Video and AV News

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.

Swedish FA Installs First LED Screens
Wednesday, 30 May 2001

The implementation has begun in Sweden of a major project featuring LED screens at Swedish Football League matches. Massteknik, one of Scandinavia’s leading corporate and live event production rental companies, has installed one permanent Lighthouse LVP25 (25mm pixel pitch) screen at the Swedish National Football Arena at Rasunda in Stockholm. Two Lighthouse mobile screens and three from other manufacturers will move around between various arenas in the Swedish Football League. Massteknik’s Kenneth Paterson said: "This is a very big contract for us with a total of 546 games in three years. There are seven games a week within the league, but no more than four mobile screens are required on any one day. Local OB companies are contracted to produce the footage, which is used both for the TV broadcast and our screens, and the goals and highlights of each match are transmitted back and forth between arenas."

Two Appointments for PSATwo Appointments for PSA
Wednesday, 30 May 2001

The Production Services Association has made two announcements: the first is that John Jones of PCM has filled the remaining seat on the 2001 PSA Council. John is a long-time supporter of the PSA and through his company PCM has donated £10,000 to the PSA Welfare & Benevolent Fund since the Fund’s inception. PCM has also gained a reputation for being among the industry’s leaders in promoting training, with the PCM Motor Schools now well established. In a separate announcement, Keith Owen will now oversee the PSA’s new series of BTEC courses. The courses, which commence in June in Birmingham with the Production Technician Intermediate BTEC, will be expanded during the year to cover other disciplines. Owen spent 20 years at Light & Sound Design before spending 18 months at Loughborough College as the PSA’s representative for training. He is working for two days a week at BMS in Birmingham in order to kick-off the new range of PSA Entertainment and Events Industry BTEC qualifications.

Radiance of the Seas
Sunday, 27 May 2001

Royal Caribbean International has recently introduced the first of its Radiance class of ships - Radiance of the Seas. This stunning vessel is the largest ship ever to have been built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and the first joint venture between a German shipyard and an American cruise line.

RCI has a tradition of delivering high quality onboard entertainment and Radiance is no exception. The Viking Crown is the trademark destination on-board Royal Caribbean ships, a spectacular space surrounded by a sweep of glazing, that wraps itself around the funnel at the highest point, providing panoramic views for the passengers. In the evening, the Viking Crown takes on a completely new persona and turns into a major entertainment complex and, in the case of the Radiance of the Seas, this includes a disco, a black-box theatre and bars of various hues.

The disco is called Starquest, and Wynne Willson Gottelier (WWG) has designed a spectacular lighting, sound and video system in the area to get the holidaymakers on their toes. One of the main features is a WWG-conceived Beamlight which has been used to create a cage of 78 sequencing, vertical beams around the dance area. Other effects contained in the feature dome above the dancefloor are Martin MAC 250+s, Roboscan Pro 918s and Acrobats, Clay Paky Miniscan HPEs, Diversitronics strobes and a bunch of neon controlled via Mode Digitrans inverters. All the automated lights listed are fitted with custom gobos. The overall lighting control is provided by a ShowCAD system linked to a Lynx button panel. Two Le Mai

Barco at Italian Museum of Cinema
Wednesday, 23 May 2001

Barco’s high-performance projection systems have been selected for the Italian Museum Cinema in Turin. This tall museum in Antonelli’s Mole covers 3200sq.m, and is full of cinema exhibits. Euphon, one of Italy’s leading specialists in broadcast, communication and AV integration, has installed 10 Barco 708 Series CRT and 2 Barco 6000 Series LCD projectors. They were chosen because of the unmatched image quality. The Museum of Cinema, an ancient Temple of the Jewish Community, is home to five levels of exhibitions with thousands of film posters, photographs, books, periodicals, paintings, prints and film equipment. A journey through the magic of film provides the visitors a course on the archeology of cinema and the various stages of film production to end in the spectacular and immense Temple Hall, the heart of the museum. In this area, visitors can relax, watch two Italian 35mm films and enjoy the extraordinary video and light show, which runs every 18 minutes. Surrounding this central hall, the audience can visit 10 chapels, dedicated to the history of cinema.

