The long-running stand-off between Vari-Lite International and Martin Professional has come to something of a temporary conclusion following the affirmation by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit of an injunction issued by the United States District Court on September 2, 1999 against Martin Gruppen A/S and Martin Professional A/S. As we've reported previously, the injunction prohibits Martin from manufacturing, selling or hiring the Martin MAC 600s, MAC 500s and MAC 300s, and also extends to the Case series controller when sold in conjunction with any of the MAC units. Martin had already appealed against the decision in a separate hearing when it filed a motion asking the District Court to lift the injunction in July 2000, the date when Martin claimed the patent would expire. The Court rejected Martin's claim and ruled that the patent held by Vari-Lite did not expire until March 2001.
Stage Light Design once again produced a spectacular lighting design for the Pedigree Petfoods Stand at Crufts. The rescheduled show, originally postponed from its March slot at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham due to the Foot-and-Mouth Crises, proved a great success for all things canine.
The double decker Pedigree stand was defined by large ‘sails’ and was designed collectively by Terence Conran and designers CDL. The lighting design was handled by Stage Light Design’s redoubtable Alastair Crooks. SLD also supplied all the effects and theatrical lighting equipment used on the stand. The stand’s lower deck featured various graphics pods topped with dogs heads, point-of-sale merchandise and other products, which were lit with a combination of silver PAR 56 and 64 lanterns. The upper deck was lit with an impressive moving light rig including 12 Studio Due City Colors, 12 Clay Paky Stage Zoom 1200s, six Stage Color 300s and 16 pinspots. Above this, stretching high into the roof of the hall, were the sails. They were an inverse conical shape, lit with blazes of colour to match the various dogfood brand colours, overlaid with projected title and strap lines from the yummy range of ‘Puppy’, ‘Adult’ and ‘Senior’ varieties. The rig was controlled by an Avolites Pearl console, programmed by Ewan Cameron. http://www.
The first worldwide public outing of the PRG/LSD Medusa (Icon M) takes place this weekend (the 24/25th June) at the Skyscapes building adjacent to the Millennium Dome. The light, which has been undergoing some fine-tuning since its launch last year, will make its debut at the Bollywoods - the Indian Film Awards.
Bryan Raven, Mike Crossman, Richard Wilson and Dave Isherwood have been appointed to the Board of Directors of White Light (Electrics) Ltd. Bryan Raven and Dave Isherwood have also joined the Board of Directors of The Moving Light Company, the White Light Group's specialist automated lighting division. All four of the new Directors have been with White Light for more than a decade, with Bryan Raven currently occupying the position of general manager, Mike Crossman that of hire manager, Richard Wilson, operations manager and Dave Isherwood, manager of The Moving Light Company. They have been directly involved with White Light's on-going success, growth and expansion into new market areas over the last 10 years.
After six months in the US, Mads Hald is back at Seelite in Denmark. He will work both as a service technician and as the company's regular technician in the two big Copenhagen concert houses - Pumpehuset and Vega. Ole Helms Knudsen has also joined SeeLite as warehouse manager in Copenhagen and Jan Støiberg now takes over responsibility for all maintenance repairs and related tasks.
A number of new faces have appeared at White Light's Fulham base in recent weeks. In the sales department, the latest recruit is Eleanor Strathie, who until recently was working at Northern Light in Edinburgh. From the other end of the country has come Mark Smith, formerly Stage Electrics in Exeter; both will fill the gap left by Mark Beasley, who has left White Light to become chief electrician at the Royal College of Music. White Light's hire team also has a new addition, Emma White. White Light North also has a new member of staff in Richard Kilburn, who recently joined the team.
Automated lighting manufacturer High End Systems today announced the departure of Grif Palmer, vice-president of sales, who has decided to pursue interests outside the lighting industry. High End Systems CEO Frank Gordon commented: "Grif's contributions to the company during the past five years have been immeasurable and we will miss him." Palmer will continue working at the corporate headquarters in Austin, Texas, until the end of June to ensure a smooth transition.
High End Systems' veteran sales representative Sean Hoey has been promoted to the position of sales manager for the US and Canada. Hoey has been employed with the automated lighting manufacturer at its Austin, Texas headquarters since 1991.
