraud allegations at the Millennium Dome. At the time it was made clear that these centred around 'irregularities' in connection with the procurement of contracts. As a result of these investigations, four people have now been arrested. A 30-year old man and 20-year old woman have been arrested in Liverpool and taken to a London police station, whilst a woman in her sixties has been arrested in West Yorkshire. The final arrest was of a man in his thirties at a business address in south-east London. All four have been bailed until February next year to allow for further enquiries to take place. PLASA Publishing has learnt that the police investigation involves the awarding of a lighting contract.
Next Two, manufacturer and supplier of public address and voice alarm loudspeakers to industry and commerce, has recently been acquired by MEDC Ltd, specialists in the design, manufacture and application of field devices for potentially explosive atmospheres. Managing Director, Chris Simms told PLASA Publishing: "The Next Two product range will complement and extend the existing MEDC range. It is our intention to develop the product line by improvement of existing products as well as the ongoing introduction of new products." Next Two will continue its sales operations from its base at Uckfield, East Sussex, with the same team.
Coco Jungle, a club/restaurant venue, is being billed as one of the first themed clubs in Egypt. Located just outside of Cairo on the shores of the Nile River, Coco Jungle is one of the country's most popular nightspots. Coco Jungle, and accompanying boat restaurant Le Pacha 1901, have installed a number of Martin Professional luminaires designed to create different moods and atmospheres. In keeping with the jungle theme, trees, bamboo and water play a major role in the interior design. Coco Jungle is equipped with four MAC 300 wash lights, four MAC 250 profile spots, two Voyagers, and a Jem TechnoFog for added effect, all controlled from a Martin LightJockey controller. Le Pacha 1901, meanwhile, features a glass-covered dance floor over a pool of water. Four RoboColor IIs and one RoboColor IIX, placed in protective glass casings in the water beneath the dance floor, provide colour changes. Outside, four Exterior 600s - again controlled via a Martin LightJockey controller - illuminate the boat's façade, which can be seen from the opposite shore of the Nile. All Martin equipment for the two venues was supplied by Media International Trading of Egypt through Martin's Middle Eastern agent, AMAC.
Mackie Designs has announced that PD (a.k.a 'Phy Deaux'), the company's corporate Chihuahua, passed away on 28th September. PD's image as Mackie's Corporate Chihuahua rose to prominence in Mackie collateral material, advertisements, websites, marketing videos and product manuals. So well-known was PD to Mackie employees, distributors, reps and customers, that in 1995 a bronze cast of PD was produced as the highest award that could be bestowed upon a Mackie Designs sales rep. Ron Koliha, Mackie's Marketing Deity and PD's owner, told us: "PD was the one who I could turn to for honest critiques of all of my marketing concepts. If she didn't like it, she would simply piddle on it . . . literally. PD will surely be missed."
TMB's celebrated annual outing, which took place over the weekend of October 1st, drew a diverse industry group from the US and overseas. The weekend trip, to Ensenada, Mexico, drew attendees from companies as far afield as Mexico (Toma Cinco, Guadalajara) and Japan (Ken Production Services Inc, Yokohama). Also represented were: Acey Decy, Barbizon, Cinelease, Cinema Services, Delicate Productions, Hollywood Rentals, Location Lighting, Light & Sound Design, Oasis Stage Werks, San Diego Stage, Starlite Global, TM Motion Pictures and Versales. LSD's Chris 'Tiny' Ward entertained a visitor from even further afield. Much fun was had, fish were caught, and many hallowed traditions, including the exploding of Elvis, were upheld.
London-based theatre sound specialist Orbital Sound has acquired three Allen & Heath ML5000 mixing consoles from the London branch of LMC Audio Systems. Specified in advance by Orbital for their forthcoming Winter season, the console will be employed on Christmas Pantomime productions, as well as Bill Kenwright's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The nature of the Christmas shows means tight production deadlines and limited budgets. Orbital has a long association with Pantomime productions, and Orbital's hire department, headed by Jane Finlay and Dan Parton, who specified the desks, offers practical advice gained from years of experience in this most traditional of theatre.The addition of the cost-effective Allen & Heath ML5000 complements Orbital's extensive inventory of high-specification equipment. The ML5000 is ideal for any production working within limited budgetary constraints and enables Orbital to provide a cost effective, reliable solution for these shows.
