Frank Gordon has returned to take up the position of CEO at High End Systems Inc. Gordon originally joined High End Systems in March 1998 and under his leadership as CEO, High End experienced two of its most profitable years ever. With the slowdown in the lighting industry and the worldwide economy as well, High End's management team felt it was time for Gordon to come back and "work his magic".
Lowell Fowler, founder and chairman of High End Systems, says: "Frank was our first CEO from outside our industry. He showed us a lot about the business of business as a seasoned professional with a very solid background. We showed him what we like to do and he helped us become more profitable doing it. In that process, he built great respect for (and from) our customers and the other players in our unique business. I think he truly learned to like what we do, too. High End is happy Frank's back and we look forward to his positive contributions."
Gordon is excited about rejoining High End after a six month absence. "Being back in the saddle at HES feels like coming home," Gordon says. "I love this industry and the people at High End Systems, and I firmly believe that despite the economy we are like a thoroughbred horse that is a contender in every race. With the great team we've got at High End and the commitment to succeed, I have no doubt we'll be out in front and will continue to do great things. I would like to especially thank John Wiseman and the entire management team for their confidence in me, and I greatly look forward to our future t
Elektralite has launched the CP 16/24, a universal moving light controller and big brother to the renowned CP10xt - the workhorse of many club designs the world over. Whereas the CP10xt offers control of 16 x 8-channel fixtures, the new CP16 / 24 allows the user to control the very largest fixtures with its 16 x 24-channel capability (384 DMX channels). The CP16/24 is capable of programming a wide variety of different manufacturers' intelligent moving fixtures through the use of extensive libraries already patched and ready for use. There are even additional entries to cover fixtures not already specified in the library. It will also control dimmers, colour changers - in fact, virtually any device that utilises DMX protocol.
Retaining the ease of programming which made the CP-10xt such a world-wide success, it takes only seconds to learn how to enter a cue, create a chase, and construct a macro. Manual control of any individual or multiple fixtures can be done at any time even while a pre-programmed show is playing. Other features include: auto-masking, timed crossfade, and coarse or fine joystick control. The user also has the added ability to turn the joystick from absolute to relative position control, providing accurate positioning of moving lights. To enhance creativity, a MIDI port is provided which allows control of the CP16/24 remotely from another MIDI device such as a keyboard. The MIDI port also allows CP16/24s to be linked, and to download or upload complete memory content to a 3.5" disk, for example. The CP16/24 is supplied with an external power supply
The Production Resource Group LLC (PRG), a leading provider of entertainment technology products and services, has announced a plan for its Atlanta facility to aggressively develop and promote itself locally as the leading provider of entertainment lighting in the region. Fourth Phase, the Group's entertainment lighting branch, is embracing the local market in Atlanta, one of its many strategic locations. LSD/Fourth Phase has called Atlanta home for approximately five years, and is moving forward with plans to direct its focus on regional business opportunities. The company will be expanding its sales efforts in order to build its local presence in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Simultaneously, LSD/Fourth Phase Atlanta will make a significant commitment to building and sustaining a standing inventory to service the region.
"As Atlanta's draw continues to grow, LSD/Fourth Phase will be there for support. With Bryan Gazo as the driving force for local sales, I am confident that we will be an invaluable resource to visiting and local exhibitors," said Jere Harris, chairman and CEO of PRG. With an established plan for expanding the local capabilities in Atlanta to include complementary audio equipment and support, LSD/Fourth Phase will take up residence in an expanded facility in the area equipped to support PRG's growth plan for 2002.
Our picture shows the new lighting scheme for the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh. The project was launched in November 1995 when the Fruitmarket announced an international contest to design a new and permanent lightwork to highlight the position of the gallery in central Edinburgh. The winning design, which came from artist Peter Fink, features a ‘roof fin’ light triangle, light detailing on the east and west roof and a light pavement. As far as we know, the project is unique un Britain and uses Color Kinetic LED systems installed and programmed by Lighting Technology Projects.
Stardraw selected LDI 2001 as the launch platform for its latest lighting design and documentation software. Stardraw Lighting 2D is an all-new offering from the London-based software company and replaces the Stardraw 2DV3 package which has been available since 1998. The Windows application boasts a library of over 8,000 symbols of fixtures and truss, regular monthly updates of new symbols and program features, advanced reporting and an interface that is "so easy, even a salesman can use it."
