Blackout Triple E's David Edelstein (pictured left) and ETC's Mark White (right) were appointed to the ABTT Council at the AGM held in June at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, in conjunction with a visit to the theatre to look at the new technical installations. The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) is run by a Council of 11 volunteers and for the next two years David Edelstein, joint Managing Director, Blackout Triple E, will serve as Chairman and Mark White, ETC Sales Manager for UK and Ireland, will act as Honorary Secretary.
After studying engineering and training in stage management at LAMDA, David Edelstein began his career working in repertory theatre, moving to the National Theatre in stage and then production management from its opening in 1976. David founded Triple E Ltd in 1983 and has since designed and developed a number of innovative, award-winning products for the stage, which are now used on a global basis and accepted as entertainment industry standards. Having joined the ABTT Council in 1998, David aims to contemporise the image and widen the appeal of the Association during his Chairmanship, thus encouraging younger members and promoting new technology.
Until the end of 2000, Mark White was a member of the team of theatre consultants at the Royal Opera House and in October 2000 joined ETC as a Sales Manager. Having worked in the theatre industry since 1985, Mark's career has included the development of bespoke lighting and control equipment for well-known shows including Cats and Phantom of the Opera. He has also designed lighting and e
The PLASA Show, London’s leading entertainment technology event, represents far more than just an arena from which to see the latest developments and innovations within the entertainment technology industry. It also offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about how to use this technology to best effect through its Masterclass Programme. This year, the Masterclass Programme, which runs from the Monday to the Wednesday, will focus on the fields of special effects, architectural installations and audio and corporate presentations and will include an impressive line-up of speakers, all of whom are experts in their specific fields.
Tuesday 11th September 2001, Theme and Leisure Day of the Masterclass Programme is a ‘must’ for visitors interested in learning how, through imaginative design and intelligent production techniques, special effects can be utilised in live entertainment to have maximum effect on the audience. There will be three presentations during the course of the day dealing with different aspects of this vibrant sector.
PLASA welcomes American WOW!Works chief effects artist, Tylor Wymer, an industry leader in pyrotechnics and special effects engineering and the former special effects design director for Walt Disney Entertainment, who will host an exciting session called, ‘Special Effects Ignite The Senses - Putting the Wow! Into Your Productions’. Highlights will include a fun and interactive overview by Mr Wymer in the areas of pyrotechnics, confetti, fog/haze, snow/wind/rain and the new trends in scent technology.
To complement the exhibition, PLASA has lined up a range of seminars, workshops and clinics that will give an insight into how new technology is creating new opportunities, how individuals have pulled together highly complex projects, why integration is so important and how you can achieve more by picking up tips and techniques from others.
DJs can learn more about MP3 digitally-compressed music files and how this new technology is already creating a platform for a more creative approach. In a programme of seminars sponsored by Installation Europe, audio installation and integration is the theme under which issues of networking, control and the benefits of converging technologies are explored. Tuesday sees a Theme and Leisure Masterclass, presented by Leisure Management, in association with the TEA and TiLE, which focuses on how the leisure industry exploits special effects, lighting and audio technology to create unique environments to enhance the visitor experience. On Wednesday, the sessions move to consider the integration of audio and lighting into building design, the regulations facing those who install lighting, the increasing profile of new media such as LED technology, and the basics of video conferencing.
For the first time, you can also attend any number of focused courses, workshops and clinics. The ISCE is sponsoring three sessions covering the issues associated with audio system design, whilst Loughborough College and the AETTI are jointly promoting a series of courses which offer those interested in theatre a chance to work towards BTEC certification. Al
Sennheiser, the company whose microphones give voice to so many of the world’s performing artists, is inaugurating a competition to search out some of the nation’s best hidden musical talent. The search for the country’s best unsigned bands and artists is being run in conjunction with Nexus Media’s Making Music title, the world famous Gibson guitar company, top British guitar amp manufacturer Orange, leading recording technology company TASCAM, and Mindprint studio effects.