Euphon was chosen to work out the impressive audio-visual installation for the museum project. This leading Italian audio-visual integrator designed a tailor-made solution, based on the requirements for every specific zone of the building. On the first level, dedicated to pre-cinema, Barco’s 6000 Series LCD projection technology provides the visitors with very bright and sharp video images. In addition, each of the ‘chapels’ around the Temple Hall is equipped with a Barco 708 Ser

Lighthouse Goes Big in Berlin
Tuesday, 22 May 2001

Europe’s largest outdoor advertising screen is sited on the C&A building in central Berlin’s famous Kurfurstendam, and is fully integrated into the architecture of the building. It features 100sq.m of Lighthouse LVP502 screen modules, measuring 10 panels wide by 8 high. The whole of this part of central Berlin has been substantially rebuilt in recent years and the new screen will be the eye-catching centrepiece for one of the city’s liveliest streets. Statistically, the site offers advertisers the opportunity for their commercials to be seen by more people than anywhere else in the city. Media! AG carried out the installation, and will operate the screen and its control system, while advertising sales and marketing are being handled by MIM in Hamburg.

Advertisers include blue chip companies, with the first to sign up being C&A themselves, and Media! AG anticipates the screen will be used mostly to display moving video (in the form of commercials), although it is equally capable of showing still video and computer graphics images. For further versatility, Media! AG has installed a satellite link and the screen can be remotely driven. Hans-Peter Mack, CEO of Media! AG, says: "This is the first of its kind anywhere in Germany, and is the first of a network of screens that will be located all around Germany and Central Europe."

Playlight Auction - Tuesday 22 May
Friday, 18 May 2001

Following a reorganisation of its business, Playlight is hosting a massive auction next Tuesday, where literally hundreds of items will come under the hammer. On the lighting side these include a collection of lighting desks and dimmers, and just about every type of lantern and moving light under the sun. For special effects, there are smoke machines, mirror balls, projectors and ultra-violet systems, whilst on the audio side, a large stockholding of speakers, amplifiers, mixing desks and microphones will be auctioned. Rigging and trussing will also feature, as will a range of office furniture and general equipment.

The auction takes place on Tuesday 22 May in London at 860 Coronation Road, Park Royal, London and begins at 11am. All items in the auction can be viewed on Monday 21 May from 9.30am to 4.30pm and on the day of sale.

For a catalogue call +44 0117 930 4020.

Changing the Face of Lighting and Video
Thursday, 17 May 2001

The entire future of automated lighting and, the application of high powered video projection, moved a big step forward at Showtech in Berlin this week, with the European soft-launch of High End System’s new product, Catalyst. Developed for HES by English design company, Wynne Wilson Gottelier (WWG), the alpha version of Catalyst created a considerable stir at the show. Mounted on the front of a Barco ELM R12, a 12,000 ANSI lumens output, triple-DMD video projector, Catalyst allows an image to be moved smoothly and positioned accurately, time after time, within a global envelope. As it is video-based, Catalyst allows truly unlimited colour mixing, with a selection of masks that act as framing shutters or overlays on video clips.

The system is delivered with hundreds of gobo patterns, that can again be overlaid, including the entire DHA and High End libraries. All of these facilities are accessible from any DMX desk, and were demonstrated at Showtech from a Wholehog 2. The package, which consists of the dynamic hardware, a control rack, DMX system control software, and video processing software, is to be marketed by High End Systems to rental companies which already own suitable DLP projectors, as an add-on. Aside from Barco, these could include models from Christie Digital Systems, Digital Projection, NEC, Panasonic and others.

Catalyst can next be seen at Showlight 2001 in Edinburgh where Tony Gottelier and Peter Wynne Willson will include it in their presentation ‘Lumières sans Frontières’, following which High End will again be showing the alpha s

Catalyst Will Spur Video Development
Thursday, 17 May 2001

This year’s PLASA will see the future of automated lighting and the application of high-powered video projection, move a step forward with the launch of High End Systems’ new product, Catalyst. Developed for HES by English design company, Wynne Wilson Gottelier (WWG), the alpha version of Catalyst created a considerable stir at the Showtech Exhibition in Berlin where it was soft-launched earlier this month.

Mounted on the front of a Barco ELM R12, a 12,000 ANSI lumens output, triple-DMD video projector, Catalyst allows an image to be moved smoothly and positioned accurately, time after time, within a global envelope. As it is video-based, Catalyst allows truly unlimited colour mixing, with a selection of masks that act as framing shutters or overlays on video clips. The system is delivered with hundreds of gobo patterns, that can again be overlaid, including the entire DHA and High End libraries. All of these facilities are accessible from any DMX desk, and were demonstrated at Showtech from the Wholehog 2. The package, which consists of the dynamic hardware, a control rack, DMX system control software, and video processing software, is to be marketed by High End Systems to rental companies, who are already own suitable DLP projectors, as an add-on.