To celebrate the launch of the new Strand 300-series lighting desk, and to introduce it to the London theatrical community, White Light and Strand Lighting collaborated on a successful open day at the Soho Theatre in London at the end of May. The star attraction of the event was Strand's new 'baby' lighting console, the 300-series. Based around the same GeniusPro operating system as the popular 500-series lighting consoles, the 300 console is of an attractive, compact, versatile design that allows a system to be built to suit the particular needs of smaller venues. The 300 was demonstrated in action by Strand's Bill Richards, using the Soho Theatre's White Light supplied and recently installed new rig of conventional lanterns driven from Strand LD90 dimmers and automated lanterns including Strand Pirouette PCs and City Theatrical AutoYokes. Soho will become one of the first venues in the world to install a 300-series, the console perfectly suiting both its scale of production and the compact size of its control room!
If you've read or heard about Wybron's revolutionary CXI Colour Fusion scrollers, but still don't understand how just two gel strings can give you any colour under the sun, help is at hand. Wybron has designed a simple, easy to understand colour wheel which demonstrates perfectly the technology behind the CXIs. Made up of two concentric wheels, which represent the front and rear gelstrings, the user simply selects a colour by rotating the front wheel relative to the rear wheel. The channel values needed to achieve the colour are shown next to each window, allowing users to recreate the desired colour effect on the CXI itself, with ease.
Selecon has demonstrated its commitment to the UK and European markets, with three appointments in the sales and marketing division of its UK operation. Following 11 years with Hawthorn Theatrical, Nick Gale has joined the company as sales manager for Selecon UK, where he will be responsible for dealer liaison, training and managing the client base. Selecon UK marketing consultant, Michael Goldberg, has seen his role broadened to sales and marketing director for Europe. Overseeing the general policy for Europe, the move also allows Michael to continue to act as a freelance consultant to other companies within the industry. A third member of staff, Lorna Parsons joins the Selecon team from Theatre Vision. Working for Zero88, (which provides Selecon UK logistics out of Wales), she will serve the Selecon customer base from the Wales office.
Recognising the importance of this region as being the largest entertainment community in the world, Martin has opened an office in Las Vegas. As the first manufacturer of intelligent lighting with an office in the city, Martin intend to offer technical and sales support, technical design and project support for the designers, dealers and customers in the region. The company has appointed Tim Brennan as the sales manager of the new office. Brennan, a well-known figure in the theatrical and entertainment Lighting community, will work with support from Martin's West Coast office team to develop a stronger presence for Martin in the Las Vegas market.
Continuing its expansion, Leicestershire-based Hawthorn Theatrical Ltd recently added over 220m of Prolyte S36R truss to its hire stock. The addition coincided with Hawthorn Theatrical becoming Prolyte dealers. To complement the truss, Hawthorn also added 16 Verlinde Stage Maker Compact 1T winches to its stock. Almost all Hawthorn's truss stock was used at the Pro Retail exhibition at the Telford International Centre in May. The brief was to turn a 3000m2 hall into a versatile venue for lunches and evening functions seating 1200 people. The company's solution involved runs of truss down the room with white ceiling panels spanning the full width and length. Room and ceiling lighting was achieved using Par cans whilst the stage lighting incorporated both generics and moving lights from Clay Paky and Martin Professional. Hawthorn also provided the sound system from its extensive Martin Audio Wavefront stock.
The Vision LP Half Coupler and 'Big Ben' Coupler, distributed exclusively by AC Lighting, have been given full TÜV approval by the renowned German Institute. The TÜV mark is recognised globally, and shows that a product has fulfilled all of the necessary German and European Union accreditation requirements. This means that a product not only meets the essential health and safety requirements of the machinery directive, but that it is backed by an independent third party testing organisation. The TÜV mark is awarded only after extensive testing.
Invented in Gaithersburg, Maryland, by Byron, Melody and Enoch Swetland, Tekno Bubbles is a striking new effect which combines the age-old bubble with blacklight technology. Manufactured in Germany, Tekno Bubbles are safe, patented non-toxic blowing bubbles that look and act like normal bubbles under normal light, but have a striking coloured glow under UV (black light) lighted conditions. The company's world-wide sales team is headed up by Harald Röhm and the company reports that distributors are currently signing up on an almost weekly basis.
