Video and AV News

Aquariums get high-tech thanks to DJWAquariums get high-tech thanks to DJW
Tuesday, 26 March 2002

It’s been water, water everywhere recently for D J Willrich Ltd (DJW), as the Hampshire-based AV and multi-media specialists have recently completed work on the saltwater Bournemouth Oceanarium in Dorset and the freshwater Lakeside Aquarium at Newby Bridge on the shores of Lake Windermere.

Working within a deadline of just three weeks, DJW installed in the Bournemouth Oceanarium three Sony plasma displays, three touch screen quiz-based interactives and, with the help of strobe lighting and Bose speakers, the sound of a rainforest thunderstorm that automatically comes to life every 20 minutes.

Visitors to the Lake District are obviously used to it raining more frequently there since DJW’s thunderstorm sound simulation at the Lakeside Aquarium proved to be so popular that it now runs every three minutes! In addition to this, DJW has also installed two Sony plasma displays, lighting and sound controls, plus an AV theatre featuring a 2 metre screen and projector showing images of the surrounding Lake District hills, lakes and wildlife.

As well as having water in common, Bournemouth and Lakeside both have BSS 9088 Soundwebs and a 9010 Jellyfish remote - the Jellyfish being essential to enable staff to control the audio systems from the office. "The Soundwebs are crucial to the easy operation of the audio systems within the two aquariums," said Kevin Southwell, project manager. "It means that staff can vary sound levels from their main office depending on whether it's a quiet or busy day. They also have an easy facility for using radio microphone

Creative Technology drive European Ford Fiesta launchCreative Technology drive European Ford Fiesta launch
Friday, 22 March 2002

CT London has utilized an extensive selection of its equipment and resources to provide the entire AV and IT element for Imagination at a Ford Dealer Training Event in Marbella, Spain. The event, which began in early February and runs for six weeks, will be attended by over 17,000 Ford Dealers from across Europe.

The event, masterminded by Imagination, will launch Ford’s new range of small cars including Ford Fiesta and Ford Fusion to dealers. It features a 400-seat auditorium acting as the central business meeting location, plus five interactive workshops on the consumer benefits of the new range, along with training on Five Fiesta Facts. CT London supplied, installed and maintained the equipment, with a full team of support engineers and technicians. The company provided a wide array of desktop and laptop PCs running Powerpoint with Mpeg playback and various displays including Barco video projectors and Hitachi Plasma screens. All were complemented by a bespoke Dataton interactive control system.

(Ruth Rossington)

S Club
Friday, 22 March 2002

S Club 7 have recently completed a UK arena tour. Considering it’s only a matter of months since their last outing, it’s to the band’s credit that they decided to create a whole new image for this tour. The impressive set, designed by Hattie Spice (no relation to the Girls) and co-ordinated by Charlie Kail, included not only a series of lifts and moving elements, but a massive over-audience catwalk. To rig the show, rigging contractors Summit Steel used 220m of James Thomas trussing, along with 55 CM Lodestar hoists. These were used to provide backdrop, side screen, tracking screen and catwalk support trussing, as well as cable bridges and hoists used during daily fit-up for the scenic elements.

Total Fabrications Ltd were called in to manufacture the catwalk deck and handrail to fit the truss structure supplied by Summit Steel. "The catwalk was suspended using 26 Summit hoists fitted with position encoders and our remote load monitoring system," commented Summit’s Jon Bray. "By using QMotion’s K10s computer hoist command system we were able to ensure safe, accurate and repeatable positioning of the catwalk."

A massive 70sq.m LED screen, supplied by XL Video, dominated centre stage, made up of Generale Location 25mm modules. This split in two, with each half moving sideways to form a dramatic upstage entrance. The screen tracking was controlled by QMotion, again supplied through Summit. The system, designed and built by QMotion to Chris Walker of Summit’s specifications, is driven by a QMotion custom tailored &lsqu

Unique Screen System for Virgin Megastore
Friday, 22 March 2002

As part of a recently completed refurbishment of its flagship Oxford Street Megastore, Virgin has commissioned an unusual giant video screen system on the store’s ground floor that is all but invisible until in operation. In the centre of the main stairwell, flat 'blades' rotate and lock into position like an enormous Venetian blind to reveal the five metre wide screen. Flanking the screen are a pair of Mackie Fussion 3000 active speakers and two pairs of 1800SA/1800S active sub bass combos.

