Video and AV News

SPS Announces Record Profits
Friday, 13 July 2001

Show Presentation Services (SPS), the leading equipment rental and staging specialist, has announced that it increased its turnover from £8m to £13m over 2000, and achieved a 58% increase in pre-tax profits for the same period, as a direct result of its integrated event services strategy. The results reinforce SPS’s position as a leading independent AV rental and staging business. High business growth rates were achieved by the scenic construction and lighting rental departments in particular, of 241% and 148% respectively. SPS’s investment in a Barco D-Lite7 Modular LED screen was validated by the turnover generated with the successful launch of its LED rental business. A part-year contribution from the Earls Court and Olympia AV contract that commenced its five-year term also boosted SPS’s increase.

"This year has seen more challenging business conditions," acknowledges Robin Coles, managing director of SPS. "The first half of 2001 has been flatter than we anticipated but the launch of our new Event IT division in February, is adding positively to our already comprehensive service offering. We are seeking booking levels increase for the second half of the year, and an impending strategic acquisition will consolidate our position as the leading independent AV rental and staging business in the UK."

CT’s iLITE 6 ShowcaseCT’s iLITE 6 Showcase
Wednesday, 4 July 2001

Creative Technology hosted a major launch for the new Barco iLite 6 high resolution indoor product at Tiger Tiger in London’s West End, in a showcase that saw many leading production companies and agencies throughout the UK having a chance to see the system for the first time.

Called ‘the video plate’ it is Barco’s response to the growing market demand for indoor high-resolution daylight displays. The iLite 6 takes the achievements of SMD technology (three colours in one) and builds on them, offering a 6mm resolution with an extremely high light output, colour uniformity, contrast, flexibility - and seamless pictures. Each panel weighs 28lbs, and with a depth of just 5in, the iLite 6 is rated at a light output of over 2000 NIT. Creative Technology has already debuted the modular system on both sides of the Atlantic - at ITN’s purpose-built election studio in Holborn, and the E3 electronic games show Los Angeles - but this was the first opportunity for many prospective users to view it at close quarters.

In CT’s hire fleet the Barco iLite 6 will complement Lighthouse Technologies’ LVP-102D 10mm screen, which is ideal for larger conventions and exhibitions where audiences are viewing from a distance. While the i6's greatly increased resolution makes it ideal for smaller video screen sizes (down to 2.5sq.m) visitors were also able to witness the high quality graphics representation on the larger display at Tiger Tiger. The modular format also allows unusually-shaped screen displays to be integrated within the geometric of the over

 
 
School of Sound
Saturday, 30 June 2001

Larry Sider founded the School of Sound four years ago, creating a forum that united a diverse collection of individuals involved in all aspects of film, AV and multi-media sound production - for a lively interchange of experiences and ideas.

Sider’s own background is in film: Chicago born, he went to film school at NorthWestern University and has worked as a sound designer and editor for 25 years. He settled in the UK in 1979, and in addition to his sound and film work, teaches and lectures on various audiological topics at various academies, including the Royal College of Art and the National Film & Television School.

The fourth School of Sound annual symposium was held this year at the Royal Scottish College of Dramatic Art, Glasgow. The four-day event attracted over 180 people from 15 countries and included presentations and talks by those at the leading edge of the arts and media involved in moving image. Speakers included radical film director Nic Roeg, composer and sound artist Hans Peter Kuhn, producer Bob Last, head of the Medici String Quartet Paul Robertson, musician and composer David Toop and many more.

This year’s School of Sound focused on music for the moving image, and the themes were diverse, ranging from exploration of the blurring boundaries between truth and fiction, through sound effects and music, to the use of sound in classic movies. One of the many highlights was producer Bob Last, who explained the complexities of hiring composers for films - often involving three or four, who may or may not contribute to the soundtrack, with the

 
BECTU Wins Fight Over Working Time Directive
Friday, 29 June 2001

The Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has defeated the UK Government at the European Court of Justice over the UK’s implementation of the Working Time Directive. The UK’s Working Time Regulations 1998, which implements the Directive, entitles workers to a minimum of 20 days paid leave each year. But employees are not entitled to the leave until they have completed a qualifying period of 13 continuous weeks with the same employer. This means that many freelance and contract workers who work for less than 13 weeks have been denied a right to take paid leave.

