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Archive by David Steinberg

San Antonio’s Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Chooses Clay Paky Lighting for Performance Spaces

San Antonio’s new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts will open in September with a complement of Clay Paky Alpha Spot QWO 800 fixtures dedicated to both the H-E-B Performance Hall and the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater.

Rising behind the façade of the former San Antonio Municipal Auditorium along downtown’s famed River Walk, the 1,750-seat multi-purpose venue will be the home of the San Antonio Symphony and other resident companies. It also plans to offer a diverse array of entertainment from comedy legend Bill Cosby and radio icon Garrison Keillor and “The Prairie Home Companion” to the Scottish Ballet’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

The four-level H-E-B Performance Hall is the largest of the Tobin Center’s performance spaces; the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater is a black box-style space with multiple seating options. Dealer Texas Scenic and rep Roy Harline are providing the Clay Paky products.

Six Clay Paky Alpha Spot QWO 800s were selected as “the best fit” for both performance spaces. “We required, quiet, low-maintenance fixtures that offer a variety of design options and would last for many years,” says Tobin Center Technical Director Stefan De Wilde. “Following extensive research, The QWO 800s had the smallest footprint, the lightest weight and the least amount of ambient noise. Their efficient lamp also has incredible output. The QWO 800s are also extremely flexible since they can be used as a wash or a spot fixture.”

The fixtures will be shared by both the H-E-B Performance Hall and the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “The Tobin Center is a great space and we’re proud to be a part of it. We congratulate Mr. De Wilde and everyone involved.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.

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HUD’s Brooke-Mondale Auditorium Chooses Vista Systems’ Spyder

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) in Washington, D.C. has upgraded its Brooke-Mondale Auditorium with a Vista Systems Spyder image processor supporting a Christie MicroTiles videowall.

The Brooke-Mondale Auditorium holds about 300 people for webcasts, large training sessions, town halls and meetings with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. It previously featured a video projection system for speaker support.

“We needed to improve our visuals,” says Bill Amos, operations manager in HUD’s office of broadcast operations. “Everything in the auditorium requires visual support and what we had looked old. It was time for an update.” So Amos tasked OMNITEC Solutions, Inc. in Bethesda, Maryland with finding a “reasonably priced display solution that delivered the quality we were looking for.”

A technology solutions company with many customers in the government and military sectors, OMNITEC provides managed services for HUD. The company maintains a 14-person team to run the day-to-day audiovisual, event and video production operations for the agency. OMNITEC also converted the entire HUD broadcast and audiovisual facilities from standard definition to full 1080i HD/SDI processing.

While OMNITEC explored several technology solutions for the auditorium Amos says, “There was never any doubt that we’d use Spyder – it’s unmatched for what it can do and its price.”

Paul Royston, program manager at OMNITEC, reports that, “the scalability of the Spyder was overpowering. For that we needed to use if for – PowerPoints, multiple video roll- ins, graphic elements – to be able to manipulate multiple streams off one box was a big point in Spyder’s favor. The other solutions we considered needed multiple devices to do that.”

The next issue was what display to combine with the Spyder for maximum impact. HUD opted for a 16×9-foot Christie MicroTiles wall constructed on a permanent riser stage. Sources are a Ross switcher, several computers to display Internet media and PowerPoint presentations, and Harmonic’s Omneon video server. “Our Spyder has eight inputs, and we use six of them continually,” Amos explains. “Spyder is very versatile in handling these and additional sources.”

The Brooke-Mondale Auditorium is a “workhorse” venue operating approximately six hours a day, Amos notes. “We do a lot of webcasting, often with PowerPoint. Now that we have the MicroTiles wall we can use it as a scenic element behind presenters. We like to use the Spyder to put up colors to accent the presenter without distracting from their presentation; we get a nice separation between the speaker and the background – it’s a really nice effect.”

Spyder also provides more complex visuals. “Our public affairs department commented on the ‘wow factor’ that the Spyder brings to presentations,” Amos says. “It manipulates video, graphics and PowerPoints. It splits the screens and shows different resolutions. The Spyder can provide a subtle background when needed or really catch the eye.”

