Avolites has enjoyed a busy few months on the ART dimmer sales front. This follows hot on the heels of the launch of the two latest versions of the ART dimmer at PLASA 2001 - the ART2000-TV and the ART2000-US models.
The development of digital ART2000 dimmer range has addressed the exacting needs of areas such as film, TV and theatre, and two of the UK’s largest film and TV lighting rental companies have recently invested in Avolites ART dimmers - AFM Lighting and ARRI. The AFM order involved a total of 10 dimmer racks - six ART2000 16 amp/48 channels of dimming with an RCD disable system and four ART2000 32 amp/16 channel dimmers, also with a disable system. These are going into AFM’s busy hire stock. The ARRI system involved the purchase of four ART2000 special edition dimmers - with BAC mains input and 48 channels of direct out on Socapex, and two ART2000 12 channel racks of 32 amp rated dimmers, BAC mains input with RCD disable.
The buoyancy in the TV market is reflected in the theatre market with Avolites dimming used on a range of productions including Grace The Musical (see feature in the February issue of Lighting&Sound International); the UK national tour of Bob Carlton’s Return To The Forbidden Planet; The Royal Festival Hall’s Christmas Ballet 2001/02 season and the latest two-year tour of the hit musical Chicago.
Thomas L. Schweers will be taking on the role of northeast regional sales manager for Fourth Phase New Jersey. Schweers will be based at the company offices in North Bergen, New Jersey. Schweers was formerly the executive vice-president of sales and marketing for Fiber Optic Systems, Inc in Whitehouse Station, NJ.
In this newly created position, Schweers will be responsible for the direct supervision of Fourth Phase sales staff, and will also oversee the development and implementation of sales strategies and the allocation of sales resources.
Bandit Lites has got off to an early start on what could be a record-breaking year. The company has already signed up ten new acts this year with further signings in the pipeline. Recently added to the roster of clients is Luis Miguel (LD Fabian Boggino) who is touring the world with a huge system featuring the Bandit MotoData truss cueing system and a plethora of Martin MACs. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (LD Keith Wissmar) are set to take a bigger system than ever before into arenas for their ‘Tour of America’. Toby Keith (LD Eddie ‘Bones’ Connell), takes his unique form of country music around the states this spring, not to mention a High End Systems rig unlike any other Bandit has ever done before.
Lonestar (LD Alex Krompic) head to Canada with a versatile High End Systems moving light rig allowing the group to play venues of all sizes whilst Acquire the Fire (LD Danny Zacharias) are touring with a High End rig. Dream Theater (LD Ben Richards), take their unique form of rock meets classical on a world tour with a Martin MAC series-based system. Slayer (LD Bryan Hartley), are back again as the hard rock legends tour the US with a Martin moving light system.
Brian Wilson (LD Will Twork), is also on World Tour with a mix of classics and new music under a Martin moving light rig. Shakira (LD Patrick Dierson), played in Spain to announce the release ofher new album and prepare for an upcoming tour. And finally, System of a Down (LD Jesper Luth) are embarking on a massive world tour and are ready to headline under a Martin-based lighting system.
Color Kinetics has introduced ColorDial, an architecturally-styled, dial controller that offers the ability to control Color Kinetics digital LED-based lighting fixtures at the simple push and twist of a dial. With ColorDial, users have increased flexibility and access to a wide variety of lighting effects in a simple-to-use interface that can be seamlessly integrated into any environment, from residential to corporate, retail to hospitality.
ColorDial’s control knob allows users to change between a variety of pre-programmed colours and colour changing effects - fixed colour, colour wash, three chasing rainbow settings, random colour, random fade, and white light - without any added programming or setting of dipswitches. Users simply press the dial-knob to select the desired effect for their lighting set-up. Once the effect has been chosen, users can then change the speed of the effect or, in the case of the fixed colour mode, turn the knob to the choose from the full spectrum of colours, literally ‘dialing in’ any colour they want.
