Vari-Lite Production Services (VLPS) London has won the prestigious contract to light the biggest stage set ever built at Earl's Court - for the BRIT Awards 2000 night tonight.VLPS is supplying the automated lighting systems, not only for the Awards ceremony itself, through BRITs production company MJK Productions, but the pre-show Mastercard Reception and the massive after-show party too. VLPS won the huge contract after proving the cost effectiveness of choosing one specialist supplier for all of the event'' major lighting elements.
Vari-Lite has appointed Geralyn Harvey as marketing communications manager. Harvey, a 13-year marketing veteran, most recently with Canadian firm Milltronics, will oversee all advertising, promotion, public relations and trade show activities for the company. She will work closely with Ken Matthews, who was brought in as vice president of sales and marketing last year to develop Vari-Lite’s direct sales organisation.
White Light recently took delivery of the first four Robert Juliat Cyrano Followspots off the production line. The Cyranos were then immediately delivered to the Royal Albert Hall where they will be permanently based as part of a long-term arrangement hire between Royal Albert Hall and White Light. One of the first shows to use the Cyrano spots was the Mountbatten Festival, where the rest of the largely automated rig was supplied by White Light's sister company - The Moving Light Company. The rig also included 17 High End StudioColors and 30 Martin MAC 500 and 250 luminaires. The Cyrano Followspot is a new addition to the range of RJ Followspots which White Light already own.
Tony Shembish, Avolites' long standing salesman has left the Park Royal-based company to set up as an independent distributor - Avolites Middle East. The move was prompted by the rapidly expanding potential of the Middle East territories, and to take full advantage of the relations Shembish has developed with Avolites buyers, specifiers and users in this area. Shembish will have offices in Luton, UK and Beirut in The Lebanon and will be in charge of 20 countries.
AC Lighting has announced a number of staff promotions, including two new additions to its board of directors. Murray Gellatly has taken on the role of Financial Director, whilst GlynO'Donoghue becomes Marketing Director. Gellatly has been involved with AC since the early 1970s and has been its full time financial controller since 1993. O'Donoghue has been with AC Lighting for over eight years and has been a key member of the marketing department for much of that time. In a further promotion, Kevin Coker takes on the position of UK sales manager.
Overt Light to Sound - a new distribution company, handling both lighting and sound equipment - has been launched by Malcolm Burlow. Burlow has been in the industry for more than 15 years, most recently working with Electrovision, but prior to that with DJ2000 which had the sole UK distributor rights to Numark. The company will distribute a wide range of products from major manufacturers worldwide.
Vari-Lite Inc is expanding its new direct-sales product line into the amusement park industry. Feedback from theme park owners and operators has led to the introduction of the new Vari-Lite VL2400 Series luminaires and the VL2201 spot luminaire. Vari-Lite's Rusty Brutsche told L&SI: "Unlike our traditional clients, theme parks have entertainment production needs centred around the long-term use of equipment. The purchase and installation of Vari-Lite's new automated lighting products will provide all the features and capabilities of our specialised proprietary products."
On the weekend of February 11-13, nearly 80 people from the international world of lighting descended on the Selsdon Park Hotel, Croydon, for 48 hours of hard work - and some hard play as well! ETC Europe was hosting a sales and marketing training weekend, attended by over 50 dealers from 19 countries. ETC staff from both the UK and the United States had arranged an intense schedule of seminars, covering not just product, but also system integration and the fundamentals of networking for theatrical and entertainment control systems.
Production Resources Group is to hold an auction for the Lighting Group and the Audio Group which will see a range of automated lights, dimmers, scrollers, speakers, processing equipment audio and lighting consoles go under the hammer. The auction will be held at 3026 Airport Avenue in Santa Monica, CA on Wednesday 15 March beginning at 11.00am. A preview of the equipment to be auctioned will take place on Tuesday 14 March at the same location, from 11.00am to 4.00pm. Auction catalogues (available 7 March onwards) can be downloaded from the PRG website whilst LA-411 will also be accepting pre-auction bids on equipment via their web site at www.la411.com. The proceedings will be transmitted live via the LA411 web site the day of the event.
