Video and AV News

Wood takes lead role at Paradigm
Tuesday, 12 March 2002

Paul Wood is joining projection specialist Paradigm as the company’s general manager. Wood has a very successful career in general management and is joining Paradigm to run its operations, finalize the company’s accreditation for ISO9001:2000 and to manage the investment programme it is running in its manufacturing operations.

(Ruth Rossington)

Stardraw appoints new premier partner in Belgium
Tuesday, 5 March 2002 has appointed Prevost SA as the exclusive premier partner for Belgium and Luxembourg. With over 50 years experience in the professional sound industry and exclusive distribution of 14 of the top lines in the pro audio and AV market, Prevost is well placed to make the maximum impact with Stardraw. According to Stardraw sales director David Morrison: "Prevost numbers among the top pro audio distributors in northern Europe, and is definitely the right choice for us as a premier partner. Indeed, Stardraw complements Prevost's existing portfolio very nicely as we already have relationships with most of the other manufacturers they represent, so I am looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship."

(Ruth Rossington)

CT Helps Raise BAFTA Profile Sky High
Monday, 4 March 2002

Stars from the British and American film industries braved the atrocious London weather, crossing the rain-soaked red carpet into the Odeon, Leicester Square for this year’s Orange British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs).

With the event now acting as a curtain raiser for the Oscars, and transferring to BBC television for the first time, the event’s profile was higher than ever this year. Helping to keep it sky high were Creative Technology, who flew 84 modules of the new Barco i10 high brightness LED display - its most prestigious outing to date. The screen was configured as a 12 x 7 display (in 16:9 aspect ratio), and attached to four CM Lodestar motors. "Having done the Orange British Academy Film Awards for the last two years we were again asked to provide image magnification based on our successful track record," said CT’s director of sales, Guy Mapley. "We opted to use the i10 based on its added punch and brightness." He added that one of the benefits of the new 10mm pixel pitch displays was its ease of rigging.

To service the circle and balcony two 12ft wide side screens were flown - again in 16x9 aspect ratio - projected from Christie Digital DLP X6 Roadsters. The feeds, taken directly from the OB truck, were a combination of live camera, graphics and VT inserts. The show was produced for the BBC by Initial TV. Production manager was Sophie Huda, while Lisa Chapman was show producer. The latter paid tribute to the technical expertise of the production, stating that the rigging time in particular had been swift. She added that

XL Live with S Club 7XL Live with S Club 7
Thursday, 28 February 2002

XL Video supplied a full digital SDI video package for the just-completed S Club 7 UK arena tour. Video director Blue Leach mixed the show using a Grass Valley GVG4000 desk, complete with a Magic DaVE digital video effects unit, amalgamating live camera feeds from five Sony D35 sources plus pre-recorded material. Slick live video editing was the dominant feature of the high energy show, and Leach worked collaboratively with LD Pete Barnes to ensure the band’s enthusiastic fans had a memorable night.

A massive 70sq.m LED screen dominated centre stage, made up of Generale Location 25 mm modules. This spit in two, with each half moving sideways to form a dramatic upstage entrance. The stage was flanked each side by two 20 x 15 metre ‘soft’ screens, with projected sources from Barco ELMs. Each of the 18 songs in the set featured video. Some involved abstract footage, much of which was created ‘live’ as the tour progressed and Leach sampled video snapshots from the actual performance. At other points it was precisely cued pre-recorded footage being beamed onto the screens. The cameras included two hand-helds, two on the pit and one out front, and XL also supplied Leach with a Cartoni Dutch head for the weirder angles. With 21 people onstage - 7 band, 7 dancers and S-Club 7, Leach had an extremely hectic show to cut and mix.

The XL Video crew working on the show included Andy Bramley (crew chief), Gerard Corey (engineer), Rob Wick (camera), Stewart Merser (camera) and Alan Bollard (screen technician). An impressive set was designed by Hattie Spic

Barco Events adds three projectors to range
Thursday, 28 February 2002

Barco Events, a division of BarcoProjection, has announced a new range of display and projection products. With the announcement of the new ELM R18 Director and SLM R8/G8 Performer projection platforms, Barco adds three state-of-the-art projectors to its product range.