The upgraded auditorium has already hosted several town halls, the Secretary’s Awards for Exceptional Service ceremony, and an 80th anniversary celebration for HUD’s FHA division. For the latter event the Spyder showcased an anniversary video and the FHA’s new logo – “Spyder really made it pop on the MicroTiles,” Amos recalls.

“Spyder came out of the box, went into the rack and is delivering as advertised,” says Amos. “Spyder is also much more user-friendly than its competitors led us to believe.”

About Vista Systems
Vista Systems’ switchers have become the industry standard for live multiple-destination video and data mixed signal switching with real-time windowing and composition. For more information on Vista Systems, visit their website at www.vistasystems.net.

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Clay Paky Shotlight Washes Rock at Back-to-Back Outdoor Concerts

Clay Paky Shotlight Wash fixtures really rock. In fact, they took to the stage for two back-to-back concerts in May: the MMR*B*Q, the annual show from Philadelphia rock radio station 93.3 WMMR where Rob Zombie headlined, and the WRFF-FM Seventh Birthday Show where Foster the People headed the bill.

John Duncan of Pinpoint Lighting, the festival lighting designer for both shows, says the same rig stayed in place for MMR*B*Q and WRFF’s Seventh Birthday Show at the outdoor Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey. Ten Shotlight Washes obtained from Main Light Industries in Wilmington, Delaware were mounted on the downstage truss for the shows.

“The rig’s overall design was a standard festival plot,” he says. “It’s just that every year everyone wants it brighter. So the Shotlight was perfect for this application.”

Clay Paky’s Shotlight Wash combines a 1500W discharge lamp wash light and a 3000W Xenon lamp strobe in one device. The two wash/strobe functions are perfectly integrated and can be operator-controlled with either simultaneous or separate operation and special effects. The strobe function is provided by two semicircular Xenon lamps working independently so they can flash together or separately at different frequencies.

The wash light section features an optical unit with extremely high luminous efficiency; an 11º-74º electronic zoom; an array of filters; a hybrid dimmer; and three-phase pan/tilt motor for perfectly silent operation.

Duncan had previously used Shotlights on an indoor show and found that he could “wash the entire stage with just four of them. They were really bright, and I needed something big, bad and bright for the back-to-back festivals.”

John Bailey, the lighting designer for Rob Zombie, was initially supposed to use another light as a “good front light” for the singer. “But when I heard the Shotlights were going to be used, I was happy. I was very glad to see a bigger lamp. Ten on the downstage truss was more than enough.”

For Rob Zombie’s act Bailey ran four 9×12-foot scrims with images on them around the stage. “It took only two Shotlights to wash all that for me,” he reports. “They were really perfect for this type of thing. My color palette for Rob is very saturated, and these lights mixed them really well. I was also very impressed with the strobes.”

Duncan says the Shotlight Washes performed “excellently” for the duration of both rock concerts. “We didn’t have one problem with them.”

Bailey calls the fixtures “really amazing” and says, “I look forward to using them again.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “The Shotlight’s brightness combined with the innovative effects seemed perfect for this application and I’m glad they could function so well for these great lighting designers.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.

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Alcorn McBride Equipment Provides Audio and Control for “Your Brain,” a New Exhibition in The Franklin Institute’s Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion

Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute recently opened the most significant expansion in the museum’s history. Alcorn McBride’s ProTraXX and VCore controller played key roles in “Your Brain,” a high profile, permanent exhibition. Entertainment Lighting Services (ELS), a leading supplier and integrator of lighting and staging equipment, as well as a full range of production services, provided the gear for the signature exhibit housed in The Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion.

“Your Brain” is the largest exhibition in the country dedicated to the most complex and misunderstood vital organ in our bodies. It features more than 70 interactive experiences, including a two-story climbing structure that simulates a neural network with dynamic lighting and sound effects triggered by footsteps. A Street Scene area enables visitors to travel through a scenario filled with multi-sensory information and scenes from everyday life.