Pulsar has announced the latest introduction to the ChromaRange family - the ChromaPanel. The ChromaPanels are 590mm square panels which utilize 132 LEDs to create a vivid panel of colour making it ideal for 600mm grid suspended ceilings or decorative wall displays. For more information on the ChromaPanel and to download the new edition of the ChromaRange brochure please visit the Pulsar website at the address below.
Yves Pépin, president and artistic director of ECA2, and his team are gearing up for the début of ECA2’s new nightly multimedia show, ‘Miroir d’Uranie’ (‘Uranie’s Mirror’), beginning on 2 February at the Futuroscope Park near Poitiers, France. "Uranie is the name of an as-yet undiscovered star that plays a leading role in the show," explained Pépin. "She is one of a number of characters, both touching and fantastical, who appear in the show. There’ll also be Billy la Bulle (Billy the Bubble), a flying fish; Pegasus; Venus; and an elderly fisherman who goes on a dazzling trip through the universe. The fable, the story of an impossible trip through the galaxies, unites classical mythology with ultra-modern multimedia techniques. It will warm the heart even as it dazzles spectators with its special effects."
The spectacular will take place on he Théâtre du Lac (Lake Theatre), just like the current show, ‘Le Lac aux Images’ (The Lake of Images’), which opened in March 2000. This show has been a real hit with audiences, attaining a spectator satisfaction rating of 95%. Similarly, ‘Miroir d’Uranie’ will appeal to all age groups. The new show will last about 20 minutes, and will unfold on 7,000sq.m of show space, including three water screens, five inflatables and pyrotechnics.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, that most famous and best-loved of films, is coming to the London stage in a new production being billed as 'the most fantasmagorical stage musical in the history of everything.' And White Light and The Moving Light Company have been selected to provide the lighting equipment that will create the amazing effects required.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the musical will open at the London Palladium in April, in a new production adapted from the film by Jeremy Sams and directed by Adrian Noble, the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. The show is being designed by Anthony Ward, with lighting by multiple Olivier-award winner Mark Henderson - a nominee for this year's lighting Olivier.
With the show set to fill every inch of the Palladium stage - and beyond, with a sequence involving Chitty flying out and over the heads of the audience being planned - Henderson has specified a versatile rig based around 24 Vari*Lite VL2202 spotlights, 14 Martin PAL1200 framing spotlights, 22 MAC 500 spotlights, five High End Cyberlights, 81 MAC 600 washlights and 50 High End Studiobeam washlights. Control for the automated lighting will be from a Wholehog II console, programmed by Stuart Porter.
The moving lights will be supported by a conventional rig including over 200 ETC Source Fours, 130 Par 64s, L&E Ministrips and colour changers from Wybron (CXI colour mixers) and Rainbow (6" and 8" scrollers), all controlled by a Strand 500-series console. White Light is also supplying an assortment of effects, including High End Dataflash strobes,
During the night of Wednesday 23 January, a complete set of 32 Vari-Lite VL5 wash luminaires were stolen out of a trailer belonging to Belgium-based EML Productions. The fixtures were en route from Austria to Belgium, and it is believed that the theft occurred somewhere in Germany. The set included 32 VL5 luminaires with standard cabling, smart repeaters and truss hooks; they were packed in six six-hole black plastic Vari-Lite cases and two grey plastic Vari-Lite cable cases.
If anyone has any information regarding the whereabouts of this equipment, please contact Dirk Bosloirs at EML Productions NV in Brussels - telephone: +32 16 61 71 18 or at the e-mail address below.
Architectural lighting specialists i-Vision has completed a lighting design and supplied all necessary instruments and fixtures for the permanent illumination of Merseyside Police Authority’s (MPA) HQ in central Liverpool.
i-Vision was approached for the project - part of the ongoing scheme to light landmark building in the City of Liverpool - by Tony Woof, chief executive of Liverpool Architecture and Design Trust (LADT). I-Vision’s brief was to produce an interesting and cost-effective design to transform this somewhat imposing looking building into an attractive, integrated element of the landscape.
