At the LDI 2000 exhibition in Las Vegas last weekend, Vari-Lite introduced the Virtuoso DX console, the latest addition to the Virtuoso system, intended for those who wish to purchase their control system. The Virtuoso DX, which uses the same operating system as the Virtuoso, supports up to 2,000 luminaires and contains eight built-in DMX universes in a smaller, more compact package. A 3D graphical interface provides real-time status from all Vari*Lite luminaires and simulated feedback from all other devices. The console provides easy and consistent programming of Vari*Lite luminaires, DMX moving lights and conventional lights. The console supports up to 26 DMX universes and is equipped with an off-line editing program that allows 2D and 3D programming of all show data. The Virtuoso DX provides manual control functions including three hard encoders dedicated to intensity, pan and tilt controls, and six soft encoders for all other parameter functions. Vari-Lite say the console will be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2001.
During the recent PLASA Show, Zero 88 held a competition to win special 'silver edition' versions of its Elara and Alcora desks. The winner of the Alcora was ex-Rose Bruford college student, Ianto Guy who correctly identified that Zero 88 was founded in 1972. He was one of a number of students who benefited from using the desk during his studies. Zero 88 has supported the college's lighting design course through the donation of control desks since 1998, and is continuing its commitment by donating its latest Illusion 240 console in November. Guy now runs his own company in Powys where he provides education on lighting issues to amateur groups, small theatres and schools. He also acts as a consultant to National Lottery Grant winners. Ianto Guy is pictured receiving his Alcora desk from Claire House and Cheryl Ryan of Zero 88.
Fourth Phase, the newly branded lighting arm of Production Resource Group (PRG) has announced a number of staff changes and office relocations. Jeff Senkovich was recently appointed chief operating officer of the PRG Lighting/Audio Group. He has been with PRG since 1997, joining the company as south east regional manager. Industry veteran Martee Nuruddin, previously general manager of Fourth Phase Orlando (Vanco), is now a group vice-president of Fourth Phase, responsible for the rental sales and operations of Fourth Phase New Jersey (Production Arts), Fourth Phase Orlando, Fourth Phase Las Vegas (Cinema Services) and Fourth Phase Burbank (Production Lighting Systems. Mark Rabinowitz, formerly the Orlando operations manager, has been appointed general manager of Fourth Phase Orlando. John Monaco, meanwhile, has come on board as vice-president of operations at the Las Vegas location with Pat Little, previously operations manager of Fourth Phase Las Vegas named general manager of that location. Concurrent with the rebranding, the offices of PLS and Production Arts West are relocating to new facilities, and will be known as Fourth Phase Burbank and based at 3750 Cohasset Street in Burbank. On the UK front, the Image Systems Group welcomes Emma Hutchison, who has joined Fourth Phase West London (Production Arts Europe) as sales manager. She will oversee the all sales activities for the Acton location.
At the close of the LDI exhibition on Sunday evening at the Sands Convention Center, Las Vegas, the show was being hailed as the biggest, busiest and most successful LDI yet. In addition to its regulars, the show boasted no less than 65 first-time exhibitors, while the visitors were out in force. Speaking at the LDI Awards ceremony on Saturday evening, LDI's Jacqueline Tien said that with more than 12,000 visitors through the doors, LDI 2000 had already outstripped last year's visitor total, with a day left to run.
The industry rumour-mill has gone into overdrive following the news of the arrest of four individuals in connection with irregularities at the Dome. The arrests came part-way through Scotland Yard's investigation into fraud allegations at the Dome and followed scrutiny of the way in which contracts were awarded. According to a report on the Financial Times' website on October 14, the arrests were to do with the procurement of a contract by a south-east London lighting maintenance company, and focused on a number of individuals working at the Dome. PLASA Publishing contacted both Scotland Yard and the NMEC, but both refused to comment, the latter only willing to say that its internal control system had identified the irregularities and the matter was now in the hands of the police.
After several months of negotiations, Stagetec (UK) Ltd has been awarded the entire technical equipment supply and installation contract for the Zion Arts Centre in Manchester. The installation includes a lighting system with Compulite Micron 4D console, the new CompuDIM 2000 digital dimmer racks, Robert Juliat and Selecon luminaires fitted with Compulite colour scrollers, a sound system with Nexo speakers, Crown amplifiers and Allen & Heath mixing consoles, a full AV system with projection screens, digital projectors and monitoring equipment, curtain tracks and a communication and paging system. The project is funded by the Arts Council and is due to open towards the end of November. The project specification has been drawn up and will be overseen by technical consultant Steve Curtis from the Green Room in Manchester.