The ELM R18 Director, based on the ELM platform, now becomes the first projector to reach brightness levels of 18,000 lumen, while also offering the added features of seamless switching and high contrast mode. It is equipped with an innovative Digital Light Processing (DLP) sub-system, including high-resolution Digital Mirror Devices (DMD) and a state-of-the-art optical system.

The SLM R8/G8 Performer platform now offers the market the first projector of this size with brightness levels of 8,000 lumen, as well as features geared specifically at the rental and staging markets. Barco also adds a new ultra-high resolution daylight display product to its range of events solutions, which already includes the Ilite and Dlite display product ranges.

(Lee Baldock)

Screenco takes pole position at Grand Prix GalaScreenco takes pole position at Grand Prix Gala
Wednesday, 27 February 2002

Screenco provided high-brightness LED displays, including a vast centre stage screen backdrop, enabling a star-studded cast at the Royal Albert Hall to be seen by a packed audience at the 2002 Grand Prix Party. The VIP evening - A Gala Evening of Stars, Cars & Guitars - kicked off the new Formula One season and saw Ferrari, McLaren, Jordan and the other F1 teams shelving their on-track rivalry for one night only, in aid of Professor Sid Watkins’ Brain & Spine Foundation.

Promoted by Chas Cole for CMP Entetainment, guests were treated to the guitar playing of Damon Hill and Eddie Jordan’s V10 Band from the motor racing world, as well as performances from Marc Almond, Atomic Kitten, Sam Brown, Ruby Turner, Edwin Starr, Mick Hucknall and Ronnie Wood - all to the backdrop of Jules Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra. Presenters were Carol Vorderman MBE and Tony Jardine, while Andrew Zweck production managed the event, along with Steve Rayment.

One of the major sponsors, Screenco, rigged 60sq.m of 25mm LED modules for the main screen and 8sq.m for each of the two flanking columns in the PA wings - and supplied digital feeds for the pictures and graphics. The screen was integrated within the set design, broadcasting live camera relays of the VIP guests, intermingled with library footage.

Other notable moments of the evening included an emotional standing ovation for the nation’s favourite commentator, Murray Walker OBE, who joined his colleagues on stage for a fond farewell after 52 years in the business and to share some of his favourite memo

XL Video - Large it with Barco
Tuesday, 26 February 2002

XL Video UK, the touring and live event video specialist, has just completed a purchase that makes it the owner of the biggest and brightest fleet of Barco DLP projectors in the UK. The order gives XL 16 of the new ultra-bright Barco ELM R18 17,500 lumen projectors and four of the new, smaller, SLM R8 projectors (7,500 lumens) which will be added to their rental fleet.

It’s the first order for ELM R18s in the UK and adds to XL’s already extensive stock of Barco projectors which currently includes Barco ELM G10s ELM G12s and SLM G5s, plus assorted smaller projectors. XL Video’s Lee Spencer comments: "Having access to such a diverse fleet of projectors allows us to offer our clients the latest in projection equipment. It also means that we can be highly competitive and still give our clients the best service whether the event is large or small, conventional or leftfield." XL Video also remains the largest operator of both Barco DLite 10 and ILite 10 LED screen in the world.

The new kit will be going into immediate action upon its arrival as XL UK’s schedule continues to be busy with current and upcoming tours including S Club 7, Gorillaz, The Chemical Brothers, Travis, Jamiroquai, Westlife and Roger Waters.

(Ruth Rossington)

Barco and High End Announce Strategic Alliance
Monday, 18 February 2002

Barco Projection, a division of Barco n.v., Belgium, and High End Systems Inc of Austin, Texas, have announced a strategic alliance that will enable the two companies to cooperate in the marketing of their products to the entertainment and events markets.

Barco Events specializes in providing tailor-made visualization and show-control solutions and manufactures amongst others a range of professional large-event projectors, ranging in brightness from 5,000 to 17,000 ANSI lumens. High End Systems, a manufacturer of automated lighting products, has introduced Catalyst, a cross-cultural system that converts video projectors into automated lights. The Catalyst system (developed in conjunction with WWG), which incorporates a Media Server, can also be used in conjunction with Barco's range of Ilite and Dlite LED displays to create an extensive range of effects and imagery.