LADT has been overseeing the River of Light project, which started with a massive light, laser, projection and visuals show for the town on Millennium Eve. It completes with the lighting of eight key buildings in Liverpool - the last of which is the Police Authority HQ. With all other buildings in the scheme being listed or of a heritage nature, they responded well to traditional architectural lighting methods - and the overall schemes designed and supplied by Phillips.
Geoff Jones of I-Vision split the lighting into three distinct areas - a blue wash light illumination of the building’s main elevation, a green wash light effect to illuminate the walkway and proposed garden area for the front of the building, and ‘Thin Blue Line’ effect. This latter is a glowing blue line delineating the building form, encased in a custom aluminium extrusion.
i-Vision used a combination of eight bespoke asymmetric flood J800 flood fittings - 2 x 400W HIT
The recent inclusion of Coemar within the Stanton Group, following the acquisition of a controlling interest in the company by Tracoman Inc, has led to the appointment of Animatec SA as the sole agent for Coemar Spa in Switzerland. Silvio Cibien of Animatec commented: "We are convinced that the strong synergy created by this distribution agreement will be a benefit for all our partners."
The move adds further strength to Animatec SA’s distribution portfolio, which also includes top lighting brand such as MA Lighting and Pulsar along with pro audio brands such as Ecler, Stanton and D.A.S. Audio.
Gareth Frankland and David Horsfield have taken over the operation of ACDC Lighting Systems Ltd, part of the Standel Dawman group of companies. The two have been key members of the management team for some time, and had been instrumental in developing ACDC into one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of cold cathode lighting systems.
The company will continue to work with designers to develop lighting solutions and will launch a new dynamic range of high intensity LED products later this year.
To further enhance the service Stage Electrics offers its West End and UK touring markets, the company has promoted Chris Patton to work alongside Matt Lloyd in developing and supporting current commitments and future initiatives. Patton will relocate from Birmingham, where he was responsible for developing local business through the theatre and event market. During his time with Stage Electrics he has been on-site with several major theatrical companies, including the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Andrew Suggs has been promoted to branch account handler at the busy Bristol customer service centre. Suggs has worked for Stage Electrics for six years, covering all aspects of hire. Most recently he was a contract handler in the Bristol Warehouse, managing the co-ordination of all major hires leaving the building.
Tony Rhodes has joined the company as business development manager at the NEC Branch. Rhodes brigns with him a wealth of experience, and was most recently as eneral manager of Prolyte UK. Another new face is that of Ben Teale, who will be joining Stage Electrics on 4 February as business development/project manager. Working out of Stage Electrics London Office, Teale will be concentrating on the exhibition market, working alongside James Irvine and the production managers based at the head office in Bristol.
Wybron’s Eclipse II was honoured with an EDDY Award at the close of last year. This marks the second award for the product in 2001, which also collected an LDI Product of the Year Award earlier in the year.
The Eclipse II is a variable speed DMX controlled iris douser with linear control using a single motor. It can realistically fade fixtures that use non-dimmable arc and metal halide sources, products which are becoming more and more prevalent in lighting design today. One of three lighting accessories awarded the EDDY 2001, it was the smooth and seamless fades of Eclipse II which impressed the panel.
Keny Whitright of Wybron and theatre legend George Izenour collected the award at the 10th annual EDDY Awards at John Jay College Theatre in New York City. The EDDY Awards are presented annually to honour excellence in entertainment design and technology, as well as innovation in product development in the professional audio and lighting arenas.
Designers Jules Fisher (lighting) and Abe Jacob (sound) were keynote speakers at the ceremony, which included a tribute to all past winners and a special eulogy to a group of young talented designers.
Stagetec (UK) Ltd has recently completed the supply and installation of production lighting equipment for the BBC Television Centre’s Studio 3 refurbishment. This is one of the major studios at the BBC’s Wood Lane HQ in Shepherd’s Bush, London.