As part of Stagetec's expansion programme, the company has recently appointed Mick Cocker as Compulite product manager for the UK market and Peter Humber as sales executive. Cocker has over 18 years experience in all areas of the entertainment industry, most notably with Celco, Avolites and most recently with ADB. He will be developing new and existing markets for the full Compulite range of products and enhancing the existing UK dealer network. Humber has been involved with the music industry throughout his life both in the domestic audio market and more recently as general manager of a professional sound and lighting company based on the Isle of Wight.
Stage Electrics is to install a new sound and lighting system at Winchester's Theatre Royal. The installation is part of a major remodelling of the theatre and will involve completely removing the roof of the building so the lighting bridge can be installed. The company has also designed enhanced FOH lighting positions in the auditorium and, in conjunction with MRP, a new counterweight flying system. The theatre is owned by The Winchester Theatre Fund, a charitable trust and funding for the project, which is due for completion in early 2001, has been raised by the charity and a grant from the Arts Council of Great Britain.
Construction work has started on Amptown Cases' Peterborough warehouse and office premises, which are being extended and refurbished along with the addition of new workshops. The existing facilities will be more than doubled in size, and the work is scheduled for completion by the end of June. An extra telephone line and switchboard has also been installed to cope with the increasing volume of business. The new number is +44
TMB Associates has appointed Stephanie Algarin to the newly-created position of marketing administrator. Stephanie will be working with TMB's marketing director, David Downey, to further promote TMB's products and services. For the past six years, Stephanie has been manager of Decasource Inc, a studio lighting rental, manufacturing and software company based in Hollywood. She was responsible for all operational and marketing aspects of the company.
Newquay-based PSD Electronics has completed a sound and lighting installation as part of a £500,000 makeover at the Twilight Zone nightclub in Redruth. The new lighting rig features four of Sagitter's compact Infinity MSZ1200 (Multi Step Zoom) units, which project down onto the minimalist ground floor dance area, as well as onto the sailcloth surrounding the eight moving arms of the flown mechanism. Sagitter Digiflash Pro strobes also feature in the rig. All of the Sagitter lighting was supplied by Multifom Technology. PSD's Dave Charman said that the fittings were "incredibly bright and powerful - they look amazing in this installation."
Ivan Myles has been appointed general manager of UK Trading at Strand Lighting. He will report to Horst Eickmann, general manager of European Trading. Myles has been with Strand for many years and his knowledge and experience will allow the company to concentrate on sales in the UK, whilst co-ordinating European service and training operations.
Barry Rackover has joined PRG as vice president of Lighting, Michigan, and will oversee all operations in business development, sales management, production and customer service. He brings with him over 20 years of production and sales experience, having worked with an impressive number of clients and supervised production for automobile shows and dealer announcements around the world. Prior to that, he worked extensively on live shows with such notables as Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Madonna, Bob Dylan and The Grateful Dead.
Total Audio Solutions reports a record number of bookings for its location and mobile recording facilities. Music channel VH1's 'Storytellers' required full carry-in production talkback and timecode distribution facilities. Another project involved the digital recording of a show featuring Pete Townsend of The Who. The six-camera shoot involved a 50-user PMR system, plus Total Audio's Ambient Lockit system, which was needed to synchronise master and multitrack recorders with the digital slates and Beta reference tapes. Rick Wakeman's forthcoming double CD/DVD was tracked at Marlborough College using Total Audio Solutions' 24-track mobile, while Hugh Cornwell (ex of the Stranglers) hired the company to record his band's new live album at The Robin II R&B Club in Dudley, West Midlands. The booking followed Cornwell's 1998 live album, which was also tracked by the TAS team.
Production Resource Group has restructured, combining the PRG Lighting Group and Audio Group into a single operating unit, the Lighting/Audio Group. The two divisions will continue to be branded separately in their individual markets, but will be managed by a single group of senior PRG management. Some of the key elements of the new organisational structure include the appointment of Don Knezovic as the chief operating officer of the Lighting/Audio Group, whilst Steve Terry becomes President of Lighting Systems. Nick Jackson continues as president of Light & Sound Design (LSD) with Jeff Senkovich promoted to the new position of vice-president of Lighting/Audio. Don Stern, chairman of the Lighting/Audio Group, is assuming responsibility for Production Arts' rental sales and operations.