BECTU launched a legal challenge to the UK legislation and on 26 June 2001 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) accepted the opinion of the Advocate General of the ECJ, which stated that national governments may not exclude groups of workers from the rights that the directive gives them. The judgment effectively extends the entitlement to paid leave to all workers from their first day of employment. Later the same day the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which is responsible for the Working Time Regulations, announced an urgent consultation on regulations to amend those already in place and corresponding guidance. The amended Regulations will not mean that workers will be able to take four weeks paid leave from their first day of employment, but if the employment ends during the first 13 weeks they will be able to claim for leave which has been accrued but not taken during this period. The consultation will propose a system of accrual, providing one-twelfth of the ann

 
 
New RMS Software Release at PLASA 2001
Thursday, 28 June 2001

Rental Management System (RMS), has become even faster and easier to use, and the new version of the software will be shown at the PLASA Show. With over 2000 users world-wide, RMS is a market leader in the supply of software for professional rental companies. The software is available in nine languages, including English, German, French and Spanish. New 'cut and paste' shortcuts allow users to easily move items from one job to another, or to convert a job into a (new) packaged item. The multi-sites option also has new features: from within a job, the user may see both the local stock-situation, as well as the situation at the available sites added together. With another mouse-click, all jobs (from the local or from a selection of sites) that hold an item in a given period, can be viewed. The crew-planner is a new module that allows for entering comprehensive labour details. Personnel may be freelance, full-time employees or externally hired staff. Labour may be ‘attached’ to a job, or range of jobs. The crew-planner may also be used as a separate application, and is therefore also suitable for use in theme and leisure parks. All planboards, both from RMS as from the crew-planner, are still a unique feature. Improvements include print-options, and easy navigation from the planboards directly into the underlaying jobs. RMS will be exhibiting on stand G4.http://www.rmsplanning.com

 
PR.com Projector from Coe-TechPR.com Projector from Coe-Tech
Tuesday, 26 June 2001

Coe-tech Ltd is now stocking the PR.com projector system - the latest product from Italian company Travel Show, for which Coe-tech is exclusive UK distributor. The PR.com is suited to a wide range of applications including retail/point-of-sale, museums, attractions, bars, restaurants and club.

The system comprises two small projectors: the PR 5.2 is an effects projector using 200W or a 250W HSD light source whilst the PR.com 3.1 utilizes a 250W 24V halogen lightsource. The PR 5.2 is a versatile multi-functional device, offering bright, sharp images up to 10 metres from the source. A variety of effects are available to fit on the front of the projectors. Two metal prongs extrude from the lightsource and support the lens system, plus a large range of motorized or fixed accessories and effects. The effects mechanism is designed specifically to offer very quick and simple access for changing effects.

A third projector - the PR.Compact - is a 35 mm slide projector or 55 mm gobo projector which utilises a 50W/12V light source. This is designed for areas where high light output is not necessary. There is also a wide range of effects and accessories available. Included are simple devices like iris, manual dimming shutters, a manual mirror diversion tool, variable angle rotating mirror and bifocal and wide angle lenses. More complex effects include an oscillating mirror, a multi mirror tool, a shaping ‘sash’ window barn door effect, rotating gobos, six colour-changer, timed colour changer with six dichroic colours, gobo modifier with timer and fluid (liquid) effects.

 
 
ECA2 at Expo 2001, Japan
Tuesday, 26 June 2001

After the success of the multimedia waterscreen shows during the world expos in both Osaka (1990) and Tottori (1996), Yves Pépin and his team at ECA2 have been asked to produce the multi-media watershow for the Yamaguchi Expo in Japan, which runs from the 14th of July through to the 30th of September 2001. For the last two years, ECA2 and its technicians have been working alongside the Japanese Expo team to ensure the success of this night-time spectacular. The show will feature images projected onto four monumental spheres, as well as onto a giant water screen; pyrotechnic and fire effects will complete the impressive show.