The project, managed by BBC Technology’s Consulting & Projects division, involved Stagetec in the design, manufacture and installation of a complete DMX network running throughout the studio. A total of 148 DMX outlets were installed by Stagetec, dotted around the studio in custom made socket boxes. These were wired back to patch panels located at grid level in the roof and in the new control area. Eight IES 10-way DMX splitters were mounted in the patch cabinets to provide DMX distribution with the existing analogue dimmers retained. Stagetec then installed 552 channels of Compulite demultiplexers in the dimmer room so these can be driven, via a DMX control, from the studio’s existing Galaxy console. A Compulite 48-channel multiplexer was also installed in the control room to enable the existing analogue effects desk to be incorporated into the system.
Stagetec also incorporated an LSC Softlink unit in the control room, complete with a geographical patch to provide full electronic patching of all DMX signals. The TC3 project also involved Stagetec in the design and manufacture of a new lighting test panel on the studio floor, installation of a new rigger’s control, remote monitor cables and new emergency ‘off’ indicators.
The project was managed by Stagetec’s projects manag
Hevacomp, a portfolio of building services design software, has added iLight’s range of lighting control products to its database. The move will enable lighting control to be designed in with the other electrical services, allowing the designer to build the lighting, lighting control and electrical design straight into his system drawing.
Electrical CAD enables electrical systems to be designed on the building drawing using a DXF file or directly with AutoCAD. It comes with a comprehensive and easy to use BS symbol library: as symbols are entered onto the drawing, they automatically snap to wall orientations. Using extensive manufacturer’s databases of boards, protective devices, busbars, cable and luminaires, the designer can build the lighting and electrical design straight onto the drawing.
Christie Lites has announced the appointment of Rob Kennedy, former vice-president of theatre for Westsun International, to the position of rental account manager for Christie Lites Toronto. Kennedy’s early experience as a technical director and production manager in regional theatre and summer festivals, combined with his 14 years’ experience as a rental rep in the theatre market, makes him a very welcome addition to Christie Lites, say the company.
Kennedy’s professional accomplishments include assembling the lighting systems for The Phantom of the Opera, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Show Boat, Ragtime, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Fosse, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Barrymore, Sunset Boulevard, The Bridge, Mamma Mia and productions of Disney’s The Lion King in New York, London, Toronto and Los Angeles.
PLASA members Central Theatre Supplies, in conjunction with Solihull Arts Complex, is holding a Lighting & Sound Workshop on 2 February 2002 at Solihull Arts Complex, Homer Road, Solihull. This training day is open to schools and amateur theatres, providing an insight into stage lighting and sound, including demonstrations and advice on how to achieve certain effects. The cost for the day is £5, and tickets can be ordered from the Box Office at the Arts Complex, telephone 0121 704 6962.
Following the morning session there will be an exhibition where those attending will be encouraged to meet the manufacturers and view the latest products and equipment. People who do not wish to attend the workshops are welcome to attend the exhibition between 12.30 - 2.00pm. Manufacturers attending will include Zero 88, Selecon, HW International (UK distributor for Shure, QSC Audio and Phonic), Doughty Engineering, Prolyte, Celestion, Strand, Stonewood Audio and Audio Technica.
The workshop will be split into four sessions, as follows: 10.30 - 12.30am’ - Lighting from Scratch’ by Jason Larcombe of White Light; 12.30 - 2.00pm Exhibition; 2.00 - 2.30pm - ‘Demonstration of Special Effects’ by Ian Knight of Central Theatre Supplies; 2.30 - 4.30pm - ‘Sound from Scratch’ by Ian Roberts, head of sound, Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
Avolites is continuing its commitment to product training with three days of hands-on seminar style events at White Light North in Halifax. The dates are 13, 14 and 15 February. The Valentine’s offering - for all lovers of the popular Avolites Pearl console - will be led by Avo’s training manager Chris West and Chris Clarke from the sales team. Avolites is expecting to see a wide range of Northern-based customers attending the event.
Chris West comments: "It’s important to get out and about to see people, and open days are an ideal method of reaching a focused public, giving them an opportunity of hands-on experimentation with the consoles."