Six musical categories are divided into pop, rock, dance, hip-hop, R&B and jazz. The winners of each heat pick up £500 in cash, plus a wealth of guitar, amplifier and recording equipment, not to mention Sennheiser evolution microphones and headphones. The overall winning artist or group, judged from among the winners of each of the individual categories, stands not only to receive £5000 in cash, almost £2000 of Sennheiser evolution microphones and headsets, a Tascam digital recording workstation, Orange guitar combo and a Gibson SG guitar, but also the chance to record with one of the world’s most respected producers, Mike Hedges, in his brand new Wessex Studios complex.
Entries must be in by 30th September and application forms and details are available in an extensive press advertising campaign or from the company’s website.
Booking your tickets to the PLASA Show, the entertainment technology industry’s leading event, running from 9-12 September 2001 at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, has never been easier. You can now book in any of the following ways:
By Telephone: The Visitor Hotline is now live! Call +44 (0) 870 429 4472 to make your credit card booking or to request an advance booking form.
Online: Go direct to www.plasa.org/show/register to book online.
There are many advantages to pre-registration. Not only will you save £6 on the cost of entry to the Show (tickets on the door are £12) but you will be sent a personalized badge in advance permitting you fast entry into the show. You will also receive up-to-date information on the Show’s Masterclass Programme and how to book your seat at any of the sessions. Entry to the show is free for overseas visitors.
Now in its 24th year, the PLASA Show will feature over 350 exhibitors - manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of professional lighting, sound and AV equipment for the performing arts, night venues and theme bars, concerts and touring, the DJ market, architectural installation, corporate presentations, amusements and attractions, recording studios, cruise liners, TV and film, educational and religious establishments.
A joint project involving manufacturers Allen& Heath and Audace has provided a UK conference and exhibition venue with a unique paging system.
Bryan Waters, MD and founder of Audace, explained that the HIC system required a larger number of output zones than A&H’s DR128 digital matrix could provide. "The first challenge was the need for a system of 16 zones. We wanted to provide the Centre with a single control system that would work with two of the Allen & Heath units." Waters, who professes a keen enthusiasm for the Cornish pro audio manufacturer’s products, set up Audace specifically to provide one-off solutions and off-the-shelf support products for the blossoming digital market. "When the DR128 was launched, there was nothing like it on the market for anything like the price - and there still isn’t," he enthused. "However, the software supplied with the DR128 is for set-up, rather than an operational programme. Our solution, which is part hardware, part custom software, allows non-technical operators (in this case the HIC’s team of receptionists) to control paging levels and zoning from a simple control panel, while technical staff have full access to the two DR128s for the Centre’s computer network."
The central paging panel, which was commissioned for this project, offers users a pre-selection of multiple paging zones, which combines with a push-to-talk microphone to provide access to the Centre’s nine halls, the foyer, backstage and technical areas. Output level to each of these may be set within
Arbiter and JBL recently took residence at the Hammersmith Apollo, to host the first UK demo of the Vertec Line Array system. The day was designed to give clients an opportunity to view the product up close and allow them some hands-on time with the system.
One of the issues JBL was most keen to emphasize was that of weight, or rather lack of it, for each Vertec VT4889 enclosure weighs only 69kg, including rigging hardware. Each enclosure includes two lightweight 15" low frequency loudspeakers, four powerful 2250H 8" midrange frequency loudspeakers, coupled to RBIs (Radiation Boundary Integrators), and three compact 2435 high frequency drivers fitted to WaveFormers.
The system is already establishing a strong following, both in the US and Europe, where some of the key touring supply companies have systems out with a number of headlining bands.
PLASA has worked in co-operation with some of London’s leading entertainment venues to offer an exclusive insight into the workings of some of the city’s most famous venues; this exclusive backstage tour immediately follows the close of the PLASA Show in London this September. Theatrical London delegates will visit the world-renowned Royal Albert Hall for a night at the Proms; the Apollo Victoria Theatre to see the upgraded Starlight Express; Tussaud’s Group Studios for an exclusive technical tour, and the Donmar Warehouse for a ‘Divas at the Donmar’ performance. To top it off, you can step back in time at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre . . .
Wednesday 12th September: The experience begins with A night at The Proms, The Royal Albert Hall, featuring Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring. Pre-show drinks will be served in the foyer. Performance starts at 7.30pm.
