On Friday, January 11, 2002, Brian Croft, Chairman of Vari-Lite Europe, will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Created by Pro Production 2002, the award is dubbed the ‘Parnelli’, in memory of respected tour manager Rick ‘Parnelli’ O’Brien, who passed away in October 2000. The Parnelli recognizes outstanding individuals in the live event production industry and their contributions to the field.
Terry Lowe, executive director of Pro Production 2002. "We’re very pleased to establish the Parnelli here at Pro Production 2002. And there is no more fitting recipient for a lifetime achievement award than Brian Croft." Croft, whose production career spans 40 years, was a founding member of Britain’s National Youth Theatre, and studied at the Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol. He broke into the business as a theatrical stage manager, and in 1970, segued into rock ‘n’ roll, joining the legendary Chip Monck’s lighting crew on a Rolling Stones tour.
Croft combined both theatrical and concert work for several years, then, with John Brown, formed ESP Lighting Ltd and went on to provide lighting services for such acts as The Who, Queen, and The Moody Blues, while continuing to production manage Rolling Stones tours. Since 1977 he has run the subsequent ventures that grew out of ESP, including Samuelson’s and eventually Vari-lite Europe Ltd.
The award will be presented at the industry reception, a highlight of Pro Production 2002, the trade show being held from January 11-13, 2002 at the San Dieg
Chiswick House is an historic 18th century home whose walls no doubt have tales to tell of its many fascinating inhabitants. The house was designed and built by the wealthy Lord Burlington, who was an amateur architect fascinated with the classical period; hence the lines of the house are simple and elegant - a perfect canvas for the projection of stunning images to recall the spirit and lives of those associated with the glorious building.
Ross Ashton from E/T/C UK was the man responsible for the creation of an absorbing 35-minute Son et Lumiere that recalls the halcyon days of Chiswick. Famous figures such as King George 1, Handel and Alexander Pope all succumbed to the charm of the House and it was these that inspired Ashton and his collaborators: "When I was first presented with the idea of creating a Son et Lumiere about Chiswick House, the trickiest part was figuring out who would be the narrator. There are so many amazing characters associated with the house, but we finally decided on Lady Burlington as she had witnessed so much and survived most of her family."
Ashton spent a great deal of time absorbed in the archives of English Heritage searching for images that would recall the rich history of the house. Many of these images and drawings were black and white, which Ashton then converted to colour on a Mac. To maintain the integrity of the piece, the decision was taken not to include any visual effects other than the projected images, which cut through the blackness of the night sky onto the façade of the house, with striking colour and clarity.
Summer may be over but the boys from EST are still busy rolling around Europe. Four trucks, laden with props for Welsh crooner Tom Jones’ Eastern Bloc tour, have just left Russia. In addition, EST is providing logistical support to the R Kelly tour of Europe, and to French star Garou as he embarks on the second leg of his mammoth tour of France which he started back in March. EST’s purple and yellow trucks can also be seen with Orbital as they perform a series of one-off shows around Europe.
Meanwhile, in the corporate arena, two trucks, laden with almost a mile of trussing have just left Frankfurt where Summit Steel rigged a special event for PCI Live Events, a launch party that heralded Ford’s new Fiesta before an invited press audience on the evening before the Frankfurt Motor Show opened.Following this event, EST scheduled in over 70 trailer movements for the return of equipment used by Imagination to build Ford’s main stand at the show.
On a slightly sad note to end the month, Gerry 'The Captain' Baxter has retired from driving for EST after a staggering 38 years on the road.
It seemed like business as usual: another year, another PLASA Show. Existing products, refinements of products, new products; familiar faces mingling with the next generation of entertainment industry practitioners all anxious to find out what was new.
Then came Tuesday September 11th and the PLASA Show faded into the background. Word from New York spread quickly around the hall. The atmosphere was surreal because the events that those who had received phone calls from the States were describing, couldn’t possibly have taken place, even in the wildest imaginations of those who work in this crazy business of ours that specializes in dreaming up the impossible then making it happen.