 
Barco Expands UK Operations
Monday, 25 June 2001

Barco has announced a number of important appointments and investments to accelerate its growth in a number of target niche market areas. The appointments are aligned behind the five strategic Barco Projection Systems business units - Projection Products, Digital Cinema, Daylight Displays, Control Room Displays and Simulation.

Simon Turtle, an experienced Barco sales manager, has been promoted to business development manager of Barco Projection Products. He is joined by Colin Dunne as customer services manager. Dunne, formerly with Christie UK and Dynamic Logic has more than 25 years' experience in engineering and customer service. Mark Anderson has been appointed to the newly created position of market development manager for Barco's rapidly-expanding Home Theatre product group. Previously with Pioneer and Sony, he brings nearly 20 years of sales expertise to develop the dealer network. Mark Leahy joins as sales manager for Barco's acclaimed rental and staging product group. Leahy, formerly with Chrysalis Entertainment, brings more than 20 years' sales experience to provide an enhanced support to Barco's UK rental partners. Ashely Raines has been promoted to head up the corporate product group. He is joined by two new account managers, Simon Owen and Anthony Urion.

Mike Coleman, an experienced Barco sales manager, has been appointed business development manager of Digital Cinema to spearhead Barco's entry into the world of digital cinema. Ross Burling, another experienced Barco sales manager, has been promoted to the role of business development manager for Daylight D

 
 
Hotcakes Wins Award
Friday, 22 June 2001

Brand experience consultancy Hotcakes has won the international award for Best Consumer Products Event at the European IBTM Awards in Geneva (30 May), for its production of Marks & Spencer’s unique ‘Time To Celebrate’ touring show.

‘Time To Celebrate’ has been acknowledged as Europe’s biggest ever touring show undertaken by a retailer and was devised to showcase the retailer’s Christmas/Millennium collections. Taking place in a specially-designed state-of-the-art structure, the show was staged adjacent to M&S’s flagship stores in Bristol, Gateshead, Edinburgh and Camberley. It incorporated a celebrity cooking demonstration, a fashion show and an exhibition of merchandise from the Home & Gifts department, and was seen by 26,000 customers and staff across the UK. The event was managed by a crew of 550, and transported around the country by 25 articulated trucks. Hotcakes collected the award during a ceremony at Geneva’s Inter-Continental Hotel. The Event, which has been incorporated for the first time into the huge European IBTM Exhibition at Palexpo, has been created to recognise the excellence, creativity and planning which helps big brands and multi-nationals reach out to their staff, suppliers and customers. From a shortlist of four, Hotcakes fought off strong competition to win the Award, and received additional acclaim for its production of the Mazda MX-5 Catwalk at Cosmopolitan Show which was Highly Commended.

 
Heuvelman Open London Branch
Friday, 22 June 2001

Pan-european AV equipment rental company Heuvelman Ltd, has opened a London office. Using the latest equipment, Heuvelman supply a wide range of businesses including hotels, broadcasters, corporate clients, conference and event venues with technical equipment ranging from a single projector to full state-of-the-art installations. Voting systems, teleconferencing and IT rental are also supplied by the company.

 
 
Travis Joins SNP
Thursday, 21 June 2001

Caroline Travis has been recruited by the SNP Group as marketing support executive. She joins from internet content delivery company Akamai Technologies where she gained valuable marketing experience. SNP Group is at the forefront of data/videowall technology in Europe and is currently undergoing a considerable expansion programme. Caroline will be assisting Emily Mardon-Taylor in all areas of the marketing portfolio, in particular with the development and maintenance of the website.

 
Jones Heads to Cloud One
Monday, 18 June 2001

The Cloud One Group Ltd, located in Birmingham, have appointed Bill Jones as business development manager. Well known within the industry, and most recently with Lightfactor Sales, his background in sales, aligned with his vast knowledge of sound and lighting equipment, will strengthen the group’s long established position within the areas of equipment hire and event production. Installations, flight-case manufacturing and the sale of pro audio products are other areas covered by Cloud One, Stratford Acoustics - the rental arm - and Midland Custom Cases.