ELS was brought in by the design firm Available Light to furnish lighting and audio integration for the Neural Climb and Street Scene areas of “Your Brain.” Selecting Alcorn McBride equipment was a no-brainer for Steve Prado, Senior Project Manager at ELS, who has specified Alcorn products a number of times. “From a show control trigger and front-end perspective Alcorn is always my first choice. They have great equipment and clearly have been through everything, so I know they’ll be familiar with anything I do. That was validated by The Franklin Institute’s tech crew: When they saw our rack they recognized Alcorn McBride and thought it was perfect. That was great from a maintenance service standpoint – I wasn’t bringing in an unknown manufacturer.”

Street Scene takes visitors on a walk down a small-town Main Street where they see and hear typical sights and sounds. “Alcorn McBride’s ProTraXX supplies audio effects playback on a loop that the sound designer Karin Graybash and ELS tech Chuck Schoon worked through and programmed,” says Prado. “It’s a pretty straightforward application” for the compact, solid-state MP3 playback unit.

“The lighting and sound effects incorporated into the Neural Climb immerse the visitor and reinforce the concept that the brain is a very active place. It demonstrates the complexities of what goes on in your brain,” Prado says. “The space is like a voyage inside the brain, walking through and seeing synapses trigger and fire. There are five glass disks mounted on the floor and when you stand on them your footsteps trigger a series of lighting and audio cues. By using a VCore controller we can shuffle the cues randomly. When you stand on a trigger it’s not specific to the location, it’s random. The intent was to create a non-repetitive perception of the fact that nothing ever happens twice – and it’s been very successful in its implementation.”

Prado reports that the system is working well. “Alcorn McBride really is the gold standard. And the company is spot on in terms of customer service. They are always responsive and understand the kind of deadlines and last-minute decisions that get made. Alcorn McBride is one of my go-to manufacturers.”

Located in the heart of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute is renowned as a leader in the field of science and technology learning and is Pennsylvania’s most visited museum. The new 53,000-square foot, $41 million Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion, named for its lead donors, opened to the public on June 14. The Frank Baldino, Jr. Gallery in the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion houses the museum’s largest permanent exhibition, “Your Brain,” plus a traveling exhibition gallery, and a conference and education center.

About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. Staffed by some of the industry’s best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market. A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design. The company’s products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.alcorn.com.

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Entertainment and Film Industry Veteran Tony Miceli Joins Electrosonic

Electrosonic is pleased to announce that Tony Miceli has joined the company as Executive Consultant working with the Entertainment sales and the Design Consulting teams. Tony will be based in Electrosonic’s Orlando office.

Tony has been a leader in the entertainment industry for more than 25 years. He cofounded Soundelux Entertainment Group in Hollywood, California, and Orlando, Florida, in 1991 and, as its president, was the driving force behind their theme park creative development, audio-visual technologies design and installations, sound design, video and animation production and their Academy Award-winning feature film soundtracks. For the last ten years he has run his own company, Tony Miceli Creative, LLC., and worked as the Creative Media Director and Producer for Universal Creative.

“Tony has a very unique skill set that will be a big asset to our Entertainment business,” notes Chris Conte, Electrosonic’s VP of Entertainment. “He has extensive experience in audio and video system design, sound design and mixing and show programming. Tony is also an accomplished writer, director and producer of content with a focus on projection mapping and visual experiences. His direct experience in media creation, including audio composition, video, animation and graphics, will allow us to support our clients and also support our creative media associates in a variety of ways.”

Tony will work in concert with the design, sales and management teams to build and maintain new client relationships, perform senior level design consulting services, and develop business for existing and new markets.

“I am very excited to be joining Electrosonic and look forward to what the future holds,” says Miceli. “I have had the great fortune of participating in some benchmark setting projects over the years, working side by side with the Electrosonic team, and I’ve always been impressed with the quality and professionalism they have consistently delivered. My experience in various aspects of entertainment is a good match for Electrosonic’s roster of innovative projects and will help forge new business relationships while delivering the next generation of groundbreaking experiences.”

Most recently Tony, through Tony Miceli Creative, LLC., provided all AV design and installation and creative media production on Legoland Florida’s “World of Chima.” Tony did concept design development and creative direction for the redesign and renovation of theme park Parque de las Ciencias in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and co-created, wrote and directed the 3D projection mapping show experience “La Isla del Encanto” at the historic Ballaja Plaza Mayor in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

While with Universal Creative, Tony worked with the theme park design development team on Universal Studios Dubailand. Also at Universal Creative, Tony was Music Director and Sound Producer, responsible for all sound effects, music selections, editing and mixing for all of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” land, including “Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey,” “Dragon Challenge” and “Flight of the Hippogriff.”

