Italy - Distributor RM Multimedia has restructured and is expanding following the untimely death of Marco Bartolini in February this year.
Marco, Paula Porolisseanu and Ermanno Tontini all founded the company in 2007 since when it has grown steadily. Operational continuity will be maintained by Paula as owner and managing director and Ermanno as chief technology officer.
Paula has extensive industry connections and a wealth of commercial experience, while Ermanno is well-known and respected in the world of moving lights and as a technical specialist as well as for his customer-focussed approach.
Paula and Ermanno will be leading the RM Multimedia sales team headed by Michele Sgolacchia that includes a network of regional sales agents covering the whole of Italy.
RM Multimedia reports a recent increase in business as activities in Italy pick up over the later summer, with plenty more planned for the latter half of 2021.
Says Ingo Dombrowski, Robe key account manager for Europe: “There was never any question of RM Multimedia continuing as Robe‘s distributor in Italy. Everything will move forward with the same spirit and dedication to delivering excellent sales and superlative service. The company has performed strongly and consistently since its inception in 2007 and is among our busiest and most successful European associates.”
Robe CEO Josef Valchar adds, “RM Multimedia is not just a brilliant, efficient and well managed enterprise with an impressive standing and reputation, it and all those associated with the company a
USA - Several respected industry figures have joined forces to form Apex Technologies, a new company that will “distribute exclusive worldwide entertainment technology solutions” to the North American market.
The founders Bill Morris, Anders Karlsson, Tarmo Krimm and Ola Melzig have run some of the biggest companies and productions in the industry. Their mission is to seamlessly deliver lighting, AV, staging and power supply products that are not currently represented in the US market. Most product lines Apex will represent are well-established on stages and venues in other parts of the world, says the company.
CEO Bill Morris explains: “Apex Technologies is the brainchild of a few of us that saw an open niche in the marketplace to bring exciting products to the North American market. All four of us have either lived in or travelled the world extensively and can clearly see the creative differences in the way live productions are done outside of the USA. There are some great products that just need to be available to the American market. So, we decided to form a U.S. distributor of exclusive products to help facilitate a more global live entertainment industry.”
USA - Goth metalcore band Motionless in White performed last month against the backdrop of the abandoned Pennhurst Asylum in southeast Pennsylvania for Deadstream #2, an atmosphere-filled livestream show lit by Mike Null using Elation Artiste Picasso, Dartz 360 and SixBar 1000 luminaires supplied by Squeek Lights.
Motionless in White are one of the leading acts in the genre with an explosive sound and captivatingly macabre stage presence. A troubled and abandoned state-run school and hospital, Pennhurst Asylum, a frightening place with a sordid history of suffering and paranormal presences, provided the backdrop for a heavy hitting dose of horror-themed metal.
“I feel that if Alice Cooper or Rob Zombie or Marilyn Manson were to know where we shot this they would be very jealous of where we were and what we got to experience,” stated lighting designer Mike Null about the eerie location.
Null has been with the band for over a year, a stretch that includes a tour as well as the band’s first Deadstream, recorded at the Squeek Lights shop in New Jersey last October. Null used Elation Artiste Picasso and Dartz 360 on that show and again turned to the LED moving heads for Deadstream #2.
“The first stream planted a seed in their head,” he said. “If we can do this again, how can we make it bigger and better?” As the band hails from Scranton, Pennsylvania, the somewhat local and debilitated environs of the Pennhurst Asylum seemed a fitting place to put on a show at the end of a pandemic. For Deadstream #2, Nu
Canada - The Montreal Canadiens wanted to give fans an experience they would never forget, as they returned to the Bell Centre for the first time in over a year. And not just by reaching their first finals since 1993.
Montreal-based PixMob reached out to the team to design a shared experience for the 3,500 fans in attendance and the millions cheering on from home - making a limited capacity arena feel full and helping unite a fanbase that had been starved of live hockey since March 2020.
"We’ve illuminated the world’s biggest sporting events and some of the highest-grossing musical tours of all time, but working with our hometown Canadiens at the Stanley Cup Finals is extremely special to us,” said Jean-Olivier Dalphond, president, PixMob.
Given that this is the Canadiens’ first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in nearly 30 years, there was no better time to add a little lighting magic to the stellar playoff run in this first-time collaboration between these two Montreal heavy hitters.
