One of the longest-established names in specialist tour and corporate event freighting has a new identity this month with Phil McDonnell's launch of Horizon McDonnell Entertainment Cargo. McDonnell's 30-year career in the music production business has embraced production management for such luminaries as Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac, The Cranberries, Clannad and many more. The company will focus specifically on the music touring, corporate event and exhibition markets.
An all-new website for the Low Power Radio Association (LPRA) has just been launched. Features of the site include a database will full details of all member companies, a section devoted to the LPRA's Radio Solutions exhibitions and conferences and useful links to regulatory bodies and organisations across Europe.
The UK's first ever media industry census takes place today. Backed by major employers, trades unions and the government, Britain's first broadcasting census is the culmination of a major consultation exercise by the cross-industry group examining future training needs in the media industries. The initiative is part of a programme of work developed by the Audio-Visual Industries Training Group (a joint venture between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Skillset) and is chaired by Roger Laughton. Our industry has long been hindered by the lack of accurate available information and the Census should provide reliable estimates of how many people work in the industry, and a picture of what they do and who they are. If you are a company working in any sector of the industry you can complete the census form online.
Marketing and sales consultant Nick Dimes has joined forces with journalist Sue Sillitoe to launch Dimes & Sillitoe Ltd, a communications management company. The company offers a range of marketing services and has already attracted a number of key clients including Fleetwood Mobiles.
The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) has awarded seven lighting projects with Lighting Design Awards of Merit. These went to The Albert Memorial in London designed by Graham Phoenix and Michael Sampson of London-based Lighting Design Partnership; New York's Radio City Music Hall Restoration designed by Paul Marantz and Scott Hershman of New York-based Fisher Marantz Stone Inc; New York Public Library's Rose Main Reading Room, designed by Barry Citrin and Richard Renfro while based at Fisher Marantz Renfro Stone Inc. Samsung's Rodin Museum in Seoul, South Korea, by Thomas Thompson, Christine Sciulli, Jonathan Plumpton and Russ Burns of New York-based Thompson & Sears Inc; Northeastern University Multi-Faith Spiritual Centre in Boston, designed by Paul Zaferiou and Glenn Heinmiller of US-based Lam Partners Inc; Zollverein Kokerei in Essen, Germany, designed by the Lighting Architects Group of London and Edinburgh; Downtown Helsinki Master Plan, Finland, designed by Ross de Alessi Lighting Design, Eero Metso of Helsinki Energy and Erkki Rousko of Cadvance, Helsinki. The IALD also offered two special citations to Plantation Place Marketing Suite Beacon, designed by David Hymas and Haico Scheppers of London-based Arup Acoustics and the UBS AG headquarters in Stamford, US, designed by Stephen Margulies and Stephen Szynal of New York-based Cosentini Lighting Design.
Vari-Lite Inc has relocated its Las Vegas office recently after the operation outgrew its former 5,600sq.ft facility on McLeod Drive. The new Las Vegas office, on E Maule Avenue, has tripled the location's warehouse space.
Presentation Services Ltd (PSL) have successfully defended a claim brought against them by former employee, Chris Mounsor. Mounsor had been employed as PSL's manager of Concert Touring, UK and Europe, from July 1996 until November 1999. Following his departure he alleged breach of contract and unfair dismissal. These claims were denied at an Employment Tribunal hearing in North London where PSL successfully maintained that Mounsor had resigned. In the circumstances the Tribunal held that Chris Mounsor's claim for establishing a fundamental repudiatory breach of contract fell at the first hurdle; the breach of contract and unfair dismissal claims both, therefore, failed.
Entertainment Design and Lighting Dimensions magazines have announced that the eighth annual Broadway Lighting Master Classes will be held from December 6 to 10, 2000 in New York, with Tony-award winning lighting designer Jules Fisher as creative consultant and faculty head. A new scholarship programme has been introduced to increase participation by university students interested in professional lighting design.