Many of the Brooklyn native’s projects have received Thea and Telly Awards, including “Terminator 2 3D,” “Men in Black: Aliens Attack,” ‘Daytona USA,” and “The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – The Ride” to name just a few. In 1995, his company Soundelux won an Academy Award for sound effects editing for “Braveheart.”

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, control rooms, and corporate meeting rooms. Since its founding in 1964, Electrosonic has built a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic provides a comprehensive scope of services including technical design, projector lamp sales, maintenance and operational support.

Learn more about Electrosonic. Visit http://www.electrosonic.com

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Zdi Inc. Chooses Vista Systems’ Phoenix for Installs Where AV and IT Merge

Systems integrator Zdi Inc. in Normal, Illinois is finding Vista Systems’ Phoenix to be a key piece of equipment as the merger of AV and IT becomes more commonplace in customers’ installations.

“We understand the relationship between AV and IT better than anyone,” says Jay McArdle, vice president of Zdi Inc. “We understand networking and how to integrate it as companies try to strike a balance between AV and IT today. More and more installs fall under IT for purchase decisions and coordination. We truly understand what AV systems do on the network – they’re not isolated systems anymore.”

Vista Phoenix is a network distributed open content management system for simultaneous encode, decode and display of AV data. With Phoenix, AV distribution and monitoring is no longer confined to a single location. It enables seamless access and control of AV data regardless of the user’s location; it can be used by multiple parallel participants, single offices or in the field via mobile technology.

Zdi Inc. discovered Phoenix about eight months ago when it considered the system for a medical simulation center in Peoria. As a result Phoenix became the basis for the design of a current project, the Memorial Medical Center’s Center for Learning and Innovation in Springfield, Illinois.

“Medical simulation is a big market for us,” says McArdle. Phoenix plays a role in enabling physicians and students to view the output of multiple IP cameras across a network to a variety of control stations. For example, in the Center for Learning and Innovation install Zdi has teamed Phoenix with Christie Brio wireless presentation system for classrooms and collaboration rooms. “Brio plugs into Phoenix so we can put multiple images on the screen at the same time,” he explains. “One feed is the simulated vitals of the patient; three other feeds show different perspectives of IP cameras rendered onto situation awareness. The simulation can be run from a control booth or by an iPad right in the room.”

Phoenix has also come into play at the Quad Cities Metro Link mass transit dispatch center in Rock Island, Illinois. “Phoenix is used as the videowall processor handling different computer feeds and IP cameras so personnel can view maps and other visuals on the same canvas,” McArdle says.

Zdi sees applications for Phoenix in security stations, for rendering IP cameras, and in a university speech pathology observation room, where, once IP cameras are on the network students’ interaction can be viewed remotely anywhere on the campus.

“Phoenix is uniquely positioned in the marketplace with its price point,” says McArdle. “For small and medium-sized installs it’s the most price-compelling selection. And its features are more robust than other systems.”

About Vista Systems
Vista Systems’ switchers have become the industry standard for live multiple-destination video and data mixed signal switching with real-time windowing and composition. For more information on Vista Systems, visit their website at www.vistasystems.net.

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San Antonio’s Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Chooses grandMA2 Consoles and Clay Paky Lighting for Performance Spaces

San Antonio’s new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts will open in September with a complement of grandMA2 consoles and six Clay Paky Alpha Spot QWO 800 fixtures dedicated to both the H-E-B Performance Hall and the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of both brands in North America.

Rising behind the façade of the former San Antonio Municipal Auditorium along downtown’s famed River Walk, the 1,750-seat multi-purpose venue will be the home of the San Antonio Symphony and other resident companies. It also plans to offer a diverse array of entertainment from comedy legend Bill Cosby and radio icon Garrison Keillor and “The Prairie Home Companion” to the Scottish Ballet’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

The four-level H-E-B Performance Hall is the largest of the Tobin Center’s performance spaces; the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater is a black box-style space with multiple seating options. Dealer Texas Scenic and rep Roy Harline are providing both the grandMA2 and Clay Paky products.

