Eastbourne Council has embarked on a general lighting upgrade effective across the town’s three main theatres, The Congress, Devonshire Park, and The Winter Gardens. Knowing from the outset that Strand was the brand of choice to suit their requirements, the theatres’ technical team approached a number of suppliers before opting for London-based White Light - one of Strand Lighting’s trading partners in the UK. The complete order comprised a total of 80 Cantata fresnels and 16 Alto fresnels, all complete with barndoors and other associated accessories, as well as 18 SL15/32 zoom coolbeam spotlights. The fittings were supplied ready to go by White light which, combined with the company’s service policy, was an important factor in securing the sale.
Douglas Morgan, of the Eastbourne Theatres’ technical team, commented: "We had made an informed decision that Strand Lighting was the only route to take for Eastbourne’s Theatres. Most of the existing lighting is Strand and as well as the want for overall conformity, the quality of the Strand ranges is second to none - the fittings are robust and user-friendly. Additionally, the experience of the theatres, as receiving houses, is that most productions companies prefer designing their lighting arrangements through CAD packages, and therefore with Strand Lighting. Thus we find that our theatres greatly facilitate their production needs."
US manufacturer Color Kinetics has launched Color Kinetics Japan. The new company is the product of a thriving distribution partnership between Color Kinetics and ALS Inc. In the past year as a Color Kinetics distribution partner, ALS has successfully introduced the Color Kinetics range of digital colour-changing lighting to the Japanese market. The new company will market the full product line throughout Japan whilst also contributing to the development of market-specific technologies. Kiyoshi Otsuki, president of ALS Inc, will become president of Color Kinetics Japan, and the office will officially open on April 1 in Tokyo.
Italian rock veterans of over 30 years, Pooh have spent the past two months on an arena tour of 19 Italian cities, promoting their new triple-platinum album ‘Cento di queste vite’ (A hundred of these lives). Pooh, one of the few acts which manage to stay on stage for three whole hours, are renowned for the quality of their technical and musical presentation. Staging and lighting for the current tour is looked after by service company Xenon, owned by Renato Neri, who is using a wide array of Clay Paky lighting fixtures for the show, including the new Astroscan projector, launched at PLASA 2000. Neri says: "Astroscan is a spectacular effect that can create soft and relaxing atmospheres or powerful flashes of light. It can be positioned on the stage or up on the trusses, and covers the entire intermediate area thanks to pyramid head which oscillates at the speed and angle desired and creates a diffusion of the light beam on several axes at 360°. As well as providing an effect that blends in perfectly with the rest of the lights, Astroscan gave us the opportunity to light up the audience in a creative way, encircling it completely and making it an active part of the show."
Lighting designer Giancarlo Tosani, who has been lighting for the band since 1980, said: "I must say that Xenon provided me with everything I wanted and also Renato Neri and I are absolutely convinced that Clay Paky projectors outshine all their competitors. I installed the Super Scan Zooms on the central truss above the stage together with the Stage Color 1200 for basic lighting
High End Systems sales representative Jeff Washburn is now overseeing the architectural market for the Austin, Texas-based automated lighting manufacturer. Washburn will continue his duties as regional sales manager for the Central USA, while adding the responsibilities as the new architectural manager for High End's architectural line of luminaires.
Production Resource Group (PRG) has announced today that industry veteran Don Stern has moved into the role of chairman emeritus of Fourth Phase. Stern is the former owner of Bash Theatrical Lighting, which was acquired by PRG in 1997, and has remained instrumental in the operation of the lighting group. He will remain active with Fourth Phase in his new role, and will work closely with CEO Jere Harris on various initiatives, but will be free to pursue some additional interests after a lifetime in the theatre.
After entering into an agreement to establish a joint company with local Chinese partners late last year, Martin Professional has announced that Raymond Wong will head up its new Hong Kong office. The new operation - Martin Professional Hong Kong Ltd - took over distribution from Martin’s former Chinese distributor and has been fully operational since the beginning of February 2001. Martin holds 20% of the shares in the new company, which has its registered office in Hong Kong. Branch offices will soon be established in Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai. Wong was previously sales director for Sanecore, and during his time there handled all imported products, including Martin Professional lighting and Jem smoke machines.