The newly formed agreement allows Barco to sell the Catalyst system to its partners, with or without projectors, and provides the basis for future cooperation on various levels between the two companies. Nevertheless, Catalyst will remain an open platform and may still be used on a wide range of other video projectors from other manufacturers in the field.

"Barco sees lighting and video technology moving toward a closer interaction," says Kristoff Henry, marketing manager of Barco Events. "The combined knowledge and driving forces of the two groups will enable the creation of a new generation of products that will span the two markets and thus deliver many new creative possibilities."

Time Travel Brought to Life
Monday, 18 February 2002

Sarner and ESP have combined resources to provide a creative solution for Liverpool’s new multi-million pound International Astronomy and Space Centre (IASC).

Sarner, which has recently been bought-out by two of its directors, Michael Bennett and Ross Magri, will be responsible for the design and production of special effects for the new visitor attraction, while ESP will project-manage the fit-out of the centre, bringing life to the dramatic designs - from the spectacular hanging celestial sphere, through to the ‘Journey To The Stars’ space-time machine.

IASC, which is part of the continued regeneration of Liverpool’s Wirral district, is scheduled for completion in Easter 2003.

Visitors will be taken on an interactive journey through time and space using multi-sensory technology, simulated time travel, projection and special effects.

UKOK is Go
Monday, 18 February 2002

White Light and E//T//C UK helped launch the British Tourist Authority’s (BTA) new UKOK initiative in spectacular style by illuminating and projecting onto the Tower of London for a VIP press conference. The international marketing campaign is aimed at encouraging tourists and holidaymakers back to Britain in 2002.

The Tower has seen a succession of celebrity inmates throughout its chequered history, but this time the VIPs attending the breakfast press conference were free to leave. They included the Rt Hon. Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, David Quarmby, Chairman of the British Tourist Authority, Dr Kim Howells MP, Minister for Tourism and Lord Marshall, Chairman of BA.

White Light’s Mike Crossman project-managed the event. His brief came from the BTA, who wanted to architecturally light the Tower in a show-lighting style, and also feature their logo large and clear. Crossman approached lighting designer Leigh Porter - one of several lighting designers based at their Wimbledon premises - to create the lighting scheme and E//T//C’s Paul Highfield to handle the projection elements.

Leigh’s brief was to light - in a combination of red, white and blue - the South face of the tower and the two towers either side of the East face. The central part of the East face would then be used for the logo projection. Leigh wanted a colour changing luminaire for the job and decided on using Martin MAC 600 moving heads. Once a site visit and lighting tests proved that the units were right for the job, the 17 fixtures were prepped

PSL Invests in Catalyst
Thursday, 14 February 2002

PSL is the first video projection rental company in the UK and US to invest in High End Systems' new Catalyst image manipulation system, which turns ordinary video projectors into artistic tools. Winner of five technical awards in 2001-2002, Catalyst offers users a unique new tool that integrates the video and lighting industries.

At the heart of the system is the Catalyst Media Server (video processing computer and video/DMX interface). This provides an unlimited range of real-time image processing capabilities. Designers can load their own still or moving images or select from an extensive library of stock files. They can then scale, rotate, zoom, edit, morph, colour mix or overlay to create the desired effect. Images can be projected anywhere in three-dimensional space using Catalyst's unique orbital movement system. The head provides 250 degrees by 360 degrees of movement and can be fitted to most high-powered video projectors.

PSL has currently bought three Catalyst systems, two for the UK and one for its US Division. Mick Scullion, head of PSL's Lighting Division told us: "We’ve bought Catalyst because it uses the most up-to-date technology to produce a system that can create visual effects never seen before. All our lighting designers have shown great interest in the product and feel that it will give a new visual dimension to all our live shows, be they corporate events, product launches or concerts."

PSL is also in the exclusive position of being able to offer clients an in-house graphics and video production facility to complement the Catalys

Entech 2002 & Award Winners
Monday, 11 February 2002

The organisers of Entech, the leading entertainment technology exhibition for the Australasian market have reported increased attendance for last week’s three-day show. Darling Harbor proved a popular destination for Entech, with greater interstate attendance (up 8%) and more local visitors. International visits were static, with decreases from destinations other than Singapore (up 10%) and New Zealand (up 5%). Audited actual attendance was up, a record 5,143 trade attended, in addition to 1,272 exhibitor personnel.

