Stardraw.com has welcomed two new members to its team - Frank Walker has been appointed to handle technical sales in the US whilst Francesco Marcolini takes on the role of web developer.
"Our business is expanding daily," said Randell Green, president of Stardraw.com Inc, "so it is important that we have the right infrastructure in place to support growth. Frank Walker has a proven track record within the industry and a high level of technical expertise and we're glad to have him on board." Francesco Marcolini, meanwhile, will develop the company’s web presence. "The Internet is an integral part of our business and will be central to everything we do. Custom-developed, web-based tools represent an important part of that and we aim to deliver world-class products," explained managing director David Snipp. "Francesco is a highly skilled and experienced individual and has already made significant contributions to the web-enabled products delivered to OEM clients."
In a deal widely expected within the lighting community, Lighting Technology has announced that it is to promote Vari*Lite luminaires throughout the UK and France. Garry Nelsson, LTG sales director commented: "Over the past few months many of our customers have been asking if we can supply this equipment and we are delighted to have reached a formal agreement to distribute the Vari-Lite range. With sales and service facilities in London, Paris, Manchester and Newcastle we are ideally positioned to handle the distribution of these stunning products."
Vari-Lite’s European sales manager, Simon Roose, told us: "With excellent relationships, throughout the UK and beyond, the Lighting Technology Group are natural business partners."
Confronted with the need to increase their large-format fresnels, the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden have recently added ARRI high-grade theatre luminaires to their rig in two separate batches. These were supplied and installed by White Light.
The new lights comprise two fully automated 4K Compact ARRI HMI fresnels and a further three automated 5K tungsten ARRI Junior fresnels to add to the nine units supplied by White Light last year. The Junior 5Ks, in this case incorporating dichroic reflectors, are built into a moving yoke with scroller, while the ARRI Compact 4K HMIs have dimmer shutter and scroller incorporated into the moving yoke. The Royal Opera House are a long-standing client of White Light, who also service and maintain their moving lights, dimmers and control system. Account manager David Howe said: "The Royal Opera House rig has come on a lot since their initial refurbishment and at this point needed more focusable, large-format fresnels."
The issue with the Junior 5K’s was one of size, as David Harvey, the theatre’s co-lighting manager, explained. "We chose the Junior 5Ks because we only have 750mm of depth in our lighting battens. Furthermore, the colours we wanted to put in our scrollers needed to be looked after, and the dichroic filter will give extended life to the scrolls. Having the units motorised also cuts down on very tight rehearsal and changeover schedules, as well as giving designers more flexibility of multiple positioning during productions." The ROH specified the 4K HMIs to meet the lighting design for a
LM Productions has just completed one of the largest brand launches of 2002 in the UK, in association with Edelman Public Relations. LM Productions provided all the lasers, lighting, sound, video and pyrotechnics for the launch of the new Mobile Communications brand O2 - the result of a merger between BT Cellnet, Genie and four European countries. The launch was also the first UK outing for Laser Magic’s new StratoSphere system.
The contract went to LM following a demonstration of its StratoSphere system in Reading. The location for the launch was the British Airways London Eye, and the concept was to light up the London Eye which would become the ‘O’ part of the logo and a 20m x 20m water screen was used as the projection medium for the ‘2’. The 300 VIP guests were treated to a ride on the London Eye, from where they viewed the show. Stephen Harvey said: "We undertook this show knowing that the logistics where going to be hard. We also had to compete with the elements, the technicians having to cope with two days of extreme weather which finally abated on the night."
The North Side of the River Thames directly opposite the London Eye was where the launch of the show took place. Capital Radio DJ Dr Fox started the countdown and was joined by the boy band Blue who pressed the button to launch the show. A 5W YAG laser beam was then fired across the river to the hub of the London Eye; the waterscreen was in the centre of the Thames (River Closure obtained) and a Barco R12 video projector was used to project the two parts of the logo
Color Kinetics’ co-founder and chief technology officer Dr. Ihor Lys has been named one of the top technology innovators under the age of 35 by MIT Technology Review Magazine. He is one of 100 people from around the world selected for the magazine's second ever TR100 list, which recognizes young individuals whose work in business and technology has a key impact on today's world. Ihor was selected for his role in the development of Color Kinetics’ intelligent LED-based Chromacore technology.