Fresh from their second consecutive Super Bowl Halftime Show in February, the PixMob team have been illuminating 5,000 empty seats with Nova Pixels at the Bell Centre to help fill the arena in lieu of a full house.
Having kicked off at Game 3 of the semi-finals series against the Vegas Golden Knights, the PixMob in-game spectaculars will continue to run through the entire Stanley Cup Finals, which include a variety of high-energy effects for key moments such as the game opening, national anthems, and goal celebrations.
Even though live events
Italy - This complex spirit lives on in the Italian rock band, as they rip comfortable, preconceived notions to shreds and challenging fans with their impassioned, unsettling brand of music. The Criminal Chaos, led by founder and singer Nik Bergogni, from Parma brought the full force of their sound to Fumasoli Audio & Lights Rental’s studio in northern Italy’s Aosta Valley to record their latest music video.
Like the furtive, menacing music of The Criminal Chaos, the lightshow that Patick Iavarone designed for this production conveyed an air of simmering suspense and lurking unknown danger, along with the possibility of discovering something new and redeeming in the end.
Making ample use of shadows to add a sense of mystery to the recordings, Iavarone pierced these dark spaces with bright, boldly coloured light, often in monochromatic hues. Providing these intense illuminations were 32 Chauvet Professional Maverick fixtures from Fumasoli’s own inventory.
Iavarone arranged eight Maverick MK2 Wash and four Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures on the upstage truss, and eight washes on the middle truss, as well four spot units on the downstage truss. He also positioned four of the Maverick washes and an equal number of spots on the floor on the studio’s 10m by 7m stage. The studio itself measures 20m by 10m, providing a variety of good camera angles for video and livestream sessions.
From these positions, Iavarone lit the five band members from different side and back angles to accentuate the haunting atmosphere of the video. “The concept by t
Australia - Multi ARIA award-winning singer-songwriter Amy Shark’s Cry Forever national tour kicked off in Newcastle this month and is one of the first arena tours nationally since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tour is the Gold Coast local’s most ambitious live undertaking yet in some of the largest venues Australia has to offer and it was down to the lighting designer Tim Beeston to create a show that looked big on a budget.
“All of the design tricks had to be deployed and our suppliers delivered a high amount of value for a carefully balanced expenditure,” he says. “What we did use, I feel we used pretty well. The show had no content-driven video element which always makes an arena-size show more demanding to design.”
Chameleon Touring Systems supplied the eclectic rig of Robe, Martin, GLP, Chauvet and Portman fixtures with Tim commenting that the design was essentially created around the Robe BMFL WashBeam of which he had 15.
“They’re the first truly multi-functional, bi-functional light that I have used,” he adds. “The animator, air effect gobos and wide or narrow beam dispersion make them a great tool. With the budget in mind, instead of 20 spots and 20 washes, I engaged with 15 BMFL WashBeams. Plus the 40,000 lumens they deliver means you can carry through into deeply saturated colours and not lose out in brightness.
“I also had 30 Robe MegaPointes that have beautiful prism effects. Again, as a hybrid, you can blow it out into a spot add two gobos and a prism and the intensity is all still there. Slightly
UK - Broadcast on 26 April as part of BBC4’s Lights Up season, J’Ouvert is the second in Sonia Friedman Productions’ Re:Emerge season. Set amid the colourful backdrop of London’s Notting Hill carnival, it is the story of two best friends battling to preserve tradition in a society where women’s bodies are frequently under threat.
J’Ouvert was first produced at Theatre503, before transferring to the Harold Pinter Theatre, where it was filmed for the BBC prior to its West End run. Lighting designer, Simisola Majekodunmi, chose two Ayrton Karif-LT fixtures as major workhorses in her design. “The play takes place from dawn until dusk and has moments of realism and surrealism throughout, so I needed a fixture that could deliver a representation of the colour and vibe of Carnival as well as the sombreness and isolation of the spiritual moments,” she says. “We also had a massive flying piece to contend with over the central revolve which blocks several conventional lighting positions.”
Majekodunmi hung one Karif upstage and one downstage of the central structure to combat the difficult angles. “The upstage Karif was the real workhorse as it was in the best position to encapsulate the whole of the circular stage and was used very prominently during the dream sequences. The downstage unit was invaluable for face light during the poignant moments and for highlighting the actors downstage.”