A grandMA2 light console with grandMA2 replay unit will be located in each of the performance spaces. H-E-B Performance Hall will also be equipped with a grandMA2 NPU for multiple universes and MA’s top-of-the-line VPU plus video processing unit.

Tobin Center Technical Director Stefan De Wilde is no stranger to grandMA2 consoles. “I have purchased and specified many grandMA1 and 2 consoles for Disney, Cirque du Soleil, the New World Symphony and the several universities,” says the Emmy-nominated lighting designer. “For three years ‘The Pageant of Peace,’ the National Christmas Tree Lighting in Washington, D.C., was illuminated by various grandma consoles.”

De Wilde says grandMA2 is his “console of choice” for its “incredible reliability, flexibility and power. It efficiently manages vast quantities of information quickly and efficiently.”

He notes that longevity is a key factor for equipment selected for the Tobin Center. “The equipment must effectively operate for at least 10 years and meet every need for every show. We’re a world-class performing arts center and require world-class technology in every department. We also have an array of grandMA2 nodes throughout our lighting control system.”

Adding a MA VPU plus video processing unit to the grandMA2 console in the H-E-B Performance Hall will enable projection cues for several Panasonic 20K projectors to be written into the unit’s cue plan for easy content management.

Six Clay Paky Alpha Spot QWO 800s were selected as “the best fit” for both performance spaces. “We required, quiet, low-maintenance fixtures that offer a variety of design options and would last for many years,” says De Wilde. “Following extensive research, The QWO 800s had the smallest footprint, the lightest weight and the least amount of ambient noise. Their efficient lamp also has incredible output. The QWO 800s are also extremely flexible since they can be used as a wash or a spot fixture.”

The fixtures will be shared by both the H-E-B Performance Hall and the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater.

A.C.T Lighting will train Tobin Center staff on the grandMA2 consoles. “A.C.T sets the standard in the entertainment industry for technical service and support,” De Wilde reports. “Bob Gordon, Chris Patton, George Masek and Will Murphy are members of our All Star Team for the project. Their ongoing partnership and support, coupled with reliable and powerful technology is why I select A.C.T’s gear every time.”

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Atomic Design Partners with WorldStage On Turner Entertainment Networks’ Upfront at Madison Square Garden

ATOMIC and WorldStage once again partnered on the upfront for Turner Entertainment Networks’ TBS and TNT, which returned to The Theatre at Madison Square Garden with a bang. Or maybe it was a “Boom” as TNT launched a new, edgier tagline for its drama programming, which includes the new “The Last Ship” from Michael Bay and “Murder in the First” from Steven Bochco.

ATOMIC has been producing Turner Upfronts for more than a decade and was responsible for the lighting, rigging, production design, staging and set fabrication for this latest presentation to marketers and advertisers. For many of those years WorldStage has worked alongside ATOMIC supplying critical video support to various New York City venues.

“We’ve been an incredible team of partners for a long time,” says ATOMIC CEO and event executive producer Soren West. “We were together at the Garden with evening upfronts that featured The Eagles and Lenny Kravitz and at The Armory with Sting. Then we moved to the Hammerstein Ballroom and now we’re back at the Garden, which can accommodate the increased attendance for the Turner upfront.”

ATOMIC was tasked with “creating an environment through scenic, video, lighting and audio that could be transformed from one brand to the other, from one message to the other,” as the comedy and drama networks introduced new and returning shows and their stars.

The stage at Madison Square Garden featured a single big rear-projection screen, which featured informational content about the networks’ upcoming seasons. ATOMIC entertained the idea of using an LED screen but opted for a “high-quality rear projection solution with lots of lumens” to deliver the content.

Surrounding the screen was a band shell-style series of concentric aluminum arches, clad with neutral gray fabric, onto which WorldStage warped decorative video elements.

