Continuing its training for excellence programme, Pulsar has announced its seminar schedule for 2001. The Masterpiece training has been expanded to two one-day seminars: the Masterpiece Intensive Seminar will cover basic programming of the desk, whilst the Masterpiece Advanced Seminar will encompass advanced programming techniques. Three different one-day seminars will be available for the Clay Paky range of products: the well-established Service Seminar will now incorporate the Stage Line, in addition to the moving head luminaires; the Display Line Seminar will give delegates practical advice on how to provide lighting solutions using this versatile line of projectors; finally, the Clay Paky Products Seminar will give delegates a good understanding of the entire product range.In addition, Pulsar tell us that tailor-made open days can be arranged to cater for colleges, installation companies, corporate users, etc.
13th Century St. Aldates, one of the oldest buildings in the City of Oxford, has completed phase one of a major reordering project that has resulted in one of the most advanced audio-visual installations in a church in the UK. Lighting Technology was appointed to manage the correlation of the design between the lighting, electrical, audio and video disciplines. The audio and video systems were designed by Brian Chapman of Chapman Communications and installed by Delta Sound whilst LTP's Simon Cooper worked closely with both teams to co-ordinate all the wiring facilities and with the Church's project director Claire McInnes to produce the front end to the system. This is based on an AMX touch-screen and an ETC Unison control with 48 ways of dimming.
Telex Communications Inc has announced several new personnel appointments within the speaker and microphone division of its Telex Pro Audio Group. Mike O’Neill has been named vice-president and general manager for speakers worldwide and for amplifiers in the US, with responsibility for all sales, marketing and development of these products. Previously vice-president of research and development, O’Neill brings more than 25 years of experience to the role of shaping the company’s future market strategies.Joel Johnson, previously product category manager for Telex and EV wireless microphones, now fills the role of general manager for wired and wireless microphones worldwide. Representing another growing area for Telex, Ralph Strader moves up to the position of vice-president and general manager, worldwide, for intercoms. In sales, Tom has been promoted to vice-president of sales for installed sound in the Pro Audio Group.The company has also hired a new director of marketing communications, Kent Rahn. With more than 20 years’ experience in marketing, Rahn will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s marketing communications strategies.Telex Communications is also creating several new positions, including business manager positions, which will be responsible for worldwide product development and strategy. Also, the position of vice-president of professional development will be created in order to focus specifically on pro audio operations and training.
Game shows just aren’t what they used to be and Denmark’s ‘Den Store Mission’ (The Big Mission) just may take the prize for, well . . . best prize.
The Big Mission is already generating a lot of interest in Scandinavia with the winner of the competition earning a trip into space aboard the first commercial spacecraft. The Big Mission went on air in October, billed as a competition whose lucky winner will be crowned "First Dane in Space".
The show consists of several ‘levels,’ each presenting a unique challenge in skills relevant to astronaut training - knowledge, physical skills, teamwork and mental strength. Contestants are eliminated over the course of several half-hour shows until The Finals in which 10 contestants remain. Much in the same style as the popular Survivor show, contestants will be eliminated one by one until a final winner remains. The elimination process will include a trip to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center in the USA, as well as authentic tests previously used to train astronauts.
Martin’s local distributor, Martin Danmark, supplied MAC moving heads including MiniMACs, MX and PAL scanners and a TrackPod followspot system to TV2 studios in Copenhagen. The luminaires were spread across a host of stages and incorporated into the lighting scheme at all levels of the show. Par cans were also used in the lighting scheme. Lighting designer for The Big Mission is Torben Lendorph, with lighting programming completed by Thomas Brockmann.
The annual Entertainment Design magazine awards (EDDYs) will be awarded in a ceremony in New York on 8 December. The Awards are given for outstanding contributions in the field of entertainment design and technology, and will this year be awarded to: the design team for Blue Man Group Live at Luxor (Las Vegas); costume designer Ann Roth, whose credits include films such as The Talented Mr Ripley and The English Patient; the design team for Anne Bogart’s SITI company, including lighting designer Mimi Jordan Sherin and sound designer Darron L West; and Tait Towers, builders of sets for concert tours, whose clients include The Rolling Stones, Tina Turner and U2.In the product categories, Sound Products of the Year are the Digidesign ProTools 5.1 software; JBL’s EVO loudspeaker system; Level Control Systems’ CueConsole; Metric Halo Labs Mobile I/O Firewire; the Neutrik MiniLyzer ML1; and the Soundfield Mark 5 microphone system.The EDDY Awards’ Lighting Products of the Year are the Common Sense interface from Artistic Licence; the Hot Shot Distro Panel from George & Goldberg; the Figment DMX from Interactive Technologies; the IPS Capio dimmer series from Rosco/ET; the Strand SLD dimmer series; and the Vari*Lite VL2402 wash luminaire.