July 2002 marks the 20th anniversary of California-based Dove Systems. It was summer of 1982 when Gary Dove left Teatronics where he was co-owner and vice-president of engineering, and started his own company in his garage. Gary took the Scenemaster product line with him: the Scenemaster was improved and other products were soon added to the line. In 1990, Dove acquired the WestStar company, a pioneer of memory lighting control on a personal computer. Lighting control products were developed for the Commodore, Apple, and IBM personal computers. In 1996, Dove acquired Hallikainen and Friends Inc, a broadcast equipment company. Along with the deal came owner and electronic engineer, Harold Hallikainen, who turned his expertise from radio and TV to lighting control. Today, Dove Systems has 15 employees including Gustav the mascot dove. Dove's products include over 25 lighting control products, as well as dental curing lights, industrial monitoring controls for oil field production, and the Braillemaster, a hand-held teaching aid that speaks, to help blind people learn the Braille language.
Gary's wife of 30 years, Cheryl, is a teacher. They have two children, Brandon, and Chelsea, both in college. Dove told us: "Cheryl and the kids have helped out too, through the years. This is truly a family business." Dove Systems will have an open house July 12 and welcomes all visitors.
Australia's premier contemporary dance company, Graeme Murphy's Sydney Dance Company, have developed a new production called Ellipse, which features, on-stage, use of a fully motorised 4K HMI De Sisti Rembrandt Piccolo. At a meeting between Coemar De Sisti's Australia's Peter Kemp (MD) and Richie Mickan (Technical Products Manager) and Sydney Dance Company's Graeme Murphy (Choreography & Concept), John Henderson (Production Manager) Nick Broun (Development Manager) and Hugh Hamilton (Head Electrician), the dance company concept was explained. CDA were very happy to be able to suggest that a standard lighting system from De Sisti Italy, the ICARUS, met the specifications exactly.
The Icarus system is fully customisable, and for this production features a Rembrandt Piccolo 4kW HMI fresnel in the motorised pan-tilt-focus Icarus housing. Combined with the luminaire is a De Sisti DEB 2500/4000W Dual flicker free electronic ballast. The fixture is mounted on a De Sisti motorised telescope, allowing for vertical movement of the unit, with the telescope located on a motorised trolley that runs along a 14m I-beam across the stage. Total system control is via DMX512 and all necessary cabling systems are included.
In addition to the De Sisti component of the lighting design, a Compulite Sunset douser/scroller has been added to the fixture for additional control and variety in the show. The Sydney Dance Company's specific requirements for the system included features such as specific motor travel speed and 16 bit accuracy for all movement parameters, all of which the Icarus
Exhibition creative lighting design specialists Stage Light Design has enjoyed a busy spring. In Las Vegas, Stage Light’s John Rinaldi and Alastair Crooks were both in action, but not at the slot machines. At the enormous broadcast industry technology NAB show, they designed imaginative lighting for Snell & Wilcox (for designers 2LK) and Quantel (for HBM) stands respectively.
Both clients also wanted to use identical stand lighting at IBC in Amsterdam in October, so the logical solution was to create the lighting design, source equipment locally for the US show, and for Stage Light Design to supply the equipment in September.
The Quantel stand features 80 Source Four PARS, four Source Four profiles and four Martin MAC 2000s, controlled with an Avolites Pearl console. The Snell & Wilcox stand lighting utilises nine MAC 2000s, over 100 Par 64s, Par 56s plus an assortment of other generic lanterns. Over 40 different gobos feature in the show, with all fixtures controlled by a Wholehog II console. Lighting instruments were picked for their easy availability both sides of the Atlantic, and the Las Vegas show proved an eye-catching success for both clients.
At the NEC near Birmingham, SLD lit the SGB Scaffolding stage at the Hire Achievers 2002 Exhibition - the landmark show for the plant hire industry. SGB built a 20m wide x 6m deep stage, with 6m of headroom, and SLD supplied a full lighting rig, dimming and control and a backdrop. The stage was used for an access tower construction speed event - where four teams competed to see who could erect a 4m tower the fastes
Artistic Licence has launched two new DMX512 splitters: DMX-Split RDM and Rack-Split RDM. As the product names suggest, both are designed to support the forthcoming ESTA Remote Device Management protocol. RDM (officially BSR E1.20) is currently in development by the ESTA Technical Standards Program, of which Artistic Licence is an active participant.