High End - Stand E64

Adam Hall to Distribute Racklight in EuropeAdam Hall to Distribute Racklight in Europe
Monday, 14 May 2001

The Adam Hall group has announced its agreement with California-based RPM Optoelectronics to distribute RPM’s innovative new Racklight throughout Europe. Racklight represents a new dimension in glare-free directional focused lighting for rack cabinets. Technical advances incorporated in the ‘Racklight’ provide visually uniform, brilliant illumination unavailable in other products. The unique design of the UV-resistant acrylic light guide provides heat-free, concentrated light with no hot bulbs to handle or change, and is guaranteed for five years. Racklight illuminates one metre of rack space with cool, even light. Built with high quality materials around dependable solid state lighting, ‘Racklight’ is a safe and durable addition to any rack equipment, and is available in a variety of light source colours.

Thompson Leaves
Friday, 11 May 2001

Frances Thompson has announced that she is leaving the US-based production industry web venture, Launched last year, offers ‘e-business for show business’ with production resources including online inventory tracking and project management, product and manufacturer listings and crew resources. Thompson, who previously worked for US truss manufacturer Tomcat, was responsible for marketing at She told PLASA Media that was in the process of downsizing in order to concentrate heavily on product development. The company’s Kansas City staff will now handle marketing as well as continuing to provide the level of service already established.

Navigator Hamper
Friday, 11 May 2001

Navigator Systems recently presented Pascale Lecomte of Britannia Row with a Harrods food hamper for taking part in a research and development project linked to the company’s Hire Track Eclipse rental management software. Britannia Row, which has been using Eclipse since 1999, was chosen at random from a number of companies who participated. Navigator will use the results from the findings to further develop the software.

Fourth Phase at White Cliffs of Dover
Friday, 11 May 2001

Fourth Phase Production Arts supplied a BP6 Gold Pani projector to artist Joanna Jones to realise her dramatic projected work on Dover’s famous white cliffs over the Easter weekend. The project was part of the Arts Council’s Year of The Artist initiative. Joanna’s idea was to combine the structures and textures of a cliff face with the structures and textures of a painted layer created by herself into a huge outdoor abstract painting. The painted layer was photographed as a 6 cm X 6 cm transparency by Ute Schendel which was then produced as a large format Cibachrome Pani slide by Wyatt Enever of DHA. Production Arts Emma Hutchison and Dominic Airs visited the site and ran a camera obscura to establish the lens needed, the exact size the artwork should be and the optimum positioning of the projector. They used a 22cm lens and a throw distance of 50 metres to produce a 35 metre square image. The projector was housed in a specially constructed enclosure for protection against adverse weather conditions and inquisitive members of the public. The projector was switched on before dusk at 7.30pm and off again at midnight when the site closed. At 5am, the site opened again and the projector was fired up so the painting could be seen going through its continuum of changes until it had dissolved completely, leaving only the naked cliff face in full daylight. This process could be seen from dusk on Good Friday until dawn on Easter Monday. The innovative idea proved an enormous success. People came from all over the South of England to see the projections and to enjoy

Supersonic Class
Thursday, 10 May 2001

The established relationship with British Airways, enjoyed by both the TOA Corporation and Unitek Displays, reached a pinnacle last month when the new Concorde Lounge opened at Heathrow’s Terminal 4.

Designed by Sir Terence Conran, in preparation for a resumption of supersonic services later this spring, the airline’s ambition is clear to see. In addition to employing top designers - including FutureBrand for the simultaneous development of their new First Class Lounge - they also invited spa specialists Molton Brown to create a shower room, steam room and massage area.

In the Molton Brown spa, a discrete TOA PC-5WL speaker can be found in each shower cubicle as well as the massage room, with local volume control independent of the overall level setting. The area is also serviced by a single TOA HB1 sub-bass unit.

However, the scheme in the new Executive Lounges has not been realised without some acoustic compromises. Since the architect requirement was for a completely flat ceiling, the 25 soft-dome, process-controlled TOA PC-121Cs have been utilised without their suspended spheres, designed to allow wide-dispersion soundwaves to be distributed coherently, and panned via TOA’s bespoke Sound Space Design spatializer. Although the sphere has been removed to facilitate total recess-mounting, using TOA’s AC-120 to provide dedicated system control, there is little evidence of cancellation or dead spots. This circular ceiling speaker is run in combination with TOA F-101 full-range speakers, which, like the 121s, house a 4" driver.

