Stagetec enjoyed a busy PLASA Show, displaying a whole raft of new lighting products from Compulite, LSC and others. Several deals discussed at the show are already turning into solid orders and deliveries. Stagetec has supplied and installed a new Compulite lighting control system to the Towngate Theatre in Basildon, Essex. The system consists of a Compulite Ovation 4D console, plus a Compulite 4D tracking back-up system, complete with a new Rigger’s Remote and the CompuCAD 3D lighting design software package. To minimize disruption to the theatre’s schedule, the DMX output from the consoles was converted to the old Compulite C105 protocol so the existing demultiplexers could be re-used. The Compulite was specified by the theatre’s Technical Manager Tim Lloyd and follows Stagetec’s recent supply of a new Soundcraft M Series mixer to the venue.
Stagetec also closed a deal at the show to supply Redbridge Drama Centre, East London with two of LSC Lighting’s new iPRO UK dimmers - one of Stagetec’s many launch products at the show. The iPRO is a 12-channel hard-fired digital dimmer - available in several versions - with the new UK version offering twin 15A outlets. The dimmers were chosen by the Drama Centre’s technical resource officer Ray Balcombe, who picked iPRO for their build quality, good range of features and easy operation. The Drama Centre features three facilities - a theatre space, drama studio and a TV studio. It is a busy teaching resource for the many schools and educational establishments in the area, and also produces
Exhibition and conference lighting specialist Stage Light Design has had a hectic start to the autumn, with shows for Hewlett Packard, Cogent at the DSEI show, Logitec and the ECTS Show and the Awards Ceremony at Frankfurt Motor Show. SLD made LWT Studios on the South Bank into a trendy lighting environment for the latest Hewlett Packard product launch in a show produced by Studio 9. The product was a new wireless computer link. SLD’s Alastair Crooks designed the show, utilizing the studio’s in-house television lighting equipment, fixtures and facilities, and prepared the show in advance on screen with SLD’s WYSIWYG facilities. He also used WYSIWYG to visualize the show for the client.
The technical production and set design was by Studio 9 Conference Services. It featured a home scene, an office scene and three 3 x 5 metre pods, initially screened off, for a reveal. Crooks called the lightshow which was operated using LWT’s in-house Galaxy lighting desk.The format followed a technical briefing for HP staff, the product reveal, speeches and then a lively catwalk show. Stage Light also provided a small generic rig and complimentary lighting for HP’s two days of post-show technical briefings, staged at The Works photographic studios in Fulham.
For the Frankfurt Motor Show Awards, SLD supplied LD Ewan Cameron, plus equipment, to light the ceremony for production company Mainframe. Cameron produced a jazzy, colourful design utilizing a wide assortment of fixtures including Clay Paky Mini Scans and Stage Colors, Source Fours and Pars. Control wa
Architectural lighting specialists i-Vision supplied equipment, crew and expertise to lighting designer Lee Forde to illuminate a spectacular urban backdrop to the Liverpool section of the BBC’s recent Proms In The Park broadcast. Liverpool’s event - part of a quartet of shows also staged in London, St Austell and Gateshead - was located in William Brown Street near St Georges Hall in the heart of Liverpool’s Cultural Quarter. The concert was promoted by Liverpool City council, the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Capital Of Culture bid, and was attended by a crowd of over 4000, entertained by the LPO conducted by Gerard Schwartz.
The buildings to the right of the audience as they looked stage-ward are the majestic NMGM Museum and the Liverpool City Council Central Library. After the first Liverpool Proms event last year, the BBC realized that they were missing some great visual opportunities by leaving these buildings in darkness. Lee Forde, heads Liverpool City Council’s Cultural Events office, is also at the core of Liverpool Vision, an on-going scheme to permanently architecturally light the city’s famous landmarks - the first part of which was the lighting of St George’s Hall itself. For the Proms, i-Vision provided various lighting fixtures and equipment including six Space Cannon Ireo Pros, over 60 blue and green HQI 400s, Coemar Panoramas, Studio Due City Colors, two Dominators, a Jands Hog 600 for control and a 40W YAG laser with it’s own Magnum controller.