David Snipp, Stardraw’s managing director and head of development, described some key elements: "This code has been under development and evolving for eight years so it’s very robust, reliable and above all, fast. With Stardraw Lighting 2D we've added a lot of advanced features and implemented a subscription-based philosophy, in line with Stardraw Audio and Stardraw AV. Our users place a lot of value in receiving new symbols in a timely fashion, and the cutting-edge architecture we use allows us to add new features very easily. For example, we have just added a utility which identifies any serious problem, whether it's caused internally by bad data from an imported file, or externally by bad device drivers, and Stardraw will mail a comprehensive report back to the developers. This means we can fix any fault without our users having to spend time on the phone, and fixes are always posted within 48 hours. This new version immediately notifies users whenever updates are available from our website."
A significant new step with this software is the abilit
For six weeks every year, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council turns the town's beautiful arboretum into a world of lakeside lights, laser and water projections within the floodlit gardens, and plays host to a rich programme of entertainment. Celebrating its 50th year this autumn, the Walsall Illuminations prides itself in being Britain's biggest inland illuminations. The event evolves annually and this year featured video projection for the first time.
Birmingham-based Laser Hire, who were again appointed main audio-visual contractors, this year hired in a Christie Digital Systems' X4 Roadster from a local partner trading partner, AT Communications, to present a spectacular water screen projection over the lake. Laser Hire first delivered laser and lighting back in 1989, but according to Mike Kinsella it has only been the last four or five years that the event has developed into its current spectacular format.
While Laser Hire produce the images for the laser show, the Roadster is fed from a Powerpoint-based presentation projecting space images onto a six-metre water screen, repeating on a loop every four and a half minutes. The opening intro features the council’s branding and closes with the logo of the main sponsor, Birmingham Midshires Building Society. Using 3-chip DLP technology the Roadster X4 is housed in the Laser Hire 'shed', mounted at floor level on one bank of the 200-year-old man-made lake, to deliver a 4000 ANSI lumen output over a projection distance of 45 metres. The overall show has been running nightly this Autumn for two and a half hours.
A high quality successor to the Rosco 1600 fog machine - with radical improvements and lower cost, has been introduced by the company, offering solutions for theatre, clubs and rental applications. According to Rosco, every feature has been evaluated and state-of-the-art technology applied to give long-life reliability and high performance. The Rosco model 1700 delivers fog output equal to or more than that of the 1600, but in keeping with modern practice, draws low power - 1190W (230v) or 1130W (110v). The machine accepts either the 4L or 2.5L Rosco Fog Fluid bottle. The entire range of Rosco fluids is available in these sizes. This new machine has a remote control stored on board, with a 5m lead and fine control for on/off settings. It can be connected to a lighting control board through an optional DMX interface. An XLR socket port enables up to four machines to be operated with one remote control.
Industry software provider Stardraw has announced the appointment of Link srl as Premier Partner in Italy. The agreement was struck at the IBTS 2001 show in Milan and took effect from October 8th. David Morrison, sales manager for Stardraw explains: "We were particularly happy to build a relationship with Link because their profile and positioning is ideal for the current range of Stardraw products. As a leading Italian supplier of cable, connectors and connection solutions they have all the right contacts in audio, AV and lighting. Everybody in systems integration needs the 'glue' that Link supplies, and everybody in systems integration needs Stardraw. It's a perfect fit."
Link's managing director Assunta Fratocchi adds: "Link has built its reputation by observing and driving the technological evolution of equipment used for system interconnection. We are now implementing a new, long-term strategy to bring the best in software tools to our clients. This means offering the right products, dedicated staff, training and front line support. Of course, the Stardraw applications had to be the first in our portfolio since they are so particularly appropriate for all of the markets we service. Historically the acceptance of software in the Italian market has been slower than we might have hoped, but we have watched this software grow in popularity internationally and the time is now right for a concerted push into our domestic market."