But as those who gathered in the Platinum Club lounge to watch the news live quickly found - all this, and more, was true. We watched the second World Trade Centre Tower crumble live in front of our eyes. We watched our American colleagues dial and re-dial on their cellphones, desperately trying to reach families and colleagues back home. We wondered about the people we knew in New York - what a small world it is now, how crazy that in such a small world such madness can still take place.
There has been time since that day to face up to the implications for our own industry. The knock-on effects are hard to pin down, but they are already showing themselves, and in his column this month, Tony Gottelier reflects on what the wider implications might be.
It’s difficult to switch from the events of the September 11th to the events of the Show itself, but that’s what we need t
The recently expanded Creative Technology has quickly gained official IT and AV supplier status on a number of high profile exhibitions, including the recent Total Publishing 2001 show at Olympia in London. Contracted by organizers Quantum Business Media, Creative Technology supplied a semi-permanent network of PC hardware and iMacs for the Technology Theatre, which was used by numerous exhibitors for training workshops aimed at visitors to the show. Extensive use of sound equipment and IT data presentations were also incorporated for assisted product demonstrations.
Additionally, Creative Technology has gained official show status for numerous ongoing events, spearheaded by CT’s Exhibition Organiser’s account manager Beth Hathaway, recruited earlier this year. Based at CT’s NEC office, Beth covers the whole country and since joining has secured a number of exhibition contracts with preferred supplier status including BBC Good Food 2001, Interbuild 2002, Hotelympia and Sports Industry 2002, Trident Exhibitions, Dive Show, Sound Broadcasting Equipment and Speciality and Fine Food amongst others. Also secured with official status - by the CT London office - is TMA Ventures 2001, which takes place in Brighton on October 29-31. TMA Ventures is the commercial subsidiary of the CMA (Communications Management Association) - the business user association for communications professionals. TMAV provides a range of leading media and information services within the Telecoms and IT arena.
The LDI Show will go ahead as planned from November 2-4 in Orlando. In response to a number of enquiries following the events in New York and Washington, the organizers are keen to reassure people, through a statement posted on their website, that the exhibition will go ahead as usual. "We at LDI would like to express our deepest sympathy to all who are affected by the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Our thoughts are with you. We cannot let terrorists bring world business to a halt and we at LDI and Primedia Business Exhibitions feel it is very important that all businesses show their resilience. At this time, we do not foresee major disruptions for a smooth and successful show floor opening on Friday, November 2, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. LDInstitute is still scheduled to open on Monday, October 29."
If any exhibitors or visitors have any questions or concerns about the Show, they should contact any of the following people: Paul Stratton, LDI Show Director Tel: + 1 720-489-3118 email@example.com
Ellen Lampert-Gréaux, LDI Conference Director Tel: +1 212-229-2965 x 830 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacqueline Tien, Publisher, Lighting Dimensions, Entertainment Design Tel: +1 212-229-2965 x 815 email@example.com
You can also look at PLASA Media’s LDI Factsheet at www
The first beneficiary of Light Relief was presented with a copy of CAST Lighting’s WYSICAD by Mark White, ETC’s regional manager for the UK and Ireland, on September 11 on the ETC stand at PLASA 2001. Julian Williams has been in the lighting business in various capacities for over 25 years, but for the past two years treatment for bowel cancer has prevented him from working. Part of his plan to get back into action is to learn how to produce stage lighting plans with AutoCad files and to then offer this as a service.
Tony Gottelier and Rick Fisher, co-founders of Light Relief, arranged for Julian to receive a copy of WYSICAD, the 2D and 3D visualization software program, with the co-operation of ETC and CAST Lighting. Then, when Glyn O’Donoghue, marketing director at AC Lighting, heard about the presentation, he immediately offered Julian a day’s training on the product at High Wycombe, plus follow-up technical support. Glyn said: "I’m a big believer in WYSIWYG – it’s a tremendous product and I want to help Julian get the best out of it."