“The band shell was designed by Mike Rhoads, our production designer, who has done the upfront for at least eight years,” notes West. “The arches were quite complicated to draw and fabricate with those compound curves. I had serious concerns about the shape and the ability to cover it with projections and not create dead zones on the stage where people couldn’t stand. But WorldStage and screen producer Laura Frank of Luminous FX assured us that warping content onto the arches was totally within the realm of do-ability. We trusted them implicitly, and they delivered.”

WorldStage project manager TJ Donoghue, who has worked on the last three Turner Upfronts, says “the shape of the band shell surface with their compound curvature made alignment and warping of overlaps rather challenging.” In addition, “there were limited options for the projectors’ locations. But thanks to a great team effort by media server programmer Alex Bright, media server technician Shawn Duan, and projectionists Juan Mateo and Sean Kelly the warping and blending worked very well.”

A Pandoras Box media server drove Christie Roadster HD20K-J and 10K-M projectors. The HD10Ks were embedded in the show deck and pointed straight up at the arches, one of the more unusual projector placements for a one-time event.

WorldStage provided six Sony HD cameras, which fed a Ross 4 ME switcher for IMAG and capturing the upfront for a live-streamed webcast and a simulcast on tape delay targeted to advertisers and agencies in Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta. A final cut of the event was made for archiving and for distribution to Turner’s sales and marketing groups.

WorldStage also provided a full editing suite so the editing team had on-site capabilities at the Garden. “Delivery dates for content get later and later every year,” says West. “Having editorial on site enabled us and Turner Entertainment to fine tune the presentation and tweak the animation, graphics and video clips closer to show time. We could also ingest any new material quite late in the game.”

West notes that “One of the great things about this project is that Turner Entertainment recognizes the value of preparation, so we were able to involve WorldStage earlier than we typically would on other projects – about three or four months out. Then things got really involved about one month out.

“Part of our success over the years is due to the time we and WorldStage spend with the client in Atlanta,” he continues. “Two to three weeks out we do a table read there, the executives rehearse their speeches and we review the video content created thus far. So we get a good sense of how things are coming together and where the tricky transitions are from a technical and a stagecraft perspective.”

Subsequently, everyone reunited at ATOMIC’s headquarters in Lititz, Pennsylvania where they did a previs of the show in Pandoras Box, the lighting and video teams preprogrammed cues, and show management rehearsed the principals. “This really is the right way to work,” West says. “By the time we got to the Garden everyone knew the show.”

With another successful upfront concluded, West says, “WorldStage has been a strong partner of ours for many years. We’ve been through a lot of challenges together and are still making it happen as a team. It’s always great to work with them!”

“Everything went very smoothly,” agrees Donoghue. “It was great to be back in the Garden with ATOMIC, and the crew there was fabulous. We’re so pleased that everything went so well.”

At WorldStage Dennis Menard was also a project manager, Mike Alboher EIC and Encore operator, Pete Cerreta playback operator, August Yuson camera EIC, Alex Donaldson projectionist, John Denion APM and Ryan Eysner, Shannon Robinson and Pete Sokov utilities. In addition, camera operators were provided by Slate.TV, LLC and Locals One and 306 furnished crew.

WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.

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“The Today Show” Summer Concert Series Launches with Clay Paky B-EYE Fixtures Lighting Top Performers in Rockefeller Plaza

The Summer Concert Series has launched on NBC’s “The Today Show” and Clay Paky’s A.leda B-EYE K20 LED-based moving lights are being deployed on the live music segments, which air at least once a week on the iconic morning show.

The concert series is a popular feature on “The Today Show” every Friday from late spring through the summer; performances are sometimes staged during the week, as well. The concerts launched with Mariah Carey and have showcased Tim McGraw, Cher Lloyd, Rascal Flatts, Sara Bareilles, Train, Little Mix, Fallout Boy and Phillip Phillips.

The night prior to a concert a mobile stage rolls onto Rockefeller Plaza outside “The Today Show’s” picture windows. Lighting is rigged and programmed overnight so a rehearsal can be scheduled for 6:30 am. The concert begins with the first of a three-song set around 8:25 am; two more songs wrap up the show from 8:45 to 8:55. When the program concludes the stage is dismantled.

Peter Greenbaum, who became lighting director of “The Today Show” when the program implemented its new set and look last fall, is working on his first Summer Concert Series. He implements up to 20 B-EYE K20s, supplied by WorldStage, in the lighting rig on the mobile stage.

