Mark White, until recently a member of the team of theatre consultants at the Royal Opera House, is to join ETC Europe on October 2 as sales manager for the UK and Eire. Having been part of the theatre industry since 1985, White's career has included the development of bespoke lighting and control equipment for shows including Cats and Phantom of the Opera . He has also designed lighting and effects for major exhibitions and displays, including Eurodisney, and his extensive knowledge and experience will prove invaluable to the ETC Europe sales team. Mike Lowe, managing director of ETC Europe, told PLASA Publishing: "The addition of Mark, with all his practical experience, demonstrates the fact that ETC continues its commitment to providing the best customer service in the business."
PublicScreen & Lightsystem has joined the growing family of Optiscreen distributors enabling Gearhouse Special Projects to supply more screens to more end users through its specialist distribution force. PublicScreen & Lightsystem have offices in both the UK and Germany and the latest in the Optiscreen family of products will be launched on its stand at Photokina at the end of September.
For the recent opening of the Olympic Arts Festival in Sydney, a series of events was held throughout the day culminating in a performance on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House. The main idea of the show is a ceremony called Tubowgule (the meeting of waters) where the main aboriginal clans of the area meet to welcome foreign visitors to our shores. Lighting designer for the event was Joseph Mercurio joined by the creative team of Stephen Page, David Page and Jenny Irwin. Mercurio used 12 MAC 600s on the stage area, and told us: "I like the colour mix on the MAC600s as well as the beam-shaping. With this show, they mostly went from a full beam to a frost. I use the MAC500s and 600s quite a bit - they always do the job well."Although there was a small stage, 90% of the show happened elsewhere, with the performers spreading out onto the concourse. The Tarpan wall was lit by nine Studio Due City Colors, whilst a prominent tree was lit by a 4K HMI and another City Color. "I hadn't used the City Colors before and I found the output excellent." said Joe. "The beam spread and evenness of light was very impressive. They certainly did the job of lighting the Tarpan wall. I will certainly be using them again as they are a useful architectural fitting." Control was from a Jands Echelon and the lighting equipment was supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems through Martin distributor Show Technology.
Autograph Sound Recording is experiencing a very busy month in preparation for a flood of theatrical events premiering around the county this coming autumn. Autograph will be supplying, installing and, in some cases, designing, the complete sound and communication systems for an eclectic mix of forthcoming premieres including Napoleon - a new musical opening in October at the Shaftesbury Theatre; The Beautiful Game - the latest offering from Andrew Lloyd Webber; The Caretaker - directed by Patrick Marber and sound designed by Simon Baker; Henry V - a timeless classic from the RSC, sound designed by Matt McKenzie; The Secret Garden - a musical version following Henry V also from the RSC and Divas at the Donmar - returning for a third season at the end of August, sponsored by Autograph and sound designed by Andy Brown. The company has spent the last six months investing in new technology and personnel, as well as making some structural improvements to its premises in North West London.
Federal Signal has completed a major £100,000 contract to supply the prestigious Commonwealth Pool in Manchester. The company was contracted to supply and install a combined public address and voice alarm system on behalf of electrical contractors NG Bailey at the complex which, alongside the athletics stadium, will take centre stage in 2002 when Manchester hosts the Commonwealth Games. The contract included products from its Millbank public address brand and elements of data communications from its Akusta range. The facility features an Olympic-size swimming pool, a diving and training pool and a leisure area.
The Showman's Show will take place on Wednesday 18 - Thursday 19 October, 2000, at its regular Newbury Showground location, but this year visitors will notice a new aisle has being added to the show, and there is an increased international presence. here are several areas of the outdoor event industry which will be boasting new developments: The international community has found Newbury with new stands ranging from a Dutch consortium of companies co-ordinated by Festivak and new marquee companies including 'Tentology' from Canada and Spantech from Belgium. Trade associations within the industry will be promoting standards, and this year Newham College will be promoting education via their new rosta of events related courses and qualifications. On-line registration is now available.