Thursday 13th September: This busy day starts with a coach-ride from Earls Court to The Royal Albert Hall for a guided technical tour of this famous venue, before moving on to the Apollo Victoria Theatre for a guided backstage tour of the recently-upgraded Starlight Express. Following lunch, travel by coach to the Tussauds Group Studios for an exclusive to PLASA tour of the facilities behind the Group’s famous visitor attractions, before visiting Madame Tussaud’s in Baker Street, with an option to go on to the London Planetarium. After a short break, delegates meet up at the Donmar Warehouse, with a tour and performance of Divas at The Donmar featuring Sian Philips. Drinks wil
The UK’s first ever grouping of crowd management companies, the UK Crowd Management Association (UKCMA), has marked its first four months with the announcement of official recognition from two major bodies. The UKCMA was launched in March at the International Live Music Conference in London. Its principle aims are to raise standards within the entertainment event industry and promote awareness of crowd safety issues among legislative bodies in the UK, as well as to foster co-ordination of training and operational standards. The UKCMA, representing the major players in crowd management, aims to achieve this through a continuing educational and networking programme and open forums, targeting all decision makers involved within the crowd management sphere. In the short space of four months, the association has gained recognition from such organisations as the British Standards Institute (BSi) and the Security Industry Training Organisation (SITO), and established links with two other like-minded European organisations.
Almost exactly 12 months since the tragedy at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival, the need for recognised industry standards and a common approach to training is one that can no longer be ignored. The UKCMA aims to set the wheels in motion to raise awareness of the importance of recognised training and operational standards, and in doing so, to help prevent such occurences happening again. "Co-ordinating training standards and a pan-industry approach is now more important than ever," said UKCMA Chairman, Mark Grant. "That is our primary aim
During our time at the recent TiLE show at the Business Design Centre in Islington, we took time out to call in on Lighting Technology’s newly established office on the second levelof the Design Centre.
Dave Cartwright and Richard Reed, both on temporary secondment from the Group’s Park Royal HQ, were more than happy to show us round. The new base, which features both a sales office and showroom area, is championing the promotion of Lighting Technology Projects’ specialist architectural lighting products portfolio, which incorporates product lines from manufacturers around the world, including Color Kinetics, ETC Irideon, TIR LightPipe, Astralux, Derksen and Phoenix - as well as numerous other architectural lighting and control products. Graham White, recently recruited from Absolute Action, heads up the new office with Clive Tallent and Sarah Davis joining him from Park Royal.
Other news from the Group includes the recent relocation of both the Direct Lighting and Valiant Lamps operations. These have now moved to Lighting Technology’s New Malden, Surrey, location as part of an expansion and reorganisation programme. Both companies are already networked to take full advantage of the Group’s new National Distribution Centre in Corby where a computerised internal order processing system has been installed to mastermind and speed up deliveries to its customers.
A documentary team are planning to do a report on what they believe is Europe’s oldest working lightbulb. The star subject has reportedly been working perfectly well in the garage of a family based in Cetinje, Yugoslavia, since it was first installed in 1910.
However, the Yugoslavian bulb has some way to go before it catches up with a feisty old lightbulb still serving duty in a fire station in the US city of Livermore. The 4W bulb recently celebrated its centenary.
Having recently purchased the licensed explosives site they have been leasing for the past four years, Skyhigh Stage FX is now setting about doubling its production capacity. "Sales are going through the roof," Skyhigh’s product manager Tom Owen explained. "Our success is down to our new range of PDS firing systems; we have discovered there is a real need for a firing system that is safer than has been previously available on the market. This in turn is leading to greater demand for our pyro products."
The Skyhigh site was originally a World War II gun site. There are five old gun emplacements each surrounded by its own blast walls. Seventy five metres away from the emplacements is the main magazine where the Ack Ack shells were stored. Each emplacement has its own sub magazine, which supplied each individual gun. The arrangement is ideal for Skyhigh’s purposes. Each emplacement now houses process buildings which are licensed for up to 12 people to work on explosives. Outside the emplacements are process buildings for non-explosive work plus the licensed packing shed.
