Lighting News

Potter Scales the Heights
Sunday, 9 December 2001

Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone has already received great critical and popular acclaim and is expected to become the biggest grossing film ever for Time Warner. Vertigo Rigging, Spirit Design and Fourth Phase were amongst those who helped supply the magic for the recent World Première at London’s famous Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square.

Vertigo, working for production company West Design, show producer Lucy Smail and production manager Andy Cheesman, transformed the front of the building into Hogwarts School of Wizardry & Witchcraft for the evening of 4 November.

With a seven-day get in, the event required over 22 tonnes of equipment, 12 tonnes of which was hung off the side of the building - representing a huge logistical and practical challenge for Vertigo. Work began on 29 October, when project manager Paddy Burnside and his team of riggers supervised a 60 tonne crane to lift over 10 tonnes of pre-built RMD (prefabricated Rapid Metal Decking) superstructure onto the roof of the Odeon.

The superstructure’s purpose was to support two sections of truss framework - the lower main roof - measuring 22m wide by 8.5m deep, and the tower section - 8m wide by 31 metres high. The tower section of superstructure was anchored to its own two top floors using six M20 studding rods, drilled through the floors for maximum stability. The next four days were spent installing the truss and attaching the set to it. The trussing statistics were equally impressive - with a total of 190m of 52cm Thomas Supertruss and 200m of Thomas Superlite used. The 52cm form

Melbourne Gets a New Museum
Saturday, 8 December 2001

Melbourne’s exciting new A$290m (£105m) museum in the Carlton Gardens is as thoroughly a 21st century museum as its predecessor had been a thoroughly Victorian natural history museum.

The wooden-framed glass cases of mineral samples, stuffed animals and neatly-pinned insects, have been replaced by interactive exhibits that recount the history of Australia, its peoples and its region, using the entire panoply of contemporary display and production technologies. Museum operations manager Craig Gamble (who started life in technical production for the performing arts), considers the museum spaces to be of three types.

There are the circulation and orientation spaces, which include the foyers that house permanent displays of iconic objects such as a whale skeleton and a tram. There are permanent exhibitions (5-10 year lifespans), and finally, there are temporary exhibition spaces. Each type of space has been provided with display infrastructure appropriate to the level of flexibility required.

All 12 general display areas are configured with the same basic infrastructure. Overhead is a grid of standard steel scaffold (48.4mm) tube at 3.5m centres. The load limit on the grid is 250kg per linear metre, a figure that has proved more than adequate during the first year of operations. A second grid of paired 50mm ducts, spanning the length and width of the space at 3.5m centres, lies beneath the floor. Services running through the duct grid include mains power, lighting, audio, data, video, water, gas and satellite downlink.

Lighting for the museum was originally co

New Appointment at RML
Friday, 7 December 2001

Richard Martin Lighting has announced another new addition to the company - Michael Stevens, who joins the company as technical manager. Stevens leaves behind his former position as senior engineer at Martin Professional UK, where he had spent the last seven years. RML is a specialist rental supplier of intelligent lighting and control systems to the film and television industry. The company's clients have included Top of the Pops, The Spice Girls, SMTV Live, BBC Studios, Comic Relief and The Brit Awards.

J2s Newcastle
Friday, 7 December 2001

Julies nightclub is a well-known Newcastle landmark. Like most clubs, it’s had its fair share of small upgrades over the years, but owner Keith Gibbon, of Lazi Leisure, felt the time had come for a major renovation - hence Julies 2.To effect the refurbishment, the venue was closed at the end of January to allow for major structural alterations to increase its size. Keith Gibbon came up with the design concept and called in the team at Lighting Technology Projects - Craig Grieveson, Dave Philips and Ray Scott - to undertake the installation. The effects lighting rig centres around Martin Professional’s MAC 250s, MiniMACs, Mx4s and CX2 colour changers, with Abstract Moonrays, Pulsar Demon Strobe units and shed loads of neon providing further punctuation. Controlling all this, and the Jem ZR12 Smoke machine, is a Pulsar Masterpiece 216. A Sony-led, four-screen video system is also installed in the venue.