The Sanken COS-11 miniature lavalier microphone has proved extremely popular for theatre and film applications where superior sound quality and concealment are demanded. Now Sanken have introduced an improved version - the COS.11s. The new COS-11s features a thicker cable with a 0.5mm jacket - twice as thick as previously. The new cable smoothly matches the entry connector, preventing snags when pulled through hair or clothing. Developed in conjunction with leading sound design companies, the new cable remains soft, pliable and adheres comfortably to the skin, even after extended use. The COS-11s is extremely rugged and impervious to the body humidity associated with rigorous stage film and TV production. Superior sealing between cable and microphone body eliminates ingress of water that can lead to corrosion in inferior lavelier microphones. Ideal for live broadcasting and location recording as well as theatre applications, the COS-11s provides top levels of transient response, extended frequency range and extremely low sensitivity to mechanical noise.
Avolites Hire has supplied ART dimmers for a recent film shoot at Pinewood Studios for the new Meg Ryan movie, Proof of Life. The Avo ART 2000 and 4000 dimmers - four systems of each totalling eight racks - were supplied via Avo's Garry Lodge to main lighting contractor Lee Lighting. Lee's Mark Ackers then co-ordinated all relevant lighting equipment for the film's gaffer John Higgins. The Avo dimmers were controlling all the conventional fixtures on the shoot. This totalled over 500 DMX channels and a mixture of luminaires including practicals, 2Ks, 5Ks and softlights. It was fundamental that the dimmers were capable of allowing them to turn all the lights on full, and leave them running for 14 hours. The shoot lasted two months, during which time all the interior scenes of the house in the movie were shot. The exterior scenes and footage had previously been shot on location in Ecuador.
L-Acoustics, distributor for The Netherlands Ogip Audio & Lights, has provided leading European leisure park operator CenterParcs with an SMPTE-controlled audio and light show. Ogip Audio & Lights BV has provided the complete technical package for the spectacular Market Dome entertainment show. Michiel Illy, head of Center Parcs' special products and development department, commented: "The overall idea of the new show is to create a theatrical show programme throughout the whole area, with the audience becoming part of the show."L-Acoustics EX-112 processor-controlled 12" coaxial full-range loudspeakers are installed with L-Acoustics SB-115 bass extensions. The recently launched L-A17 power amplifier powers the total sound system. Ashly's new Protea equaliser is used for tonal balance adjustments and time alignment. The complete system is controlled by a Akai 4-track hard-disk recorder generating L-R stereo signals, as well as the SMPTE code connected to a Yamaha 01V for the sound and a MA-scancommander for the Martin Roboscans and Robocolors, as well as DMX strobes and theatre profiles.
The Centre for Visual Arts in Cardiff is to close in November with the loss of 40 jobs, due to low visitor numbers. The Centre is the largest gallery in Wales showing new and historical art from Wales and around the world. It is also home to Fantasmic, one of the UK's only hands-on interactive galleries. In an announcement on the venue's website, the trustees state that the decision has been forced upon them by the refusal of the officers of the Arts Council of Wales to work with them to explore the ways forward recommended in the independent review of the Centre. During the period before final closure, the Trustees hope that the Chairman and Council of ACW will convince the National Assembly of the value of implementing the preferred option recommended by the independent report.
Bandit Lites has introduced a new motor control system which fully conforms with all European directives. Bandit's design engineers spent over two years of extensive R&D working on the project and consulting with several prominent European manufacturers, including ETC and Martin Professional, while developing the system. The new motor control has full fault-detection systems integrated into the design and is currently being used on a number of Bandit Lites shows in Europe, including Feet of Flames, Lord of the Dance and Paul Weller.