 
 
CyberExpress
Saturday, 16 June 2001

The Dickson CyberExpress is a 21st century retail concept, first launched in Hong Kong last autumn. The HK$380m investment by the Dickson Group of Companies has resulted in a 70,000sq.ft, high-tech development at Kowloon Station.

It’s a full-on interactive shopping environment, offering a wide selection of the best known brands in the universe. The ‘cybermall’ functions as a complementary intelligent retail centre to Dickson’s e-commerce venture, DicksonCyberExpress.com.

The idea was to create the ultimate consumer experience for cyber-chic shoppers. The team chosen to pull the project together included UK-based design and production company Media Projects International, retail designer JGA Inc from the US, Hong Kong architects Gensler, UK-based AV systems specialists Electrosonic and various LDs and directors.CyberExpress’s seven ‘zones’ include Entertainment World (CDs, DVDs, videos, books and magazines), E-World (computers, communications, AV and electronic equipment); Fashion World (clothes and accessories); Kiddy World (toys, sweets and learning games); iCosmetic World (cosmetics and health products) and Sports World (sports and fitness products). Two internet cafés - Exploration World and Cyber Sea - offer connected opportunities for shoppers to take a break.

Each zone has a dynamic mix of vibrant and innovative new media installations, interactive stations, virtual games, video programmes and information portals. Media Projects’ creative director, Malcolm Lewis, explains that although screen-delivered infotainmen

 
Screen Prix
Thursday, 14 June 2001

This year’s Monaco Grand Prix, held at the end of May, saw Michael Shumacher steer his Ferrari to yet another flawless finish for his fifth win in Monaco. This was Schumacher’s 48th career win, three short of the all-time record of 51 held by Frenchman Alain Prost, and puts him at the head of the Driver’s Championship and Ferrari first in the Constructors Championship.

The action was relayed on two Lighthouse screens, provided for the race for the 12th year in succession by French audiovisual company, Lumison, on behalf of Automobile Club de Monaco. The larger screen, 120 panels of LVP2056 in a 12 x 10 configuration and measuring a total of 150sq.m, was placed at Saint Devote - the first bend of the race and the most dangerous part of the Monaco Circuit - and a second screen of 30 panels was positioned on the roof of the temporary television building at the entrance to the pit lane. Brent Watson, Lighthouse’s technical manager, oversaw the installation. "The larger screen was supported by a specially made scaffold structure, built well in advance to allow for building regulations inspections," stated Watson. This screen gave racegoers at the tightly-packed circuit trackside TV footage from TCM, the official television company of Monaco, with graphics for placings and timings overlayed by Lumison. Lumison also provided three screens for the Barcelona Grand Prix, with footage provided by FOCA (Formula One Constructors Association), and earlier in the year for a variety of events including the Paris Fashion Show, as well as four screens for

 
 
ABTT 2002 Dates
Monday, 11 June 2001

The ABTT has confirmed that its ABTT Theatre Show 2002 will be held at the Royal Horticultural Halls on 19 and 20 June 2002. Further details of booking arrangements will be announced shortly. Any enquiries should be directed to the ABTT Office on 020 7403 3778.

 
PLASA Completes First Phase of Industry Research
Friday, 8 June 2001

PLASA has completed the first phase of its major industry research project, which will provide PLASA members with an invaluable insight into their industry. As well as being able to estimate the global market size for professional lighting, sound, staging and AV products and services, the research also gives a very detailed picture of the market in the UK. For the first time, PLASA has information about the value of the product sectors, how fast they are growing and the size and growth of the various vertical sectors into which its members sell. The findings enable the Association to say some very precise things about its members collectively and the nature of the industry as a whole.