For the audio elements, Ray Scott contacted Steve Coxon of Mackie/RCF to discuss the new system. The brief was for a rig that was capable of producing an articulate sound at background levels, but one which could also reproduce full-on levels when required. Following a site visit, Mackie Industrial ART 300s were spec’d, in conjunction with Monitor 8s and Vision 180s for subs. DJ monitoring was supplied by a single Mackie Industrial Art 300a.

Steve Coxon told L&SI: "The venue was a building site when we did our visit, but it was obvious even at that stage that this was an unique and exciting venture. It was easy to tell that Keith Gibbon was very pas

Le Mark to Distribute Apollo Design in UK
Friday, 7 December 2001

Le Mark Group, the specialist provider of adhesive tapes and labels and lighting accessories, and the UK distributor for Great American Market (GAM) and City Theatrical Inc, has announced that it is to become the UK distributor for the Apollo Design range of gobos and lighting accessories from the US.

Apollo Design offers a wide range of glass and steel gobos, including the SuperResolution and ColourScenic ranges which feature an exceptionally high printing quality of 20,000dpi resolution. Le Mark will also offer Apollo's Roto-Q single gobo rotator, which comes ready to use, complete with built-in speed and directional control.

Vari-Lite to Discontinue Virtuoso Sales
Thursday, 6 December 2001

Vari-Lite Inc has announced it has discontinued selling the Virtuoso DX control system, with immediate effect. However, the company will continue to rent the desks and to provide customer support for units already in the field. "This was a tough and emotional decision," said Rusty Brutsché, chairman and CEO at Vari-Lite. "But in the end, sales of the Virtuoso DX console just weren't profitable for Vari-Lite. And therefore the decision was made to concentrate all our manufacturing and sales efforts on the luminaire market, which has greater potential for profitable growth. The overwhelming and positive response to Vari-Lite's newest automated luminaire, the VL1000 ERS, combined with the success of the Series 2000 luminaires - reinforced our decision."

Vari-Lite will support all Virtuoso DX consoles sold to date. "The goal is to provide the same quality service that our customers and dealers have experienced in the past," said Brutsché. "I also want to emphasize that VLPS will continue to rent and provide customer support for the Virtuoso and Virtuoso DX consoles as always."

New Sales Appointment at OPTI
Tuesday, 4 December 2001

OPTI, the lighting effects and trussing supplier, has appointed Idunn Rodziewicz to its domestic sales team as regional sales manager. Rodziewicz brings with her 17 years of experience in the retail and exhibition market with Marler Haley. OPTI chairman Neil Rice told PLASA Media: "We're very pleased to have her on board. She has a great track record with clients here in the UK and internationally, as well as the experience to identify what they need and how to provide it."

Rodziewicz will initially concentrate on the OPTI Trilite side of the business, cementing links with clients across the retail and exhibition markets. She commented: "I'm really looking forward to it. OPTI is a leader in its field, and has great products as well as a fantastic range of support services. I think a lot of our clients, new and existing, are going to be pleasantly surprised at what OPTI can offer them."

Technical Teams Shine at MTV Awards
Monday, 3 December 2001

The prestigious MTV Europe Music Awards took place live from the Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany on 8 November, presented by the ever-controversial Ali G. Contributors to the event were headed by main lighting contractors Vari-Lite Europe Ltd, Britannia Row Productions, who provided a Turbosound Flashlight PA, and Black Pig, who co-ordinated the live video screen production.

Al Gurdon designed the lighting, assisted by programmer/operator Mike Owen, and Vari-Lite supplied a massive system comprising over 400 automated luminaires, 700 conventional lights and a Virtuoso control desk. Vari-Lite also supplied a prodigious 3,500 feet of truss, 105 chain hoists and nearly two kilometres of cable. The stage consisted of two large curved set pieces, principally lit by a combination of VL5s, VL6Cs, VL2402s, together with 26 MAC 2000s and 13 truss-mounted Sky-Art Searchlights with beam divertor mirrors. There were also a number of Molefay and fluorescents scattered around the stage system. The draping and trussing was supplied by Blackout Triple E and between the two set pieces there was a large Westernhagen LED Video screen.