Sarner International has designed and produced 'Our Finest Hour' - a 13-minute multi-sensory film depicting events of the Battle of Britain, at the RAF Museum in London. The show has been designed to incorporate the now static, but original WWII aircraft in the museum's Battle of Britain Hall. Sarner's creative director Mike Bennett said: "Our brief from the museum was to create a visitor experience that would engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds in the Battle of Britain story. Using a combination of static exhibits, digital video and 3D transition techniques, Sarner has created a multi-level interactive show that generates a more theatrical effect than simple video projection."
The Production Services Association (PSA) has announced that Her Majesty's Commission for Charity for England and Wales confirmed full charitable status for the PSA Welfare & Benevolent Fund on May 8th. The Fund is the only one in the UK live event production industry set up specifically for people working in the industry and their families, and this news means the Association's efforts to establish the Fund have been officially recognised by the Commissioners.Another excellent piece of news for the Fund is the confirmation of two new Patrons - legendary bassist Herbie Flowers and the equally legendary broadcaster John Peel. They join Founding Patron Sir Cliff Richard and his fellow Patrons Sir Sydney Samuelson CBE, Willie Robertson and Neil Warnock.
Commercial amplifier manufacturer Inter-M and its UK distributor, CIE Audio, are sponsoring a charity bid by Sandra Lee to trek across Alaska. The seven-day trek aims to raise money for SENSE - the national deafblind charity. CIE's Chris Edwards said: "The aim of Sandra's challenge is to benefit some of the UK's 23,000 deafblind people and their families and carers.
The 2000 PLASA Show (10-13 September, Earls Court, London) will include a number of new features this year. As a direct result of the Exhibitor's Forum working group which was set up following PLASA 99, the show hours are this year being extended to run from 10am - 6pm on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and 10am - 5pm on the Wednesday. Another new feature for 2000 is the Technology Gallery, in which visitors will be able to view the latest new product developments prior to the PLASA Awards on the Wednesday morning. The TILE Zone seminar will offer specifiers in the amusements and attractions market a platform for up to the minute discussion and debate.PLASA's MD Matthew Griffiths commented: "With 13,254 ABC-audited visitors at the show last year - 3,224 of which came from overseas - our prime objective for 2000 is to continue the show's development and growth. One of our key aims for 2000 is to build the show's appeal to new markets - the architectural and building services, corporate presentations and the amusements and attractions markets - while continuing to develop the show's strength in core markets."
The International Association of lighting Designers (IALD) will tomorrow award six aspiring architectural lighting design students from around the world with a total of $10,000 in scholarships and cash at the 17th annual Lighting Design Awards, held in New York. The lucky six are Tuuli Somma from Helsinki, Finland; Emily Emerson from Easton, Kansas; Swapna Sundaram from New Delhi, India; Brad Koerner from Boston, Massachusetts; Sandra Loren Park from Glendale, California and Paul Wraa of Pleasant Hill, California. The money is raised by the IALD Education Trust Fund Grant and Scholarship Committee.
PLASA (the Professional Lighting and Sound Association) has become an official distributor of products of the British Standards Institution (BSI). This position allows PLASA to offer BSI products to its UK membership at a discount of 25% off BSI list prices. A complete list of British Standards is available on the BSI website at www.bsi.org.uk. This lists non-member prices, which are subject to the agreed 25% discount for PLASA's UK membership. Once Standards have been ordered via PLASA, the BSI aims to dispatch 95% of orders received by noon on the same day. PLASA's Standards Officer, Tim Cox, said: "This arrangement provides a valuable service for PLASA's UK members, at very reasonable prices. The cost of BSI standards can range from around £20 up to more than £150, depending upon the size and complexity of the document, so this is another way by which PLASA members can gain a real material advantage for their membership fee."
Tim Adams is to take on the role of Editor of Installation Europe following Mike Lethby's departure at the end of April. Adams, who for the last few years has been working alongside Jerry Gilbert at JGP public relations, will take up his new position at the end of May.
Stardraw.com, a new company dedicated to the delivery of applications and services, has been launched to service the family of Stardraw products (Stardraw 2D, Stardraw Professional, Stardraw Audio and Stardraw Audio Lite). The new company has purchased the intellectual property, assets, goodwill and distribution rights for the Stardraw product range. Meanwhile it continues to have a strong relationship with Starlite Systems Technology Ltd and, in the first of the new company's board meetings, confirmed Starlite Systems Technology as exclusive UK distributor for Stardraw products. David Snipp, former director of Starlite Systems Technology and managing director of Stardraw.com told PLASA: "We kept getting asked 'Is Starlite a software company that does lighting, or a lighting company that does software?'. The fact is that for years there have been two very distinct companies operating under the Starlite banner, so Stardraw.com has been set up to make things clearer both for the marketplace and for the separate operations."