PLASA plans to repeat the exercise every 12 months, enabling it to build up ever-more accurate trend information. A quick flick through the 119-page report reveals that it estimates the respective size by revenue of PLASA’s four main product sectors: light, sound, AV and staging; gives growth figures for this year and next across the four product sectors; breaks the sectors down into sales and rental; includes information on revenue from the provision of services such as installation, design and servicing; sizes the target market sectors and indicates which are the healthiest and the fastest growing; includes information on average company size by staff, investment in training, R&D and marketing.

Members who took part in the survey will shortly receive a free 22-page copy of the overview, together with the opportunity to buy the detailed sections. Members who didn’t take part w

 
 
Coe-tech's Public Auction
Thursday, 7 June 2001

Coe-tech Ltd has appointed FPD Savills to hold a two-day public auction/stock clearance sale to make way for the latest range of new Coe-tech products. The auction will take place at Coe-tech’s premises in Northampton on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 July 2001. It will feature over 3000 lots of all types of professional sound, lighting, AV and special effects equipment. Viewing day is Tuesday 24 July 2001 from between 9am to 4pm. The diverse array of equipment for sale will include intelligent lighting; moving head luminaires; discothèque lighting; architectural colour changers; theatre lighting including followspots, profiles and fresnels; trussing; video equipment - cameras, switchers and video walls; sound processing equipment; loudspeakers; power distribution and cables. For Further Information and catalogues, please contact: FPD Savills, 4 St. Peter’s Gate, Nottingham, NG1 2JG, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 115 934 8100 Fax: +44 (0) 115 934 8003.

 
MassAV Appoints Skip Bensley
Wednesday, 6 June 2001

Mass Audio Visual, of Burlington, Massachusetts, has appointed Skip Bensley as a new account executive. ‘Skip’ brings over 15 years of audio-visual industry sales experience to massAV. His background includes positions with COMSYS, Harvard University, MatchPoint Systems, and Projection Presentation Technology, where he managed numerous national AV accounts during his tenure. He has experience with a large corporate client base, including Key3 Media, Staples, Computer Associates, and DCI Incorporated. His knowledge of managing large-scale production events and general sessions will extend to current and future massAV clients.

 
 
Screenco Debuts at Monaco Grand Prix
Tuesday, 5 June 2001

Screenco, well experienced at fielding their giant daylight displays on Formula 1’s Grand Prix circuit, made its first appearance at the famous Monaco Grand Prix recently. Monaco-based Action International rigged two Screenco set-ups - supplied by Screenco Holland BV - in different locations. These include, for the first time, a 4x4 15mm LED display, sited at the end of the first straight in front of the Hermès boutique on the Avenue de Monte Carlo. Here, 1000 VIP guests observed the race from a terrace owned by the Société des Bains de Mer, part of the famous Hotel de Paris. "Although this is a major terrace, until this year guests have not really been able to see the race," said Action’s project manager, Vincent Alloing. Further round the track a 28sq.m Jumbotron JTS-17 midi-mobile will again fulfil a specific need, according to Alloing. The truck-mounted Jumbotron will replace the traditional fixed screen in front of the Mirabeau Hotel - on both the qualifying and race days. The portable set-up is essential, says Alloing, due to the necessity for derigging after the Saturday practice session. "Because the screen is located in front of the hotel, on a road open to the public, the truck has to be parked overnight in a tunnel 800m away. At 6am on the Sunday morning it will move back into position in time for the first race at 9am."

Screenco MD, Dave Crump said: "Monaco has long eluded us as the jewel in the Formula 1 crown and we were naturally very pleased to have finally supplied equipment to every one of the European Grand Prixs

 
Noelle Arrives at JGP
Monday, 4 June 2001

Recently arrived at industry specialist PR agency JGP, Noelle Lane brings a background in IT - with some media experience tucked away. With a keen interest in music and songwriting, Noelle will work as PR assistant alongside Jerry Gilbert. She says she is relishing the challenges ahead. "I’m really excited about entering an industry where my personal interests overlap those of business. I feel I’m finally embarking on a career worth getting out of bed for."