The Entech Awards dinner once again sold out, held again at the Metro in George Street. A complete list of winners is attached. Voting was done on the trade show floor, for the first time, in addition to votes garnered from all those who nominated products and people. The Award for Best Lighting Product at the show went to AVR for the Arc Screen; Best Audio Product at the Show went to the Yamaha DM2000, and Best AV Product went to High End Systems for the Catalyst.

Entech will return in 2004 in a new format, which organisers say will be revised to meet the needs of exhibitors and trade visitors. More details are expected in the near future.

(Lee Baldock)

Rental Management Systems introduces RMS22
Friday, 8 February 2002

New features of the latest version of the rental management software package include a whole set of new clear icons, built-in support for backup and restore of data and reports, saving of the last used sort-order and sorted column in all List-tabs and Finder-windows, a new facility for multiple contacts per company, default country and telephone settings and much more.

For a full run-down of all the latest features from RMS22, visit the company website at the address below.

(Lee Baldock)

New Year, New Projects for Furneaux Stewart
Wednesday, 6 February 2002

Designer and communicator Furneaux Stewart has entered the New Year with a healthy portfolio of work and several new account wins. The company, led by co-founder Laurie Stewart, is already working on several new high-profile projects this year, including an introductory exhibition for Syon House, Cardiff Castle's interpretation strategy and projects for the National Trust at White Horse Hill, Studland Bay and Lawrence of Arabia's home, Clouds Hill. The company is also the exhibition design consultancy for the new Acropolis Museum working with international architect Bernard Tschumi.

Within the automotive sector there are also some key projects ahead with the team, headed up by John Furneaux, looking forward to working with Skoda to create its stand for the Birmingham International Motor Show, in addition to major projects with Citroen and Bentley Motors. Ray Hole, architectural director has recently presented his ideas for the renovation of the Snowdon summit building and is also acting as a consultant to Cardiff Council for the masterplan for Cardiff Bay development.

As a result of the successful launch of the telecommunications company 186K at the end of 2001, which required the expertise of Media Director Adrian Little, the two companies are in discussion about further projects for this year. Furneaux Stewart is also working with lighting manufacturer OSRAM to design a demonstration studio at their new offices.

(Ruth Rossington)

AVC Productions Place £500,000 Order with Christie
Monday, 4 February 2002

AVC Productions have extended their commitment to Christie Digital Systems with an order valued at around £500,000, spread across the full line of rental staging projectors. This includes the first UK acquisition of the new RoadRunner L6 LCD projectors.

Headquartered at Slough, and voted Production Company of the Year in the recent AV Magazine awards, AVC took the decision to back Christie Digital after receiving feedback from their in-house and freelance technicians. The purchase will not only extend AVC’s long relationship with Christie Digital, but will also increase their rental fleet to around 150 projectors. In addition to the RoadRunners, AVC also bought quantities of X10 Roadies and X6 Roadsters, with 10-bit ADPs (Advanced Digital Processing). They thus join the exclusive network of rental staging companies holding the powerful X10s in their inventory.

With the economy not at its best, the purchase - part of a package that includes High End moving lighting and a d&b sound rigs - is designed as a confidence booster. "With everyone feeling the pinch since September 11 we wanted to send a message to our clients that we were not going to compromise on quality, even if their budgets have to stretch a lot further than in the past," explained managing director, Patrick Hill.

AVC Productions also wanted to achieve soft-edge blend with their new rigs and picture within picture so have heavily invested in the Dataton Watchout system. Along with four projection screens, four X6 Roadsters (using standard and 0.8 lens) and four L6 RoadRunners, the Dataton

Quadrant Visual Solutions makes connection with SGS
Friday, 1 February 2002

Quadrant Visual Solutions (QVS), the event specialists, staged an exclusive venue event for SGS, the verification and certification multinational, that combined the important business of new product presentations, seminar facilities and team-building exercises with an evening of entertainment at the Alton Towers Hotel on the 11th and 12th January 2002. The event was built around the continuing transition to the new verification certificate ISO 9000:2000, with emphasis upon team working and co-operation to ensure SGS understands and meets its customer requirements at all levels of the business.