Lighting Technology Group has opened a central London office at the Business Design Centre in Islington. The office will represent all areas of Lighting Technology Group activity but focus on attracting designers, specifiers and potential end-users. "The new office will be an appealing space for architects and designers to come into," said Lighting Technology Projects’ Bruce Kirk. "It will be permanently manned, and there is sufficient space for five staff and the appropriate meeting facilities. Our product and project managers will work between our HQ at Park Royal and the BDC to suit our clients' requirements. Our ultimate aim is to serve and support designers and provide an attractive and welcoming environment in which to discuss and progress their concepts." The showroom's display area will contain a constantly changing animated lighting presentation showing interesting 'old and new' solutions to lighting problems and provide visual demonstrations of new techniques.
GWR Group, the UK commercial radio group, has signed a deal with the Oxford Sound Company, in a contract worth £1m, to carry out the technical fit-out of a new Bristol Digital Broadcasting Centre. In one of the biggest radio contracts in the UK this year, the Oxford Sound Company will fit out 23 on-air production studios and other technical areas for the GWR Group. The deal represents a major investment by GWR Group for GWR-FM and Classic Gold in Bristol, GWR's nationwide programme production unit and GWR Digital, which originates the Digital Radio stations Core and Planet Rock in Bristol.GWR Head of Engineering Tim Donaldson said: The Oxford Sound Company has a proven track record as one of the best system integrators in the country, and I am delighted to have such a professional team on board for this exciting development in the future of the GWR Group.
In order to reinforce HK Audio’s rapidly-accelerating reputation in the UK and Eire, HK Audio distributor John Hornby Skewes & Co has appointed Neville Raine as its new HK Audio specialist. Raine has worked for JHS previously, from 1988 to 1991, completing his time as a sales office manager. More recently, he has had managerial experience with Wharfedale and Fane Acoustics and, latterly, was sales manager for loudspeaker cabinet makers, Leech Manufacturing.
The multi-screen movie complex craze which swept across North America some years ago, has arrived in Italy with an added element of attention getting effect, namely Martin intelligent lighting. The Medusa multi-screen theater in Bologna is a 31,000 square foot theater complex featuring nine separate theatres. Outside the complex two Exterior 600 wash lights bathe the building in a colorful mix of yellows and blues while two PAL 1200 scanners add gobo and logo projection.Inside, in the large foyer, eight MAC 600 wash lights provide the colour wash with eight MAC 250 profile spots adding pattern and logo possibilities. All lighting is controlled from a Martin ProScenium, a DMX lighting control package for multi-media and architectural applications. Audio is provided by eight Mach Installation series M68 in-fill speakers, four Mach M208 subwoofers and four Mach M62 two way, near-field speakers.
City Theatrical and its founder and president, Gary Fails, recently received a Crain’s Small Business Award from Crain’s New York Business. The Award, which recognises companies that contribute to New York both economically and by reaching out to the community, joins the long list of accolades City Theatrical has already received since its founding in 1986. Located in the South Bronx, the company actively recruits and trains employees from the surrounding neighbourhoods. Earlier this year it was named to Inc. Magazine’s Inner City 100, a list of the top companies nationwide operating primarily in inner cities. More recently it has picked up its third ESTA Dealer’s Choice Award in the last four years. The company will be profiled in the December issue of L&SI.
Miss Moneypenny’s at Bonds in Birmingham, reputed to have one of the toughest door policies of any club in the country in terms of client exclusivity, has gone digital with a £60,000 audio system refit. Birmingham-based Dare Professional Audio was responsible for the design and specification of the new system, which was installed by Stagecraft Systems from Cannock. DARE specified a custom-built system loaded exclusively with ElectroVoice components and powered by EV P Series amplifiers supplied by EV’s UK distributor, Shuttlesound. The main system comprised four DARE NX12 mid/high packs; eight DARE TC15 sub-bass cabinets delivering an impressive 1200W each, plus one DARE Bass Quake 4 sub-bass enclosure loaded with four EVX180s. Each driver prodcues a massive 1000W - delivering a total of 4kW from one box. Two DARE Micro 12v2 DJ monitors and eight DARE E18s for the bar areas, controlled by a DARE NX Digital Speaker System Controller, completed the system.
Internationally acclaimed producer Chris Kimsey is moving to Sphere Studios where he is setting up a digital project studio in one of the facility’s six new White Rooms. Best known for his classic work with the Rolling Stones, Kimsey has produced albums for a wide variety of artists including Johnny Hallyday, Killing Joke, Ash, The Chieftains, Soul Asylum and INXS. Currently under construction in Battersea, South London, Sphere is set to rival London’s finest studios when it officially opens as a fully commercial three-studio facility in 2001. The complex will incorporate three main control rooms dedicated to track-laying, stereo mixing and 5.1 surround mixing, plus the six White Rooms that are available for hire by artists and independent producers.
