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.
London-based Rossula Limited, the company behind the Lightfactor Sales and LightProcessor operations, has entered into a joint venture with German company Zeck Audio to form Zeck Audio UK Ltd, which will market the entire range of Zeck pro audio products throughout the British Isles, from its base in Greenford, West London. Rossula MD Mick Hannaford, comments: "This is an exciting opportunity to bring a unique and competitive range of innovative audio products to the UK. Our aim is to deliver the brand across the country through a small number of strategic distribution partners."Zeck products suit a broad range of professional applications from background and foreground sound reinforcement to touring and installation systems of all sizes. The range includes microphones, wireless systems, cables, connectors, mixing consoles, signal processors, amplifiers and a range of passive and active loudspeaker enclosures.
New York-based City Theatrical has announced the return of Patrick Eagleton to the company, as director of sales and marketing. Eagleton, who has 15 years’ experience in the professional lighting industry, previously worked for the company from 1994 to 1997.
Artistic Licence has announced the launch of its new website, which offers full e-commerce facilities allowing customers to order any products from the company's range, on-line. The Artistic Licence product range now exceeds 100 items, ranging from DMX512 test equipment to LED digital lighting. Customers can also download all product manuals, advance product information and demonstration software.
The Palace Theatre, Watford, is one of the few remaining producing theatres in the country, with many of its productions touring nationally and playing in the West End. The Grade II listed Edwardian theatre is currently undertaking a fundraising campaign to raise £1.5m for essential refurbishment and chief electrician Ian Saunders came up with the idea of projecting a fundraising message onto the safety curtain to highlight the appeal to the audience. To get the appeal off the ground, ETC Europe donated two Source Four lanterns to the theatre. ETC Europe's Peter Ed, made the presentation to Ian Saunders whilst Stage Technologies' Nikki Scott was instrumental in organising the donation.
A host of industry friends and colleagues from all over the world gathered in Cambridge on Saturday 8th April to wish Derrick Saunders, Pulsar's long-time sales and marketing director, well on his retirement. Colleagues who paid tribute included Pulsar MD Paul Mardon, Clay Paky's Enrico Caironi and Lightpower's Gunther Olbricht. Derrick won't lose touch with the industry altogether for he plans to work alongside wife Monica at Adda Super Cases. PLASA would like to take this opportunity to wish Derrick and Monica all the very best for the future.
Following our news story last month about the proposed deal, Mackie has now completed its purchase of Eastern Acoustic Works Inc (EAW). "We are excited about the opportunities afforded us by this acquisition," stated Greg Mackie, founder and chairman of Mackie Designs. "EAW is a leading brand in the professional audio industry and is recognised as a world class developer and manufacturer of high-end professional audio equipment." Jamie Engen, Mackie's chief operating officer added: "There are significant synergies which will come from the combination of Mackie, EAW, and RCF, our Italian subsidiary. Our brands, our engineering, our manufacturing capabilities, our distribution channels, our target markets and especially our people, all complement one another."
PLASA EXCLUSIVE:PLASA Publishing has this afternoon learned that US-based Matthews Studio Equipment Group - one of the largest suppliers of professional equipment to the entertainment industry, has today announced that it has filed a voluntary petition for reorganisation under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The NASDAQ-listed company supplies conventional and automated lighting, grip, transportation, generators, camera equipment, audio and video equipment and theatrical supplies via its worldwide distribution network.Carlos D. DeMattos, chairman and CEO, said: "We have spent the past several months attempting to come up with a proposal that would address the company's challenges outside of a court proceeding. Ultimately, the time required to complete a restructuring transaction and the uncertain cost of closing unprofitable locations were too great to overcome."He continued: "This procedure will bring order to a disorderly process. It should have little or no impact on our customers, our vendors, or our employees. We intend to continue to compete vigorously in all of our markets and to work diligently to meet the needs of our customers."Certain of Matthews' subsidiaries were included in the filings as a result of last-minute demands by the company's lenders, to which the company was forced to accede.
PLASA EXCLUSIVE:Danish financial newspaper Børsen has reported this afternoon that Peter Johansen, the former head of Danish lighting manufacturer Martin Professional, has received a three-month jail sentence following this week's high profile trial for company fraud. In addition, he has been fined a total of DKK 3.6 million (approx £300,000).The Danish newspaper Børsen, also reports today that Poul Schluter, the former Danish Prime Minister and chairman of the board of Martin Professional, has given notice of his resignation, and will leave the company on April 27th.
Pioneer Europe has launched a website resource aimed at DJs of all levels of experience - at www.djsounds.com. The site's 'Interactive' section allows visitors to sample the Pioneer range of mixers for themselves, selecting tunes from a variety of genres including Techno, Drum 'n' Bass and House. The 'Music' section offers 20 tracks of the latest releases from progressive record labels. Other features of the site include video interviews with the world's biggest DJs and details of the hottest upcoming events around Europe, as well as a text and chat forum covering a wide range of topics pertaining to dance music and DJ technology.
Christie Systems Inc has appointed Dr. Glenn Sherman as president and chief executive officer. Christie Systems is the newly-created parent company of Christie Digital Systems Inc and Christie Inc. Sherman will oversee the development of both companies in all market segments including control room displays, fixed installations, rental staging, immersive and the digital cinema environment. Based at the company’s Cypress, California office, Sherman will be responsible for creating and implementing business strategies that drive profitable growth and market dominance for both Christie Digital Systems Inc and Christie Inc. He will also be responsible for preparing the company for an initial public offering in the near future. Sherman holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and brings more than 20 years of experience developing and leading high technology companies on the international stage. A veteran of the laser and optics industry, Dr. Sherman led the development of the world’s first small solid-state blue laser and first portable, high-resolution and full-colour video display based on solid-state red, green and blue lasers.
Bill Summers, the former managing director of Playlight Film & Television has left the Playlight Group to pursue other interests. Chris Wroe, the company’s operations director, will now take over the responsibilities previously held by Summers.
Following exploratory visits by Iain Mackintosh, Theatre Projects Consultants has been appointed by the Government of Gibraltar to advise on the reopening of the Theatre Royal Gibraltar, which has been dark since 1969. A business plan will be prepared before work starts on the re-modeling of an important theatre parts of which date back to 1847 on a site where a theatre has stood since 1826 serving both the Spanish and English speaking communities.
Leading members of the Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS) and the Professional Lighting & Sound Association (PLASA) have been working towards closer links between the two Associations. PLASA MD Matthew Griffiths and APRS chief executive Mark Broad have identified a raft of common interests which could result in the conversion of APRS membership into PLASA. "The two associations have enjoyed a communicative relationship over the last few years," states Griffiths, "and during that time APRS approached PLASA with a view to working closer on areas such as trade mission support and publishing. This proved to be successful, and a conversation was then started as to how this relationship could be expanded to the benefit of all concerned. PLASA will invite the entire membership of the APRS to join PLASA to maintain an effective voice for the recording technology industry." Meanwhile Broad has announced the postponement of the next APRS show until June 2001, in order to maximise the benefits of integrating APRS within the PLASA umbrella. With the support of the recording technology industry, PLASA will now look at running the Recording Technology exhibition in 2001, building on the successes of '99. Full story April L&SI.