Morrison continued: "With a market like Italy, product localization is important - Stardraw applications are already a
Bytecraft has announced that its long-serving international marketing manager John Drummond Montgomery, has left the company after more than nine years service, following his appointment as Australian Consul-General / Senior Trade Commissioner to Japan, based in Osaka. In an announcement to staff, general manager John Rowland said that Montgomery had been the most successful marketing manager Bytecraft had had. Mr Rowland stated that John had been responsible for opening up new markets for Bytecraft's stage automation business in Holland, Korea, China and Japan, as well as ameliorating the Bytecraft name internationally. In opening these markets, Montgomery had won the biggest stage automation contracts in Bytecraft's history, notably the Singapore Arts Center and most recently the China Grand National Theatre in Beijing.
John had played a key role in Bytecraft's development and position as the premier Stage Automation company in the world, not only in winning business for Bytecraft against larger competitors, but also in developing strong relationships with Bytecraft's strategic partners around the world. Further, the company stresses, Montgomery played an important role within Bytecraft in team-building and keeping morale high.
As a lighting designer of International standing Montgomery was also able to add value to Bytecraft’s business by winning prestigious lighting jobs, which would subsequently be prepared by Bytecraft and utilize Bytecraft technology. The Spire atop the Victorian Arts Centre perhaps being the greatest monument to his ability.
The MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards is the fastest-rising star of the international music awards circuit. In just four years the event has grown from its niche origins, through last year’s production at Alexandra Palace, to the London Arena in 2001. The star-studded event included performances from R. Kelly, Mis-Teeq and Usher, plus Beverly Knight and the legendary Dionne Warwick, amongst others.
Production managing the event was Mick Kluczynski of MJK Productions. "It was definitely the best MOBO Awards ever - the show has finally grown up, and I really enjoy working with the team. This year we had a new director, Nicky Parsons, and new producer, Lisa Chapman, with a 3,500 live audience. In spite of the events in America, we managed to retain most of the artists - only Luther Vandross pulled out."
Sound contractor Britannia Row decided to take the unusual step of trialling a new system at the event. With the help of Telex/EVI’s Bob Doyle and Paul Barretta from UK EV distributor Shuttlesound, Brit Row was able to put Electro-Voice’s new line array system, X-Line, through its paces on its very first major UK gig. Sound designer and FOH engineer, Derrick Zieba, who has vast experience of such events, confesses to an initial reticence about using the X-Line, as he had previously found line arrays to lack the bottom end required for rock and roll.
However, he was persuaded by Brit Row’s Bryan Grant, who had been running X-Line on a number of large Radio One events over the summer. "We plugged it in, selected the pre-sets on the
Forget the Oscars: what appears to have been the biggest event in the film industry this year took place in London on 4 November at the Odeon Leicester Square. Crowds of fans turned out in their best wizard and witch outfits to attend the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as the cinema was transformed into a replica of Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
West Design commissioned Visual Elements and Spirit Design to illuminate the exterior facade of the cinema and, in turn, Mike Townsend approached Fourth Phase to supply the lighting equipment. As the cinema's fascia decorations had been painted with UV paint, Fourth Phase provided 30 Mac 600s, together with eight each of Studio Due’s City Colors and City Beams, used alongside a substantial quantity of conventional lighting to create a striking backdrop for the film's premiere. The long-awaited film will open to an eager public later this month and, with a staggering £1million in advance ticket sales, suggestions are that Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone will break all box office records. The books have received much critical acclaim and in the UK alone the young wizard's adventures have won author J.K Rowling numerous prizes, the most recent being Whitaker's Platinum Book Award 2001. The adventures of Harry Potter and his two friends, Ron and Hermione, have sold an amazing 120 million copies worldwide and, with the arrival of the film, Harry's fame looks set to last!
Accessibility is high on the agenda for the Oxford-based Creation Theatre Company. Its aim is to encourage people who’d not normally set foot in a theatre, to participate in and enjoy their innovative work.
The company doesn’t dumb down Shakespeare in an attempt to make it popular or trivial, rather it reworks his canny psychological takes on human behaviour and intense storylines into a relevant and contemporary context. To add further appeal, the company also chooses to perform in non-conventional spaces.