The Space Cannons flanked the stage, and the laser was
Two new studios to be developed in the Channel 7 Melbourne Broadcast Centre are to be fitted out in a turnkey operation by Coemar De Sisti Australia. The installation will include full mechanicals (hoists, etc), dimming, control, DMX distribution system, power, leads and accessories and all luminaries. The Product Studio, to be used for drama and variety productions, will feature a full set-up of De Sisti hoists, with 36 self-climbing 140kg SWL units, 3 Modular Cyclorama 180kg SWL units, 4m Pantographs with a 14kg SWL. All hoist controls are also provided as part of the installation. Lighting for the Product Studio comprise a wide range of De Sisti luminaires including Magis 300/500/650 PO fresnels, DesiLux Fluorescent PO video luminaires with DMX on/off control, Giotto PO twin-compartment Cyclorama units and Duccio four-compartment groundrow units. Several zoom profiles are also part of the package of luminaires in both studios.
The News Studio features a fixed pipe grid, and a new style of dropper called a Cranky Pole. This is a telescopic hanger that can be operated from the floor or the catwalk. The telescopic tubes have a square cross section to insure they do not twist like rod-type hangers. The Cranky Pole comes with a friction clutch winch allowing a safe working load of 55kg. Lighting for the News Studio utilizes a similar range of luminaires as the Product Studio, as well as the De Sisti Leonardo 1kW PO fresnels and Leonardo 2kW PO fresnels. Dimming within both studios is provided by Coemar De Sisti Australia's own homegrown TechART Series 5000 installation dimm
Prolyte Products Group, the aluminium truss manufacturer from Holland, took the opportunity offered by the recent PLASA Show at Earls Court to reveal that the Stage Electrics Group had joined their UK distribution network. "This is a significant appointment for us and the other distributors in our network," said Prolyte’s sales director Menze van der Sluis, "and marks the culmination of 12 months’ hard work in setting up our multi-point distribution policy in the UK. Stage Electrics Group is a major player in the UK and European markets and we are delighted that they have decided to join our sales and rental network - it means that our sales re-organization in the UK is now complete, and that users will receive full product support nationally. Stage Electrics, along with our other distributors worldwide, will receive full technical back-up from our sales and engineering departments, and will be carrying stock of our products by the end of October."
Vari-Lite's electrical engineering manager Jim Bornhorst will receive the Wally Russell 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award at the LDI Show this year. Bornhorst, who has been with Vari-Lite since its inception, helped launch the automated lighting industry when he and a team of engineers developed the first Vari*Lite automated luminaires for a Genesis concert that took place 20 years ago last month. "To be acknowledged by your peers is something to be cherished. But to receive the 'Wally' Award is special because I'm proud just to be named in the same company with the likes of Wally Russell, all the past winners of the Award, and fellow 2001 nominees David Cunningham and Jimmy Fuller," said Bornhorst, Vari-Lite's two-time EMMY Award winner for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering. "This is truly an incredible honor."
The annual Wally Russell Lifetime Achievement Award was founded in 1992 to honor an individual exhibiting a strong sense of leadership, a commitment to technological innovation, and a career of service to the lighting industry. The prestigious award was established in memory of Wally Russell, an industry pioneer whose career influenced generations of industry professionals. Bornhorst will receive the Award at the LDI/ESTA awards ceremony on 3 November, at the LDI industry trade show in Orlando, Florida.
Bornhorst began his career as a touring sound engineer and console designer for Showco, originally the parent company of Vari-Lite. In 1980, Bornhorst helped solve the problem of how to produce a commercially viable remote-controlled spotli
Entertainment Design magazine has announced that the 2001 Broadway Lighting and Sound Masterclasses, scheduled for 5-9 December in New York City, have been cancelled. In a statement issued on the magazine’s website, the organizers said: "Due to a variety of circumstances, not the least of which is the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, publisher Jacqueline Tien, editorial director David Barbour, and editor David Johnson have decided that the classes could not be presented with the kind of quality the industry has come to expect from this annual event."