Continuing its recruitment campaign, AC Lighting has announced a number of new appointments. The Northern Region sales office, located in Leeds, has been further expanded by the addition of Graham Bassett and Dave Hartley. Bassett, who takes up the position of Northern Region Sales Co-ordinator, is well known in the industry having spent 12 years with Lighting Technology in Manchester and Newcastle playing a lead role in developing business in the North. Hartley joins as Northern Region Sales Representative having progressed his career most recently with Lightfactor Sales and previously with Bose. The marketing department, based at the corporate offices in High Wycombe, has appointed Steve Dean to the newly-created position of marketing manager. Dean joins from an extensive background in senior positions in management, marketing and sales within the data/telecomms industry. Prior to joining AC, he was the international marketing communications manager for Trend Communications Ltd - a world leader in the design and manufacture of test equipment for high-speed digital transmission systems.
Pictured left to right are Graham Bassett, Dave Hartley and Steve Dean.
The management team at Presentation Services Ltd (PSL), has purchased the assets and business of Gearhouse Group PLC’s Southern UK operation, together with the company’s North American operations. These include PSL and PSL Central, Lighting Unlimited, Set & Stage, Proquip, Presentation Graphics, Gearhouse Multimedia, ConferenceCast and Quorom Travel. In the US, both the Los Angeles and Nashville companies have been purchased. The transaction was concluded on Saturday 3 March and equity funding has been secured for the new company through 3i, with Barclays providing debt funding. The new Group is to be called Presentation Services Group Ltd; all of the companies will be relaunched under the PSL name and will continue to focus on the rental, staging, exhibition and concert touring markets. The new management team comprises Gary Davis, Chris Scadding, Darren Glossop, Irene McLean, Janet Smith, Stephen Rhodes and Nasser Abbas.
Traditional brewers Fuller, Smith & Turner, have entered the burgeoning London leisure suburb of Shoreditch - the trendiest colony in the capital - with their new brand, Katabatic.
With 3,200sq.ft offering a capacity of 480, and a late license inherited from the previous incumbents (Propoganda), this is prime real estate. The late night venue will eventually have cost £1.2 million to develop - a proportion of which has gone on an inspired sound, lighting and vision scheme across the two floors.
As well as offering views of the DJ practicising his craft inside, the exterior design shows off the encased foyer decor of AVR Colourchanger beams refracted from a cluster of tiny mirrorballs, with the campest of light sculptures providing an artistic backdrop. The colour-changing spots from Abstract and Martin Pro, working with the fibre optics, bring Katabatic (a metereological word meaning the downward flow of air) alive at night.
Marquee Installations’ Mark Brown was given a brief to develop two distinct environments - a high-quality midground sound upstairs and the latest London club spec in the basement that could hold its own alongside the best. To accomplish this, he was given all the freedom he needed.
RCF Monitor 5 loudspeakers, fed from a C-Burn Revolution 100 hard disk player, take care of the upstairs, while a pair of compact, flown EAW JF290Zs for the top end, and matching EAW SB330s for the sub-bass, handle the dance sound, augmented by eight RCF PA281 Vision Series for bar area infill. The audio is all driven by QSC amplification and the sound is digit
White Light North will be holding a series of Academy Days in March and April, offering theatre lighting professionals a chance to get ‘up close and personal’ with products and personnel from a wide range of manufacturers. The first pair of open days, on March 21st and 22nd, will feature Avolites, Martin Professional, Robert Juliat and Le Mark. Avolites will be showing the Pearl 2000 and Sapphire consoles, the Art touring dimmers, the macro tablet and the Avo Visualiser system, Martin the MAC2000 and the rest of the popular MAC moving light range, and LeMark the GAM range of colour, gobos and effects, including the new FilmFX linear effect for Source Four spotlights. Robert Juliat’s acclaimed range of lanterns and followspots, for which White Light are now the UK distributors, will also be on show. Companies represented at the April open days, on the 10th and 11th of April, will include Strand Lighting, showing the 300 and 500 Series consoles and the new, award-winning SLD dimmer rack; Rainbow showing their current range of colour scrollers, smoke and haze machines from The Smoke Factory and Look Solutions, and the Supergel, E-Colour and gobo ranges from Rosco. E-mail email@example.com to reserve a place.