As the mood changes between the excitement of Carnival and the weight of its spiritual and cultural importance, there are moments of c
USA - Victor Zeiser has developed a natural feel for David Summers’ lighting style. For years, Summers has toured with rigs designed by Zeiser’s Squeek Lights.
When Zeiser and his partner Steve Kosiba created a rig for Summers to use on a recent pay-for-view livestream by metal giants August Burns Red, they knew exactly what to do to bring out the best in his work.
“Victor and Steve deserve a lot of credit,” said Summers. “The rigs they put together elevate your lighting. In my case, they know I love symmetry, so it’s there in the rig. Everything is done to facilitate the creation of big patterns, which is something I love to do.”
Bigness and boldness were everywhere to be seen in the Saturday night livestream, which was done to mark the 10th anniversary of the band’s seminal album “Leveler.” Shot at Aurora Film's studio in Rock Lititz, the livestream featured August Burn Red’s largest-ever lighting package, a rig that was anchored by 37 Rogue R1 BeamWashes and 27 Rogue RH1 Hybrids from Chauvet Professional.
Summers deployed this collection to create an uninterrupted torrent of unique looks during the livestream, which covered all the songs in Leveler, plus bonus tracks. He set different tones on stage by breaking out a bold rainbow of richly saturated reds, blues, purples, greens and other colours.
“On most shows I programme, I have to be super sparing with saturated colour because I usually don't have as many lights to work with,” said Summers. “In this case, though, having so many fixtures made it fu
USA - The entertainment technical and production industry has risen to the pandemic challenge with so many prescient and imaginative responses of how to present art, entertainment and stimulate emotional engagement during a time of separation and isolation. None was more innovative than DesignSpace, the brainchild of John Featherstone of US-based design collective Lightswitch.
DesignSpace was an immersive drive-through visual extravaganza of light and video art, presented and curated in close collaboration with John’s contacts at Arizona State University (ASU), and utilising over 160 Robe lighting fixtures, among others.
Working in conjunction with Jake Pinholster, associate dean of ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design & The Arts, plus several student artists, designers, and technicians plus his own team at Lightswitch, John’s concept transformed four levels of concrete functionality within ASU’s main parking garage into a vibrant gallery backdrop for 30 unique pieces of visual art.
These were enjoyed across 12 evenings of shows over a three-week period by approximately 30,000 people in 4,000 vehicles.
To illuminate this pop-up gallery space - both for safe driving and aesthetic reinforcement - John chose four types of Robe luminaires - 78 x Spiider wash beams, 58 x MegaPointes, 14 x ESPRITES and 12 x ColorStrobes. These were part of approximately 800 lights, plus LED screens, media servers, projectors and other lighting, video, and audio kit.
Lighting was supplied by rental specialists Video West with a team led by Donny
UK - A Cornish event production company has completed its busiest ever period, working simultaneously on seven separate events over the G7 Summit week.
Liskeard-based JHAV was appointed to help deliver multiple events associated with the G7 Summit for clients including Spaceport Cornwall, Virgin Orbit, the University of Exeter, and surfing brand Finisterre.
The team also created a press conference suite to be used by US president Joe Biden in the Spaceport Cornwall hangar at Cornwall Airport Newquay.
JHAV managing director Jamie Hedges explains: “We’ve been involved in all kinds of events since starting JHAV, but working on all of these projects revolving around something as high profile as the G7 Summit has to be one of our biggest accomplishments to date.
“The top-secret nature has meant we have been under embargo since the event, and I am so proud to now be able to talk about the amazing work of our team. A personal highlight for me was standing 10ft away from the US President while he addressed the world’s press to close his visit, which we had put together with less than 24 hours’ notice.
“As a production company in Cornwall, it's been brilliant to be given the opportunity to demonstrate that we can deliver high-quality events to rival anything produced by multi-national event production companies. We’ve shown that Cornwall can operate on the world stage, in both a literal and metaphorical sense.”
The team was tasked with turning an empty hangar at Cornwall Airport Newquay into a showcase for Spaceport Cornwall
Switzerland - Tempest enclosures have enabled an eye-catching lighting display for the public to enjoy in Zurich. In Tactile Lights (Tastende Lichter), designed by artist Pipilotti Rist, slow moving lights ‘float’ atop the picturesque city streets and buildings, drawing attention to the striking architecture and surroundings at Heimplatz square, ahead of the opening of the recent extension to the Kunsthaus museum.
