Autograph Sound Recording has announced the promotion of Andy Brown to operations manager, a role that will engage him in leading the company's established sound rental business into a new era. His new role will involve liaising with the in-house sound designers, production sound engineers and hire department. Further to Brown's appointment, two new production sound engineers - Alex Apthorpe and Ken Hampton - will be joining the Autograph team. Apthorpe has spent three years working in the sound department at the National Theatre and will look after Autograph's audio software library and installations whilst Hampton will be bringing with him excellent sound engineering skills particularly in the specialist field of large-scale theatrical touring production. Chairman Andrew Bruce has also signalled Autograph’s intention next year to strengthen the team further with additional engineering personnel.
This was the request given to Vertigo Rigging by production company Action Time TV for a special edition of Celebrity Auctions recorded at London Weekend Television! The chosen three - hard to pick from Vertigo's team of suave, slick, and ultra cool riggers - were Ken Mehmed, Paul Darby and Dave Brierly. Donning DJ', bow ties and an air of sophistication, they descended onto stage via a smooth, stylish abseil from the studio roof - half way through the show - which was presented by Sean Bean. Earlier in the day, the Vertigo Bonds - more practically clad, rigged their abseil lines in the roof, plus some custom-fabricated 'Boson's' chairs, constructed in the Vertigo workshop. The latter were fixed up in the roof to enable the Bonds to sit and wait for their cue in comfort. The feat was performed flawlessly, followed by a round of Martinis - shaken not stirred to ensure the Bond myth was faithfully adhered to. No-one is commenting on who got the beautiful girl!!
London is to have its first new producing theatre since the National Theatre opened in 1976. Hampstead Theatre has won a major £9.85 million capital grant from the Arts Council of England for a new landmark development, the total cost of which will reach £15million. The Theatre's currrent building, a portakabin erected in 1962 to last 10 years, is nearing collapse and work on the new venue, which will be sited close to the existing theatre, is about to commence. Designed by Bennetts Associates, the new theatre, which will open in late 2002, will be translucent, with an adaptable elliptical aditorium.
During the recent PLASA Show, Zero 88 held a competition to win special 'silver edition' versions of its Elara and Alcora desks. The winner of the Alcora was ex-Rose Bruford college student, Ianto Guy who correctly identified that Zero 88 was founded in 1972. He was one of a number of students who benefited from using the desk during his studies. Zero 88 has supported the college's lighting design course through the donation of control desks since 1998, and is continuing its commitment by donating its latest Illusion 240 console in November. Guy now runs his own company in Powys where he provides education on lighting issues to amateur groups, small theatres and schools. He also acts as a consultant to National Lottery Grant winners. Ianto Guy is pictured receiving his Alcora desk from Claire House and Cheryl Ryan of Zero 88.
The Ministry of Sound is to stage a 12-hour New Year's Eve Party at the Millennium Dome. The event will take place in the buildings around the Dome including the adjacent Skyscape structure dubbed by many the Baby Dome. Just under 40 DJs will be there on the night alongside chart act Artful Dodger. In preparation for the event, the Dome itself will close at 6pm on December 31 with a final performance of the Central Show.
Fourth Phase, the newly branded lighting arm of Production Resource Group (PRG) has announced a number of staff changes and office relocations. Jeff Senkovich was recently appointed chief operating officer of the PRG Lighting/Audio Group. He has been with PRG since 1997, joining the company as south east regional manager. Industry veteran Martee Nuruddin, previously general manager of Fourth Phase Orlando (Vanco), is now a group vice-president of Fourth Phase, responsible for the rental sales and operations of Fourth Phase New Jersey (Production Arts), Fourth Phase Orlando, Fourth Phase Las Vegas (Cinema Services) and Fourth Phase Burbank (Production Lighting Systems. Mark Rabinowitz, formerly the Orlando operations manager, has been appointed general manager of Fourth Phase Orlando. John Monaco, meanwhile, has come on board as vice-president of operations at the Las Vegas location with Pat Little, previously operations manager of Fourth Phase Las Vegas named general manager of that location. Concurrent with the rebranding, the offices of PLS and Production Arts West are relocating to new facilities, and will be known as Fourth Phase Burbank and based at 3750 Cohasset Street in Burbank. On the UK front, the Image Systems Group welcomes Emma Hutchison, who has joined Fourth Phase West London (Production Arts Europe) as sales manager. She will oversee the all sales activities for the Acton location.
At the close of the LDI exhibition on Sunday evening at the Sands Convention Center, Las Vegas, the show was being hailed as the biggest, busiest and most successful LDI yet. In addition to its regulars, the show boasted no less than 65 first-time exhibitors, while the visitors were out in force. Speaking at the LDI Awards ceremony on Saturday evening, LDI's Jacqueline Tien said that with more than 12,000 visitors through the doors, LDI 2000 had already outstripped last year's visitor total, with a day left to run.