Carl Rivord, a 20-year veteran of lighting design work and the automated lighting industry returns to TLS Inc as a sales/project manager. Rivord got his start in the lighting industry in the early 1980s doing touring and production work with various companies in the Midwest. He then opened RSM Inc which manufactured, amongst other things, the Beamer - a controllable universal moving mirror attachment for theatrical fixtures - on behalf of Great American Market (GAM) of Hollywood.
Installation and service subcontractor Install recently completed the relocation of its head office. The new premises, situated within three miles of the M6 and located within a newly built business complex, boast an 8,000sq.ft warehouse, an electronics workshop, a purpose-designed training and conference suite, and an extensively equipped office area. The rapid growth of Install over the past year has meant that the premises are not the only part of the company to have expanded. The 12-strong workforce has increased to 22, based both on and off-site. The most recent addition to the team is John Elves who becomes the company’s new general manager.
As from March 5, Stage Electrics Bristol has moved its operation to Third Way, Avonmouth, Bristol, BS11 9YL. The move has been made to unify the company’s existing six Bristol premises under one roof. The 100 staff at Bristol now benefit from a staff canteen, on-site parking and air-conditioned workstations, while clients will benefit from a streamlined hire operation. The company’s contact numbers are listed below.
Purchasing Enquiries: +44 (0)1179379580
General Administration: +44 (0)117 982 7282
Customer Enquiries: +44 (0)117 938 4000
Constella, the established lighting effect design and manufacturing company, has appointed Mark Webb as its sales representative. Webb, formerly with near-neighbour Abstract, will be liaising with the company’s existing dealer network, whilst also looking to recruit new dealers for the company.
On February 24th, The Witches of Eastwick closed at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Less than a month later, on 23rd March, the show is to be re-born in a new, more intimate production at the Prince of Wales Theatre. The lighting equipment for Howard Harrison’s Olivier-award nominated lighting design will once again be supplied by White Light, with The Moving Light Company again supplying automated lighting equipment.When The Witches of Eastwick opened at its original home last summer, it contained one of the most complex automated rigs seen in the West End. The new production will feature a scaled-down lighting rig, again featuring ETC Source Fours, Rainbow scrollers, VSFX projection and with the automated rig again including Pirouettes, Digital Light Curtains, Technobeams and Martin MAC300s. Portions of the rig will be supplied anew from White Light, allowing the fit-up to commence while the show is still running at Drury Lane; the remainder will be moved between the theatres now the original production has closed. Control will once again be from a Strand 500-series consoles, with control partitioned between two operators for the technical rehearsal period and then left under the control of one operator for the run of the show.
Martin USA has recently moved to new modern headquarters in Sunrise, Florida. The new facility is located in the Sawgrass International Corporate Park - a large, master-planned business park with retail, hotel and recreational facilities. Constructed around an ‘open’ design with plenty of room, the new building is ideal for a staff with a solid teamwork philosophy. At 45,000sq.ft, Martin US’s new office is effectively twice as big as its previous facility and houses a large, dedicated showroom in which to showcase Martin products and conduct Martin University classes.
Rosco has added 24 new colours to its redesigned e-colour+ range, which has been considerably enhanced with a new design swatchbook, colour guide and poster. The swatchbook includes full SED curves, transmission values, and cross references to filters in other Rosco ranges.
Following an impressive year’s trading, the US operation of OPTI has announced its move to larger premises. Based in Virginia, the business has set up home in a new building which will combine office and storage space and provide scope for future expansion. The new facility will continue to stock the full range of UK-manufactured OPTI Kinetics lighting products, as well as OPTI Trilite for the rental market produced at the company’s plant in Carp, Ontario, Canada. With responsibility for sales, marketing and distribution throughout North, Central and South America, turnover for the year is set to grow by 20 per cent.