Julian has not worked since October 1999, when his cancer treatment began. Now completely cleared of the disease, thanks to a combination of radio therapy, surgery and back-up chemotherapy, Julian has used his time at home to learn computer skills and to keep up to date with the technical side of the lighting business. He said: "WYSICAD will enable me to work at home, thus alleviating some of the underlying stress of not earning! I eventually hope to upgrade to the full version o
Six new products showcased at the Professional Lighting and Sound Association’s (PLASA) annual entertainment and technology show in London this week received top honours in the Show’s prestigious Awards for Product Excellence.
Living up to its reputation as the industry’s premier launch pad, the PLASA Show saw a record 56 technical innovations new to the market this year nominated for the Awards. All entries were featured in the New Technology Gallery, sponsored by Lighting&Sound International, which attracted enormous visitor and exhibitor attention and certainly took centre stage.
The awards were presented for Design Excellence and Technical Innovation in four categories: Lighting; Sound; Audio-Visual and Stage Engineering. The winners were presented with a PLASA Award for Product Excellence trophy, specially designed by DHA Lighting. Talking about the Awards, MD of PLASA, Matthew Griffiths, said: "It is very encouraging to witness the high level of new product development and innovation within this industry. It is also heartening that so many manufacturers chose the PLASA Show to launch their latest innovations, demonstrating the Show’s position as not merely an exhibition, but as the major event in the entertainment technology industry’s year."
In the Lighting category, the Award for Design Excellence was presented to Clay Paky for its CP Color Range, a line of colour changers designed for the professional and architectural markets. There are four models in the range, including one specifically for outdoor applications. Each
Pro Production 2002 - a new trade show for live event production professionals will take place from January 11-13, 2002 at the San Diego Convention Center, USA. Presented by Timeless Communications Inc, parent company of Pro Lights & Staging News, Pro Production 2002’s tradeshow environment will feature workshops, panel discussions and manufacturer exhibits. Professional production products and services will be centre stage for the three-day event. According to Terry Lowe, president of Timeless Communications, Inc: "The goal is to give live event professionals their own convention. There are many trade shows in the North American market but none of them is solely focused towards the live event production industry. ProProduction 2002 will provide event professionals with their own convention where event technology and issues will be at the forefront."
The conference kicks off on Thursday January 10 with the inaugural Rick O’Brien Memorial Open Golf Tournament, scheduled for Riverwalk Golf Course close to downtown San Diego. Part of the proceeds will go to benefit the children of Rick O’Brien - a long time fixture as a production manager in the industry.
PLASA 2001, the Professional Lighting and Sound Association’s annual entertainment technology showcase, held at Earls Court from 9-12 September, received an overwhelming thumbs up from exhibitors and visitors alike.
Understandably, the horrific events in New York and Washington cast a shadow over the Show, not least because of the large number of American exhibitors and visitors who always support the event. The shock of the news was felt widely across the show floor, but it quickly turned to a resolve to keep the Show open and a determination that business should go ahead as usual.
Attendance figures were boosted 4.5% on last year’s event as 13,373 visitors (subject to ABC audit) attended the spectacular four-day show to witness the unveiling of the industry’s latest innovations. Of these visitors, an amazing 25% were international. Results of an exit survey showed that over 80% of visitors to this year’s Show felt that PLASA was the Show to view leading edge entertainment technology and new product launches. Highly respected as the international entertainment and technology exhibition, PLASA provided a platform for nearly 350 manufacturers, suppliers and distributors to present their very latest products, innovations and designs and to strike valuable business deals. From state-of-the-art sound systems, spectacular lighting effects, staging concepts and fog machines to audio-visual equipment, trussing and the very latest in DJ decks, PLASA 2001 featured something for everyone.
It represented more than just a place to see the latest entertainm
After many year's absence, the ISCE led range of mini seminars which took place during the recent PLASA Show, attracted over 100 people across the three workshops. Doug Edworthy, Events chair told PLASA Media: "I think everyone attending benefited from the variety of relevant subjects covered in the audio field, and many are now booking for ISCE's extended one day programmes scheduled throughout 2001/2."