LCS will introduce, through its newly-appointed UK distributors Sound Dept, the CueConsole - a modular control surface which replaces the conventional front-of-house sound mixer. CueConsole's new approach to digital control surfaces is its adaptable modularity. Four types of control modules interface with the core of the system - the SuperNova or new Matrix3 audio engines. (The foundation of Matrix3 is the 3U LX-300 frame. Up to 32 of these frames can be linked in a fault-tolerant network, supporting a maximum of 400 audio inputs and 512 audio outputs.) The modules are flexible in that they can be configured in whatever way is most convenient for the sound designer/engineer. Because CueConsole is merely a control surface, with no audio passing through it, the interface back to the audio engine is standard network interface cable. As a result, the modules can be set up in the conventional front-of-house position, or alternatively different modules can be sited in different locations.
Cheshire-based Federal Signal has opened its first London office. Based in Tapping Street in Docklands, the new office provides a regional marketing and sales base to support Federal Signal's strategy of designing and developing voice alarm systems based on its Millbank range. The company, which works for London customers such as the London Underground, has recently launched a range of new products under the Millbank brand. These include the multi-zone broadcast voice alarm system Verifire, Talisman III dynamic audio induction amplifiers and Ultima II integrated PA amplifiers. Area sales manager Darren Morgan will head up the London operation.
The industry rumour-mill has gone into overdrive following the news of the arrest of four individuals in connection with irregularities at the Dome. The arrests came part-way through Scotland Yard's investigation into fraud allegations at the Dome and followed scrutiny of the way in which contracts were awarded. According to a report on the Financial Times' website on October 14, the arrests were to do with the procurement of a contract by a south-east London lighting maintenance company, and focused on a number of individuals working at the Dome. PLASA Publishing contacted both Scotland Yard and the NMEC, but both refused to comment, the latter only willing to say that its internal control system had identified the irregularities and the matter was now in the hands of the police.
After several months of negotiations, Stagetec (UK) Ltd has been awarded the entire technical equipment supply and installation contract for the Zion Arts Centre in Manchester. The installation includes a lighting system with Compulite Micron 4D console, the new CompuDIM 2000 digital dimmer racks, Robert Juliat and Selecon luminaires fitted with Compulite colour scrollers, a sound system with Nexo speakers, Crown amplifiers and Allen & Heath mixing consoles, a full AV system with projection screens, digital projectors and monitoring equipment, curtain tracks and a communication and paging system. The project is funded by the Arts Council and is due to open towards the end of November. The project specification has been drawn up and will be overseen by technical consultant Steve Curtis from the Green Room in Manchester.
The annual LDI Show has just finished its run at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas and early reports suggest that this was a busy and successful Show (more show news in the next few days). One of the highlights of the event is the annual awards presentation which took place on Saturday, October 21. The Wally Russell Award for lifetime contribution went to San Miller, chief executive officer and chairman of Rosco Laboratories. Miller is the only person ever to be named both a Fellow of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and a member of the American Society of Cinematographers. Having graduated from Brown University in 1954, Miller served in the US Army until 1956, and acquired Rosco in 1958. The Best Widget Award went to American Harlequin for its new storage bag. In the design categories, the Lighting Designer of the Year Awards are divided into three areas. Dawn Hollingsworth picked up the architecture award, Tom Ruzika, collected the themed award and Patrick Woodroofe was honoured in the entertainment category.Coemar's CF7 was voted the Entertainment Lighting Product of the Year, whilst Martin Professional added to its raft of PLASA Awards by collecting the Architecture Lighting Product of the Year for its Exterior 300. On the audio front, Level Control Systems' Cue Console was recognised as the Sound Product of the Year, with Honourable Mention going to Wireworks Wirelux cables. Tony Meola was voted Sound Designer of the Year. Pathport picked up the Best Software Product Award for its Pathway Connectivity system and Dataton's Watchout was aw
G-E-T.com, the UK's trading portal for the entertainment industry, has formed a strategic alliance with Navigator Systems. The collaboration is seen as an opportunity for both companies to develop an integrated internet trading platform, utilising a combination of Navigator System's HireTrack Eclipse package and G-E-T's product-led internet search engine. G-E-T users sourcing equipment through the portal will benefit from faster, targeted product searches. Companies subscribing to G-E-T will be given the option to batch upload their equipment to G-E-T's search system via HireTrack with minimal inputting required. G-E-T will also benefit from the addition of Navigator's customers to its database. The ultimate aim of the alliance is to help companies market their rental equipment to the hire market by developing a fast, industry-targeted search and product request platform.
In a radical overhaul of their dimmer portfolio, Strand Lighting has announced the first models in an advance new programmed known as the SLD Series. The range has been ruggedly designed from the ground up - creating an architecture based on optimum usability and built with state-of-the art, entertainment specific components. Designed to interface fully with Strand's proprietary ShowNet Ethernet system, the SLD dimming system provides a wide range of inputs as well as presets for its Outlook architectural system, along with 99 system wide control back-up presets with individual fade times.