Jacqueline Tien further commented: "This was a difficult decision for us to make, but we feel it is the right decision." She added: "We will now re-channel our energies toward celebrating and supporting our industry and friends at this year's EDDY Awards, in Entertainment Design and Lighting Dimensions magazines and at our LDI show, this November in Orlando."
Lighting designer Jules Fisher, one of the founders of the BLMC, commented: "It saddens me not to be able to present this year’s exciting program to so many eager students and practitioners. I am undaunted . . . we will just make next year’s that much better."
The annual Entertainment Design EDDY Awards, originally scheduled for Friday, December 7 at John Jay Theatre, will continue as planned.
ETC has promoted Lotte Clausen Rhodes to sales office manager, a position she's taking over from Sharon Todd for whom she worked as assistant manager. With her existing in-depth knowledge of the department, Lotte, who joined ETC three years ago, will also continue to act as the contact point for ETC's Northern European Region. A Dane by birth, Lotte moved to London six years ago to work in market research and brand management. ETC's Bill Gallinghouse said: "Lotte has been a key ingredient in our strong customer service effort for the past three years and is certainly a valued and respected member of our team. We are all delighted at her well-deserved promotion."
Enlightenment, the UK's specialist dealer for ADB - Siemens stage lighting equipment, has provided 48-ways of ADB Microrack all-digital dimmers to the RSC Fringe Festival for the third year running. Since its inception in 1997, Enlightenment has invested heavily in its ADB rental stock. The RSC Fringe Festival was held at the Other Place Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, which is due to close shortly as part the ongoing restructuring of the RSC. The festival incorporated 20 pieces of predominantly new work from writers all over the world, allowing the RCS's company of actors to get their teeth into something different to the usual RSC repertoire.
Los Angeles-based Elation Professional has introduced the Pro Color DMX color changer, a highly affordable intelligent colour changer that features 10 dichroic colors and 10 split colors. It includes a bright, 150W 9,000 hour discharge lamp and a special frost filter that produces a dynamic wash effect. The Pro Color is aimed at venues requiring more colouring options than a standard Par can provides, but who may not be able to afford the full colour-wash fixtures. The Pro Color also is equipped with two DMX channels that can be programmed to set the tone for any application. One channel controls the frost filter and a 0-100% dimmer, while the other operates the color wheel. This makes it easy for the user to program the Pro Color and automatically keep the coloured background effects changing. A 10-19° beam angle can be adjusted to set any stage accordingly.
Macy's 'Passport 01' is an AIDS benefit, fashion show and live music event all rolled into one. The show, staged in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, starred such notables as Magic Johnson, Elizabeth Taylor, Macy Gray and the Jeff Rollie Band. Lighting designer Tim Becker, along with moving light programmer Tom Thompson and conventionals programmer Jinx Kidd, put together a large rig which included 18 VL7s, 42 VL6Cs, 13 VL2402s and eight Studio Color 575s all run from a MA Lighting grandMA console, rented from Towards 2000 in Los Angeles.
Thompson specified the grandMA console in particular so that he could make use of the new version 3 software: "The console was powerful before version 3," he said, "but now I have features and programming tools that are radically effecting the way and the amount of time that I spend programming."
He continued: "The configurability has always been a strength of the grandMA. With version 3, however, I can swap fixture types and not lose any programming, undo any mistakes and recall complex commands. The grandMA is much like a time machine - you can re-execute a series of keystrokes by ‘turning back time’ in the command window. If the keystrokes are something I use often, I save them as a macro to be accessed by the press of a single button."
His final comment? "I couldn't give higher marks to a lighting console."