The lighting equipment - Martin Allure fixtures protected by five Tempest Tornado 1925 lighting enclosures - is housed within a vibrant, custom built 17m high mast structure, forming its own artistic focal point at the centre of the square. The project was funded by the City of Zurich and the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft art association.
“One of the biggest challenges for us was where and how to place the moving light devices,” says Kaori Kuwabara, independent lighting designer and project manager. “Since the artwork is only viewable when dark, I was concerned that, in this attractive city environment, it wouldn’t be appreciated to have a giant technical pole with large devices hanging from it visible during the day. So, I asked the artist to perhaps colour the pole for a more aesthetic, ‘happier’ appearance.
“What started with a little question grew exponentially, and we had many brainstorming hours, weeks, months and years before it transformed into what we have today. In this period, Tim Burnham at Tempest supported us with ideas on how to hide the large base of the Tornado dome, and how to prepare this installation for
USA - Will drive-in concerts fade away now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing? Anyone who automatically responds 'yes' to this question might want to drop by the Frederick Fairgrounds, MD on a weekend night this summer.
There, they’ll find a large drive-in stage featuring the likes of The Disco Biscuits, Goose, Grace Potter, and Umphrey’s McGee, to name a few. It’s all part of Showtime At The Drive In, a series of outdoor shows sponsored by Showtime Sound and Auto Flex Entertainment.
“We began this series last year as a way of bringing our community together through a socially distant movie and concert sets,” says Marc Chauvin, director of technical operations for Showtime Sound. “Based on the feedback we received from fans last year we’ve continued the concept this year.”
Although continuing to operate under state and county guidelines, the drive-in series has expanded its offerings to include a ‘vendor village’ with food and beverage trucks. It also has a high-res 20ft x 40ft IMAG screen to ensure maximum visibility from every spot, a state of the art audio system for sound quality, and a high output lighting system featuring Chauvet Professional fixtures to create everything from a genuine rock show to an intimate theatre vibe on the stage and its surroundings.
“We’ve built on our experience last year to make this years’ experience more rewarding and engaging for fans,” says Chauvin who works with Aaron Kovelman, director of design and production at Showtime Sound on the lighting rig. “This is a di
USA - An island oasis in the Hudson River west of Manhattan, Little Island @Pier55 is receiving praise as an arts area and green getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Made up of 132 pot-shaped planters suspended above the water, the park’s topography holds a lush landscape of rolling hills, walking paths and open lawns. Nestled among the island’s more than 390 species of flowers, trees and shrubs are performance spaces outfitted with Elation Professional IP-rated automated luminaires.
Designed by Heatherwick Studio and landscape architecture firm MNLA, the 2.4-acre artificial island park, funded by the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, is a new public park with performing art as an integrated component. A 687-seat amphitheatre with views across the Hudson, a smaller stage for 200 visitors, and an open plaza, are all designed to host a range of programming.
Early in 2020, just before Covid struck, Josh Weisberg of Navolo Audio-Video brought Herrick Goldman onboard the project to help in designing and specifying the lighting systems. Goldman, founder & principal designer at Evoke Collaborative, was asked to provide a lighting design that met the demands of a client who placed extreme value on aesthetics. “Mr Diller did not want anything to distract from the beauty of the project, so we paid very specific attention to keeping a very clean look,” Goldman says. “My job was to not only navigate that but also provide the tools necessary to anyone performing in the amphitheatre.”
Goldman worked with Little Island produ
USA - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 2021 March Madness tournament is a single-elimination college basketball tournament played each spring with 68 teams competing for the national championship. It has been lit - seven courts across six venues in total - for the last three years (preceding 2020 which was cancelled due to COVID-19) by broadcast live events specialist, Bill Brennan.
The 2021 Final Four was staged at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Bill specified 60 x Robe BMFLs - a combination of BMFL Spots and BMFL Blades - for the supplemental rig this year, which were supplied, together with other lights, by Nashville-based Pulse Lighting, whose Paul Hoffman was also the event’s lead lighting programmer.
Pulse has been working with Bill since 2007 on a diversity of sporting events. Naturally, everyone was delighted to be back working at this year’s March Madness after the many challenges of 2020.