The annual LDI Show has just finished its run at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas and early reports suggest that this was a busy and successful Show (more show news in the next few days). One of the highlights of the event is the annual awards presentation which took place on Saturday, October 21. The Wally Russell Award for lifetime contribution went to San Miller, chief executive officer and chairman of Rosco Laboratories. Miller is the only person ever to be named both a Fellow of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and a member of the American Society of Cinematographers. Having graduated from Brown University in 1954, Miller served in the US Army until 1956, and acquired Rosco in 1958. The Best Widget Award went to American Harlequin for its new storage bag. In the design categories, the Lighting Designer of the Year Awards are divided into three areas. Dawn Hollingsworth picked up the architecture award, Tom Ruzika, collected the themed award and Patrick Woodroofe was honoured in the entertainment category.Coemar's CF7 was voted the Entertainment Lighting Product of the Year, whilst Martin Professional added to its raft of PLASA Awards by collecting the Architecture Lighting Product of the Year for its Exterior 300. On the audio front, Level Control Systems' Cue Console was recognised as the Sound Product of the Year, with Honourable Mention going to Wireworks Wirelux cables. Tony Meola was voted Sound Designer of the Year. Pathport picked up the Best Software Product Award for its Pathway Connectivity system and Dataton's Watchout was aw
In a radical overhaul of their dimmer portfolio, Strand Lighting has announced the first models in an advance new programmed known as the SLD Series. The range has been ruggedly designed from the ground up - creating an architecture based on optimum usability and built with state-of-the art, entertainment specific components. Designed to interface fully with Strand's proprietary ShowNet Ethernet system, the SLD dimming system provides a wide range of inputs as well as presets for its Outlook architectural system, along with 99 system wide control back-up presets with individual fade times.
Current Events International, a technical production company offering lighting, audio and production management services, equipment rentals, and systems integration, has relocated and expanded its San Francisco facility. The company has moved to a larger facility in Oakland, occupying over 17,000sq.ft of office and warehouse space. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, Current Events International is an award-winning technical production company with full service facilities in San Francisco and Washington, DC.
Essential Lighting has appointed Peter Feeney, Toby Hughes and Martin Lubach to its board of directors. This recognises the long standing commitment and contribution they have made to the business and will add a broader base of experience for the future development of the company. At the same time Simon Clench will be joining Essential as production electrician to provide support and a resident client link for its project managers.
MTFX now manufactures both 'Poly Packman' snow and 'Paper Packman' snow. These are fully flame retardant, does not clog the machine and can be used for dressing a set. The company has also added to its sales inventory a complete range of CO2 fired confetti cannons which includes a basic Kanji kit.
Are you a lighting student eager to visit the only International Colloquium on Entertainment Lighting? If so, Showlight 2001 may be able to offer you the opportunity of a lifetime! Exhibitors at Showlight have the option to sponsor one entertainment lighting student, to enable people at all levels of the profession to attend and participate. The essence of Showlight is to encourage attendees to talk, discuss ideas and mix with some of the top names from theatre, television, film and architectural and themed lighting, and the list of exhibitors encompasses some of the top names in the industry, including DHA Lighting, ETC Europe, Strand, White Light and Wybron, with confirmed speakers from the worlds of themed entertainment, television and outdoor events. For further details contact Ruth Rossington, Showlight 2001, telephone +44 (0) 1323 418401.
Southwest Sound & Light have announced that hey will be organising and hosting the Southwest Sound & Light Show on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th January 2001, from 10am to 8pm both days. The venue is the Clubhouse at Golden Sands Holiday park, Dawlish, Devon, and admission will be free. Organiser Paul Goody said: "The event will be of interest to all people involved in the leisure industry - with clubs, pubs, holiday centres, leisure centres, bands, DJs and karaoke. Visitors will be able to see and try the latest in amplifiers, mixers, loudspeakers, microphones, CD players, mixing kits, effects units, harmonisers, lighting effects for stage and club and large screen video." Call Paul Goody for further information: 01626 890806
Strand Lighting's 300 Series console has recently been turning up in some unusual venues - including controlling the lighting in the middle of a road between France and Italy, and in an aircraft hanger in Germany! These were the locations at which singer Jessye Norman performed The Sacred Ellington, her concert of the sacred music of Duke Ellington, during September. As well as the legendary opera singer, the production features a pianist, a four-piece jazz combo and six-piece brass section drawn from England and America, a string quartet from Russia and a 12-strong gospel choir - plus a highly theatrical lighting design from British lighting designer Jenny Kagan. Kagan's involvement began with a production at the Barbican Concert Hall in London during the summer of 1999. There she used a Strand 530 console to control the Barbican's conventional rig and additional Martin MAC500s and High End StudioColors, brought in for the production. For the show's European dates, lighting director Rob Halliday, re-creating the lighting on Kagan's behalf, was keen to use a Strand console once again so that the Barbican disk could form the basis of the touring show.
Barbizon Lighting Company, which has 11 offices in the United States, has announce the formation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) for the benefit of its employees, a plan unique in the entertainment lighting industry. Under the plan, Barbizon will become employee-owned, with employees acquiring shares of privately-held stock. Jonathan Resnick, president of Barbizon, says the ESOP recognizes the invaluable role Barbzion employees have played in the company's consistent annual growth. "It is our belief that our greatest asset has always been our employees. And it is their talent and dedication that will enable Barbizon to sustain its growth and innovation in this fast-changing business environment," he said. "The Board of Directors and I believe that they should be rewarded for their contributions."Founded in 1947, Barbizon, serving the domestic and export markets as one of the largest and most innovative providers of lighting products, rigging systems, installation services and show control solutions.
