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Archive by David Steinberg

WorldStage Supports TIME 100 Gala with Sound Reinforcement and Video Presentation Technology Services

TIME celebrated the publication of the annual TIME 100: The Most Influential People in the World at a gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center where WorldStage provided sound reinforcement and video presentation technology services for Empire Entertainment, Inc., which produced the glittering event.

Coveted spots on the TIME 100 list this year were filled by Beyonce, Google’s Eric Schmidt, director Alfonso Cuaron, Robert Redford, Amy Adams, transgender actor Laverne Cox and media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Honorees Pharrell Williams, Carrie Underwood and Seth Meyers entertained the guests.

“Our company has a strong history with the team at WorldStage and work closely with them,” says Melissa Gold, Senior Producer at Empire Entertainment. “WorldStage was instrumental in making everything work within the space and within the budget at the TIME 100 gala.”

Visual imagery filled a number of roles during the evening. “We used video content on plasmas to display content throughout the night, like moving wall paper,” Gold says. “During the show two of the monitors did a show feed for overflow guests who were not in the main room.” Video content looped later in the evening when a DJ performed in the atrium.

WorldStage furnished three Sony HXC-100 video cameras, a FOR-A HVS 300 video production switcher, and AJA Ki Pro digital recorders for ISO and PGM. Four Christie HD 10K-M video projectors displayed onto a pair of 9×16-foot screens on stage. Video playback was facilitated using DT Labs Playback Pro on iMac computers.

The biggest challenges were posed by the performances of Williams and Underwood. “Each act had a significant amount of equipment on a single stage with little TIME or space to facilitate turnover,” says Tony Rossello, director of events and venues at WorldStage. “We liaised with artist management to incorporate their specifications and design an effective sound reinforcement system appropriate to the event space.”

Audio gear included Yamaha CL5 and PM5D consoles and DiGiCo SD7 consoles for FOH and monitors; Shure X and UR band wireless mics; and a Riedel digital intercom system.

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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grandMA2 Rocks on Tony Award-winning Musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” the unconventional rock musical that recently captured four Tony Awards, may not be your grandma’s Broadway show, but its use of grandMA2 lighting consoles keeps the edgy production on track at the Belasco Theatre. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of MA products in North America.

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” is John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s gender-bending musical tale of life, love and a botched operation. It won Tonys for its star, Neil Patrick Harris; costar Lena Hall; and lighting designer Kevin Adams – Adams’s fourth win. The play also received top honors as Best Musical Revival.

The lighting and video for “Hedwig” were programmed on two grandMA2 full-size consoles. During rehearsals Kevin Adams, video designer Ben Pearcy, associate lighting designer Paul Toben and second assistant lighting designer Jimmy Lawlor used grandMA onPC stations to monitor the production. Now, both lighting and video run nightly on a single grandMA2 light with an onPC command wing and an NPU as back up in the compact booth. Brian Dawson is the board operator.

“grandMA2 offered us a really good networking solution that enabled us to have multiple programmers on the system during rehearsals and give display feedback for the designers,” says lighting programmer Benny Kirkham; Zach Peletz is the video programmer. “The show is very dynamic and we had to get it done quickly. Using grandMA2 and all its tools was the only choice to get the look we wanted.”

Kirkham notes that the show “is supposed to depict a one-night-only concert by a punk rock group, so we had to create some of the insanity of that with the design. Kevin really walked the line well creating a show that’s wild and anarchic without creating a distraction. The whole package comes together, and everything in the design works perfectly!”

Adams met Kirkham on the new Blue Man Group show at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas where they worked on a grandMA2 console. They reunited for “Hedwig,” and Adams was “delighted” to partner with the programmer and the grandMA2 again.

Adams liked grandMA2′s graphical “Magic Sheets on the monitors,” which meant he “never needed any paper” to speed up recalling control channel numbers. “I had a lot less info in front of me; I never needed any channel numbers. I could just point to the layout that Benny and I shared. It was very visual and intuitive. An entire layer of frustration went away.”

Adams also liked the color monitors. “With ‘Hedwig’ we have mostly moving lights. With the monitors in color it was easier to understand what was happening live.”