Current Events International, a technical production company offering lighting, audio and production management services, equipment rentals, and systems integration, has relocated and expanded its San Francisco facility. The company has moved to a larger facility in Oakland, occupying over 17,000sq.ft of office and warehouse space. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, Current Events International is an award-winning technical production company with full service facilities in San Francisco and Washington, DC.
The world-famous Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) has re-equipped its five-studio recording complex with DAS Monitor 6 close field monitors throughout. The order for 13 units includes the upgrading of studio 2 to full 5.1 surround sound production capability. The new Monitor series from DAS Audio marks the company's return to the studio market after almost 30 years of exclusively designing and manufacturing sound reinforcement systems.
Edwin Shirley Staging (ESS), the international staging and structure specialist, is helping to bring international stars De La Guarda to audiences in Las Vegas for the first time. ESS has built the 18m high structure using ESS' successful Tower Systems that will house the acrobatic extravaganza. The $1.2million contract is the first major contract to be completed by ESS' new US office based in Austin, Texas. ESS Inc was formed in May this year when Edwin Shirley Staging took over the operations of Upfront Inc. ESS' staging will help bring the show to life with a 30m x 20m x 18m high structure. The structure forms part of the Rio Hotel complex in the heart of Las Vegas and will remain there for three years, the duration of the show. The production, called 'Villa Villa' is the same show that was performed to great acclaim in London's Roundhouse last year and still playing off Broadway in New York.
Essential Lighting has appointed Peter Feeney, Toby Hughes and Martin Lubach to its board of directors. This recognises the long standing commitment and contribution they have made to the business and will add a broader base of experience for the future development of the company. At the same time Simon Clench will be joining Essential as production electrician to provide support and a resident client link for its project managers.
MTFX now manufactures both 'Poly Packman' snow and 'Paper Packman' snow. These are fully flame retardant, does not clog the machine and can be used for dressing a set. The company has also added to its sales inventory a complete range of CO2 fired confetti cannons which includes a basic Kanji kit.
Sister companies Christie Inc and Christie Digital Systems Inc plan to form one company under the name Christie Digital Systems. The merger, expected to be finalised in April next year, will create one company dedicated to providing projection solutions for cinemas, conference centres, large venues, the rental and staging markets, and the emerging digital cinema marketplace. Under the new organisation, Christie Digital Systems Inc will maintain headquarters in Cypress, California and Kitchener, Canada. The company will continue to operate regional sales and marketing offices in Canada, Europe, Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US. Manufacturing operations will be based in California and Canada.
DJ equipment manufacturer Entertainment Technology, part of the Leaf Group, has announced a new appointment to its team, with Paul Smith joining as product/sales manager for the Titan DJ brand. Smith previously worked with Sapphires Retail.
Are you a lighting student eager to visit the only International Colloquium on Entertainment Lighting? If so, Showlight 2001 may be able to offer you the opportunity of a lifetime! Exhibitors at Showlight have the option to sponsor one entertainment lighting student, to enable people at all levels of the profession to attend and participate. The essence of Showlight is to encourage attendees to talk, discuss ideas and mix with some of the top names from theatre, television, film and architectural and themed lighting, and the list of exhibitors encompasses some of the top names in the industry, including DHA Lighting, ETC Europe, Strand, White Light and Wybron, with confirmed speakers from the worlds of themed entertainment, television and outdoor events. For further details contact Ruth Rossington, Showlight 2001, telephone +44 (0) 1323 418401.
The University of the Highlands and Islands Project (UHI), which runs one of Europe's largest teaching and learning videoconferencing networks, has further enhanced its provision by adding beyerdynamic's MCW wireless conference system. Known as the 'Mediawall', the system incorporates the very latest in presentation technology and was supplied and installed by McMillan Aberdeen under the guidance of Graham Stellard who coordinated the project. The beyerdynamic MCW system was integrated to expand the operational facilities by allowing groups of people to exchange information emulating a lecture theatre situation as well as being used for management meeting by the University's governing principles.
Built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1685, the Royal Hospital in Chelsea is a retirement home for old soldiers - the famous Chelsea Pensioners. The London landmark was an unusual venue for a technically sophisticated son et lumiere show, 'Men in Scarlet', commemorating its 300 year history. The Hospital itself acted as the projection screen, and backdrop for the light show, while the soundtrack was presented in surround sound. Manning the 48-input Midas Heritage console for a week of shows was Huw Richards, for many years the FOH engineer for Oasis - which some might say was ideal preparation for mixing a soundtrack of great British battles. He and his system techs Iain Reinhold and Jonathan Hitching battled torrential rains to present a soundtrack so accurate and realistic that one member of the audience suffered a heart attack. SSE Hire of Birmingham provided a predominantly NEXO Alpha sound system which was controlled by a TiMax acoustic imaging system from Outboard Electronics.