Edwin Shirley Staging, the international staging and structure specialist, has been commissioned by PCI LiveDesign, one of Europe’s leading live communication companies, to provide a bespoke structural solution for the launch of the new Fiesta by the Ford Motor Company, during the Frankfurt International Motor Show this month. An empty warehouse space near to Frankfurt Airport has been transformed into a multi-levelled launch venue with ESS designing two temporary grid structures, a stage platform and show control platforms within the Nexos Centre for the launch. In order to facilitate the flying elements of the launch show, two roof grids measuring 12m by 14m have been specifically designed to take in excess of five tonnes in weight. The whole structure fits inside the Nexos building and was assembled in just three days.
Entech 2002 returns to its Darling Harbour home in Sydney next February. The show is one of the largest audio and visual trade shows of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It attracts professional designers, engineers and equipment users from all over the Asia Pacific region. Each Entech boasts an extensive range of conferences, seminars, workshops and equipment training sessions. These include sessions on a range of issues, including rigging, with the ever popular DJ Bootcamp also returning. A trio of topic-related seminars will be held daily in the new Convention Centre South, nearest to the trade show halls. Pro Audio seminars include surround sound and contracting audio topics, along with a discussion on line array systems and DSP. InfoComm will present a daily session on vision and integration. Venue design is the topic of a summit style seminar, where architects, venue managers, and consultants discuss trends, shortfalls and the future of venue design. Graham Walne will host a series of lighting seminars focusing on designers, and featuring professional working lighting designers.
To add to this year’s Entech educational opportunities, keynote speakers will be addressing the topic of the industry’s future in a free daily seminar.
Entech runs from February 4-6, 2002.
Cardiff-based Theatre Vision (a Stage Electrics Group company) has kick-started its busy corporate season by providing production lighting services for the recent WHAT HI-FI? Sound & Vision Awards 2001. Hosted by the irrepressible Clive Anderson at the Hilton in Park Lane, the show is produced by Head to Head Communications on behalf of Haymarket Publishing. Theatre Vision was called upon by busy awards lighting designer Matthew Evered to provide dynamic lighting for the event. A mixture of Strand SL cool-beam profiles, parcans and Martin Mac 300 moving lights were used to help jazz up the event, now in its 25th year, and all controlled and programmed by Tim Routledge on an Avolites Pearl. Also provided were a number of low voltage lighting kits for various branding and reception areas. Truss and rigging was provided by RoadRunner while sound was sourced from Tone Ferne from Dobsons.
The Audio Engineering Society has announced the postponement of next week's 111th AES Convention at the Javits Convention Center, New York, until early December. The Javits is being used as an emergency services co-ordination centre in the aftermath of the recent events in New York. The organizers have issued the following statement. "We have just returned from the Javits Center where we had a meeting with their top management. We learned that the New York City Mayor's Office of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have taken over large portions of the Javits Center for use in coordinating emergency services. We also learned that FEMA will have complete control of these spaces and any others that they need, for an undetermined period. This obviously makes holding the event as planned impossible. However, we have been able to reschedule the convention, rather than just cancel it. The new dates will be Friday November 30 to Monday, December 3 2001, with the same exhibit, demo and conference space as would have been used next week."
More than 250 of the world's leading companies from 30 countries will showcase their products and latest technology in the 11th Consecutive Broadcast India 2001 Exhibition & Symposium. A host of leading manufacturers will exhibit a wide range of products catering to the broadcast and entertainment industry in three days of the exhibition. The Broadcast India 2001 Exhibition will be held from 1-3 November 2001 at World Trade Centre, Mumbai in three halls - Expo Centre, South Side Lobby and Centrum - spreading over 40,000sq.ft of stand space. The exhibition will be preceded by a two day Symposium from 30-31 October 2001, to be staged at the Y B Chavan Centre, Mumbai. Industry professionals will speak on various topics covering the fields of TV, radio, video, audio, film, music, lighting, cabling, satellite, multi-media, transmission, computer graphics, broadband internet and all their allied and associated technologies in the two day Symposium. More than 21,000 trade personnel are expected to visit the three day exhibition, making this event the biggest and best in India.