The 170 delegates were SGS Yarsley International Certification employees from all around Britain, mostly system auditors or trainers, and members of the support and administration team. The theme of the event was "Connections" and incorporated team building for remote team workers. "Our local teams only see each other around once a month," explains Peter Marriott, the General Manager of SGS. "Two of our field staff may be put together on a contract, but they might not meet again for months."

SGS has an experienced events team to manage the overall logistics of the event, but felt it was important to use the right organisation for the staging and presentation of the conference. QVS was recommended by the hotel to stage such an interactive and demanding event. Lee Francis, QVS' account manager, worked closely from the original concept with Gayle Oliver, administration manager of SGS and Peter Marriot. "We staged a main presentation room cum fo

Immedia Systems Spearheads Developments at Northern Light
Tuesday, 29 January 2002

Northern Light has announced a restructuring programme to take the business forward in 2002. A key development is the launch of Immedia Systems, a new audio-visual division located in Reading. The new premises include workshop and stores areas, as well a large office suite and conference room. Immedia aims to build on Northern Light's established reputation and extensive experience in the AV installation's business, providing engineering led solutions. According to the company, the move will allow "greater strategic focus in this specialized industry, enabling a more effective response to the market and customer needs".

Richard Passman heads up a highly-trained specialist projects team including programmer Nick Nurock, sales engineer Dave Pritchard and AV engineers, Andy Macdonald, Steve Dishon, Derek Heeps and Graham Lawton, who recently rejoined the company from Dubai. The opportunity has also been taken to centralize the London and South-east operations in Reading. The international sales team of Derek Gilbert and Graham Fisher will move from their temporary offices in Marlow to enjoy the benefits of the new premises.

As part of the New Year reorganization north of the border, Northern Light has closed its small Glasgow branch, consolidating the hire and sales operations at the Edinburgh headquarters. Mike Smyth, Ken Christie and Gerry Corcoran will continue to represent the West of Scotland.

Commenting on the developments at Northern Light, managing director, John Allen told us: "Business success demands a creative and flexible response. Change is

ECA2 set for new Futuroscope Spectacular
Tuesday, 29 January 2002

Yves Pépin, president and artistic director of ECA2, and his team are gearing up for the début of ECA2’s new nightly multimedia show, ‘Miroir d’Uranie’ (‘Uranie’s Mirror’), beginning on 2 February at the Futuroscope Park near Poitiers, France. "Uranie is the name of an as-yet undiscovered star that plays a leading role in the show," explained Pépin. "She is one of a number of characters, both touching and fantastical, who appear in the show. There’ll also be Billy la Bulle (Billy the Bubble), a flying fish; Pegasus; Venus; and an elderly fisherman who goes on a dazzling trip through the universe. The fable, the story of an impossible trip through the galaxies, unites classical mythology with ultra-modern multimedia techniques. It will warm the heart even as it dazzles spectators with its special effects."

The spectacular will take place on he Théâtre du Lac (Lake Theatre), just like the current show, ‘Le Lac aux Images’ (The Lake of Images’), which opened in March 2000. This show has been a real hit with audiences, attaining a spectator satisfaction rating of 95%. Similarly, ‘Miroir d’Uranie’ will appeal to all age groups. The new show will last about 20 minutes, and will unfold on 7,000sq.m of show space, including three water screens, five inflatables and pyrotechnics.

(Lee Baldock)

Giles Conte goes freelance
Tuesday, 29 January 2002

Giant screen project manager Giles Conte, who recently left Screenco after six years with the company, has embarked on a freelance career as a project manager and technician. Giles takes with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise and is very optimistic about the future of LED, with its emergence as an information relay device and creative visual medium for both rock ‘n’ roll and the corporate market.

(Lee Baldock)

Lighthouse LED at BICLighthouse LED at BIC
Monday, 28 January 2002

Lighthouse LED video screens are at the heart of the installation of a custom-designed outdoor poster advertising screen at Bournemouth International Centre. Adaptable to both outdoor and indoor poster and retail sites, and capable of displaying images alongside ‘split screen’ text messages, the LED billboard concept is being pioneered in the UK by Lighthouse and, at Bournemouth, its integrator partner, Advantage Displays Ltd and screen owner/operator Inter-City Ads.