Costa Cruises' newest and largest ship, the 2,680 passenger Costa Atlantica, became the company's flagship after joining the fleet at the inaugural ceremony in Venice last month. Built at the Kvaerner Masa yard in Helsinki, the Costa Atlantica is as tall as a 20-storey building, with a surface area 20 times the size of the Olympic stadium in Rome. It has seven bars, a two-level restaurant, café, gym, beauty salon, spa, casino, conference room and three swimming pools. The audio equipment for all public areas, including the 1,000 seat Caruso Theatre, was supplied and installed by MAVCO. The main theatre uses a Midas XL4 fully-automated audio mixer, together with a Midas XL3 side-wing mixer. 90 EAW loudspeakers, together with another 60 Renkus-Heinz and Macpherson loudspeakers provide sound to the audience of 1,170 guests, in an auditorium consisting of both stalls and an upper circle. Processing is via a Media matrix digital sound processor and 54 Crest CKS amplifiers are controlled by Crest's NexSys computer control system.
Amsterdam's Het Muziektheatre, home of the Dutch National Ballet and the Netherlands Opera, recently completed the final phase of a major new sound system installation. Last summer, a full FOH system was installed using Apogee ALA-3s, FH-2s, SSMs and AE-12s. This summer, a complete refurbishment of the ambient surround system was on the docket. A total of 60 Apogee SSMs and 15 custom-built subwoofers were installed at the rear of the seating areas. The five-channel ambient system is used to reproduce sound effects for opera and ballet, and it doubles as the speaker system for 'LARES,' an artificial reverberation enhancement system. Audio director, Hans-Willem de Haan, says: "The change out to the SSMs radically improved the sound quality and believability of the electronically generated reverberation field. And the wide frequency response and power handling of the SSMs let's us programme any effect we like."
Chichester-based new product patenting and development company Patent Plan has seen an idea it protected in 1998 evolve into a product that now plays an integral role in the structure of the Millennium Dome. Kit Grundy, MD of Patent Plan was approached in 1998 by Michael Russell, MD of Arc Lighting, a lighting design and development company on the Isle of Wight, to protect the intellectual property of Arc's illuminated flooring system. Once the illuminated flooring system's patent protection was in place, Arc Lighting was approached by Dome architects who wished to use it to form the Money Zone's Investment Bridge. After the architects had seen the potential of the flooring system in greater detail, Arc was asked if the system could also be used for the exterior of the Money Zone. The company manufactured and installed 630sq.m of slim light boxes which weighed in excess of 25 tonnes and consumed 45,000W. Arc's flooring system has now gone on to win a SMART Award.
PLASA Publishing has learned that Robert Bell, one of the three co-founders of Canadian software specialist CAST Lighting, has left the company to move on to new projects. CAST Lighting is best-known for its highly-popular WYSIWYG lighting design softare. Bell, who is currently working with John Rayment on the lighting of the Olympic Games in Sydney, says he has no precise plans at present, but is excited about the future.
The BBC is to close its studios at Pebble Mill, Birmingham, with the loss of 90 staff. According to reports, modern technology is now allowing programme makers to operate outside of a studio setting, so some facilities are no longer needed. Pebble Mill will continue with 600 people and will make location-based lifestyle programmes.
Sennheiser UK is supplying alarge and on-going number of DAS Audio sound systems for installation by Eclipse Lighting & Sound in the rapidly-growing chain of Revolution Vodka Bars openign across the country, operated by Manchester-based Inventive Leisure. Eclipse's John Fearon said that the DAS speakers fitted the bill perfectly: "We essentially use white DAS DS8 and DS12 full-range speakers, with SUB18 bass reflex enclosures and the CT-1 system controller. DAS is perfect for this type of install. The build quality is very good and the sound is exceptional."
English Heritage has recently employed the services of audio-visual specialist DJ Willrich to recreate the atmosphere of a 17th Century riding school at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire, through the use of sound. By using a 10-channel sound system and a Maris Stinger to synchronise all the events, including lighting, DJ Willrich has risen to the task, so that visitors to the Castle can now close their eyes and imagine themselves standing in the middle of the riding school as it was more than 300 years ago. A host of sounds, including the horses moving about the school, the voice of the riding instructor, the tack and the onlookers, including Lord and Lady Cavendish themselves, combine to recreate the highly-realistic atmosphere which, according to the Chairman of English Heritage, is "a triumph".