The details have been confirmed of the third Hayden Laboratories Annual Cricket Cup Challenge. The date for this enjoyable and competitive event is Thursday 23rd August. The Audio and Lighting industry are invited to pull on their cricketing whites and challenge the current champions - Clarion Events Ltd (boo hiss) - in a triangular competition which culminates with a prize-giving and BBQ in the evening.
And if you don’t play, you are very welcome to come and enjoy the atmosphere and cheer on your industry colleagues as they demonstrate their complete lack of sporting prowess in the idyllic setting of Littlewick Green Cricket Club, Berkshire. This year’s three teams will consist of Clarion Events captained by James Brooks-Ward, the PLASA Lighting side captained by Paul De Ville of Lightfactor Sales, and the PLASA Audio side captained by Simon Curtis of Hayden Laboratories.
So if you are a budding young cricket star or a well-seasoned ringer and would like to register your interest in playing in one of the teams, please contact the relevant captain - whose numbers and e-mails are listed below. If you would like to join the supporters on the sidelines and attend the BBQ in the evening, contact Nicky Rowland. To ensure we can cater for the right number of people, there will be a small contribution of £5.00 per person payable on the evening.Audio Team: Simon Curtis E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgLighting Team: Paul De Ville E-mail: email@example.comSpectators: Nicky Rowland E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week Show Technology’s managing director Emmanuel Ziino made a major commitment to the rapidly growing area of architectural lighting by appointing Jonathan Ciddor as architectural products manager. Ciddor has been involved in the lighting business for over 30 years, the last 15 specializing in taking entertainment lighting to architectural and theming applications to create interesting lighting solutions. This wealth of knowledge will now be used to develop Show Technology’s position as one of the leaders in innovative architectural lighting in Australia.
Jonathan’s own experience on large scale architectural and theming projects is vast and he has worked on a wide range of projects. He is currently working on the permanent location of the Olympic Cauldron at Homebush Bay involving over 20 Clay Paky Goldenscans. The installation of this project is by Beyond Audio Visual, a new venture by Con and Angelo Andrews, and the design is by Barry Webb & Associates with Heyday Electrical the on-site electrical contractor.
TeleStage Associates held an official opening of their new office and workshops in Bury St Edmunds on the 13 June. The new premises comprise 350sq.m of office space and 520sq.m of fabrication and warehousing space.
The expansion allows for future growth and provides room for the development of a fully-equipped electrical and electronic workshop which will facilitate the wiring of equipment racks for MCC’s audio-visual equipment racks and custom panels. The workshop will be used for the prototyping and testing of control systems used in stage rigging, AV and show control. A dedicated QA area will ensure that equipment meets all necessary standards before dispatch.
To mark the opening, the company demonstrated a number of items of stage equipment, including two scissor lifts (one using Serapid link chains and the other a single spiral drive from GALA), two of the new super-silent stage winches, operating under load to demonstrate their integral overload and slack rope detection systems. Two other stage hoists were also on display, together with a Batik/Guddland CAT computer control system.The company can now be found at 4 Kempson Way, Suffolk Business Park, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP32 7AR. Tel: +441284 755512.
The MTFX Party Cannon is a single-shot cannon which fires both confetti and streamers in to the air together using a built-in compressed air cylinder. Each cannon is pre-loaded with a mixture of both tissue confetti and metallic streamers in a wide variety of colours. The confetti shapes include stars, circles, bubbles and flowers as well as regular Flying Fetti!
The Party Cannon is available in four sizes to suit all venues and operators: the 200mm cannons are particularly suitable for smaller indoor venues as they fire the confetti and streamers to a distance of up to 4 metres. The 300mm cannons are ideal for larger parties and venues as they will fire the contents up to a distance of l0 metres. The 500mm cannons are aimed at very large venues and outdoor parties as they can shoot confetti and streamers to a distance of up to 20 metres. The 800mm cannons need to be reserved for football matches and arenas as they fire confetti and streamers to an amazing 40 metres!