Specialist sound, light and visual graphics installers, PA Installations, has recently created a new Design Studio at its head office in Llanelli, South Wales. The studio has been designed to incorporate state-of-the-art media and multimedia design software with 2D and 3D graphics. As well as being a centre for R&D in entertainment and related technologies, the studio will handle the conception and realisation of exterior lighting design, signage system display formats and internet kiosk applications.
BSR E1.9, Entertainment - Presentation of Photometric Performance Data is now available for public review. The draft standard specifies a way of presenting the photometric performance data of stage and studio luminaires and copies of the document may be obtained from the ESTA website. Final date for comment is July 18, 2000.
Work has now started on site to construct Futurist's new warehouse and office complex in the heart of Wakefield's town centre in West Yorkshire. The new complex which is being designed and built by Parkin International, will be ready for the company to occupy in late August 2000. Once complete, the company intends to open a further operation in Manchester.
Sennheiser UK has started a student scholarship scheme at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield. The scholarship is for students studying the two-year NFTS Diploma and specialising in Screen Sound. The first award, which covers full payment of fees and an allowance towards living and travel expenses, has been made this year to Robert Bourke, a final year student from Dublin (pictured with Sennheiser UK managing director Paul Whiting). Sennheiser UK started a similar scheme in 1998 for students studying the BA degree in Sound Technology at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
It seems that the replica of the Rose Theatre - built for the award-winning film Shakespeare In Love - is to find a new home on the site of the former Collins Music Hall in Islington Green, North London. Like most film props, the set was to have been scrapped after the completion of filming, but Dame Judi Dench, who starred in the film, felt it too good to demolish and wanted to find it a permanent home so that others could act on it. If all goes to plan, the theatre will be reassembled and ready to open by Midsummer's Eve 2002.
Supplied via its German dealer Amptown SC, Avenger's show control systems - Conductor and miniConductor - will be used in the corporate pavilions of Bertelsmann and Siemens, as well as the 'Planet of Visions' theme pavilion at the forthcoming World Expo in Hannover. These pavilions require a large amount of flexibility for their show control, as the shows include video-servers, lighting equipment and customised AV applications. In addition, the country pavilions of Lithuania, Austria and the UK will also employ Conductor systems.
Show production company CJ Spencer Associates has rebranded, and is now trading under the name of Hotcakes UK Ltd. The decision to rebrand comes at a time of expansion within the company in terms of key personnel, office space and substantial IT development at the company's headquarters in Skipton. Hotcakes, whose current clients include Marks & Spencer, Cosmopolitan Show, BBC Good Home Show and Prima, will be promoted as a 'brand experience consultancy', with the ability to understand a client's marketing needs as well as providing the technological skill to produce a cutting-edge show.
As we reported on April 7, Peter Johansen - founder and former owner of Martin Professional - has been sentenced to three months in jail by the local court of justice in Aarhus, Denmark. Johansen, through an intermediary, has now contacted us to offer his version of events. He says that the ruling followed his attempt in the spring of 1999 to block the possibility of a hostile take-over of Martin Professional, 15 months after he left the company as CEO. "Martin was under threat after a long period of unrest, which had driven down the value of the Martin stocks. I tried to top up my 25 percent stock-share to 33.33 percent to be able to block the board from selling to hostile bidders. To avoid further unrest, I decided not to publish my intentions. I did not want the market to get the false impression that I was trying to pave my way back as CEO of my old company."Shortly after the attempt, which did not succeed, Johansen sold a major part of his stocks to Schouw & Co - the present owner of Martin Professional. The sale gave Johansen a marginal profit and whilst the court of justice acknowledged that there had been no motive for profit in his actions, the ruling states that he should have informed the Copenhagen Stock Exchange about his acquisitions. Johansen has decided to appeal against the sentence.