The new Soho Theatre and Writers Centre is the West End's first ever purpose-built theatre for new works. Following a £10.6 million National Lottery-funded development, Soho Theatre Company will be launching its first season of plays in its permanent new home on March 14. The main 200-seat auditorium features Strand lantern, control and dimming systems provided by London-based trading partners White Light. The Theatre is also the first English home for Strand's newly-launched 300 Series control desk, the company's fully-featured control surface, supporting Genius Pro operating software. The lighting specification was prepared by Jason Taylor, the consultant who designed the system.
OPTI has appointed David Naylor as regional sales manager for the sales and marketing of OPTI Kinetics effects lighting equipment and OPTI Trilite structural systems. Naylor will have responsibility for UK North and the retail sector of business throughout the UK. Naylor has for the past 17 years worked in the sign industry, specialising in the retail and corporate identity markets, liaising with designers, specifiers and end-users for both UK and Pan-European contracts.
TMB Associates has been appointed as exclusive North American distributors of DHA Lighting's Digital Light Curtain luminaires. TMB's Tommy Stephenson told PLASA Publishing: "We're very excited to be involved in the marketing of these unique fixtures. We plan to sell them through our dealers around the country and believe they have a great future in the American market. In addition to developing new sales, we intend to fully support the existing US inventory with a comprehensive stock of spare parts." The Digital Light Curtain's credits to date include Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Cats, Oliver, Tommy, EFX and others.
Dubai-based Production Technology LLC, has increased its rental stock of Strong International followspots, with purchases of two Super Trouper II 2kW Xenon units and two Truss Trouper 1.2kW HMI units from High Wycombe-based AC Lighting. The company already owns a number of Strong International Gladiator 3kW Xenon followspots and this latest order reinforces its belief in the Strong International product range. Adrian Bell, general manager of production Technology, said: "Our decision to continue with Strong was underlined by a virtually faultless performance with the Gladiators. The Gulf is one of the harshest environments these products can be exposed to, and our Strong products have come through with impeccable reliability."
Lloyd Thomas has joined the team at Zero 88 Lighting, as product development manager. Thomas was previously involved with electronics and software development in the automotive industry.
For the prestigious Grammy Awards, which took place last night at The Staples Center, Los Angeles, lighting designer Bob Dickinson and console programmer Andy O'Reilly used a Vari-Lite Virtuoso lighting control console to 'mix on the fly' - literally creating the lighting looks for each performer just minutes before they took to the stage. As it was impossible for the pair to know the colour and style of each artist's wardrobe, O'Reilly received cues from backstage as each artist appeared, and then used the Virtuoso's facility for instant creation and editing of cues to create the right colour scheme.
Following its recent investment in computer-controlled machinery, Amptown Cases has introduced an innovative new case range designed specifically for Martin Pro's MAC 500 and 600 moving yoke luminaires. The cases include a specially-developed foam and rubber insert which combines a tough rubber outer skin with a softer, shock-absorbing core. Since the introduction of the MAC inserts, Amptown Cases reports that distributor Lane Lighting has taken delivery of similar cases specially designed for its Starlite Mk 5 luminaires.
MTFX has added a range of 'silk flame' effects to its hire and sales stock. The effects are available in flame sizes ranging from just 25cm in height, up to the flightcased 5m high effect recently seen on tour with both Boyzone and Steps, and provide a realistic flame effect without the use of combustible materials.
Stephen Phillips has joined Martin Professional UK as the company's new Architectural Segment Manager. Phillips is an experienced marketer in the lighting industry and will bring an invaluable knowledge of architectural lighting to Martin Professional. His new role will be to manage and develop Martin's business for the architectural markets in the UK. Phillips originally trained in lighting design and worked as senior project designer with Lighting Design Partnership before moving into product sales and marketing in the early 1990s. In 1994 he joined the Vari-Lite Group, where he set up European operations for the architectural series of luminaires and helped create the Irideon brand, becoming international marketing manager in 1997. His most recent post was as European architectural manager for ETC Europe.Martin Professional UK has also announced the appointment of David Martin as its new club sales executive. Martin has worked in the technical side of the club industry for five years, working with names such as Zen, Palladium, Stringfellows and Hollywoods.