Bill’s main consideration for lighting the Lucas Oil Stadium was to successfully transform it from a professional football venue to a premium basketball court, as well as to satisfy the needs of multiple media organisations as the event attracts intense coverage.
To assist with this, in addition to the stadium’s in-house lighting rig he needed a serious number of high-powered fixtures and chose the BMFL Spots.
The biggest challenges were balancing the backgrounds and properly managing the daylight spill from the venue, which has a retractable roof and a large retractable window at one end, a
UK - The ABTT has announced the Virtual Ideas Platform. Set up in collaboration with Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the platform will serve as an informal introduction service between independent creative innovators and commercial developers behind the sectors’ leading brands, products and services.
The platform is open “to anyone and everyone with an idea” and aims to recognise and help realise new ways of making theatre work.
The ABTT says: “We know when backstage people are faced with a technical challenge, they get inventive and creative, cook up ideas and find solutions. The Platform is here to recognise, salute and honour those innovators in our midst.
“By its very nature, theatre is a dynamic working environment in which to invent and develop new and better ways of doing things - in special effects, costume and wardrobe, wigs, make-up and hair, scenery, stage, sound, lighting, automation, audio-visual and any other discipline which makes live performance happen.”
Submissions to the Virtual Ideas Platform can be made via this application form by 20 August. To better demonstrate their idea, applicants can upload supporting information such as pencil drawings, recorded verbal descriptions, 3D drawings, and video.
All submissions will be assessed by a panel of experts and successful applications will be uploaded to a secure access area of the platform. Members of the Industry Supporters Group, a group of service providers and commercial compa
USA - Main Light, LLC. has announced that it will be expanding its operations with a location in Las Vegas, NV as of August 23, 2021. The new 40,000sq.ft shop, at 6435 South Valley View in Las Vegas will allow the dry hire service to better support the western US
Pairing with Main Light’s Delaware shop, the Las Vegas operation will duplicate the depth of new and well-maintained equipment available.
“Having a west coast shop is something that our clients have been asking about for some time,” states Randy Mullican, general manager of Main Light, LLC. “As the entertainment and event industries are re-opening, many of clients are asking us to step-in and support them across the country. Though we always would provide gear wherever needed, the Las Vegas location will allow us to respond to those needs more efficiently, and very-importantly, cost effectively.”
Main Light also took the opportunity to reveal their new logo and introduced a new company-wide 800 number, (800)-397-MAIN (6246).
Throughout the pandemic, Main Light took the opportunity to rebalance their own inventory by selling off older equipment and buying new technology. Staying in front of their client’s needs, Main Light focused on acquiring the gear that will be in demand by production companies looking to supplement and access quality equipment from a trusted dry hire resource. “We will be here for our clients,” notes Mullican, “as they reopen and get back to work without having to invest in acquiring new equipment themselves. All these production companies need
Germany/UK - Last month, SUSE made its initial public offering debut on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In response to the limitations of physical events brought on by the pandemic and in lieu of being at the Deutsche Börse in person, SUSE reinvented the entire listing day experience with a digital-first approach.
SUSE collaborated with Deloitte Digital, using technical solutions specialist White Light (WL’s) SmartStage in London, to create an entirely virtual experience that could reach its global audience.
Bespoke virtual worlds, and overall storyline, created by Deloitte Digital / ACNE, together with their production partner NSYNK, using Unreal Engine, were seamlessly integrated into the SmartStage environment and remotely edited via VPN from Frankfurt.
The environment was further enhanced with extended reality (XR) features, such as a virtual drone to visually transport the audience from the stage in London to Frankfurt, and onto the trading floor of Deutsche Börse. SUSE brought together colleagues from around the world for a virtual bell ringing ceremony celebrating this milestone. WL also worked in close collaboration with Deloitte and SUSE, with creative direction from Hamburg, Berlin, and Seattle.
Mark Sutcliffe, WL’s account manager comments: “The SUSE IPO launch was one of the most technologically-advanced events we have delivered using SmartStage to date. As well as the multiple remote connections to stakeholders in different locations, NSYNK were driving the Unreal worlds live with multi-user edits and calling camera shots fr
The Netherlands - This year’s Eurovision Song Contest has been recognised as a pivotal moment in the return of large-scale entertainment events in a post-COVID world. Performed in front of a live audience of 3,500 plus delegates in the Greenroom on the arena floor, ESC captivated both the live audience and the 183m watching on television from 234 countries worldwide.