Leading lighting control specialist, iLight Ltd, has achieved a ‘double whammy’ by significantly increasing both its factory output and number of staff in just six months. Output at the purpose-built facility in Cwmbran has almost doubled since the company’s launch in March 2001. All products for the iLight Group plc - iLight Ltd and Zero 88 Ltd - are designed and manufactured at the UK factory. General manager, David Rosen told L&SI: "The sales forecasts are increasing all the time and we are expanding quickly to accommodate the growth of the business. It’s looking very positive and we have been able to invest in further equipment and personnel."
The factory team has also doubled with the appointment of 14 new operators and three test engineers to handle the increased workload. At iLight Ltd’s head office in Kent, eight new staff have been appointed, including three field sales and one internal sales support, and project engineers to service new and existing customers throughout the retail, commercial, leisure and smart-home markets.
The last time a son et lumière was staged in Sion, Switzerland, was 1961, but that didn’t mean the concept couldn’t be re-kindled. "This was a test project funded by the City, with the support of some local sponsorship," explained lighting designer Andy Doig. "They simply wanted to know if it was feasible and realistic to resurrect what had been an annual event."
Well they certainly had a stunning location, as the photograph reveals: two castles sit atop adjacent peaks and strategically dominate the valley that leads now to the modern city of Sion. Striking in their position, the impregnable nature of good castle design left Doig with a big problem. "Although the castles are just 500 metres apart as the crow flies, commuting between them takes a tortuous drive of several kilometres down one mountain and up the other." Which is exactly what Doig had to contemplate.
"I had originally been approached by the Concepteur, Christophe Gruyard (a local classical composer) and his collaborator Bernard Moix (an architect) earlier in the year. The composition was to be a narrated tale in the medieval tradition, a fairytale if you like, and they’d wanted to use projected images, but frankly there wasn’t the budget." Doig came up with a lighting concept that involved using movement within and around the two castles and their surroundings to evoke the dynamics of the story. "The difficulty was getting the lights in position - a helicopter was the only practical solution." And by good fortune this did not turn
Zero 88 presented three companies with Dealer Awards during the PLASA Show. Zero’s Graham Eales presented the UK Dealer of the Year award to Glyn O’Donoghue of AC Lighting, and the Overseas Dealer of the Year Award to Bob Gordon and Mike Falconer of LA-based AC Lighting Inc. The Award for UK Independent Dealer of the Year, however, went to a less well known company - Stagecraft. The award was presented to Stagecraft's managing director David Goodrich, senior sales executive Grant Bales-Smith and project manager Martin Palmer.
Zero 88 equipment has been used by Stagecraft in a number of the company's recent projects. For example the Frog control desk has been used by Stagecraft at St Laurence School, Testbourne Community School and Shrewsbury College. Senior sales executive, Grant Bales-Smith said: "We have recently invested in new Zero 88 products for our hire department and we're pleased that our commitment to supporting Zero 88 has been recognized in this way. We work for a number of schools, colleges and theatres, all of which have varying budgets for developing their lighting, so using the Zero 88 range we know that we can provide them with excellent products which will suit their individual needs."
A group of lighting technicians, riggers and designers have joined together to form 4Effect, a new company specializing in décor, effects lighting and special event packages. Led by a former Students Union entertainment’s manager and décor designer, Malcolm Cameron, 4Effect will work across the corporate, students union, trade show, nightclub and events markets.
PA Installations, in conjunction with Laser Studios and Swansea City Council, held a demonstration of effects lighting and laser projection on the cliffs of Knab Rock, Mumbles, as part of the closing event for the Swansea Bay Festival.
The event created a major impact in the area, with over 2,000 people being drawn to the site as the effects were seen right across Swansea Bay as far as Port Talbot. Some visitors saw the demonstration from the M4 and followed the trail to the end of the Mumbles Esplanade. The demonstration comprised two laser installations, one covering the cliff face and the other shining out over Swansea Bay. This display was supported by effects lighting - Studio Due and Griven exterior colour change floodlights - illuminating the Knab Rock itself, providing a palette against which the laser show could work to maximum effect.