 
 
X10 Roadies Break Records at Homelands
Monday, 4 June 2001

Two mighty projectors and the largest projection screens ever seen inside a marquee gave VJ management and live video production company, The Picture Works Ltd, all the scope they needed to produce some mind-altering images in the 6,000-capacity Radio 1 Presents Essential Twilo tent at the recent Homelands Festival in Winchester. Specialists in dance event visuals, The Picture Works have been contracted to provide the video content and reinforcement since the inception of Homelands and this year delivered the visual support in five of the six dance arenas. This time around they dry-hired a pair of Christie Digital X10 Roadies from trading partner AT communications in Sutton Coldfield, one of which was making its debut. As a result, said Robin Wealleans, director of The Picture Works, from early in the afternoon they were able to throw sharply defined images over the 20m distance onto the two giant 50ft x 20ft displays. "The fact that they are so incredibly bright is exactly what you need at a daytime festival," he said. "It means we can start the projection at any time."

By way of a 1.9kW Ushio Xenon short-arc illumination system and Christie Digital's long-established expertise with 3-chip DLP technology, the Roadie X10 - the world's first purpose-built projector for the rental staging community, delivers a staggering 10,000 ANSI lumens. Utilising 3-chip DLP technology, the Roadie X10 delivers brilliant XGA images with picture-perfect colour reproduction. Christie's ‘Intelligent Lens System’ (ILS) allows the projector to automatically reca

 
Donovan Boosts Frameset’s Expansion
Monday, 4 June 2001

After a career spanning 15 years in publishing (latterly as advertisement manager of AV Magazine) Lucy Donovan has joined FrameSet as sales manager. The Hampshire-based conference staging specialists - whose expansion programme will be accompanied by a major rebranding exercise - sees the recruitment of Lucy as an integral part of their new marketing thrust. Lucy arrives following a short stint with Quantum Publishing’s Exhibitions Division. "I love the AV industry and this feels like coming home - it’s a challenge that I am relishing immensely." Lucy Donovan has a nationwide remit and will be reporting to managing director, Chris Lillywhite.

 
 
Performance 2001
Friday, 1 June 2001

Performance Exhibitions Ltd has announced the launch of Performance 2001 - an exhibition including conferences, seminars and workshops aimed at the live performance industry. To be staged at the Newcastle Telewest Arena on 17-18 November 2001, the exhibition will bring together manufacturers, venues, producers and promoters, plus a complete range of associated services. Colin Rowell, director of ShowBlokes, whose vast portfolio includes production stage manager of The Tube, stage director for the MTV Awards and stage manager for the Brit Awards, recently returned to the North East, and is involved in live events in the area. He says: "I feel that this exhibition will offer companies a platform for exhibiting to a large audience. It will put the North East on the exhibition circuit where it belongs for this important segment of the industry." Over 1500sq.m of exhibition space will house exhibitors displaying the latest in lighting and sound equipment, staging, studio technology, special effects, transport, catering and support services.

 
Walk the Plank: Hot Footing
Friday, 1 June 2001

This month, pyrotechnics specialist, Walk The Plank, are going from one extreme to the other. On 10th June they will bring the 600-year old Newark Castle to life as part of the Newark on Water Festival, and then hot-foot it to Singapore for their first international commission - three performances of the spectacular Tower of Light show as part of the Singapore Arts Festival, 22-24 June. The two shows are typical examples of the breadth of Walk The Plank's work. After their successful participation at the Newark on Water Festival last year, they have been asked to animate Newark Castle's impressive facade. This year, they will be using powerful Xenon projection equipment (the biggest in the country) and huge 25m fabric drops, as well as fireworks, lighting and music.

Singapore’s Tower of Light is a set-piece using performers, lighting, music, fireworks and special effects, based around a 15m steel ‘lighthouse’. The show has been seen at Arts Festivals across the country, but this is the first time Walk The Plank's talents have been taken aboard. A team of 10 will be leaving Manchester on 16th June. Most of the materials, including 14 tons of steel and all hazardous substances, have been shipped over. As well as three public shows, Walk The Plank will run a full dress rehearsal in front of the Singapore Army and Police Force.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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