Futurist has won the entire contract for production lighting and entertainment lighting packages for Leeds City Council’s new Millennium Square project in Leeds, West Yorkshire, which has been supported by the Millennium Commission. The contract includes the supply of Avolites control and dimming systems, together with Martin MAC 500 and 600 automated fixtures and an entire rig of theatrical lighting and special effects. The highlight of the contract is the supply and installation of eight laser systems, designed and manufactured by UK-based Laser Electronics Ltd, which use brand new 2.5W DPSS diode technology, developed in-house by the company. The lasers are also the first of their kind to offer full digital blanking capabilities. The systems do not require three-phase power supplies or water cooling, and simply plug in to a 13 amp domestic supply. The systems are currently under manufacture and will be installed ready for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, which will also serve as the Council’s official opening of the project.
Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake has been celebrating its first year of operation. Built with a big (£4.5 million) lottery grant to replace the old Century summer touring theatre which ended its days by Derwentwater, the new theatre opened as a year-round operation, on time and within its £6.25 million budget, in August 1999.
Since then the theatre has opened 10 productions of its own, as well as welcoming touring companies and local amateurs. 75,000 tickets have been sold for over 400 performances, an overall 65% capacity, which compares very favourably with most regional theatres. What used to be a tourist attraction has become a favourite with local audiences too - the number of Cumbrian residents attending performances has increased enormously, and the theatre’s home-grown pantomime attracted a 95% capacity.
Keswick’s residents have something to be proud of in their new theatre, a low-slung, slightly Japanese-looking building (by the MEB Partnership, with Christopher Richardson primarily responsible for the design and theatre consultancy) which sits among trees just a stone’s throw from the lake, looking out across meadowland to the fells. Its least interesting elevation is the one that the visitor sees first, but a large shield bearing the legend ‘Theatre by the Lake’ alleviates the starkness of this view.
The 350-seater auditorium itself is approached from the airy first floor. At first glance, its metal balconies and side-boxes recall the courtyard theatres of Iain Mackintosh, but the normal configuration of the seating is m
The Effects Company was chosen to supply some unique effects equipment to the Casino Estoril in Portugal. The Casino recently carried out a major refurbishment of its 1,500-seat theatre. Lighting designer Andrew Gardener was commissioned to update the facilities, allied to a new production titled Tempo and specified a four-head CO2 jet system, four Cirrus Lowsmoke systems, a Turbo 3000 smoke machine with fan projection, CO2 monitoring system and control systems. The Lowsmokes were installed in four separate stage positions with permanent condensate draining systems and DMX control. During the course of the project, members of The Effects Company team visited the casino several times to ensure that the whole system was installed and working correctly, advising the local technical crew on the correct high pressure CO2 system and electronics/control system.
Denon has announced its first system that incorporates NXT flat panel speakers. The speakers are custom-made by Mission for the Denon AV-F100, DVD-based mini component Home Cinema system. The Denon SCAV-F100 5.1 channel flat panel speaker system is designed for both music and movies and will be sold as part of the new Denon AV-F100 mini-component system, which comprises matching compact Denon DVD Player, Home Cinema Receiver, AV Power Amplifier, fiveNXT flat panel speakers and a powered sub-woofer.
Arup Acoustics has announced the appointment of Colin Waters C Eng MRAeS FIOA, as its head of environmental acoustics, to be based in Cambridge, UK. Waters will build on his considerable expertise in expanding the Arup team that carries out specialist disciplines in the practice of noise assessment and control in the planning context, working from offices in Cambridge, London, Manchester and Winchester. Waters’ experience includes over 30 years in the field of acoustics, including more than 20 years as the principal of Colin Waters Associates.
Bedford-based staging company Star Hire was commissioned by the Tussauds group to work on a series of ambitious firework displays at two leading theme parks. Star Hire provided the structures and stage for Alton Towers as it has for at least 10 years - and for Thorpe Park’s first major public display. The Alton Towers event set a world record for the most rockets fired in one display. A 3.5 tonne floating platform was also constructed in the centre of Alton Tower’s main lake to house the pumps for a massive water screen (supplied by Tim Fothergill of Creative Media Technology). The water screen was used for laser projection to animate the Legend of the Chained Tree spectacular, which also incorporated the sound, lights and LED images to accompany the fireworks. Star Hire also designed and constructed two 15m high towers which housed Gearhouse LED screens and a Wigwam PA - each structure contained six tonnes of water ballast.
Currently wowing theatre-goers in South Africa is African Footprint - a song and dance spectacular, which is set to stride its way into the international arena.