The entire event was under the supervision of Eurovision’s head of production, Erwin Rintjema.
At the heart of lighting designer, Henk-Jan van Beek’s dynamic design were the tools to guarantee that the Multi-camera directors received all the key lighting required to bring the performers to the small screen exactly as they would wish.
The Netherlands-based Follow-Me 3D SIX remote tracking system (as part of the lighting specification delivered by the official technical supplier, Ampco Flashlight) was used to keep the Eurovision performers in the spotlight, wherever they went on stage.
Designed to accommodate an unlimited number of fixtures per artist, the Follow-Me package is not limited to any type or brand of luminaire. In the Ahoy, a total of 64 fixtures ran through Follow-Me 3D, whilst receiving fixture positional data from the motion control system over PosiStageNet (PSN). Follow-Me understands all fixture positions and orientations in 3D space and uses this information to keep any of those chosen fixtures on the performers. This tracking ability is achieved by a single Follow-Me system, following up to six performers, using one PoE-based Follow-Me Mouse Console per o
USA - For all six seasons of Fox’s award-winning television series Empire, lighting programmer Jared Moore used a variety of Hog control products for the show’s diverse performance settings and other scenes. The American musical drama was one of the most-watched series during its long run through 2020. After a quick run on the US shoot for Warner Brothers The Batman, Moore next turned his focus to work on Power Book IV: Force, Starz's spin-off based on original Power character Tommy Egan.
Jared began his career in 2002 as a freelance LD in Chicago, coming of age through the theater scene and designing for a modern dance company on ETC desks. In 2013 he transitioned into television and film work, where he learned of the Hog platform. He says, “I was told by another programmer that all the film guys used Hog. I worked on the ABC show Mind Games where I used a Hog III - that’s where I learned the console. Transitioning to the Hog 4 platform when I booked the Empire gig was a natural step.”
Moore’s resume saw him brought in as lighting programmer for the opening 2015 season of Empire. Still called a ‘dimmer op’ in the film/television world, he was a production constant through the series, working with various DPs and gaffers, and eventually purchasing his own Road Hog 4 desk. “I was even in the backgrounds for a few scenes,” he laughs, “as part of a quick clip. The director wanted a shot of somebody pressing a button. That was the joke – me in the background.”
“I knew Empire was going to be
UK The landmark Nottingham Castle reopens this month following a £30m refurbishment which started in 2018. Part of the new look is an Anolis exterior LED lighting scheme illuminating all four sides of the building, comprising 17 x Anolis Divine 160 fixtures which was designed by Ian Forrow of IJF Lighting and commissioned by On Event Production from Castle Donnington.
Electrical installation and fixtures were supplied by Amptron Electrical Services who were the appointed electrical contractor for the whole project which included the external lighting.
The original fortified castle dates to Medieval times but that structure was largely demolished by the mid-17th century, with a mansion built on the site in the 1670s by the first and second Dukes of Newcastle. This was burnt down by rioters in 1831 and rebuilt in the 1870s to house an art gallery and museum which remains today. It occupies a commanding position at the top of a 40m-high bluff known as ‘Castle Rock’ and has stunning panoramic views across the south of the city below.
On Event Production is the technical supplier for the local council’s city hall building, Nottingham Council House, and was asked to consult on renewing the Castle lighting by Richard Hamblin, who has co-ordinated and run the Nottingham Castle renovation project for the City Council.
On Event’s own project manager Alex Tweedie explained that the brief from Richard was to replace the old metal halide lighting scheme with something that was brighter, more energy-efficient, better quality and that would be inf
USA - ACT Lighting has announced the launch of ACT Entertainment, a new entity formed by bringing together the brands of the ACT Lighting and RHC Holdings family of companies.
The new ACT is billed as a streamlined organisation that “takes a holistic approach to the industries it serves, curating critical entertainment technologies and bringing leading products and services to its clients across multiple distinct markets”.