PAI and AV designer Vincent Rice carried out the design and installation, as PAI’s managing director Paul Adams explains: "Following a referral from PPM (Perspective Project Management), who we’ve worked with previously, we were approached by Richard Greenleaf of the design company Red Jacket, and Vince Rice and I had a meeting with him to discuss the project." Adams continues: "Red Jacket's concept was very clear. There is a large atrium alongside the escalators, and the brief was for a video screen that could move in and out of the space. When it was not being used it would maintain visual access to the rear shopping and retail areas."

As a result of the meeting, Vince Rice came up with the idea for a massive motorized Venetian blind screen, made of steel, measuring 6 x 5 metres and weighing in at 1.6 tons. Rice explains: "Using a combination of choreographed effects lighting with a quality sound system and a video presentation, all they had to do was turn it all on and it's show time." Rice admits that his choice of Mackie Fussion w

Stardraw & RCI hammer out PanelBuilder
Wednesday, 20 March 2002

RCI Custom has signed a significant development and maintenance contract with software provider to create a new, web-based tool for the design and production of custom control and connection panels. PanelBuilder will be hosted on the RCI Custom website and allows registered users to design, specify and purchase custom panels.

Managing director of Stardraw, David Snipp, explained the background to the deal: "RCI had long been aware of the capabilities of applications like Stardraw Audio, but it was a trade show conversation that made them realise could develop an affordable custom solution. PanelBuilder is based on proven techniques seen in Stardraw applications for years, but it exploits leading-edge software and internet technology."

PanelBuilder is resident on the web server and works from within a browser, so there’s nothing to download or install. It comprises a drag and drop interface linked to a complete library of all of RCI’s panel products, so the user simply selects the panel he or she wants, drags on the connectors that are needed, and sets engraving, finishes, artwork and so on. The resultant design is linked in realtime to sophisticated backoffice systems so that a user will get an automated quote instantaneously.

Users of PanelBuilder can design a connector plate or panel in seconds without the need for complex CAD training and see exactly how it will look. They will also get a price quote and drawing file for that panel immediately, any time of the day or night, even on weekends! The professional quality C

ECA2 in Mexico
Tuesday, 19 March 2002

Yves Pepin, president and creative director of ECA2, and his team, are working on a night-time cultural visit of the archaeological site El Tajin, in the jungle of Veracruz state, eastern Mexico. Sound and light shows will be featured every night from 16 to 23 March 2002, with commentary in Spanish, English, French and Totonac. The total number of shows will be 14. El Tajin is recognised as the cultural birthplace of the Totonac people, the first American Indians encountered by the Spanish conquistador Cortés, in 1519. The site is vast and archaeologically rich, with most of its structures dating from 600-700 AD.

Spectators will be guided, over two hours, in a circular movement over the site, stopping at places to witness various aspects of Totonac culture. A notable feature of the visit will be its personal nature: according to rules set by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, the site cannot have more than 500 spectators per show. "This ‘exclusivity’ will increase each visitor’s feeling of an intense and personal experience," explained Yves Pépin. "Spectators will really ‘feel’ what Totonac life was like, the people’s beliefs and their traditions, as well as their daily life, as conveyed by projected images, special effects, live performances and music."

"Towards the end of the circuit, visitors will stop at the ‘Pyramid of Niches’, the archaeological highlight of the site. This extraordinary structure will be shown and experienced as never before, thanks to dynamic li

Creative Technology gains further industry recognition
Monday, 18 March 2002

Creative Technology has furthered its equipment rental and service standards within the exhibition sector, by building on its existing BECA accreditation through gaining membership to the Association of Exhibition Organisers (aeo).