Greenbaum was introduced to the B-EYEs by programmer and assistant lighting director Brian S. Davis. “I had never used them before, but when we found out that WorldStage was carrying them and that they were able to make them fit into our budget we jumped on them,” says Greenbaum. “The B-EYEs are perfect for a concert rig. We really like them a lot.”

The early-morning outdoor concerts pose several challenges. “We need to keep the video level on the talent from the front while masking the sunlight coming from behind and the buildings around them. We also want to keep the talent kind of even with the audience in the canyon of Rockefeller Plaza. Plus, there’s a roof on the stage,” Greenbaum reports. “My outside lighting director, Phil Grosso, and I do our best to help video engineer Mike Ruiz make great pictures.”

His base package of B-EYEs features 10 fixtures rigged on an arched upstage truss to light the talent and four on a downstage truss for audience lighting and eye candy. If a larger lighting package is required Greenbaum also places B-EYEs on the stage floor, the downstage truss supports and the lip of the stage. “Every concert has a different stage plot to deal with,” he notes. “We try to make it exciting for every band.”

Greenbaum says, “I love everything about the B-EYEs: the flexibility of going from spots to floods, all the colors, the rotating functions, and all the eye candy that comes with the unit – you can go from eye candy to a great video level with the push of a button.”

One of his favorite B-EYE features is daylight color. “We do a lot of interviews with the talent on stage and ‘The Today Show’ hosts with their backs to the audience,” Greenbaum explains. “We go daylight in the B-EYEs and get a beautiful video level so there’s no need for HMIs. Their color temperature is pretty amazing.”

The lighting director is a long-time Clay Paky user. “I remember their moving mirror lights in clubs in the city and Europe,” he says. “Now I’m regularly using Sharpys and Sharpy washes and am delighted to add B-EYEs to my repertoire.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “The B-EYE is perfectly suited for daylight situations because of the light is bright and the fixture looks so good on camera. It’s great to see it put to such good use on the Today Show.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.

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Clay Paky Rocks Third Eye Blind Festival Tour

American alternative rock band Third Eye Blind (3eb) is taking its Festival Tour to venues across America, and Clay Paky’s A.leda B-EYE K20 LED-based moving lights are hitting the road with them.

3eb’s production and lighting designer Mitchell Schellenger, of I Like Lights in Denver, created a look for the band that echoes the sunset set times of some of their gigs. “The band doesn’t always have a headline slot, and when that happens they don’t have the luxury of performing in complete darkness,” Schellenger explains. “So we decided to mimic the look of sunset with warm pretty light on stage. To do that we needed really bright fixtures.”

Enter Clay Paky B-EYEs, which Schellenger had read about and seen in video clips. “I wanted to get my hands on them – they looked really awesome,” he recalls. 4Wall Entertainment Lighting’s Nashville office supplied five fixtures, and Schellenger proceeded to design a rig that would be “universally speedy” getting on stage and off, a critical factor when the band wasn’t headlining.

His solution was to build carts comprised of Chauvet Nexus 4×4 LED panels with four B-EYEs arched above them. The fifth was positioned on a center line upstage to pop behind the lead singer.

“The B-EYEs have a nice big head so their look is perfect for our sunset theme,” Schellenger says. “The show color scheme starts more bright CTO Amber and works its way toward a deeper orange. The B-EYEs’ awesome effects give the show the ability to progress visually through that minimal color scheme.”

On the Festival Tour he’s doing quite a lot of bit mapping across the Nexus panels, the B-EYEs and a complement of other lights. He also deploys a number of macros, which enable 3eb to get on and off the stage quickly. “A start show macro makes us immediately ready for quick focuses,” Schellenger explains. “We have song macros, too, and an end show macro for a speedy finish.”

The lighting designer says that he and his assistant and crew chief, Cort Lawrence, have been pleased with the “stunning results” produced by the B-EYEs. “We’ve had a ton of feedback from the promoters, the band and fans on social media. Everybody has responded really well to them!”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “The Third Eye Blind tour is using out B-EYEs jus the way we intended them to be used and they look great on the stage. We’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.

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