City Theatrical, which won praise last year for its AutoYoke system, has released a number of new products. These include the AutoYoke for PARnel - an automated variable beam spread washlight for use with ETC’s Source Four PARnel. Users can control the width of the beam and drive colour scrollers using remote DMX. A second new product, the Event PAR, is aimed squarely at the trade show market. A 575W MSD or MSR cold restrike lamp is incorporated into a Source Four Par, the result being a bright, high output washlight with a colour temperature of around 5600 degrees K. The third key new product is the Image Multiplexer - a multiprism device that turns any ellipsoidal with a six inch colour frame slot into a multi-image projection device. Also new from the company is the range of SlipWay taping cables and other theatrical accessories.
Following the news last week that the Gearhouse Group and a large number of its subsidiary operations have been placed in administrative receivership, Avesco PLC has acquired the Midlands and North divisions of Gearhouse Group PLC for £4 million. We understand that the business and assets acquired include the operations in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow and at the NEC.
Ian Brown has recently joined the High End Systems Europe sales team in London as the regional sales manager for the UK and Ireland. Brown moves to High End after 10 months' internet experience at G.E.T.com. Prior to that he was the UK sales representative at Martin UK with specific responsibility for the professional market, dealing with rental companies and major users. After a period of induction, he will assume responsibilities for UK sales operating from High End's London office.
"You know you’re in trouble when there’s no music playing, just the bass player talking to the audience, and you’ve got feedback." So says Don ‘Dodge’ Dodger, house engineer for Paul Rogers, explaining why he had to dash out to the console during the set of opening act, Asia.
Frankly, their set was a travesty; not only did their sound engineer need new ears, the band only had one original member, Geoff Downes, and it seems that 20 years later, he still has nothing new to offer musically. It would have been funny if it hadn’t have been so sad, to listen to the bass player, trying to pitch songs written in a key suited to John Wetton, his illustrious forebear, and failing like a bathroom lothario.
Thankfully, Paul Rogers was an altogether more professional presentation. While much of his set harked back to an era that pre-dates even Asia, it was at least firmly rooted in the blues heritage that epitomises rock music. Classics from his time with Free and Bad Company, peppered a set sprinkled with his own more recent output, and the muddiest of obscure swamp blues.
Not surprisingly, LD Steve Finch plundered the Art of Darkness warehouse for every Par and ACL he could find. "It’s what they wanted," he said. "The only other specific request from management was spot calls." Finch has snuck in a few bits of modern technology though: eight Technobeams and four MAC 600s, but otherwise this rig is true to the seventies oeuvre.
While the automated stuff was questionable (I was overwhelmed by the sensation o
If proof were needed that entertainment technology crosses all boundaries, then here it comes in the story of the newly constructed Potter’s House worship centre, home to one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States.
This 26,000 member nondenominational church in Dallas, Texas, led by Pentecostalist minister, author and entrepreneur T.D. Jakes, set out to build the country’s most technologically innovative church facility yet. $32 million later they have created a 300ft by 300ft, 8,200 seat venue, dubbed a ‘Smart Church’.
Power and data terminals installed at 200 seats allow attendees to download sermon notes and power point presentations onto laptop computers. Altar attendants are equipped with handheld PDAs to allow immediate input of new member data and ‘prayer needs’. An associated language translation centre features translation rooms with the capacity to simultaneously input and output up to six language translations.
Dallas-based consultants Acoustic Dimensions designed state-of-the-art sound, lighting and MATV systems. They worked with PRG company SPL on the installation of the audio and video systems, the centrepiece of which is a sound reinforcement system similar to the one recently installed at the Tennessee Titans football stadium in Nashville.
With a footprint on the main floor the size of two football fields, no one on the design team wanted the space to feel like a sports arena. A number of acoustic and audio strategies were utilised to make the 8,000+ seat venue feel like a smaller church. Not only di
The Backstreet Boys are the biggest boy band out there. So it’s fitting that their Black and Blue world tour, which kicked off January 22, is likely to be the biggest show on the road right now - with a lighting package of more than 250 moving lights and a stage overflowing past 100 feet, rumbling across the country in 27 trucks. The equipment list, supplied by lighting contractor Premier Global Productions of Nashville, includes 144 High End Systems products and includes Studio Beams, Studio Colors and Cyberlights all controlled through a pair of Wholehog II consoles. Veteran lighting designer Peter Morse has specified High End gear on a variety of top-name tours including Barbra Streisand, Christina Aguilera, Reba McEntire, Mariah Carey and more.