The aeo is one of the leading voices of the exhibition industry, primarily representing exhibition organizers, but also working with companies in related industries. aeo members are committed to making exhibitions work harder for both exhibitors and visitors and to maintaining the highest standards of professional service.

CT London’s exhibition sales manager Matthew Hunter said: "As a company CT has always strived to make its brand synonymous with quality for technical expertise and service. Joining the aeo sees the natural development of our strategy for working within the exhibition industry and we are delighted to have been accepted by the aeo and look forward to passing on the benefits of our Associate membership to both our existing and new client base alike."

(Ruth Rossington)

Christie introduces three new Vivid LX projectorsChristie introduces three new Vivid LX projectors
Monday, 18 March 2002

Professional projection specialist, Christie Digital Systems, has introduced three new projectors in its new VIVID LX class of multimedia projectors, designed for a broad range of corporate to educational applications.

The VIVID LX35 is a high-quality multimedia projector providing a rich blend of presentation, integration and AV rental capabilities. The VIVID LX26 is the first high-quality multimedia projector that provides a great fixed installation solution and portability, whilst the VIVID LX20 is a high-quality multimedia projector delivering outstanding presentation performance in a compact and lightweight package. All three projectors are perfect for fixed installations, yet portable enough to move from room to room on a corporate or educational campus.

(Ruth Rossington)

Cultural Spectacular in Al-Janadriyah
Friday, 15 March 2002

The 17th National Heritage Festival at al-Janadriyah (situated just outside Riyadh in Saudi Arabia) was the most successful yet. The cream of British production and design talent ensured that the creative elements of this year’s specially commissioned opera provided an unforgettable wow factor for the 1,000 assembled VIPs from across the Middle East, as the nine scenes of the pageant blended together to form an hour-long spectacular.

Organized by the Kingdom of Saudi, this is one of the most important annual cultural festivals in the Arab calendar. The festival has become a crossroads where poetry, intellect, culture, art, theatre, heritage and history meet, and is a fitting tribute to King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Abdullah.

The lynchpin this year was the partnership forged by Najdat Anzour, one of the most eminent and creative producer/directors in the Middle East and Christopher George, whose contribution to British TV scenic design has constantly expanded the boundaries of expectation.

The two men first met on a production called ‘Searching for Salah-al-Deen’, a series of 30 one-hour episodes, about the reclamation of the Holy Lands from the occupied forces of the Crusaders, which blended and paralleled 12th century period scenes with the modern day conflict in the Middle East. On that occasion George helped the director by providing various Crusader props and armouries, and designing a giant catapult, which was fabricated in Syria within 10 days.

Anzour had been asked for a number of years to direct Janadriyah, and when he finally

Imagine Belfast 2008
Friday, 15 March 2002

Fifty mile an hour winds and driving rain didn’t deter the spectacular industrial light and visual show - Nightlights - that launched Imagine Belfast 2008 - the City’s bid to be the European Capital of Culture in 2008.

Nightlights ran for a week and involved projections onto Goliath, one of the two giant cranes at the Harland & Wolff shipyard that dominate the Belfast skyline. It was produced by Production Services Ireland for the Imagine Belfast 2008 organization, with projection by E//T//C UK and lighting by Searchlight Ireland.

The idea of projecting onto the crane evolved as several circumstances fell into place. Imagine Belfast 2008 did an ‘ideas’ postcard mailing to everyone in the city which received an overwhelming response. Thousands of inspirational phrases and slogans reflecting people’s hopes and aspirations for the future of Belfast appeared on the returned postcards.

They wanted to use some of these for the campaign and they also wanted to do ‘something’ with the cranes. Simultaneously, Harland & Wolff also made the historic decision to allow their cranes to be used for a non-industrial purpose for the first time ever.

At this stage, Brian Reilly from Production Services Ireland was brought onboard to co-ordinate the enormous technical and logistical effort needed to bring the launch together. Realising it was not possible to physically attach anything to the cranes, projection was the obvious way forward.