Avolites also see these events as an ideal chance for socialising, networking and catching up with friends and colleagues from all over the country who are involved in live production and performance.
This lot definitely break the convention: a dance band with a stage presence - and not before time. Faithless are almost a rock combo, a robust and rhythmical form of Steve Hillage, morphing and vibing, rather than worrying about melody and structure. It sounds great, though personally it’s not my cup of tea.
Sequencing apart, this is a very analogue sounding band, real guitars, keys, drums and percussion, yet on the outside their show embraces some of the very latest technology.
These are never easy shows to light, the style demanding that you not so much light the artist, as the room. Juan Morandi has strong things to say about the subject: "The fact is you can’t tour a music production at this level with anything original unless you have a lot of money. This is a front and back truss situation with extremely boring moving lights." Sorry? "Who’s not seen a rotating gobo?" Fair enough. "We go from 80ft to 20ft wide stages, and you have little choice but to compromise."
That said he makes much of his lights from LSD Fourth Phase: Cyberlights and PC Beams distributed at every height and vantage point make for a full canvas, which is busy enough to always engage the eye. But Morandi has a stranger in his rig - a pair of Barco ELMs fitted with High End Catalyst control platforms developed by Wynne Willson Gottelier (WWG). Barely months out of launch mode, Morandi has a beta version: "I came across Richard Bleasdale in an Internet chat room some time ago when I was looking for information on video and
In recent years a growing number of manufacturers have turned their research teams towards the development of large-scale lighting instruments - big lamps with some of the newer features of modern theatre lighting - in-built colour changing devices, moving yoke, etc.
Why? Well, either the manufacturers are trying to drive new markets having saturated theatre, TV, concert and corporate events with smaller, highly developed models, or alternatively the market researchers have been busy and discovered that there is, in fact, a latent demand out there for such lighting equipment. Personally, I tend to the second view, but there’s no doubt that having once created a beast, chances are someone will find a use for it - witness the large xenon-powered searchlights that are commonplace at festivals and special events. But when we turn our attention to buildings, especially in the UK, we have little beyond the Lloyds Building in the City to inspire us.
Not so in Lyon, where a modern and inevitably Gallic approach to the illumination of buildings has been underway now for many years. Where else would you find the daring imagination to include not only the jewels of Lyon’s architectural heritage, such as the magnificent gothic pile that is the Hotel de Ville - but also the austere concrete tragedies of the Duchère district? "It’s the Toxteth of the city," one lighting designer commented. "It’s a bleak and barren landscape dominated by a 30-storey tower. Other tower blocks dotted around are punctuated by 11 so-called Bars, essentially large c
The Royal Festival Hall production team gave blood, sweat and tears to stage the 2001 festive ballet season, featuring the renowned Moscow Stanislavky Ballet.
The team, led by head of production Nigel March, and in collaboration with the venue’s riggers Vertigo Rigging, transformed the concert hall into a proscenium arch theatre, with all the expected rigging and flying facilities, ready to stage The Snow Maiden and Swan Lake.
This was the most ambitious set and lighting design ever staged at the South Bank, as well as one of the tightest timeframes. The initial task of the Vertigo team, headed by Paddy Burnside, was to install an 18 x 12 metre mother grid in the roof of the Hall. Below this was hung a trussing sub-grid to hold all the lighting and scenery bars and tab tracks. Because the changeover between shows was so tight, scenery and cloths for both had to be rigged at the outset - leaving just 40mm between each bar!