BA have als

Stereoscopic DLP Projection from Christie
Thursday, 10 May 2001

High performance projection specialist Christie Digital Systems has announced it is the first company to deliver a complete suite of stereoscopic single projectors featuring 3-chip DLP technology. Specifically designed for stereo, the new Mirage line offers advanced performance features to revolutionize virtual reality (VR), entertainment and simulation markets worldwide. "With the introduction of Mirage, a noteworthy improvement in the projection of stereoscopic moving images is taking place. The Stereo3D image is the cleanest, clearest, and easiest ever seen. Moreover, the setup of projection is vastly simplified, and requires no tweaking for continued performance at a high quality level," said Lenny Lipton of the StereoGraphics Corporation.

Since the introduction of its high performance CRT stereo projectors in 1985, Christie Digital has established itself as the leading manufacturer of stereoscopic projectors for virtual CAVE systems, workbenches, power walls and other 3D and simulation environments. The Mirage line further expands Christie Digital’s portfolio of stereo products.

The single projector solutions are optimized to work with Liquid Crystal (LC) shutter glasses for active stereo, or with LC modulators placed in front of the lens, for passive Stereo3D with polarized eyewear. The product line consists of three new models: the Mirage 2000, an SXGA projector at 2,000 lumens; the Mirage 5000, an SXGA version at 5,000 lumens; and the Mirage 10000, an XGA projector delivering 10,000 lumens. "The Mirage sets a new standard for performance and

MCL Recruits Nick Whitehead
Wednesday, 9 May 2001

MCL, the new AV staging services company set up by Avesco plc, has announced a major consolidation of its lighting department, which will enable it to offer sophisticated high-quality solutions on a par with investments already made in video, sound and staging. The highly experienced Nick Whitehead had been recruited to develop MCL London’s lighting inventory and create a support infrastructure. Nick was previously managing director of Lighting Unlimited, establishing the company on behalf of Gearhouse Group plc. His experience in lighting ranges from theatre work for the London Fringe, National Theatre and Orchard, to high-end design for corporate presentations. He said: "Alongside our established rental staging fleet, MCL’s investment in leading-edge equipment will enable us to meet a wide range of lighting requirements - from simple lamp kits for conference solutions to a full multi-truss moving and conventional light rigs."

Ian Gordon Joins Christie
Wednesday, 9 May 2001

The Christie Lites group of companies has announced the addition of Ian Gordon, formerly of Westsun International Inc, to the Christie Lites team. Gordon brings to Christie Lites 15 years’ experience servicing the concert industry in North America and Europe and will be working from the Christie Lites Vancouver office. "I’m extremely excited about the opportunity Christie Lites provides for myself and my family. The owner/operator business structure, combined with quality equipment and multiple offices throughout North America provide me with the desirable tools to service today’s concert marketplace. I have admired Christie Lites as competitors and look forward to being part of their team," says Gordon.

Launch for Ground Zero
Wednesday, 9 May 2001

Three European entertainment industry veterans have announced the formation of Ground Zero BV, which they claim to be ‘the first system integrator and show control specialist company in Holland’. The founders of Ground Zero are Sierk Janszen, Rutger van Dijk and Reind Brackman, all well known figures in the worldwide entertainment industry. The company’s main working area will be North-Western Europe and Spain.

Sierk Janszen has worked as applications manager at Avenger Systems in Belgium for the last six years after he had worked as a sound-engineer for several theatre-companies in Holland. Rutger van Dijk has been the manager of Vari-Lite Production Services Amsterdam since it establishment, before which he worked as technical production manager on many musical productions, Cirque du Soleil Europe and Focus Showequipment. Finally, Reind Brackman is the owner and founder of Beo (the Dutch Compulite dealer) and Trekwerk, a company specializing in automatic flying systems and their controls.

Great Wall of China
Saturday, 5 May 2001

Electrosonic’s tradition of creating giant high-resolution electronic images continues with the completion of a 180sq.m display in Beijing, China. The China Millennium Monument is China’s memorial building to the Year 2000. It is a grand structure, occupying a total floor space of about 30,000sq.m. Its Century Wide-Screen Projection Hall houses an impressive 56-screen (30m x 6m) projection videowall. Measure Scientific of Beijing was responsible for the design and integration of the system which uses Sanyo projectors and locally-manufactured screens controlled by an Electrosonic Vector image system.