Since 1996, Creation has performed its summer season in the grounds of Magdalen College School, Oxford. The stage area backs onto the natural fork between two arteries of the River Cherwell, and this constantly in-motion backdrop can include anything from screeching wildfowl to walkers, cyclists and inebriated students on evening punting trips! Creation’s first summer season, in 1996 attracted 3,400; their recent summer season, which featured Romeo & Juliet and As You Like It, has taken that figure nearer 20,000.
Obviously the challenge of site-specific work has its own production consequences. Production manager/LD Paul Batten and assistant production manager and technical stage manger Mike Borgia, are both experts in the genre. The production schedule is hectic - with an entire theatre to construct from scratch, two shows to go up in close proximity, two casts to rehearse, etc. The most difficult aspect of the Magdalen College School site is access - which involves traversing two narrow bridges and a good half mile run past the cricket pitches
November 15 will see Miss Saigon taking the north of England by storm as it hits the first venue of its new tour, The Palace Theatre, Manchester. Having premiered at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1989 with lighting design by David Hersey, the lighting rig has been re-worked by Hersey for life on tour. In keeping with the original production, the tour features banks of DHA's Digital Light Curtains but the show's opening image of a rising sun is now created by DHA's newest product - the Yoyo+.
Hersey and his assistant Jenny Kagan worked closely with production designer John Napier to create the setting for the story. Originally developed for the show's New York opening, the six and eight lamp DHA DLCs provide an intense sheet of light, controlled by a dedicated computer providing the facility to adjust the tilt, angle and colour of each individual 6' section on cue during the show. An additional computer is used to control the colour and movement possibilities of the total rig - 20 concert-style Vari-Lites which are used to create special effects for the action scenes, plus six followspots and 470 conventional lights.
New to the lighting rig are 150 ETC Source Fours, also supplied by lighting rental company White Light. The only luminaire available which combines the energy-saving power of the HPL lamp with the patented dichroic reflector, Source Fours are ideal for touring companies, as power supply might vary from venue to venue. Source Four was also the first luminaire of its kind to allow for glass gobo projection without shattering the glass in the heat.Following
PSL provided full technical support as official audio-visual supplier to Salon International, the UK hairdressing industry event held this year at London’s dockland venue ExCeL. The event management team, led by Sophi Bruce and Chris White of new creative agency Bluw Creative Solutions, designed a 1700-seat theatre environment to stage the hair fashion shows. PSL was awarded the contract to manage the build and provide full technical support for the live hair fashion theatre and Salon seminar programmes.
A section of one of the halls was separated via drapes to create the main theatre. PSL provided the main staging and 900 feet of mini beam truss suspended from 38 half tonne electric motors to create the various lighting effects the show required. This involved using over 36 moving and 180 generic lights, including Studio Beam PCs, the latest in wash lights and Cyberlight Turbos to create the different colours and textures. Over 240 cues were programmed in under 10 hours.A Portable Production Unit was used to feed live images from Sony D30 cameras to the two 12 x 9 screens either side of the main stage and three speaker clusters were flown from the truss for sound. PSL also provided presentation equipment for many of the exhibitors there and the seminar break out rooms including a 3 x 3 cubewall, cameras and vision mixing for Toni & Guy and plasma screens for Vidal Sassoon.
Martin had plenty of reason to celebrate at the LDI exhibition in Orlando this past weekend, but one accomplishment appeared extra special. At a press meeting held at the Martin stand on Saturday, Martin President and CEO Kristian Kolding presented the 100,000th MAC automated light produced. The 100,000th unit, a MAC 2000 profile spot, rolled off the production line just prior to the LDI exhibition. It was ceremoniously painted gold and is now displayed in the Martin manufacturing plant’s reception area in Frederikshavn, Denmark.
At the LDI Awards Ceremony Martin won ‘Product of the Year Lighting/Entertainment, Most Promising Prototype’ honours for the TracMAC mini, an easy to operate followspot luminaire that drew a lot of attention from visitors. Mach speakers was awarded the ‘Product of the Year, Sound, Most Promising Prototype’ for the Mach ViroStation, an elegant combination of illumination and atmospheric audio that also had people talking.