For the first time this show will incorporate a Technical Awards ceremony sponsored by Seagate International. On the evening of 2nd November 2001 the Seagate Technical Awards for Excellence in Digital Technology in the field of Cinema and Television will be awarded.
The opening day of the 2001 PLASA Show proved to be one of the busiest opening days the show has yet experienced, with early indications showing a 6% increase in visitors over the previous year. Clarion Events, the PLASA Show organisers, also report that visitor pre-regisration for PLASA 2001 showed an increase of around 1,000 over last year's event.
The show floor was buzzing throughout the day, with many exhibitors commenting on the especially high quality of both UK and international buyers visiting the show. Watch out for more developments from the PLASA Show as we enter Day 2 . . .
The 56 products nominated for this year’s PLASA Awards for Product Excellence are currently available for visitors to view on the Top Deck of Earls Court, in the Lighting&Sound International-sponsored New Technology Gallery (pictured). The Gallery allows a one-stop view of all the latest product innovations in the categories of Lighitng, Sound, Stage Engineering and Audio-Visual. Judging for the Awards will take place during the show, by a panel of experts from each respective field. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony at 9.30 on Wednesday morning, at which time PLASA will also present the money raised from the Awards entries to a number of charities.
To view the complete list of products entered for the PLASA Awards for product Excellence, visit the web address below:
The doors have opened at Earls Court for Day 1 of the 24th PLASA Show, and the first visitors are now filling the show floor, where over 370 exhibitors are displaying their latest innovations to the industry. Over 400 products are making their first appearance at a PLASA Show, with the cream of the crop entered into the PLASA Awards for Product Excellence, and displayed in the New Technology Gallery on the Top Deck of Earls Court, which is this year sponsored by Lighting&Sound International magazine.
Throughout today, and for the duration of the show, the team from PLASA Media will be bringing you all the latest news and pictures from the show floor. To follow events as they unfold at PLASA 2001, visit our dedicated news section at the address below:
‘All The Queen’s Horses’ - a live equestrian spectacular with a cast of 3,000, including over 1,000 horses, is to be staged at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2002, as part of the tribute to The Queen in her Golden Jubilee Year.
One of a number of national events marking The Queen’s accession to the throne 50 years ago, ‘All The Queen’s Horses’ will be set against the backdrop of the floodlit Windsor Castle during three days of the annual Royal Windsor Horse Show, and will tell the story of her 50-year reign.
A purpose-built stage will be erected to house the orchestra, choir and dancers, together with an all-weather arena, to accommodate the 2,000 participants and over 1,000 horses that will perform in the show, which will be produced by Major Sir Michael Parker and directed by Simon Brooks-Ward. Parker, of course, has been the producer for most of the ‘Royal Spectaculars’ both here and abroad for the past 30 years.
The finale of the show will recreate the 1952 coronation procession with the inclusion of the Gold State Coach with its eight grey horses in harness, a sight that has not been seen since the 1977 Jubilee.
The event that will be more ‘Broadway’ than ‘Horse Show’, according to Brooks-Ward, and if previous Parker/Brooks-Ward collaborations are anything to go by, should feature some serious quantities of lighting, audio, staging and screen technology. It runs on the 16th, 17th and 18th May 2002.