Scheduled to tour Europe later this year, the current home of the production is in the replica of the original 19th century Globe Theatre at Gold Reef City. It was Solly and Abe Krok’s idea to copy the original Globe Theatre at Gold Reef City - a theme park recreating early Johannesburg, taking the opportunity to utilise an intended ‘mini-plex’ cinema whose backers had pulled out.
They brought in consultant Richard Loring, and his production manager Debbie Batzofin, who in turn approached lighting designer Denis Hutchinson. The roof of this intended small cinema was raised by two metres, which allowed seven metres clear over the stage and a balcony in which patrons wouldn’t have to kneel. But even so, it wasn’t possible to include a proper dome in the auditorium (much less a fly tower over the stage). The alternative was a barrel vault ceiling, in spite of the acoustic disadvantages it presented. Fortunately, it was accepted that the type of show staged in the venue would always use amplified sound. Hence acoustically absorbent tiles for the ceiling were specified as part of a scheme to make the room nearly, but not quite, acoustically dead.
Another fortunate outcome was that the control area for both lighting and sound could be incorporated as part of the auditorium. Sound equipment for the 306-seat venue includes a generous 40-channel DDA mixing desk with 64 balanced lines betw
Martin Professional equipment played had a large presence at the Hannover Expo this year; it is estimated that around 60% of all moving lights at the Expo were Martin products. Much of the equipment was supplied by Procon as the general contractor, but also by Martin distributors in the various national pavilions. Martin gear made its presence felt from the very outset. All entrances were lined with Pro 918 scanners along with MAC 500 profiles and MAC 600 washlights, which greeted guests with gobo and color wash projection. And Martin lighting could be found on many of the stages throughout the grounds including the EXPO Plaza (approximately 100 MAC 500s and 600s) and the Belvedere Stage (MAC 500s).Some 175 countries were represented across the huge 160-hectare site in Hannover. Among those utilising Martin equipment as part of their Pavilion presentations were Canada, Monaco, Lithuania (pictured), Britain, Australia, Romania and Belgium. In addition, one of the most popular attractions, the ‘Planet of Visions’ exhibit in Hall 9, which was lit by MAC 500s and PAL 1200 scanners, while PALs were also used to project text in the form of inspirational quotes at the entrance. Lighting designer for Planet of Visions was Harry Gladow.
Thousands of clubbers are preparing for the New Year’s Eve party of a life-time at Gatecrasher NYE in Ireland’s new £93 million, state-of the art millennium arena The Odyssey in Belfast. The NYE event, which will be broadcast live on Radio 1, is the first in a series of Gatecrasher events planned for Northern and Southern Ireland in 2001. As with all Gatecrasher events, clubbers attending can expect light and laser shows, video imagery and state of the art sound. Kicking off proceedings is Radio 1's Judge Jules who will be joined by Kiss FM's Tall Paul.
At the end of October, Elizabeth Hurley brought the ‘Millennium Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ to a dramatic close by switching on the lights that turned the British Airways London Eye. Park Avenue, who designed and realised the Millennium launch of the BA London Eye, created and ran this final event. Led by Producer Ajay Parekh, the internationally renowned team included creative director Andy Bass, lighting designer Paul Cook, Vari-Lite Production Services, SMAC Associates and Set and Stage. The lighting consisted of 64 VL5Arc wash luminaires and four Sky-Art Searchlights powered from two silent generators from Ariba Resources which were sited in a barge moored along side the Millennium Pier in front of the London Eye. The entire system was rigged and tested on the Monday night with Ian Reith, the operator, making only a few minor alterations to the WYSIWYG pre-programmed show, before going live at 8pm on Tuesday 31 October.
Just a quick update to our news item last week (Weds Nov 8) concerning a large quantity of truss stolen from Essex-based lighting and production company Knight International. The 7.5 tonne Iveco Truck, which contained an entire ground support system and two covered PA wings, has now been found, minus all the truss! Phil Knight believes that the truss may have been stolen to order or may be sold back into the industry.Anybody with any information should contact Knight International on +44 1245 362133.
No sooner had Sussex-based Multiform Technology Group announced success at the PLASA Show and set out the showroom to include the newest lighting effects from Meteor and Sagitter, than it began to rain!
Multiform’s factory, in close proximity to the swollen River Uck - one of the worst flooded in the South East - was also built two feet below the eventual high water mark of Uckfield town, and therefore suffered a great deal of water damage on and after October 12th 2000.
Help came from all quarters. Once the water had receded enough for the factory doors to be opened, the Multiform team with the help of visitor John Lethbridge, rolled up their sleeves and took up hose pipes, brooms and buckets to clear the invading mud and water. Managing director, Iain Price-Smith told us: "Multiform would like to assure customers that business will return to normal as soon as possible. A large amount of stock has been destroyed, and production will be disrupted for several weeks, but thanks to the dedication of the staff, our office is now fully operational again and open to business."