“Offering exceptional products and services, ACT Entertainment gives the most exciting and valuable entertainment technologies in the world a single home in North America,” says Ben Saltzman, CEO of ACT Entertainment. “We are exclusively focused on empowering our customers with the tools and support they need to enhance their, and their clients’, creative visions. ACT Entertainment enhances live experiences by discovering, developing, and delivering products that create value for our customers while supporting our products with industry-leading service and education.”
Headquartered in Jackson, Missouri, ACT Entertainment will operate from its facilities in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Texas, and Massachusetts.
Dale Williams, president and COO of ACT Entertainment, states, “Given the challenges faced by the entertainment industry in the past year, it was clear to us that we needed to be a more unified and efficient organisation, a more nimble and agile entity that works more effectively together. The need for internal change grew organically as our industries evolved and changed. By unifying all of our com
UK - The widely respected PLASA Awards for Innovation return to the PLASA Show for 2021, in association with LSi magazine. All PLASA Show 2021 exhibitors are invited to enter their new products by Friday 6 August to be in with a chance of winning one of the coveted awards.
The awards celebrate products from across live entertainment technology which demonstrate a new style of thinking, improve technical practice or safety, introduce new materials or techniques, or offer a new commercial advantage.
Each entered product will be judged by an independent panel of industry experts who have the authority to present up to eight awards of equal standing, plus a potential Gold Award for an outstanding new product.
Furthermore, an Award for Sustainability is reserved for a product that can demonstrate a significant reduction of power, utilises renewable energy, or has a positive impact on the environment.
The awards will be presented during an intimate industry ceremony on the Monday evening of PLASA Show 2021 which is running from 5-7 September at Olympia London.
Products launched since the PLASA Show 2019 are eligible to enter. For full entry criteria and further information on the PLASA Awards for Innovation 2021, please visit: www.plasashow.com/awards
USA - The Kridel Grand Ballroom at the Portland Art Museum is a historic 9,000-sq.ft. space with soaring ceilings and rich architectural details that has played host to many of the city’s premiere events for decades. With its full proscenium stage, sound, lighting and projection systems, the venue is tailor-made for elegant gala fundraisers, corporate meetings, and weddings.
Chris Pitale, senior AV tech at the museum, oversaw a recent lighting upgrade in the Grand Ballroom that included Elation Professional Fuze Pendant LED downlights and Netron data distribution from Obsidian Control Systems.
“We set about planning an upgrade with Netron hardware and simultaneously had been eyeballing our aging house lighting system for upgrade,” Pitale explains, referring to an old system of 32 recessed 250W incandescent par cans that cast bad shadows due to placement of a truss grid. “We planned a 24-unit update with LED Lekos hanging from the existing ceiling in locations we could control the light spill and avoid the truss and chandeliers.” They started the electrical, ordered the units, and began testing. Then, late in 2019, the Ballroom ceiling façade collapsed.
“It brought the wood façade crashing onto the truss grid, lighting, audio and video systems, and anything else underneath,” Pitale recalls. The ceiling was eventually rebuilt to match its original look and after a full replacement of a host of systems, they returned to the house lighting question. “We shopped a few fixtures and settled on something an architectural firm assured us wo
USA - The outdoor stage at the Avondale Brewing Company in Birmingham, AL, was smaller than the ones Pigeons Playing Ping Pong normally plays on, probably not much more than 30ft in length. But adaptation is the order of the day as live music returns throughout much of the USA.
The size of the stage didn’t matter much; breaking rules and flying off in wonderfully unexpected creative directions can take place in any space. The popular jam band provided proof of that recently when they improvised their way through two upbeat sets filled with energy and original musical turns.
Flowing with them on this freewheeling journey was their long-time lighting designer, Manny Newman. Described by the quartet as “the fifth member of the band”, Newman also proved that limited space is no obstacle to limitless ideas. His expansive show filled the stage and the entire venue with visual delights that included swirling custom gobo patterns and colour combinations that moved from dreamy pastels on white, to bold edgy mixes.
Helping him achieve these looks were the 18 Chauvet Professional Rogue fixtures in the band’s own touring rig. He positioned six Rogue R1 Spot fixtures across a 16-foot truss as part of his ground package, and hung 12 Rogue R1 Wash units on four grids that were placed across the truss. Working this road package with the house rig, he unleashed a stream of looks across the stage’s backdrop that invited imagination.
“Usually during the second set I like to do psych looks on the back wall for certain jams,” he said. “At Avondale,