Kirkham notes that Adams “became quite a fan of the grandMA2″ during the course of “Hedwig’s” production. “It’s fast and has the best effects engine on the market, which enabled us to create the look and feel we wanted,” he says. “The grandMA2 was great at managing tracking and cue data – and there’s no board that can fire up the popcorn machine as well as grandMA2 can!”

Kirkham says he’s never been involved in a production as “collegial” as “Hedwig.” “Every change moved the show to an even better place,” he reports. “We’re very proud of it.”

“I’ve enjoyed working with Benny and the grandMA2 very much,” Adams concludes.

About A.C.T Lighting

A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, A.C.T Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients.

For more information call 818-707-0884.

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Clay Paky Sharpys Go Bollywood at the IIFA Awards for the Hindi-Language Cinema

An awards show like none other took Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium by storm when the annual International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards came to the U.S. for the first time. The IIFA Awards honor artistic and technical excellence in Bollywood, India’s famed Hindi-language film industry that sells more than 3 billion tickets every year. The show, which aired on Star World Network, used a large complement of Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures.

“The IIFA Awards are the Indian equivalent of the Oscars with 800 million viewers worldwide,” says lighting designer Eugene O’Connor. “Cinema is huge there, and the awards show lasted more than five hours. It had a very big open and included production numbers with 60-70 dancers.”

O’Connor knew that Clay Paky Sharpys “were always going to be the main light” for the show in a stadium that demanded “big looks” for its giant TV audience. “With so much video on stage we needed something that was going to break through,” he adds.

Sharpys always top O’Connor’s fixture list. “You can’t beat them, especially if you can get enough of them,” he says. “We had 85 Sharpys from PRG on the IIFA Awards. We positioned 16 on the floor across the front of the stage and 14 across the back. There were six vertical towers with three or four Sharpys on each, plus a bunch on the roof.”

He notes that “when you light for TV you tend to light for FOH, but I light for many different angles. I like a lot of heights, and I let light wrap around the stage so everything is very big, bright and colorful. And the Sharpys performed really well.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “This is an impressively large show. We had been hearing about it for months beforehand. It’s great that they put the Sharpy to such great use with such great success.”

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Electrosonic Provides Audio-Visual Systems for National September 11 Memorial & Museum in Lower Manhattan

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum has opened in the footprints of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. Electrosonic provided the audio-visual systems for the museum, which is primarily located about 70-feet (21-meters) below ground and offers a unique and moving visitor experience.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is an educational and historical institution honoring victims of both the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 1993 bombing, while examining 9/11 and its continued global significance. The museum building was designed by Davis Brody Bond, LLP with exhibit designs by Thinc Design and Layman Design. It is accessed by an entry pavilion designed by Snøhetta.

The main exhibition space, reached by a gently sloping ramp, includes remnants of the Vesey Street stairs, the Twin Towers’ structural columns, a portion of the original foundations plus a permanent collection of artifacts. The memorial exhibition features the Wall of Faces, which displays photo portraits of the nearly 3,000 victims of the attacks, and interactive tables to learn more about them. The historical exhibition uses artifacts, photographs, and media to recount the events of September 11, explore the background leading up to these events, and examine their aftermath and continuing implications. The vast Foundation Hall houses the exposed side of the slurry wall, the surviving retaining wall of the World Trade Center, and the well-known Last Column, a 36-foot high column covered with mementos from Ground Zero.

Bob Haroutunian of PPI Consulting was the audio-visual systems designer for the museum and education center. Arup was the designer for the Pavilion Auditorium. The majority of the content was provided by Local Projects, with additional content provided by Infusion and Project Rebirth.

“This was a very large museum project located several stories underground, which made it a bit of a logistical challenge,” says Electrosonic project manager Jackson Benedict. “The site is spread out over nearly eight acres, so just getting from one side to the other took a long time.” The project spanned several years so Electrosonic had to stay on top of evolving technology and equipment advances as equipment was specified and installed.

Electrosonic created full-scale mock ups of about 70 percent of the exhibits at some point in time. “We did a lot of testing with Design & Production near Washington, D.C., Hadley Exhibits in Buffalo and our own facility in Burbank,” adds Electrosonic account executive Bryan Abelowitz.