RDM will have a major impact on all areas of lighting control. In essence, RDM allows data to flow in both directions on a DMX512 cable. Existing DMX equipment uses the first three pins of the XLR connector to send control data from the console to the moving lights or dimmers. RDM allows data to return (still using the first three pins) from the moving lights and dimmers. There are many benefits, but most significant is that the console can now ask ‘Who's out there?’. The moving lights reply in sequence, telling the console who they are, and how many channels they use.
Then the clever part - the console can automatically assign DMX start addresses to all of the moving lights! No more climbing around the truss looking for that mis-patched light! RDM also allows the status of devices to be monitored, so users could opt to receive a warning when the smoke fluid runs low or a dimmer channel overheats.
The new DMX splitters provide all the electronics needed for this next generation of technology and of course work perfectly with 'ordinary' DMX512.
ARRI’s new Pocket Par systems are the ultimate small location lighting fixture, allowing the user to simply choose the wattage, reflector system and accessories required, such as the new Pocket Lite and Pocket Lighthouse.
The low-heat 200W and 400W Pocket Par system represent the latest development in ARRI’s line of high-performance daylight lampheads. Both models have been developed for fast and safe set-up and operation, providing the freedom to supply high quality light output where higher wattage lights were previously required. They are ideal for lighting commercials, interviews or feature films - in the studio or on location - or where space is at a premium. Both models offer interchangeable accessories to make the one light source perform in a variety of ways. The 200W Par has a four-lens set and the 400W Par adds a fifth lens for greater control. Both systems utilize ARRI’s Frosted Super Wide Lens, for smooth and even coverage.
For fast news gathering or field production where portability is the key, Pocket Lite is ARRI’s solution for a lensless daylight fixture. Using the Pocket Par lamp housing, ARRI has added a high-quality textured, low heat dichroic reflector to provide a flexible solution for fast set-up and operation. The result is a diffused reflected light with a powerful even beam. A unique focus mechanism provides an extremely smooth field, with focusability from 17° to 85° on the Lite 400W and from 18° to 60° on the 200W.
Finally ARRI’s Pocket Lighthouse will add another dimension to lighting applications in the f
Stardraw.com has announced that its complete range of ‘shrink-wrapped’ products, comprising Stardraw Audio, AV, Lighting 2D and the recently launched Stardraw Radio, is now available in Italian. This brings the number of language versions up to five with English, French, German and Portuguese already available. All language versions can be downloaded from the Starsraw website.
Thanks to the system architecture employed by Stardraw, translation into any language is a relatively simple task as all of the text in the program is held in an external file that can be edited using any word-processing package, even one as simple as Notepad.
Coe-tech has announced an exclusive UK distribution dealership with leading Czech lighting manufacturer Robe. Robe equipment is already a familiar name to users of TAS, Futurelight, Sagitter and Movietech since the company has been making the moving light units sold under all these brand names for some years.
Coe-tech MD Ian Brown comments: "We were looking for a new, good quality, range of moving lights to add to our portfolio. Robe fits the bill perfectly, and I jumped at the chance of representing them in the UK." He adds that Robe’s technology and engineering qualities are already tried-and-tested, and that Coe-tech is determined to establish the Robe brand at the forefront of moving light technology. The announcement of the Robe deal is the latest in a series of brand restructuring moves undertaken by Coe-tech. "Our philosophy is to increase Coe-tech’s new ranges and improve the breadth and scope of our existing product ranges, and also to ensure that all the moving light brands available through Coe-tech are readily accessible and represent great value for money."
Robe is based in the Czech Republic and currently employs 250 people. It operates from a modern factory facility, featuring the latest CNC machinery and automated production. It also has a team of in-house designers and an active R&D department. Robe’s Josef Valchar comments: "It’s great to be working with Coe-tech. They are one of the most respected UK sales companies, and have a great hands-on work ethic that has fuelled their success in the moving light
When The Eagles take flight on their North American summer tour starting at the end of May, High End Systems' new x.Spot HO High Output automated luminaires will brighten their concert path.