Lightfactor Sales has completed 10 days of extensive training sessions and seminars - the first in a series - covering its most popular product ranges, underlining the company’s ongoing commitment to training and product support. Courses have been run for both beginners and advanced users on products including the LightProcessor Qcommander lighting console - and also the LightProcessor Paradime dimmer range. Demand also proved high for courses featuring assorted High End fixtures distributed in the UK by Lightfactor - including Technobeam, the 250 and 575 series of Studio Spots and Colors and the Cyberlight.
Lightfactor also ran courses for the LDR range of theatrical lanterns and SGM moving lights from Italy. On the sound front, courses on Zeck Audio products from Germany and Apogee Sound Inc products from the USA aroused considerable interest. Lightfactor's MD Paul de Ville told PLASA Media: "These courses are highly accessible and are designed so people can get the most out of their products. The more familiar they are with the technology, the more possibilities will be realised."
The sessions, held at Lightfactor’s new showroom and demo facilities in Greenford, Middlesex, attracted a wide variety of people, from rental companies sending their employees to seasoned professionals refreshing their knowledge. Lightfactor has always actively promoted product training. The planning for these and other courses was preceded by a survey of the company's current client base, which was used to assess demand.
Kelsey Acoustics has launched Duracat, a tough Cat5 DMX and AES data cable for industrial applications which provides a durable and reliable data solution for patching, theatre, studio stage and public area usage. According to Kelsey's Michael Whiteside, the brief for this cable was to produce a tough, "stage-proof" Cat5e cable that terminates with standard RJ45 connectors and yet has a build that provides real protection for its structure as a data cable. "We have gone to great lengths to ensure that Duracat is constructed for maximum flexibility combined with the strength and durability that is fundamental to the accurate transmission of data," he commented.
Satisfied customers already include Marquee Audio who have used Duracat for a recent theatre installation, and rental company SSE who were delighted with every aspect of the cable's performance in a live environment and have subsequently ordered a significant quantity. Internally, Duracat is built as a Cat5e patch lead, using stranded copper conductors that give it strength with flexibility. The pairs are orbitally spun round each other rather than twisted which prevents strain and means they stay in a 'natural' position. This also enhances its electrical consistency. A plastic foil followed by a loose wrap screen around the four pairs maintains a low capacitance and gives the components protection against internal abrasion.
The inner sheath fits exactly onto RJ45 connectors, for correct and secure crimp termination, whilst the outer sheath provides a durable wall to protect the internal struct
The 2001 Volkswagen Stand claimed the entire ground floor of Hall 3 at the Frankfurt Motor Show and featured an innovative multimedia experience ‘The Big Box’ which was produced by HP:ICM of London. The exhibition environment was designed by German architects Cebra who worked closely with HP:ICM to create the perfect environment for the ‘Big Box’ theatre, a circular room containing a 170 degree video projection screen.
The 50 metre wide, seven metre high screen was used to show a specially commissioned film directed by Robert Butcher and Liam Lyons with a score by Jonathan Goldstein and produced by HP:ICM, in front of this screen was a huge water ‘lake’ which concealed submerged water and pyrotechnic effects which accompanied dynamic moments in the film; the roof supported a comprehensive lighting system and was covered by a 35 metre diameter fibre optic star cloth.
The audience viewed the spectacle either from a half crescent ‘beach’ which overlooked the lake or from a five metre high bridge that spanned the Big Box at first floor level, the rear wall was a huge semi-circular gauze lit to reflect the various colour themes contained within the storyline. The film, which celebrated Volkswagen cars and company identity, lasted for seven minutes with interspersed mist, rain, fountains, water curtain, gas flame and lighting effects and ended with a one-minute light and laser show.
Lighting Designer for the ‘Big Box’ theatre was Durham Marenghi who was employed by HP:ICM to light the experience and to co-ordinate
Martin Professional Inc presented its first annual Martin Intelligent Lighting Technology Grant to Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama at the recent LDI exhibition in Orlando. The grant will be awarded to an accredited college or university in the USA each year. Martin Professional Inc CEO Troels Volver comments: "Making available our cutting-edge technology to more students and future lighting professionals is our goal, and while we cannot give our products to everyone we would like, we are committed to this annual grant for the future and expect to generate increased exposure and knowledge of our products by its establishment."