CP Sound, creative audio, lighting and AV designer and installer, is moving to a newly-acquired, hugely expanded premises in central Staines. CP Sound's operation has expanded so rapidly in the last two years that it has outgrown the site in Chertsey that has contained it for the last three years. The new building, workshops, warehouse space and offices are part of a purpose-built industrial unit. The extra space and rationalisation of resources will allow CP Sound's hectic production schedules to be managed even faster and more efficiently. It will also enhance its already well-established quality of service.As from today the company's new contact, the new contact details are Unit 3 Tim's Boat Yard, Timsway, Staines, Middlesex, TW18 3JZ. Tel: +44 1784 461614.
As we reported on 19 September, the police are in the throes of a major investigation into fraud allegations at the Millennium Dome. At the time it was made clear that these centred around 'irregularities' in connection with the procurement of contracts. As a result of these investigations, four people have now been arrested. A 30-year old man and 20-year old woman have been arrested in Liverpool and taken to a London police station, whilst a woman in her sixties has been arrested in West Yorkshire. The final arrest was of a man in his thirties at a business address in south-east London. All four have been bailed until February next year to allow for further enquiries to take place. PLASA Publishing has learnt that the police investigation involves the awarding of a lighting contract.
Jai Auguste has joined the sales department at TMB's UK operation in Brentford. With his many years of experience as operations manager at The Spot Co and more recently as head of sales, design and installation at HFM Lighting, Auguste will become an integral part of TMB's sales operations in Europe and worldwide. TMB recently moved its European operations to a larger facility in Brentford's docklands and significantly increased the amount and variety of on-hand inventory, in addition to increasing the number of support and assembly personnel.
Coco Jungle, a club/restaurant venue, is being billed as one of the first themed clubs in Egypt. Located just outside of Cairo on the shores of the Nile River, Coco Jungle is one of the country's most popular nightspots. Coco Jungle, and accompanying boat restaurant Le Pacha 1901, have installed a number of Martin Professional luminaires designed to create different moods and atmospheres. In keeping with the jungle theme, trees, bamboo and water play a major role in the interior design. Coco Jungle is equipped with four MAC 300 wash lights, four MAC 250 profile spots, two Voyagers, and a Jem TechnoFog for added effect, all controlled from a Martin LightJockey controller. Le Pacha 1901, meanwhile, features a glass-covered dance floor over a pool of water. Four RoboColor IIs and one RoboColor IIX, placed in protective glass casings in the water beneath the dance floor, provide colour changes. Outside, four Exterior 600s - again controlled via a Martin LightJockey controller - illuminate the boat's façade, which can be seen from the opposite shore of the Nile. All Martin equipment for the two venues was supplied by Media International Trading of Egypt through Martin's Middle Eastern agent, AMAC.
TMB's celebrated annual outing, which took place over the weekend of October 1st, drew a diverse industry group from the US and overseas. The weekend trip, to Ensenada, Mexico, drew attendees from companies as far afield as Mexico (Toma Cinco, Guadalajara) and Japan (Ken Production Services Inc, Yokohama). Also represented were: Acey Decy, Barbizon, Cinelease, Cinema Services, Delicate Productions, Hollywood Rentals, Location Lighting, Light & Sound Design, Oasis Stage Werks, San Diego Stage, Starlite Global, TM Motion Pictures and Versales. LSD's Chris 'Tiny' Ward entertained a visitor from even further afield. Much fun was had, fish were caught, and many hallowed traditions, including the exploding of Elvis, were upheld.
With the appointment of Gareth Collyer and Gerry Frost as shareholding directors, Lamba plc chairman Frank Irish, has set out a strategic blueprint for the company's future. Collyer and Frost have been on the company's main board of directors for over 18 months, and will maintain their active roles as technical director and sales director, respectively. Irish commented: "With recent product acquisitions creating a new dynamic in the company, we believe the timing is right to devolve more responsibility to Gareth and Gerry, to ensure continued development over the next decade." Lamba has recently secured two new exclusive UK distribution accounts - for Nady Systems and Cerwin Vega! Hi-Fi, as well as consolidating the UK representation of an expanded Stanton Magnetics range. To accommodate this growth, Irish has simultaneously announced the imminent relocation of Lamba plc to larger, purpose-built premises in St Albans, including a warehouse and distribution centre.
AC Lighting North, based in Leeds, completed a move to new, purpose designed, larger premises mid way through July. The new 6,300sq.ft premises feature custom-built offices, showroom with full flying height and extensive warehouse facilities. AC Lighting North's sales manager, Jonathan Walters commented: "The need for these new premises has been brought about by our continued increase in sales since the office was established in 1996."AC Lighting North's new address is: Hawksworth Commercial Centre, Elder Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS13 4AT. The company's telephone and fax numbers remain the same, as 0113 255 7666 and 0113 255 7676 respectively.
Vari-Lite International has announced today the extension of the letter of intent to sell its Belgian, Dutch, French and Swedish operations to First Events BV. Under the terms of the revised letter of intent, the sale is subject to various conditions but is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month.