Nick Sholem returns to take the reins as lighting designer/director on the tour, and although it's been six years since he was with the group on their 'Hell Freezes Over' stint, he was involved with their recent benefit concert in Los Angeles for the Recording Artists Coalition. "The group was delighted with the design I did for the LA fund-raising show in February," says Sholem, "so they approached me about doing the tour. Steve Cohen was going to be busy, so I said yes, provided I could beef it up in a few areas."
To help him in this, Sholem specified 12 x.Spot HO units with a 2:1 lens. "I saw a demo of the x.Spot HO a few months ago and could see how super bright they were." He also added 8 Studio Beam automated luminaires for the floor of the stage, and will control the rig with a Wholehog II console. Sholem recently ran through the design work on WYSIWYG at High End Systems' large demo facility in Van Nuys, California. "This is a fantastic place for WYSIWYG-ing," says Sholem. "You've got Marty Wickman with CW Productions on one side of the 405 (freeway) and High End on the other. It's great!" Wickman programmed the show with Sholem. LSD/Fourth Phase is supplying the gear as the lighting contractor on the tour and members of its crew include crew chief Russell Jones, crew Charles Cochran, Jim Petrussen, Russell 'Bits' Lyons, and
London-based sound, lighting and video installation and consultancy company, Live Business International, has just added a new member to its team and re-united the duo that ran the sound at the Millennium Dome.
Almost a year to the day after completing his contract at Greenwich, Gerry Logue has joined technical director Roland Hemming to become Live Business International’s technical project manager. Hemming comments: "I’ve been trying to get Gerry on board for ages, but distractions such as his consultancy for the Commonwealth Games and work managing a large video conferencing project have prevented us from working together until now. I'm glad he has finally seen the light and come home."
During his 20-year career, Gerry has established himself as one of the best audio-visual project managers in the industry. He coordinated the sound at Madame Tussauds and Rock Circus, production managed many events and has toured with a number of top Irish bands. Logue adds: "We were a good team when we last worked together and our complementary skills will be ideal for forthcoming projects and to expand our business in the future."
Software provider Stardraw.com has promoted Rob Robinson to the position of marketing director. According to managing director David Snipp, Robinson's appointment was "a natural progression of his duties and reinforces an already strong management team at Stardraw.com.
"Rob has been doing a great job over the last year," continued Snipp, "and it was a logical step to have executive representation of the marketing function at board level. As well as many years experience in this field, Rob also has comprehensive knowledge of the company, our products and the markets in which we operate."
Robinson’s new role will see him involved in new business development. "In addition to building on the established successes of our existing design and documentation products, I'll be growing the new business sectors which arise from our introduction of new internet-enabled tools and the custom development services that have already proved so popular. I also anticipate imminent entry into the software component market, so, all in all, this is a very exciting time. My only concern is that there may not be enough hours in the day."
Six months on, and it’s the smell that still gets you. It’s worse at night: even if you had somehow not known what had happened at the place now called Ground Zero, you’d know it was something tragic.
It’s a tourist attraction now; they queue for hours to walk up the viewing platform, buy pictures of the burning buildings from street vendors. They look up into the clear blue sky and find the strangest part of the whole experience - that there is now nothing to look at. The long, dreadful task of sifting through the remnants of the World Trade Centre is nearing completion.
Fundamentally, they are looking at an empty hole in the ground and empty space in the air. In downtown Manhattan that, in itself, is unusual; to see the damage to the surrounding buildings, some eerily shrouded, silences the observers. The collapse of the Towers has left a void in many people’s lives, and it has left many people - particularly many in the arts fields - feeling useless, their skills and talents not the practical skills of the fire-fighters and workmen who have worked at the site ever since 11 September.
Now the artists have found a way to contribute: the Tribute in Light, two giant, square columns of light situated one block north of Ground Zero, re-creating the geographical relationship of the Towers, filling the void in the skyline while extending higher than the physical towers ever could. That was partly their intent, yet they are redolent of so much more: of the floodlights that have lit the site every night since September, of World War Two searc
Moving Pictures is a new touring exhibition exploring the experience of going to the cinema and watching television, celebrating both the past and present, as well as looking to the future of digital technology.