The auditorium lighting was mounted on a central circular truss with 14 truss spines radiating round the hall with a bend in the leg to follow the curve of the roof. Mounted on these were VL2416s, VL2Cs and VL5s. Completing the auditorium were 17 VL2C spot luminaires and bars of six Par cans mounted around the balcony rail, each with a double Encapsulite fitting attached. Keylights for the presenting areas were provided by ETC Source Four profiles. These we

AC Lighting offers grandMA ultra-light
Friday, 30 November 2001

High Wycombe-based AC Lighting has announced availability of the new grandMA ultra-light console from MA Lighitng. Previewed in London at the PLASA Show in September and fully launched at LDI in Orlando, the grandMA ultra-light is suitable for concert lighting, touring productions, trade fairs and exhibitions, as well as theatre, TV and studio use. The compact console provides 1,024 control channels (2 DMX lines), a full-colour TFT touch-screen, 10 manual executor faders, 10 executor buttons, four encoders and a multifunction trackball. The console features software compatibility with the grandMA, grandMA light consoles and the grandMA replay unit, permitting transfer and playback of show-files created on any members of the grandMA family.

Also available is the grandMA off-line editor software, which behaves like a real console, displaying show data and programmes exactly as experienced on the grandMA. Shows may be edited and created using the software. It is also possible to connect to the consoles via Ethernet, permitting programming and remote control from a distant location. Therefore, the grandMA offline-editor can be utilized as an ideal designer remote or programming aid for use with the grandMA replay unit. The grandMA off-line editor software may be downloaded free of charge from the MA Lighting website below:

SGM on Italian Lottery Show
Friday, 30 November 2001

130 SGM scanners and moving head fixtures have been specified for 'Torno Sabato . . . la lotteria', the top rating Saturday night programme produced by leading Italian broadcasting company RAI TV. The show, which started in September and runs through to January 2002, is seen each Saturday by a record 10 million audience, and attracts a host of international guests (these have included Cher and Jamiroquai). The show is broadcast from different locations across Italy and to meet these exacting requirements, RAI TV called on the expertise of Global Service, led by Pierantonio Faccenda and coordinated by Maurizio Corradi, to deliver the sound and lighting elements. Global Service opted for SGM fixtures for each recording, including Giotto Series Moving Heads and Victory Series Scanners.

Selecon Upgrade for Queensland Performing Arts CentreSelecon Upgrade for Queensland Performing Arts Centre
Thursday, 29 November 2001

Three years in the waiting, the technical crew of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre finally have the new luminaire upgrade they have been waiting for since 1998. Over the past two months Selecon has supplied its largest order to a single client of over 700 luminaires, including Pacific 5.5-13, 12-28, 23-50 and 90 degree units and both Arena and 1200 High Performance Fresnels and PCs.

Supplied by The Production Shop, Selecon’s Queensland dealer, the decision to choose Selecon luminaires came after months of extensive tests held at the Centre under the exacting eye of lighting manager David Schultz and his crew. Tim Kennard, at that time of the Production Shop, arranged the numerous sample units and provided the technical back up. In a move away from their established inventory, QPAC are now using Zoom profiles front-of-house in preference to fixed angle units.

Proel on the Rack!
Thursday, 29 November 2001

Proel has unveiled a brand new series of high quality, low cost rack and display stands, designed for studio and live applications, as well as use by retailers and others. Called the Metal System, the heart of the range is the KRPRO series, which includes over a dozen variations of solid steel equipment racks, some models with castors, some with stacking capability - offering just about any configuration that might required for studio or live sound applications. Also part of the Metal System are new drum stools, music and lighting stands, a tilt-adjustable stand for combos and monitor amps and the 'Expo' series of innovative all-metal guitar, keyboards and audio equipment display stands intended for retailers and manufacturers.

Nike opts for Creative StagingNike opts for Creative Staging
Wednesday, 28 November 2001

Creative Staging was recently selected to provide the video projection, audio and lighting design and supply to the Nike exhibition - 'Nike - A Design for Movement' - working alongside exhibition designers Tonkin Architects, and the computer graphics and video producer at the Design Museum.