PLASA is now just two days away and it looks like this year’s event will be the best ever. PLASA is where you get to find out what over 400 of the industry’s leading players have been doing in the past few months. It’s got to be better than leafing through hundreds of product brochures or trawling the internet for information. Aside from the exhibition, there are plenty of things to catch the eye, including the DJ Competition on the Sunday, the newly-introduced iDJ Talk Zone offering advice to DJs, a comprehensive seminar and workshop programme, the PLASA Awards for Product Excellence, the various Feature Areas, and the many events, press launches and on-stand receptions organized by exhibitors. If you still haven’t registered for the event, don’t worry, you can register on the day. All you need to do is turn up at Earls Court 1 and register on the door. See you there.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival, sponsored by FilmFour, ran from 12-26 August, 2001. To promote the Festival, FilmFour devised a projection of iconic film images and stars onto the rocks beneath Edinburgh Castle. To facilitate the project, leading lighting distributor Fourth Phase London was commissioned by Alan Ramsey at Fisher Productions to ensure the images would be clearly visible along Edinburgh's Princes Street. The high profile exercise presented huge challenges from the outset - projecting images from 125m onto a rocky surface, as opposed to a screen, meant that Fourth Phase technicians had to think carefully about the equipment they would use to complete the brief to its full potential. The rock's rough surface absorbed rather than reflected projected light, requiring pre-distorted imagery combined with a powerful 12,000W Pani projector. Additionally, Fourth Phase London specified a BP12 HMI projector, a highly powerful piece of equipment ideal for projection onto objects that are not standard projection surfaces.
Working closely with Wyatt Enever at DHA Lighting, Fourth Phase London was able to manipulate the digital artwork and output the images onto heat-resistant slides suitable for such projection. Plus, regular contact with Film Four enabled Fourth Phase technicians to use their experience to ensure the best possible end result. Having developed and prepared a number of slides with some of the most striking images from a number of box-office hit films and some of the biggest names in film including Sean Connery, Billy Connolly, Ewan McGregor and
If you’re looking for ways to entertain clients during the forthcoming PLASA Show then why not consider taking them to see some of the hottest shows in London. On the Monday evening we have tickets for the hugely popular Mamma Mia at the Prince Edward Theatre. The show starts at 7.30 and we have excellent seats in the stalls for £32.50.
We also have tickets for Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring which is part of the Proms Season at the Royal Albert Hall. These are for Wednesday 12th September with the performance commencing at 7.30pm. Again we have the best seats in the stalls for £35.00 each.
If you’re staying on in London after PLASA, we also have a number of tickets for the Divas at the Donmar show featuring Sian Phillips which takes place on Thursday 13th September at 7.30pm. Tickets £24.00. To take advantage of these offers simply visit the PLASA Stand (K19).
We’ve also been contacted by the Really Useful Group who have arranged a special ticket deal for visitors to PLASA for the Pet Shop Boys’ musical Closer to Heaven, which we reviewed in the August issue of L&SI. The offer applies to any Monday-Friday performance 10th September-28th September 2001 and gives visitors £10 discount on tickets that are usually £28.50 or £30.00. Call the Box Office on 020 7836 3334 and quote "PLASA Offer" or take your PLASA visitor badge to the Box Office.
One of the community highlights for visitors to the recent Edinburgh Festival was the opportunity to attend a free festival in the beautifully-raked 2,000-seat bowl in Princes Street Gardens. The event, which ran daily through to 9pm, gave appearing Festival fringe acts the chance to preview their work in a series of short showcase ‘tasters’ on the main stage. This was interspersed with Worldart Media’s own productions and concerts. The 22-day event was manned by volunteer students looking to learn all aspects of staging a show, under the auspices of event producer, Richard Hamer, and event stage manager, Claire Palmer.
In the case of Screenco, who lent its support for the fourth consecutive year with a 4 x 4 Saco 15mm pixel pitch display, it gave its screen and camera engineer, Jon Baverstock, the chance to give hands-on experience to would-be technicians - many of them photographers looking to progress beyond the ‘stills’ domain.
The initiative was directed by Ian Murray, whose company Festival Revue 2001 Ltd, rent the bandstand from Edinburgh Council. With support from major sponsors, Telewest and BT Broadcast Services, this is now the largest arts broadcast in the world, and next year will feature on the net and broadband TV (as well as Telewest). In addition to the i-mag display, Screenco provided a four-camera PPU (broadcast-quality, industry-standard DW-30s) with widescreen capability, and additional feeds were provided by three video players - and a camera mounted on a balloon. BBC Radio 3 and the local Radio Forth also took feeds.