After an amazing summer rush of corporate work that saw LSD/Fourth Phase service no less than 20 fashion shows, exhibitions and conferences, the company now returns to its traditional roots for the Autumn season with a full mix of music tours. Not that it’s turning it’s back on these healthy pastures, the spectacular opening of Millennium Point this past weekend is just one of the special events that LSD service between now and Christmas.
If you’re into eighties music, then a line up that includes T’pau, Go West and Kim Wilde will be right up your street. The ‘Here and Now’ tour is lit by Simon Tutchener and is very much in the style of the era featuring a front and back truss with a large V truss between sports over 120 Pars, plus Mac 500s and Studio Colors.
Status Quo go out with Pat Marks at the helm of a suitably long-haired and be’denimed lighting rig. A variety of truss shapes (depending on venue type) support a 100+ Pars and dozen each of Martin Mac 500s and High End Studio Colors. UB40 have a new designer in the frame, fresh from a lengthy stint with Moby. Dan Hardiman has produced both set and lighting concepts for the band’s latest outing. Using the stone ‘heads’ of Easter Island as his main motif, Hardiman has produced a set of many surprises. Lighting is mainly High End X.Spots and Studio Colors, with Coemar 2.4kW Super Cycs, but there are some Martin Mac 2000s in there for a very special use on custom-built mirror-balls.
Destiny’s Child kick-off their European tour in just over week: light
Lighting and sound hire company, DLC in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has announced the opening of a new associate company, Lighting Supply International (LSI). The company will concentrate on the design and supply of architectural lighting fittings for specialist lighting projects throughout the Gulf States. The operation will be headed by well-known industry veteran, Andy Pivec from LTV, who has over 15 years’ experience in the lighting industry.
Avolites enjoyed a hugely successful PLASA 2001, with the launch of three new products, spearheaded by the Diamond 4 console, a packed press reception, a busy distributors’ evening and 17 confirmed orders for the new console by the end of the show. The first Diamond 4 was sold two hours after the show opened on Sunday 9 September to top lighting designer Dave Bryant. His recent projects included lighting the BBC’s Proms In The Park in Hyde Park and he has always been a keen Avolites user.
On the Monday of the show, Avolites staged a champagne press reception to mark the launch of the Diamond 4, which attracted a massive turnout of UK and international press - a real coup with so much competition for hospitality and new products at the show. Avolites sales director Steve Warren reveals that they had been very open about the Diamond 4, it's features, functions and facilities in the run up to PLASA, and so were confident of getting a good reaction. However, no-one was prepared for the intensity of interest and the throngs of visitors clamouring for demos. "We were completely overwhelmed - particularly with the response of other exhibitors," said Warren.
This Diamond 4 is designed for large-scale shows, festivals, concerts, events and multi-purpose venues, addressing the needs of exacting environments needing fast, accurate and powerful control of numerous intelligent lights, wide arrays of conventional fixtures and other DMX devices. At PLASA, Diamond 4 orders were confirmed by many different people and companies from all over the world including Chin
Stage director and visual designer Robert Wilson and poet and musician Tom Waits have teamed up with the Betty Nansen Teatret in Copenhagen to create a performance which has stirred up far-reaching and unconditional enthusiasm throughout Denmark and Europe. The production is the classic Woyzeck, by Georg Büchner, based on the story of a young soldier and his reaction to a warped society, culminating in the murder of his girlfriend. In the hands of Wilson and Waits, the play is given a strikingly modern look. Lighting designer A J Weissbard draws inspiration from traditional methods of creating environment and atmosphere, using specialized lighting effects to give the set a feeling of simplicity, whilst at the same time empowering the unfolding tragedy.