The project involved four 'zones', coming together at the centre, each having its own theme with a separate video and audio sound track. Periodically, the four videos would synchronize to form 270-degree 'wrap-around' computer graphics with lighting effects. As visitors moved from zone to zone, the soundtrack changed automatically to synchronize with the video material and exhibits in that area without the headphone wearer having to adjust or change units in any way. This was achieved through the use of infra-red headsets with video and audio material run from synchronized DVD players controlled by a Creative Staging system.

Creative Staging is part of the Myriad Group of AV, broadcast and communications companies.

DeSisti Equips New TV Studio
Wednesday, 28 November 2001

Home Shopping Europe Ltd went live to air at 1.00pm on 7 October from its UK home at Park Street Studios, Frogmore. Managing director Christian Unterseer hosted the launch a mere nine months after the company had acquired the site. This is Home Shopping Europe's most recently completed studio complex, expanding upon facilities in Germany, Italy and Belgium to provide extensive European coverage.

DeSisti Lighting played a major role in fully equipping the studio and supplying the lighting control system. The 316sq.m studio is fitted with a matrix grid which allows for the luminaries to be positioned anywhere as required. Hanging from the grid on adjustable length drop arms are 1 and 2kW Leonardo spotlights, 2.5 and 5kW Botticelli softlights and Giotto cyclorama top lights, all pole operated.

The lighting control is a sophisticated system from ETC, combining an Express 250 memory control board, integrated with a Unison architectural scene review system. This allows, via the control board, the set up of numerous plots for each of the five sets, which are then loaded to the architectural unit. In addition to timed, or recall at will options, this allows the luminaires assigned to that plot to be controlled either as a group or individually, whilst allowing override back to the control board.

The studio is equipped with a mix of dimmed and direct outlets with DMX. Digital dimming (ETC Sensor) looks after the 16A and 32A supplies and the dimmers are located with the DMX splitters. All of this was installed by DeSisti in just one-month, working closely with Sassoon Cohen, di

Rave Console from CompuliteRave Console from Compulite
Wednesday, 28 November 2001

Compulite has introduced the new Rave lighting control console, designed to make previously unavailable features affordable to light jockeys, DJs, hire-companies, trade shows and other live applications. Rave can control up to 100 channels, 40 moving lights and 20 extras (DMX-controlled devices) through one, integral DMX512 standard output.

Enhanced Playback operation and fixture manipulation features makes Rave into a leading tool in its market - from Clubs and Discotheque to small venues - wherever enhanced live operation is needed, Rave is the answer. Rave includes an intuitive patching wizard with menus to provide fast and easy setup of the system. The three band integral equalizer enables perfect sound-to-light synchronization.

Rave also includes a powerful yet easy-to-use Effects Editor, with bundled generic effects package, for quickly creating various movement effects on any fixture's parameter. Sync'ing the Rave with other devices is straightforward thanks to varied protocols support such as MIDI, SMPTE, and DMX-in. The Ethernet support of the Rave allows users to distribute the DMX512 output, as well as connect to simulation software such as CompuCAD and WYSIWYG. In addition, the Rave PC offline editor (runs under Windows) allows a show to be programmed or edited without the console.

Record Lightshows with Martin LightCorderRecord Lightshows with Martin LightCorder
Wednesday, 28 November 2001

The new LightCorder from Martin Professional is a small and handy DMX recorder that allows you to record and playback any DMX 512 output. With the LightCorder there is no need for expensive on-site controllers for playback purposes. The convenient built-in scheduler allows recorded shows to be played back at any given time or date, or even have the show loop up to 255 times or loop continuously. Playback can be easily set up in the Scheduler directly on the LightCorder's LCD display or uploaded via the RS-232 connection to any computer and then saved into the LightCorder.

A handy Windows Scheduler for easy set-up and maintenance of light shows includes a complete show calendar for easy organization. The Scheduler can be used to program a light show to start at any given time or date. Three multi-function custom faders on board the LightCorder can be assigned to any controllable attribute to allow direct access to dimmer, colour, strobe or other function. A memory card is included with 8Mb of memory allowing from six minutes to three hours of recording time (expandable to 64Mb). Total recording time depends on the desired refresh rate and number of DMX channels used. (i.e. full speed refresh at 40Hz @ 512 channels = six minutes; 10Hz @ 64 channels = over three hours). The LightCorder can be remote-controlled via RS-232 and DMX-in. The easy user interface includes a built-in DMX viewer/tester and clear blue/white LCD display. The LightCorder can even be used as a handy and inexpensive back-up to a main lighting console.