One of the highlights of the German heavy-metal calendar, the recent 'Bang Your Head' festival in Balingen attracted over 10,000 head-bangers for two days of high culture with bands such as Scorpions, Saxon and Running Wild. Sound was once again supplied by event regulars Prolite and Media Systems, who used 30 horn-loaded HK Audio R-Series RT 112 12" / 2" mid/high enclosures along with 74 horn-loaded RL 118 (1 x 18") subs. Fifteen pairs of each were flown on each side of stage, with the remaining 44 subs were split into groups of four along the stage front. The system was controlled via a notebook computer and a network of HK Audio Digital Field Controllers, operated by engineers Alex Baron and Rob Hodgkinson. Each of the front-of-house engineers, Ernst Seider and Tom Pätsch, had his own Yamaha PM3500 mixing console, enabling them to alternate mixing duties to provide smooth change-overs between the 22 bands at the event.
Two of the leading companies in the lighting industry have announced an alliance that will make them an even more powerful force in the lighting industry worldwide. CAST Lighting of Toronto, Canada, and Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) of Middleton, Wisconsin, are co-operating in an OEM deal that will see CAST's pioneering lighting visualisation software closely integrated into the range of ETC's advanced lighting control systems. Fred Foster, founder and CEO of ETC, told us: "This relationship is the opportunity to combine the best of both worlds, and it opens the door to exciting new possibilities in the future."
Leading systems integrator Integrated Circles has installed an outdoor rear projection display screen for Railtrack. Situated on the main square at London's Euston Station, the screen forms the focal point for the information window display seen by tens of thousands of commuters every day. Simon Beer, MD of Integrated Circles, was concerned about the ambient light levels in the station, and after carrying out tests, opted for a combination of the dnp 84" Black Stripe screen with Sanyo XF 10N LCD projector, offering 3000 ANSI Lumens. Beer told us: "It's all about delivering contrast, because a washed-out image is often quite bright enough - it's just that the ambient light is overpowering the dark parts of the picture. So the combination of contrast enhancement filter systems from dnp and good contrast from the Sanyo has made this very successful." The system was provided by Paradigm AV, the UK distributor for dnp.
NJD has introduced the Mirage - a colour-changing downlighter and truss light, which uses red, green and blue colour-mixing (three 50W, 12V dichroic lamps) to produce 65,000 colours. Measuring 127 x 121 x 81mm, the polished aluminium Mirage unit can be fixed directly to the ceiling or, with a 'Downlight' fixing kit, fitted into a standard 140mm round hole for suspended ceilings. A power pack can power two Mirage heads, controllable via DMX, MIDI or 0-10V. The Mirage units are available in either polished aluminium, gold, black or white anodised aluminium, and can accept two different lamp types for wide (wash) or narrow (highlight) angle applications.
Apogee Sound International has reinforced its current European distribution channels by the addition of two new partners, Lightfactor Sales (LFS) in the UK and KEM Electronics in Greece. Lightfactor Sales is a long established UK- based distributor, servicing all areas of the pro entertainment and leisure industry, whilst KEM Pro Sound & Vision Systems is a distributor of pro-audio products.
Former deputy show director of the Cosmopolitan Show, Matt Briggs, has joined brand experience consultancy Hotcakes as a full-time producer. The appointment of Briggs, who has worked closely with Hotcakes for the past two years in producing Cosmopolitan Show's award-winning catwalk show, underlines Hotcakes' push to recruit skilled individuals from a variety of sectors. His responsibilities will include the initiation and management of projects, close client liaison, co-ordinating the teams allocated to each event, controlling and managing budgets and production schedules and identifying and acting on opportunities as and when they arise.