The Grant is valued at $50,000 and consists of a variety of Martin fixtures and control products including the Martin ShowDesigner virtual software design system and Martin Lighting Director tracking system. The Grant does not stop with the giving of technology products however. Martin Professional Inc. will also provide technical training and support for the winning college or university, as well as quarterly seminar’s on emerging technologies and application discussions.
For the year 2001 the Grant recipient is Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama. The Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in lighting design.
Dean Martin Prekop, Dean of the College of Fine Arts, comments: "Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama is honored to be the first recipient of Martin’s Intelligent Lighting Technology Grant. Martin’s generosity wil
You don’t get to see too many of these in your average shopping day. These illuminated mannequins are the latest thing in High Street retailery (we made that word up, but it’ll do) currently striking a pose at Selfridges in London. Rare Basic Ltd are the company behind these rather unique mannequins, which are crafted by former Madame Tussaud’s sculptors. Manufactured in a translucent wax effect finish, the material lends itself to a colour changing facility developed for Rare Basics by AVR Colourmaster.
Vari-Lite kicked off its participation at LDI 2001 with the debut of a ground-breaking new luminaire - the Vari*Lite VL1000 ellipsoidal reflector spotlight. The special sneak preview event, in Junior Ballroom G at the Rosen Centre Hotel, featured an overview of the innovative VL1000 by Vari-Lite chairman and CEO Rusty Brutsché. "With the VL1000, we believe Vari-Lite has taken the largest single step towards one of the goals the company set for itself when it was founded 20 years ago - developing automated systems for all stage lighting.
In addition to getting the preliminary, close-up look at the VL1000, attendees at the special event had the opportunity to see history in person as Vari-Lite displayed the numerous revolutionary luminaires from its 20 years of innovation, including the first ever automated light from Vari-Lite - the Vari*Lite VL0 prototype. It was the VL0 that helped establish automated lighting as an industry.
Vari-Lite also featured the VL1000 at its LDI display. Visitors to the display were able to see 50 VL1000 luminaires lighting the stand. They were also able to examine the new luminaire inside and out, as well as operate demo units that allowed them to explore every parameter of this innovative light. In addition, Var-Lite’s Sarah Clausen and Jim Waits led technical training sessions on the Virtuoso DX Console as well as on systems and design. The sessions, part of LDInstitute and the ESTA Training Programs, give entertainment design professionals theopportunity to get in-depth technical training. And at the LDI/ESTA Awards ceremony o
Electronic Theatre Controls chose LDI as the platform to launch a new lighting control product - Emphasis. The new product integrates two technologies that have never been together before - the hands-on lighting control of the company’s Express and Expression consoles and the new level of WYSIWYG’s Emmy award-winning visualization software. Emphasis can now handle the whole lighting process from start to finish: tasks don’t have to be repeated and a high level of integration means that the data only has to be entered once and the system will automatically update everything related to it. It also features WYSILink giving users a graphic representation of the system. The good news for current users of Expression and Express users is that they can upgrade to the new system.
One of the more eye-catching products launched at LDI was MA Lighting’s grandMA 3D visualization software - created for the design of three-dimensional stage layouts. The software allows a wizard guided design and set up of any custom stage or scenery layout with 2D drawing facilities and a library of basic graphical elements. Multiple windows can be opened and updated at the same time, and all the stage elements can be positioned in X, Y, Z directions and may also be rotated around the various axes. The set-up of lanterns, luminaires or moving lights can be simply retrieved from the grandMA console’s show file by electronic transfer. There is no need to set DMX lines, DMX addresses or operation modes as these are already pre-adjusted in the grandMA console. The software will be compatible with the whole family of MA Lighting consoles, and will be available for free download from the MA Lighting website from January 2002.
Contrary to incorrect reports that have been circulated, Thales Angenieux has, in fact, appointed OpTex as its Authorised Distributor and Official Service Centre for its Broadcast and Film Lenses in the UK. Angenieux is now one of the fastest growing brands in the Broadcast Lens sector and this is set to strengthen with the introduction of the new Extreme Tele Zoom Digital 40x11AIF.HR complimenting its all-purpose 15x8.3AIF.HR and Wide Super Zoom 12x5.3 AIF.HR ENG/EFP lenses.