Seeing is Believing for Cisco EventsSeeing is Believing for Cisco Events
Tuesday, 27 November 2001

Seeing is Believing, the lighting design consultancy based at Knutsford in the North West of the UK, has just completed four major contracts for Cisco Systems. The events, all produced by Project Worldwide of London, comprised an internal event in Paris and an external event - Networkers - in Copenhagen. Each event was in two parts - a conference and a party.

Seeing is Believing was contracted to provide the lighting, rigging and drapery for all four events.

The parties with the theme of 'The Stadium' and 'New Dimension' were for over 3,000 people and staged in the Grand Arch, La Defense, Paris and The Forum in Copenhagen. A large amount of intelligent (principally Martin MACs) and generic lighting, trussing and rigging was used, and in keeping with Seeing is Believing's policy of finding and using local suppliers, all equipment for Copenhagen was sourced locally. The company has recently provided an estimate to a major exhibition contractor to provide personnel and equipment around the globe for a major airline.

School's In for Stagetec!
Tuesday, 27 November 2001

Stagetec - the Slough-based lighting sales and installation specialists - are seizing the opportunity to offer anyone interested in stage and studio lighting the chance to attend an Academy Day at White Light North in Halifax on Thursday 24 January.

Taking advantage of the usual lull in activity during the first month of the year, the event is free, and attendees can learn about the latest products from both Compulite and LSC - for which Stagetec is the UK distributor. Compulite products will include the new RAVE lighting control desk - a low-cost compact console, the SparkTOP 'desk in a box' solution, the CompuDIM2000 series of dimmer racks, the CompuCAD 3D lighting design and rendering software package and theCompuCALL system - which converts DTMF telephone tones to DMX and MIDI.

From LSC, the MAXIM range of control desks will be demonstrated, as will iPRO/UK - a UK version of LSC's well-established 12-channel digital dimming system and its ePRO Dimmers. For more information, contact Jack Thompson at White Light North at the e-mail address below.

Martin Pro Unleashes T-Rex
Tuesday, 27 November 2001

King of its habitat, the T-Rex is the aggressive new companion to Martin Professional's other well-known predator, the Raptor. The T-Rex deploys a unique quad-angled mirror to create a salvo of effects with 48 sharp, dynamic light beams, changing colour and direction to the beat of the music. A combined colour/gobo wheel offers 11 solid colors, four multi-colours and four white, along with a full arsenal of 19 gobo patterns. The T-Rex houses a bright 250W halogen lamp with a long 500-hour lamp life.

Burswood Upgrade
Monday, 26 November 2001

Western Australia's Burswood International Resort Casino has undergone a major upgrade of its Resort facilities. The project is the biggest redevelopment of the Resort since its inception in December 1985, and involves the creation of additional floor space across three major areas of the Resort complex. The key components of the redevelopment project cover an International Food Emporium; a Cabaret Nightclub, Spinners Café & Sports Bar and a Grand Ballroom.

The atrium area of the resort has also been refurbished with the addition of commercial retail areas. As the atrium is housed under a large glass dome, the resort management were concerned about heat gain and light glare in the area. Architects Silver Thomas Hanley decided to address this problem by hanging large perforated reinforced PVC sails internally over the atrium, providing heat and sun control to the lower areas of the atrium.

From the beginning of the design process, Silver Thomas Hanley were aware that the sails would make an ideal canvas for coloured light. "As the sails are of a significant size the idea of colouring them or using them to project logos on was immediately obvious," says Hanley. Lighting consultant Kevin Harris of Pro Design was commissioned to design and implement the sail lighting. Essential to the project were six Martin Exterior 600 fixtures used to light the lower level sails. Two Exterior 600s are fixed to a pillar in the lounge, two mounted on the concierge baggage storage area and two more are mounted over the cocktail bar. "They come on each evening at a predeterm

ESTA: Draft Standards for Review
Friday, 23 November 2001

ESTA, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association, has announced that the following draft American National Standards are available for review.