A panel of crowd safety experts, appointed on March 11 2001 by the ILMC (The International Live Music Conference), has now agreed its agenda. The panel (CSP) has been created in order to increase the focus on health and safety in connection with music festivals and similar larger outdoor concerts. Its main purpose is to assist the government, licensing authorities and legislators with ensuring crowd safety at ongoing or future events.
The panel’s work is highly topical through recent developments in the music and festival culture, and its creation was spurred by a number of accidents and deaths at high profile events including Roskilde Festival 2000 in Denmark and other recent crowd tragedies in Australia and South America. An awareness campaign aimed at educating festival audiences across Europe about the seemingly innocent (but proven dangerous) practice of ‘crowd surfing’ is likely to top the CSP’s public agenda for 2002. Responsibility for the health and safety of audiences at major live music events has traditionally been divided between event promoters, local licensing authorities, health and safety authorities, and crowd management (security) companies appointed by event promoters.
Currently there is no pan-European agreement on crowd safety standards and practices at music events. Although individual countries have their own guidelines, in the view of the CSP, differences between individual national practices should be eliminated as far as possible, to ensure that concert and festival audiences are treated to the highest possible standard
Manchester’s most comprehensive cultural festival, Keyfest, is being held this summer. Keyfest offers 103 hours of varied events in a range of Manchester venues spanning 17 days. Event Associates created the programme and co-ordinated the production of the whole festival for radio station Key 103.
The co-ordination of the artists, venues and production of Keyfest was managed by the Event Associates team, with director Colin Sinclair overseeing the project. Manchester’s ‘street cred’ as one of the UK’s main cultural cities was once again underlined with the launch of Keyfest on Thursday 21st June at Loaf. Tom Hunter, managing director of Manchester’s radio station Key 103 welcomed a gathering of media and celebrities to the opening party. The festival programme includes a celebrity fashion show, performances from Ocean Colour Scene, Paul Weller and David Gray, culminating in Keyfest Live, a one-day open air free concert headlined by top 20 artists the Allstars in the afternoon and Space in the evening. There is also outdoor screening of a Tarantino double-bill and comedy performances from Peter Kay and Johnny Vegas.
For the first time, a comprehensive study of the effects of theatrical smoke has set absolute limits on the amount of smoke that can be used safely on stages.
The report, jointly commissioned by Actors’ Equity Association and the League of American Theatres and Producers, concluded that Actors are at risk when exposed to "elevated or peak levels of glycol smoke and mineral oil." However, it also noted that if exposure levels are kept below the limits established in the study, actors should "not suffer adverse impacts to their health or their vocal abilities."
Further details of the report will appear in the July issue of Lighting&Sound International, being mailed on July 15. If you would like to receive a copy of the magazine, e-mail email@example.com
Further information on the study can be found at PLASA's Standards Office.
The opening of Bounce at the Roundhouse Theatre, by Nick Grace Management, brings a major international production of a highly-rated dance company’s work to London.
Lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe first visited the BouncE Streetdance Company in Sweden in 2000, with the troupe’s management and producers, to guage the potential for a major international production of the highly-rated company’s work. Woodroffe recalls: "We saw that we could translate what they were doing into something even more exciting. Les Brotherston became involved as designer and came up with this wonderful set design for the Roundhouse, on the understanding that Bounce would first do production rehearsals in Ealing, then a six-week run of the show in Sweden before moving to London."
Brotherston’s set has a wide central stage and two raised ‘satellite’ side stages are backed by a wire fence. There’s a stark and decrepit inner city look, replete with rusty scaffolding and a mélange of gangways, ladders and the meshed back wall. "We aimed for the rawness and toughness of the street settings, combined with the smooth and textured theatrics of a proper musical," explains Woodroffe. "The scenery and netting backdrops were lit using Par cans with scrollers down below, and architectural floods made specially to top and front light it. Then we used 10 of the new VL2416 wash lights and 23 VL6B luminaires for the profiles, some of which were built into the scenery, and six VL5 luminaires. For the giant factory windows we installed doubled-
PLASA held its most successful AGM to date on Thursday 14 June in the stunning setting of Coombe Abbey, near Coventry. Just under 70 Members attended, including for the first time, a number of Associate Members. One Member even made the trip from Europe.