Nine panels of Lighthouse LVP20 (20mm pixel pitch) screen have been installed. Regular maintenance is provided by Lighthouse, but at the BIC, there is no facility to do this from within the building so to cater for this, a special mounting structure allows the screen to be hinged forward for maintenance work. The screen also has the ability to show two independently-controllable images on the screen at any one time. This is currently being used to show video images on 90 percent of the screen, with the lower 10 per cent displaying ‘live’ text messages about events at BIC.

(Ruth Rossington)

Screenco Deliver A1 Performance at Pop IdolScreenco Deliver A1 Performance at Pop Idol
Friday, 25 January 2002

Screenco has provided the LED screens for the ongoing TV programme Pop Idol. Set designer Andy Walmsley - whose company A1 Set was commissioned by Thames Television - provided Screenco with a brief to deliver the visual display element of the Pop Idol show.

The series - divided into three elements - consisted of various open auditions staged in hotel conference rooms throughout the country, followed by the ‘semi finals’ which took place at a staged ‘rehearsal room’ in Teddington Studios, ending with the ten week finals hosted at Fountain Studios in Wembley. Walmsley - who also designed the worldwide-copied ‘Who Wants to Be A Millionaire’ studio set - told us: "Pop Idol has been fascinating as a design brief, especially because the series has been in three parts. We started with a large video cube wall and one lonely plasma screen at Teddington Studios, but then the anti was upped to an orgy of AV for the final 10 weeks of this mammoth show."

Screenco supplied a 15mm central rotating screen complemented by 25mm LED Modules and 42" plasma screens - sourced from sister company CT London - which were arranged about the set in an abstract fashion. The 15mm LED was mounted on a bespoke rotating structure, whilst the 25mm LED Modules and Plasma screens were all supported by tailor-made aluminium brackets supplied and constructed by stage contractors Total Fabrications. Also provided by Screenco were the graphics - displayed during the show - which ran from two Doremi V1D Digital video player/recorders and were mixed through a

Screenco Supply first ever Top of The Pops AwardsScreenco Supply first ever Top of The Pops Awards
Tuesday, 22 January 2002

Screenco recently supplied a 15mm Saco LED stage screen at the first ever Top of The Pops Awards, hosted at the Manchester Evening News arena. Commissioned by production company AMP - working for BBC Worldwide - the 20.74sq.m screen was configured in a 14:9 aspect ratio and was positioned off centre stage right in an asymmetric set design.

Serving an audience of 11,500, the screen was used as backdrop support for presenters and artists, as well as nominee clips. Showcasing a rich mixture of the best in pop music over the last 12 months, the first annual TOTP’s Awards Show was also broadcast on BBC One the following day, and hosted 12 performances from international artists including Kylie Minogue, Mariah Carey, Westlife, Tom Jones, Travis, Nelly Furtado and Jennifer Lopez.

A full report on the Top of the Pop Awards appears in the January issue of Lighting&Sound International.

(Ruth Rossington)

Electrosonic Awarded New Quality Standard
Tuesday, 22 January 2002

Electrosonic Ltd has been awarded the international quality standard ISO9001:2000 and is now approved by National Quality Assurance (NQA). The new ISO9001:2000 standard is based upon eight quality management principles: customer focused organization; leadership; involvement of people; process approach; systems approach to management; continual improvement; factual approach to decision making and mutually beneficial supplier relationships.

To attain certification, Electrosonic demonstrated its understanding and application of these principles throughout all of its business processes.

(Ruth Rossington)

Photon 999
Sunday, 20 January 2002

The first major European installation by Los Angeles-based artist Hiro Yamagata. Photon 999 opened at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, at the end of last year. Yamagata worked with a team of over 30 specialists to realise the installation. 15 laser systems (from Tarm Showlaser, Times of Change and Dymax Special Effects), including four of Coherent’s new Viper lasers, are placed around the edge of a pool. These are projected to over 200 mirrors installed on 20m high JTE truss towers and Mylar holographic panels applied to the surface of the central walkway. The system is controlled by a custom software package designed by Laser Animation.


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