In turn, Reilly approached Peter Canning of High Resolution Lighting in Dublin. Canning has just for

New RADLite on Chemical Brothers’ Tour
Wednesday, 13 March 2002

The RADLite, which combines images, vector shapes, text and video to create a range of visual effects, will get its London debut at the Brixton Academy this month when The Chemical Brothers perform two concerts there on the 18 and 19 March.

The band has already toured with the RADLite in Japan and Australia and will go on to Europe and the US after the UK leg. Lighting designer Andy Liddle first saw the RADLite at PLASA 2001: "It really lived up to my expectations. It can produce so many effects that it’s actually quite hard to decide which ones to use! The ability to insert your own video clips and images, as well as create your own shapes, means that you can really have the show you want."

The Chemicals have hired the RADLite from XL Video. The system comprises a heavy-duty rack mountable black box that holds a hi-spec PC inside, including dual processors and a dual head graphics card. The system is ethernet ready, supporting both ArtNet and Enttec protocols. An Artistic Licence NetLink I/P box is included in the RADLite package for DMX users allowing the RADLite to be controlled through any standard lighting desk. The output is via a projector, videowall, plasma screen or any video display device.

IRAD, the development company behind RADLite, are currently working on upgrading its list of features. The system currently has 44 parameters including full RGB colour mixing for both foreground and background, palette cycling, shape 1, shape 2, rotation, strobe, video overlay, aspect ratio and zoom. IRAD can also offer simple graphics packages to load in

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)

XL Video supplies Jamiroquai tourXL Video supplies Jamiroquai tour
Tuesday, 12 March 2002

XL Video has supplied all the recent live video requirements for the Jamiroquai Funk Odyssey world tour. The six (4 operated and 2 mini cam) camera show was directed by the ebullient Mark Antoniuk.

XL supplied a Digital PPU complete with Grass valley GVG1200 switcher for the mixing, and a Magic DaVE video effects generator. For the vast majority of the set Antoniuk relied on the sheer energy of Jamiroquai’s performance to mix an exciting video show. He used the DaVe’s strobing effects only twice, once at the top of the show and again during Deeper Underground. The camera feeds were beamed onto two portrait format offstage screens - made up of Saco 15 mm LED modules - either side of the stage. The mix was completely live each night, varying as much as the set and the length of the songs often did. The video proved a vital element of the overall show, working in harmony with Vince Foster’s colourful lighting design (operated for the tour by Rob Gawler).

The XL Video crew members (some of whom are pictured) were Roger Nelson (crew chief), Jeroen ‘My Way’ Marain (engineer), Mark Cruickshank (camera) and Frederic Torreele (screen tech and camera). The fourth camera operator was Andy Barr from trucking company Redburn’s.

(Ruth Rossington)

Barco introduces the IQ G300 projector
Tuesday, 12 March 2002

Barco has released the IQ G300 projector, the first in a new series of intelligent projection solutions. The IQ’s feature set provides intelligent solutions for high-end applications, such as meeting rooms, videoconferencing centres, training facilities and auditoriums.

The projector’s picture-in-picture (PiP) feature allows the presenter to display up to four resizable source windows on the screen simultaneously. Operators can display a spread sheet, video clip, presentation and videoconference all on the same screen. The IQ RGB analog input and D-sub input allows simultaneous connectivity of two data sources. These sources include laptops, PCs, Macs or workstations, which allows data to be compared easily and information to be retrieved quickly.

The IQ G300 utilizes 1.3" poly-silicon LCD panels with a native XGA resolution (1024 X 768 pixels), offering a maximum of 3,500 ANSI lumens. The platform is based on a reliable, dual UHP lamp system, with single- or dual-operation mode. In single-lamp mode, smart switching doubles the operation time of the lamp. The IQ features a lamp life of 1,500 hours at dual-lamp operation. In the single-lamp mode, lamp life is doubled (3,000 hours). The IQ G300 is the first of a series of projectors based on the IQ platform.

(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

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)

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

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)

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.

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."

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


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