This first all-Danish performance of the 164-year-old tragedy was given at the Betty Nansen Teatret late last year, and the production has now embarked on a spectacular European tour. The theatre, which has a reputation of being one of the most interesting and successful theatres in Denmark, is recognized primarily for promoting modern theatre through strikingly contemporary interpretations. Weissbard chose leading Danish lighting rental company Stagelight to supply the European tour of Woyzeck with equipment for the lighting rig. Stagelite approached Bico Professional, ETC's Danish dealer, to provide them with 100 ETC Source Four luminaires. "I have used ETC products throughout my career," explains Weissbard, "as they are reliable and consistently good quality." For both the Danish produc
As Vari-Lite Production Services expands into new markets and increases its market appeal, the company today announces the addition of lighting industry veterans Andrew Nikel and Mark Rudge as account managers for the VLPS offices in New York and Los Angeles respectively. "Because VLPS is expanding its sphere of influence, we need leaders with experience in new markets who also have an understanding of the markets that have long been a part of our foundation," said Rusty Brutsché, Vari-Lite chairman and CEO. "Andrew and Mark have that expertise, and will be key in helping extend our reach into new markets where automated lighting is beginning to be used more frequently."
Nikel, who began in the lighting industry as a master electrician in regional theater, spent 13 years with Production Arts/Fourth Phase. He most recently served as senior project coordinator for their systems integration group. Rudge joins VLPS from Olesen Lighting, where he was general manager of the film- and TV-based company. A 16-year industry veteran, he previously worked with Key Light PSI, a film lighting company, and also spent time as a freelance lighting designer, working with corporate and industrial events as well as musical acts.
Thrust SSC, the fastest car on earth, has been purchased by the Museum of British Road Transport (Coventry) and is to be displayed in a specially designed ‘Mach 1 Show’ open to the public from 9th September 2001. Thrust SSC, powered by two Rolls Royce Spey 205 turbojet engines, became the first car to achieve the Supersonic World Land Speed Record on 15 October 1997 by achieving a speed of 763.035 mph. It now takes its place in the museum alongside Thrust 2, its land speed record predecessor, which has been on display since 1992.
The car was purchased with the help of a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and this included a sum of money for use in mounting an imaginative presentation of the vehicle using a variety of audio-visual techniques. The museum awarded a contract for overall design and project management to JSP Design Associates Ltd. of Northampton to create a unique exhibition space and an imaginative presentation of the car. JSP Design sub-contracted AC Lighting to resolve the audio-visual and show control aspects of the presentation and to introduce a tactile element to the display. The AV presentation, which runs for just over four minutes, utilizes two Phillips, cBright SV1 multi-media projectors fed from two Phillips PRO170 DVD players. Projecting onto screens above the car, these show video footage taken during the record-breaking run from a camera mounted inside the cockpit of Thrust SSC and a view from a camera mounted in the tail wing fin. Show control is provided by a Common-Sense interface unit from Artistic Licence, and this is use
MTFX has just finished the first phase of bringing together all the disciplines of the company under one roof. The group has invested over £500,000 in new premises just north of Bristol. This includes five acres of testing/research grounds and 4,000sq.ft of storage, manufacture and administration offices. The first phase is now complete, with the administration and offices having moved over to the new location. The second phase will be complete by Christmas and will include the transfer of all manufacturing processes, hire equipment, storage and sales stock. MTFX’s managing director Mark Turner told PLASA Media: "These are exciting times for us. For the first time in our nine year history, we will all be under one roof. This will allow all departments to work in unison and should make collections and deliveries much easier."
The company’s new address is Velt House, Velt House Lane, Elmore, Gloucestershire, GL2 3NY. They can be reached on Telephone +44 (0)1452 729903.
A new organization representing professional audio and lighting rental companies has been established in The Netherlands. PRESA - Production Rental Equipment Services Association - like fellow organizations ESTA and PSA, has been set up to promote safe working conditions, high technical standards and regular contact between professional rental companies.
Behind the new association are Ampco Pro Rental, Flashlight, Focus Show Equipment, Improve and R&R Show Equipment, all well established companies in the entertainment industry. Chairman Antoinette Wijffels told PLASA Media: "We have finally managed to create a platform where members can exchange ideas, and one which we hope will lead to an even more professional attitude towards clients. We can now also negotiate on important matters at government level, which, as individual companies, was not possible before."