Vertigo also built a fly gallery off to stage right, and two over-stage followspot positions. The orchestra pit was created by adding an 8ft thrust to the front of stage and removing six rows of seats. This created a space just large enough to accommodate the 36-piece Stanislavsky orchestra. To enable a 40ft x 40ft dance platform to be installed for the performers, at a stage height of 7ft, the hall’s upstage choir stalls were removed. The pros arch was constructed from trussing and clad with flats and drapes. Lighting design (by Ildar Bederdimov for The Snow Maiden and Anatoli Remizov for Swan Lake, operated by James Tapping) uses much
Phil Ward identifies some of the key product launches at the December AES Show in New York
New York at the beginning of December is a sentimental place. Horse-drawn carriages trot fur-coated shoppers along 59th Street at Central Park South. Sesame Street’s Big Bird switches on the Christmas tree lights outside the Lincoln Centre. Tourists flock to Ground Zero. And AES delegates - at least the Americans - exhibit, buy, sell and discuss in detail ‘classic’ audio technology.
One whole section of this show was dedicated to ‘When Vinyl Ruled’, and offered tear-jerking insights into valve and lathe technology. Even away from this grotto, microphone and signal processor designs from the 1950s were on display, re-issued and repackaged with loving attention to detail.
Les Paul himself, who pioneered multitrack recording in the 1950s, figured in Gibson Laboratory’s activities, adding to the general air of reassuring heritage. Such was the mood of the exhibition, the city and, it seemed, the country as a whole, a few false white beards would not have been incongruous at the Jacob K Javits Convention Centre.
Progress continued, though. The biggest sound reinforcement technology announcement was Nexo’s GEO, a new generation holding three patents. On display were the S805 and S830, both full-range compacts for horizontal or line array; and a supercardioid subwoofer, CD12.
Introducing Nexo’s Hyperboloid Reflective Wavesource (HRW), GEO guides the wave using an acoustic mirror rather than the walls of the cabinet, creating a
Devon-based rock trio Muse appeared at a wide variety of UK and European venues at the tail end of 2001; Mike Mann saw them in the cavernous London Docklands Arena.
Lighting designer Oli Metcalf has seen his system squeezed into small clubs and stretched to fill a full arena stage - and has managed to keep the CAV-supplied rig intact along the way. Metcalf is using CAV for the first time, a decision, prompted by their stock of up-to-date High End product. "I’m using 16 Studio Color washlights and the same number of Studio Spot CMYs," he revealed. There are also 14 AF1000 strobes in his design and a quartet of modified Cyberlight Turbos - their rear cable entries have been removed to allow them to stand vertically under four fabric cones which form an important part of the set. "CAV seemed to have all the new High End kit I needed, and they had no problem with me wanting to work with my usual crew," said Metcalf, who also brought in Total Fabrications to build top plates for his truss towers, allowing moving lights to be attached to a standard length of well-secured barrel.
To drive the Pars, ACLs and Source Four profiles, Metcalf specified 72 channels of Avolites ART 4000 dimmers. "They have an amazing DMX response time," he said, adding that his console of choice was the Avo Sapphire 2000. "It’s a very busy show - it’s all about timing - so a quick response is really important." Metcalf’s system shared projection screens with a fast-moving video design, necessitating accurate focusing and luminance control
Cast Lighting, a subsidiary of Cast Group, will set up and oversee the complex lighting requirements for CBC’s English and French Home Base coverage of the Winter Games in Salt Lake City during January and February 2002. The events will be broadcast live on CBC for approximately 16 hours a day for the duration of the Games. This is the second time the Canadian company has been invited to participate in the Olympics: Cast also supported the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, by providing full WYSIWYG pre-planning and visualization tools.
Cast will be represented at the Games by Allyn Terry, lighting director/designer and Russ Widdall as board operator/assistant. Preplanning of the studios will take place in Toronto. Terry and Widdall will spend some two months on site in Salt Lake City with the set-up and managing of the studios. These studios will have numerous configurations in order to accommodate the various broadcasting needs.
For the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Cast created a Super-WYSIWYG system that allowed the lighting designer to pre-cue the opening and closing ceremonies off-site. Some of these cues were used directly via WYSIWYG’s computer-generated format and, once executed on stage, did not require additional adjustments. The custom-made, 17,000-channel WYSIWYG system simulated 32 universes of DMX. It also allowed the eight board operators to see more than just the performance of their own lights - they were also able to see what the other operators were doing as well.