BSR E1.16, Entertainment Technology - Configuration Standard for Metal-Halide Ballast Power Cables. This identifies which pin on the ballast to power cord connector shall be used for the non-current-carrying grounding connector. Many manufacturers use the same connector when a detachable power cord is provided, but do not necessarily use the same pin for the grounding connection. This can lead to serious problems when users connect the power cords intended for one manufacturer's product to another manufacturer's ballast. This draft standard is an effort to regularize the grounding pin designation.

BSR E1.5, Entertainment Technology - Theatrical Fog Made With Aqueous Solutions Of Di- And Trihydric Alcohols. These theatrical fogs and mists are often used as visual effects or to enhance lighting effects in live performances such as dramatic productions, musicals, and popular music concerts, and are commonly called 'glycol fogs'. This draft American National Standard describes the composition of glycol fogs that are not likely to be harmful to otherwise healthy performers, technicians, or audience members of normal working age.

Copies of the above drafts may be obtained from the ESTA website (see below) or by requesting a copy from ESTA's Technical Standards Manager via mail, fax, or e-mail. Comments on the document should be received at the ESTA office before 17:00 Eastern Time on 12 February 2002. Comment

Martin to double manufacturing capacityMartin to double manufacturing capacity
Friday, 23 November 2001

At a meeting of Martin Professional's board held in Aarhus, Denmark on 18 November, the final go-ahead was given to the construction of a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for the production of automated lighting. Construction of the new 12,000sq.m factory is to begin over the next few weeks, with completion expected by the end of the summer 2002. Total investment in the project will be approximately US$20 million.

The new facility, to be located in the city of Frederikshavn in northern Denmark, will be geared toward the production of Martin's most high-tech products. Upon completion of the new facility Martin will effectively double its production capacity for the manufacture of automated lighting. Martin's current production facility, also located in Frederikshavn, will continue operation.

The latest production techniques will be utilized in an innovative, state-of-the-art environment, which will include a fully-automated warehouse for raw materials and semi-manufactured goods. Utilizing highly efficient production methods and procedures, the industry’s most modern manufacturing plant will also further increase Martin's speed to market. Additionally, the new building will boast an exterior façade and design that is promised to be an architectural marvel in its own right.

MAD in the USAMAD in the USA
Thursday, 22 November 2001

Award-winning British company Mad Manufacturing Ltd is now fully operational in the USA.Mad Manufacturing Inc operates out of Texas, with Ryan Krebs, who previously worked for High End Systems, taking up his position as vice-president of operations. Ryan brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience of the lighting industry. Working from his Texas offices he will offer advise and guidance to the MAD dealer network. The MAD Inc warehouse is stocked with the full product range all ready for distribution throughout the Americas. This will soon include the all new EVL Pro Lighting range as seen at LDI 2001.For full information contact Ryan Krebs on +1 512 341 7093 or visit the web-site:

White Light and MDG on Ice
Wednesday, 21 November 2001

White Light Sales ha supplied the first production units of the new Ice Fog low-smoke generator from MDG to the English National Ballet (ENB) and to the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). The ENB has been closely involved with the development of the new machine, having tested a pre-production version on their production of Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall in London last year. Dave Richardson, the ENB's chief electrician, was very impressed that a single machine could generate low-lying smoke that would carry along the full length of the Albert Hall. He and his team did, however, return a list of suggestions to the manufacturer, these including simpler set-up, easier fluid refilling and lower running noise.

They were impressed enough, though, to order machines of their own - and, having taken delivery of the first production units in the UK, they are impressed that their suggestions have been taken on-board, being particularly pleased with the units’ low running noise. The output is also more robust than before, MDG having developed a new fluid which achieves greater chill pickup as it passes through the Ice Fog's chiller chamber.

Following this, the RSC has purchased two Ice Fogs for their new Christmas production of Alice in Wonderland at the Barbican Theatre. The RSC's lighting team were also impressed by the Ice Fog's high output and low noise. As well as supplying the Ice Fogs, White Light's sister company, The Service Company is the approved service centre for MDG fog generators in the UK, providing full technical training and backup for the ful


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