The exhibition showcases favourites from the extensive collection of film and television material held by the BFI chosen from thousands of films, programmes and production materials. David Atkinson Lighting Design was contacted by Land Design Studio to come up with a cost effective, flexible and dynamic lighting design to cope with the scope and scale of the exhibits, as well as the touring schedule. Land devised a bespoke modular steel system, with the resulting architectural solution having something of a warehouse feel.
As the designers wanted to use colour to define areas within the exhibition, Atkinson chose to use a large quantity of Encapsulite fluorescent fittings, sleeved in varying colours, which were set into acrylic panels. A grid wall system with steel mesh panels suggesting a studio atmosphere was lit by industrial MR16 low voltage fittings fitted with the new BLV lamp, which produced a cool six Kelvin colour temperature.
By simply utilizing Fluorescent and low voltage sources it was enough to give the impact required to create a very stimulating exhibition.
The SIB exhibition has a new home and new look. Lee Baldock reports from Rimini . . .
It was clear this year that Rimini’s SIB exhibition has moved away from its past in more ways than one. Most obviously, it has moved from its usual home - the relatively tatty old Fiera - to the gleaming, air-conditioned, marble-clad new Fiera. But behind the simple fact of location, there seems also to have been an effort to make this a more ‘professional’ exhibition, i.e. to cut out much of the nonsense for which SIB has been known and loved for years.
The ‘old’ SIB epitomised the unique Italian discotheque culture, and the show floor was a vibrant mix of promoters, performers, punters and posers, squeezed alongside the lights, lasers, smoke and sound - all generously applied. The show still retains elements of its past: a separate hall contained a vestige of the former, while the latter - the unrestrained use of smoke and SPLs - was still in evidence in places. However, that special buzz seemed all but gone, and with the apparent abundance of space at the new venue, SIB looked for the most part like it was making a brave effort to grow into a big pair of sensible shoes.
That said, this was not a bad show: business was pretty good according to most exhibitors and the post-show report stated visitors were up almost 2% on the 2000 event. At the end of the day, it’s the business that matters, but SIB always used to show that business and fun are not mutually exclusive . . .
PLASA took a group of UK exhibitors under the DTI’s SESA (Su
Dramatic changes are taking place in the middle of Birmingham. Much of the city centre appears to be under construction, and - as increasingly seems to be the case in such projects - the civic redevelopment has been led by the artistic facilities at its heart: the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre has recently completed a development project that lasted almost two years.
Following a £24 million National Lottery Award through the Arts Council of England and further support from the European Regional development Fund, Birmingham City Council, donations from businesses and individuals and funds raised through appeal, the project has seen practically every part of the building reworked. The foyers were demolished and re-built providing greatly improved access, including lift and disabled access, together with a restaurant and other catering facilities - all wrapped within a design that feels light and airy. On the other side of the building, the purchase of adjacent land has allowed for the creation of a new complex housing facilities for the Hippodrome, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, which uses the Hippodrome as its home base, and DanceXchange - the national dance agency for the West Midlands.
Expansion back from the stage has also allowed the most useful improvement to the theatre as far as those who tour into it will be concerned: the building has always been blessed with an enormous stage, but unfortunately it is 3.5m below street level, and the get-in has always been slowed by having to use a lift and/or ramp. Now, a new rear-stage extension houses a 15m lift that can c
As part of the second phase of key changes in the strategic direction of the iLight group, Peter Brooks, co-founder and managing director of Zero 88 Lighting, is to pursue other consultancy interests and charity work. He will, however, remain as a director and shareholder in the group. "I have very much enjoyed building Zero 88 over the years and seeing it become part of a group with a multi-million pound turnover and over 100 employees," comments Peter. "Undoubtedly, merging the company with iLight Limited made good commercial and strategic sense."
It was just 18 months ago that Peter oversaw the successful merger of Zero 88 and iLight after recognising the synergy between the two companies. From jointly founding Zero 88 in 1972, Brooks initially set up a satellite manufacturing operation in Wales before moving the whole company there in 1992. He has been a pivotal member of the lighting industry, and has been committed to improving quality and standards within the lighting arena for over 30 years. In following his management consultancy interests, Peter intends to maintain close links with the industry and play an active role in the industry's association, PLASA, where he has participated in numerous committees and served as chairman for eight years.