After eight years, first as engineering director and latterly as general manager with Mitsubishi Electric's PC Division in Glenrothes, Bill Campbell has left to take up a similar position at Strand Lighting in Kirkcaldy. With a degree in electronics and an MBA from the University of Dundee, he is well-placed to take up his position at the 130,000sq.ft facility on the Mitchelston Trading Estate.Campbell has already identified Strand's priorities as becoming more customer-focused, and to streamline production and assembly lines to enable them to be able to ship all core products from stock. At the same time he is overseeing a vigorous R&D programme in both Strand's digital desk and dimmer products.
Multiform Technology Group has taken on the exclusive UK distribution of three new lighting controllers from US-based Meteor Lighting. The DMX512-compatible PM-4 offers simple real-time beam positioning and followspot control for up to four Meteor Elipscans, Flexiscans or Parscans. Up to 32 fixtures can be controlled via four group selections, configurable at the touch of a button, whilst still enabling each unit's beam position to be preset and held individually. The PMD-6 DMX512 controller also allows independent beam-positioning and followspot control of six fixtures, or 32 grouped units of Meteor 'scans. It features dual analogue joysticks, to which individual fixtures (or groups) can be assigned on-the-fly, enabling simultaneous control. Finally, the USC-4 universal DMX strobe controller gives independent control of four strobes or groups of strobes set for two-channel operation. The unit features a built-in analogue joystick to control the rate and intensity settings, the axes for which can be swapped according to preference of the user.
Stage Electrics is to rent 2,000sq.ft of space at DHA's London Headquarters. This will provide the company, which currently has branches in Bristol, Birmingham, Exeter, Plymouth and at the NEC, with a London base from which to offer its range of technical services for the entertainment, leisure and events industries. The new facilities will include a demonstration area, trade counter and drop-in café. As a result, DHA is relocating its production workshops upstairs, the first part of a planned refurbishment of its Waterloo-based offices. Diane Grant of DHA explained that the two companies will continue to operate independently, but will both benefit from a practical alliance. It is expected that Stage Electrics' new office will be up and running by 1st June.
'The Trace', a unique multi-media installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Will Bauer, was at the centre of the retrospective of contemporary art that was exhibited recently at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Canada. The installation was a 'telepresence' experience where people in different rooms of the museum could share the same interactive space. Two Martin Lighting Director (MLD) tracking systems were used to monitor the position and movement of participants in 3D and their presence was reconstructed in real time in the rooms using intersecting light beams, floor projections and positional sound. Automated followspots provided ghostly 3D representations which matched the movement of participants in the remote rooms. The installation used eight Mac 250 units for the aerials and four MAC 250+ fixtures for the projections. In addition, four MAC 300 moving heads were fitted with speakers and parabolic reflectors so that sound beams could also be directed to the location of the participants.
German laser specialist LOBO Electronic is undergoing considerable expansion and is moving to new premises. The company can now be contacted at Robert-Bosch-Strasse 100, Industriegebiet Essingen-Dauerwang, 73428 Aalen, Germany.
Martin Professional's US subsidiary, Martin Professional Inc has been awarded the lighting contract for the Sepulveda/Century entrance of the new LAX Gateway project. Designed and specified by Los Angeles-based Dawn Hollingsworth of MRH Design (Moody, Ravitz, Hollingsworth Design Inc), the project will feature nearly 500 Martin Professional Exterior 600 lighting fixtures, used to illuminate columns at the entrance to LA International Airport. The fixtures will be programmed to change colour and will synchronise with an additional 15 smaller glass columns located on Century Boulevard, the main road approaching LAX. The complete lighting project will be controlled via a customised system of Martin ProScenium lighting controllers. Helix Electric Inc, constructors and engineers for the $25 million LAX Gateway portion of the $110 million LAX improvement project, are supplying the complete job. Upon completion in June 2000, the project is certain to be the largest automated exterior colour-changing lighting system in the world.