AV specialists Blitz Communications picked up two Silver Awards at the Marketing Event Awards 2000, held at the London Hilton recently. Nominated twice in the 'Best Supplier - On Site' category, Blitz won Silver for both. The first nomination was for its work with HP:ICM on the Opel Agila and Astra Coupe European Dealer launch - an event which itself won the Gold Award for 'Best Product Launch'. The second was for the launch of a new pharmaceutical firm, Aventis, for which Blitz's three divisions - Blitz Vision, Blitz Interactive and TP Sound Services - put together a highly complex system.
Contestants on Carlton Television's 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' Will now talk to compere Chris Tarrant through Trantec's multi award-winning synthesised UHF S5000 radio mic system - thanks to the initiative of a consortium of six freelance sound engineers. The newly-formed Elstree Sound Associates was set up specifically to provide audio services to Celador Productions, makers of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' at Elstree Studios - giving them the opportunity to break free from some of the products generally used in TV production.One of the supervisors, Chris Thorpe - who sound mixes alongside fellow Elstree Sound Associates engineer, Kevin Duff - was happy to recommend Trantec, having used the system at the OB/derig facility Roll to Record and Fountain Studios in Wembley. Thorpe ordered 16 personals (fitted with Sony ECM 77 clip-on mics) and two hand-held systems, along with a couple of distribution units and computer monitoring.The other four members of Elstree Sound Associates are Robert Wahl, John Galbraith, Barry Mizen and Vernon Cooper.
The Klark Teknik Group has appointed ART Studio to distribute Midas products in Belarus. This is the first time that Midas has been represented in White Russia and the company has already got off to a flying start with the sale of a Heritage 2000 to the Belarussian State Orchestra in Minsk. Finberg, the State Orchestra's own rental company, is one of the largest in Belarus and caters for many prestigious events throughout the country. One of the first events for the new console was a concert by the award-winning French singer, Patricia Kaas. Since the sale of the Heritage 2000, ART Studio has also purchased a Heritage 1000 for its own rental department. Its first outing will be for Deep Purple, playing the Sports Palace in Minsk in early November as part of a European tour.
To help prepare them for a wide variety of careers in theatre, film, television, exhibition and coporate event markets, third-year students taking Lighting Design, Directing and Stage Management degrees at Rose Bruford College put together various productions of a non-theatre nature. This year, these have included 'Club Night', 'Audio-Visual', 'Sone et Lumiere' and 'Dance' productions. Performed at the College's Barn Theatre on the Sidcup campus, just outside London, these productions will enable students to show an audience of technical theatre professionals just what they can do. The College receives much help in this in the form of the loan of equipment from leading companies within the lighting industry, with around £200,000 worth of equipment being loaned this year for the duration of the productions. Help has been received from Martin Professional, Lightfactor, Avolites, Flying Pig Systems, Vari-Lite and White Light.
PLASA Publishing has learned that the directors of Ocean State Rigging Systems Ltd have decided to commence liquidation proceedings. The Hertfordshire-based company is a subsidiary of Ocean State Rigging Systems Inc, which was established in the United States in 1978 to service the film, corporate and touring industries, and has offices in Rhode Island and Florida.
The UK's phenomenally successful television production, Big Brother, which was screened through July and August, relied heavily on Sennheiser RF systems to relay seamless sound transmission, not only for the nightly Channel 4 broadcast, but also for the 24-hour Internet broadcast. Each contestant on the show was fitted with a clip mic and Sennheiser SK50 miniature body-pack transmitter, supplied by Cine Video Audio Hire Division. These were to be worn at all times, except when showering or sleeping. The Sennheiser EM1046-UHF receiver rack was used in conjunction with Cine Video's own Triax remote antennae system, enabling the RF aerials to cover a vast area.
The Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith was the stage for a recent pro audio open day for two of Marquee Audio's main suppliers - Yamaha and Turbosound. Yamaha demonstrated its latest digital family, the PM1D, DME32 and AW4416 desks, which are now being shipped, while Turbosound's new family of TQ Series loudspeakers - the TQ440/TQ425, TQ259, TQ220, TQ225 and TQ330 lined up alongside the TCS35, also heavily specified by Marquee Audio. The event attracted some of the UK's leading audio consultants. Marquee's Andy Huffer commented: "This was a superb chance for both end-users and manufacturers to experience new products in a realistic environment. The Yamaha PM1D and DME32 ran the show, switching between the Turbosound speakers which were suspended around the stage."