During the AGM, both PLASA Chairman Mick Hannaford and Treasurer Sammy de Havilland reported a successful year for the Association, covering the wide range of initiatives that had been introduced in the past 12 months.
In his keynote speech, Chairman Mick Hannaford reflected on the changes taking place within the industry and the need for companies to equip themselves to cope with a rapidly changing world. He emphasized the role that PLASA had to play in this, and also stressed the need for more training, an ambition that the Association has given a further boost to with the recent establishment of its training and education steering group. In a reference to the increasing concern about copyright infringement, he also told Members of the Association’s plans to introduce a low cost design registration scheme next year.
Treasurer Sammy de Havilland informed Members that 2000 had been PLASA’s most financially successful year to date. Turnover was up 3% and this despite the fact that neither the rates relating to the Show or the Publishing Division, nor membership fees, had been raised last year. He advised those present that the Association was now in a strong financial position, and as a result, now able to invest in a number of long-term projects.
Following the AGM, members were given a presentation on th
Showlight 2001 shall never be forgot - Tony Gottelier walks us through the highlights.
After having spent the weekend in Helensborough with friends, and undertaking several outdoor excursions immersed in Scottish mist, as opposed to Scotch mist which is something else entirely (and of which more later), it was quite a shock to wake up to unexpected and blazing heat for the first day of Showlight 2001. However, this weather was certainly appropriate as, in a very literal sense, the sun seemingly bathed this fourth quadrennial colloquium on entertainment lighting, in a golden glow throughout.
Huge credit has to go to the committee for the success that Showlight was once again. Some of the members of this panel will be mentioned in this article, some will not, if only because their roles were more behind the scenes, as it were, but all deserve fulsome praise for their contribution to a thoroughly rewarding and convivial event. None more so than long-suffering chairperson, and fellow L&SI columnist, John Watt. For, Watty’s affable charm and wit was a thread that ran throughout. By the end, he was no doubt wishing that he had been born with a different surname, so that an alternative career might have presented itself. But then, I suppose the obvious option of heating engineer isn’t quite as glamorous either, despite the fact that John’s skills in the hot air department are second to none.
The first surprise, on entering the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, was to discover that the exhibition had been set out on the stage (if only someone had told me that
The Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has defeated the UK Government at the European Court of Justice over the UK’s implementation of the Working Time Directive. The UK’s Working Time Regulations 1998, which implements the Directive, entitles workers to a minimum of 20 days paid leave each year. But employees are not entitled to the leave until they have completed a qualifying period of 13 continuous weeks with the same employer. This means that many freelance and contract workers who work for less than 13 weeks have been denied a right to take paid leave.
BECTU launched a legal challenge to the UK legislation and on 26 June 2001 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) accepted the opinion of the Advocate General of the ECJ, which stated that national governments may not exclude groups of workers from the rights that the directive gives them. The judgment effectively extends the entitlement to paid leave to all workers from their first day of employment. Later the same day the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which is responsible for the Working Time Regulations, announced an urgent consultation on regulations to amend those already in place and corresponding guidance. The amended Regulations will not mean that workers will be able to take four weeks paid leave from their first day of employment, but if the employment ends during the first 13 weeks they will be able to claim for leave which has been accrued but not taken during this period. The consultation will propose a system of accrual, providing one-twelfth of the ann
The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) has announced that the deadline for submissions to its 2002 Architecture Awards Program will be 2 October 2001. Nominations will be accepted for projects located anywhere in the world, and new construction, renovations, retrofitting or reuse of structures will be considered. Now in its ninth year, the Architecture Awards program was established by the group’s Architecture Commission to bring public and professional recognition to architectural projects chosen for their design excellence and ability to resolve the challenges associated with performance spaces. To be eligible for consideration, project construction must have been completed after January 1st 1992. Among last year’s Award winners were the Severance Hall in Cleveland, Ohio; Theater and Congress Hall in Weimar, Germany; The Lowry Centre in Salford, UK; the LG Arts Centre Sangman Hall in Seoul, South Korea, and the Royal Court Theatre in London, UK.