DJW Opens New Office in Middle East
Friday, 4 May 2001

A number of successful projects and an expanding market have encouraged AV and multi media specialist, D J Willrich Ltd (DJW) to open their new office in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Located approximately 15 miles out of Dubai, in the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone, DJW’s new base will be run by Southampton couple Josh and Liz Miller. Josh, previously one of DJW’s senior project managers, will now be responsible for all DJW’s projects in the Middle East, whilst Liz will assist with the marketing and administration. Established in 1986, DJW grew from the AV Department of the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. Since then the company has grown to achieve a multi-million pound turnover and become a major force worldwide in the AV and multi media industry. DJW’s ability and reputation is based on providing creative solutions that deliver the ultimate visitor experience in sound, vision, motion and interaction for museums and attractions worldwide. Recent projects have included the FA Premier League Hall of Fame, London; The Big Idea, Scotland; Bentley Pavilion, VW Autostadt, Germany; Discovery Centre, Sharjah, Shanghai Aquarium; Ballymena Ecos Centre, Ireland and X-treme World, Qatar.

Commenting on the expansion, DJW’s managing director, David Willrich, said: "With our associate company Mad Systems in the United States, and the opening of this new office in Sharjah, we are now able to provide a three-cornered coverage of the world. This marks a significant point in DJW’s growth and makes us perfectly placed to expand in

Rock ‘n Rolling with EST
Friday, 4 May 2001

Those masters of rock industry logistics, EST, are once more in the thick of the action over the summer season. Touring with a list of bands that reads like a roll-call of the top aristocracy of the rock music industry, the range of locations and number of vehicles involved is staggering. The tours are all major Arena and Stadium scale and are forecast to be the biggest gross-earning acts of the summer season. 16 of the familiar yellow and purple trucks will provide logistic support to Madonna’s European tour running from the 5 June until 12 July. A further eight trucks will provide transport for the Eagles, starting in Moscow on 29 May and finishing in Glasgow on 28 July. Another 16 EST trucks will accompany Bon Jovi’s European Tour which starts in Stockholm on 31 May with 16 more shows in locations as diverse as Huddersfield, Hamburg and Zurich before ending in Munich on 30 June.

On top of that, EST will also provide transport for Jethro Tull’s European Tour, centred mainly in Germany, plus trucking equipment to a major Conference of the World’s Ophthalmologists in Istanbul for Face to Face Productions. Last but not least, EST is providing transport for the Barcelona Motor Show in early May which will entail 35 trucking movements each way.

The Corrs
Thursday, 3 May 2001

There’s an orange-haired clown from the USA who 30 years ago perfected a presentational strategy that’s seen his products grow to become a global monster. The recipe for success is to satisfy the appetite with something that’s unlikely to offend even the most delicate palette.

While the three girls and brother Jim can hardly be likened to a hamburger and fries, they do present an inoffensive brand of pop that while delightful, is unlikely to become a healthy diet if taken in excess. It was March ‘98 when I last saw the Corrs, in a sub-2,000-seat theatre on that occasion. Their early singles had begun what’s become the band’s long flirtation with the charts. Have three years been a long enough break? In short, yes. The band’s live performance is much improved in that there is now an edge to them, and, dare I say it, I prefer the songs performed live to their more anodyne recordings.

Lighting & Video
In the words of production manager Ian Caulder, "Willie Williams was brought in to liven things up." That’s no reflection on Liam McCarthy, the group’s original LD from the outset. He and Icon programmer Frank Shields have melded an excellent, well-punctuated light show. But it’s what must lurk in William’s imagination that delights and excites.

Modules of a Screenco LED screen are hung, checkerboard-fashion, behind a white scrim. All images presented upon it are abstracts, computer graphics, flames, the glittering surface of a swimming pool, etc. Why this is a stroke of genius on Williams

XL Video USXL Video US
Monday, 30 April 2001

Live concert touring and special event video production specialist XL Video is opening its new USA Office in Los Angeles. The US operation is headed by Bob Higgins and Barbara Riedling; both of whom have vast experience of the US concert touring business. The US base is designed to offer video equipment, crew and service for all XL clients whose tours originate from US, European and Far Eastern operations. The first tour overseen by XL’s new US office is U2’s Elevation world tour; using Barco, the video projection surrounds the stage, while motorized LED video screens come and go throughout the show. U2 begins its LA area performances this week in Anaheim.

The US office carries the same fully digital touring systems that are now standard XL issue in Europe. Bob Higgins’ career in the music business started as a Hollywood recording engineer. While working with a gold record line-up including Ronnie Laws, The Temptations, The Manhattans, The Gap Band, Earth Wind and Fire, and Minnie Ripperton, Higgins made the transition into video through a collaboration with The American Film Institute. He then moved on from music video producer, to international video crew chief for concert tours and foreign broadcasts. He spent 15 years at the forefront of touring video, primarily as a video director, working with artists including Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Bill Cosby, Paula Abdul, David Bowie, Alan Jackson, Bon Jovi and Jimmy Buffett. Higgins left the road in the late nineties to work for a West coast-based touring video production company - where he met Barbara


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