Navigator Systems Ltd have come up with a solution which will ensure that companies who own ‘demo’ stock achieve the best possible return on their investment. Following several months of discussions with sales representatives, Navigator discovered that for some keeping track of the ‘demo’ stock had turned into a logistical nightmare. Items such as mixing desks, projectors, plasma screens and lighting consoles had either been forgotten or simply gone missing.
By adding several new features to its rental management software system RentalDesk, Navigator Systems have now made it possible to search quickly and easily for the ‘First Available Date’ for the ‘demo’ item required. Thus, if a company requests a mixing desk for a five-day period in June, the sales rep can check whether it’s available for that period and if it isn't, give the client the next best alternative date. This will ensure that the ‘demo’ item is being used efficiently and sales stock will not have to be used because of a double-booking that wasn't taken into account. Ex-demo stock will therefore not accumulate and will not have to be sold at vastly reduced prices. The new system also makes it possible to record the exact location of the demo item.
When the Leader Group, Taiwan’s top media post-production company, completed its five-year planning and construction project to develop a Hollywood-style studio facility, it insisted on state-of-the-art technology to achieve optimum filming quality - including the lighting.
The new Leader Asia Pacific Creativity Center (LAPCC) - now the largest facility in Taiwan - has thus been equipped largely with ARRI lighting. The studio is situated on nine storeys of office block, of which three floors have been removed to allow construction of three large stages - the first phase of a project which will see two further studios constructed over the next few years. Leader placed the ARRI order - worth in the region of £750,000 - through Cheng Seng Trading Co Ltd, ARRI’s Taiwanese distributor. The company was granted a special licence which offered reduced import tariffs for ARRI's range of luminaires.
Cheng Seng put together the lighting specification in conjunction with a consultant. Each of the three new production stages is equipped with ARRI’s proprietary series, including Daylight, Compact, Arrisun, Pocket Par, Minisun, X-Light, Studio and Arrilite. These were supplied with a full range of accessories, including ballasts, barndoors, filters, transformers and cable. The specification also included Arrilux 21/50 Minisun and Arrilux 125W Pocket-Par Pro kit (with gobo projection and liquid light tube and optic), representing the smallest combination daylight luminaire that ARRI has developed to date.
The new development means that Leader can now deliver comple
Roy Lamb has been Bryan Adams’ production manager for the past three years, ever since Val Dauksts finally decided to wave the road goodbye.
Lamb, himself a contemporary of Dauksts, is rumoured to stick at the job for the love of rock ‘n’ roll and the huge variety of golf courses this career affords him. Which just leaves Adams himself - why does he keep doing it? "This tour has been running pretty much continuously since ‘98, two weeks on, two weeks off," said LD Mac Mosier. "He just loves touring. He said it to the crowd at the last show - I don’t have an album out, I’m not promoting anything, I just enjoy being here."
Beyond my own personal like for the artists’ song writing and his live performance, this proved heartening news. As with Travis, which I’d seen the week before, I polled the audience; for a middle aged rock ‘n’ roller there were large numbers of yoofs at the front. "Why," I asked a teenager, "are you here?" "I got into Adams about four years ago," he said. "But he’s more my generation than yours," I suggested. "Yes, but there’s so much rubbish about I had to look somewhere else for talent." Four of this lad’s immediate neighbours nodded their heads in earnest agreement: "Are these mates of yours?" I asked? "Never seen ‘em before in my life."
It was a similar story elsewhere. Sheffield Arena was bulging - 11,500 people at £27.50 - how does he do it? I quizzed Lamb. "Exquisi
Winner of the 2001 LDI Award for Product of the Year Scenic Effects, and 2001 Eddy Award Lighting Product of the Year, Rosco’s ImagePro is now being launched across Europe. Already hugely successful in America, the ImagePro offers an easy, inexpensive solution for projecting photographic quality images, from the iris slot of an ETC Source Four, Altman Shakespeare, Strand SL or Selecon Pacific lighting fixture.
Projections have already proven to add individuality and effectiveness to an exhibition stand, theatrical production, conference, product launch or film/television production. Anywhere that a temporary projection may be needed is where the flexibility of ImagePro will be indispensable. The image is created on a plastic iPro slide with full colour high quality images printed on high temperature plastic. Rosco has hundreds of images available for immediate use, catalogued on the CD which is packaged with every ImagePro, or we can create your own image which will be shipped to you as an iPro slide, ready for use.