Electrosonic supplied a traditional museum system for the exhibition space where approximately 100 media experiences are available for visitors. These range from touch screen interactives, small theaters and displays playing media to recording booths that enable visitors to record their own 9/11 stories.

Several exhibits required especially complex media systems. The first exhibition visitors see as they enter the galleries is We Remember, which features recollections of people around the world as September 11, 2001, dawned. Six large, vertical screens are staggered down a 60-foot ramp; a portion of a world map is projected on each of the six screens, such that, at the top of the ramp it appears to be one cohesive map. Digital Projection projectors with mirror mounts display the content, while 16 ceiling-mounted Atlas speakers recount, in multiple languages, where people were on that fateful day.

Rebirth is based on timelapse documentary footage captured by filmmaker Jim Whitaker over the last 13 years on the site, from the clean-up of the pit to today’s rebuild. Seven Sharp projectors display the approximately 11-minute video on three walls that surround visitors. A full EAW sound system delivers the audio. “We built a full-scale replica of the room in our Burbank facility and tested a variety of content in it,” Benedict reports.

Since the Last Column, a 36-foot steel piece from the Twin Towers, is so tall, two 55-inch ELO touch screens run Local Projects’ interactive software, allowing visitors to scroll up and down its full length to see high-resolution details of the signatures and mementoes on its sides.

Eight interactive tables in the memorial exhibition enable visitors to scroll through the Wall of Faces or search for loved ones and access biographies and family photos. 3M supplied the touch screens, Dell the computers and Local Projects the software to operate this especially impactful exhibit.

Electrosonic also provided a full AV system for the multi-purpose Pavilion auditorium, an approximately 150-seat theater used to show videos throughout the day and available for hosting events from standard presentations to video conferences.

The museum has four education classrooms equipped by Electrosonic with digital whiteboards, document cameras, video conferencing systems plus other standard features.

Key equipment components in the museum include Sharp, Christie and Digital Projection projectors, Alcorn McBride audio playback, Vista Group SoundStik audio stations, Dataton WATCHOUT display and playback, Adtec signage players, Boland, Sharp and Samsung LCD displays, Extron extenders and Medialon system control.

Three control rooms service different areas of the museum with a total of 26 equipment racks in use. Signals are extended via a mix of fiber optic and twisted pair extenders. “The fiber and copper backbone we used allows the museum to expand with higher-resolution video or new monitors and projectors as they become available,” notes Benedict.

The Pavilion auditorium has its own control room with two racks. Each education classroom is self-contained.

Electrosonic is providing two on-site technicians to help keep the museum’s exhibits in good order.

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.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SEPTEMBER 11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the not-for-profit corporation created to oversee the design, fundraising, programming and operations of the Memorial and Museum. The Memorial and Museum are located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site.

The Memorial remembers and honors the 2,983 people who were killed in the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The design, created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, consists of two reflecting pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Towers and a plaza of trees. The Museum displays monumental artifacts linked to the events of 9/11, while presenting intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning and recovery that are central to telling the story of the 2001 and 1993 attacks and the aftermath. It also explores the global impact of 9/11 and its continuing significance. Davis Brody Bond are the architects of the belowground Museum and Snøhetta designed its entry pavilion. The Museum’s exhibition designers include Thinc, Local Projects and Layman Design.

For more information or to reserve a ticket to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, go to 911memorial.org.

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

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YouTube Brandcast Presented by Google Debuts New Location with Production by Good Sense & Company and Technology by WorldStage

After the past two years coping with the confined space of the Beacon Theater, followed by the out of the way Basketball City location, for 2014 the YouTube digital “Upfront” (formally called Brandcast) found itself within the spacious environs of the Theater at Madison Square Garden. That space provided the canvas for an innovative scenic design penned by the design team at Good Sense & Company, led by creative director Joshua Cicerone and head of design Chris Jones.

The resulting design, arrived at after much iteration, provided unique challenges for the production team with its reliance on techniques more likely to be seen on a Broadway stage than a one-off 90-minute presentation for an audience of 2,200 New York advertisers and agencies.

“The new location and a direct line with the client’s content creation team allowed us focus on the overall look and come up with a fresh design that makes the MSG Theater more dynamic,” says Jared Siegel, Co-Founder and Production Director at Brooklyn-based Good Sense & Company. “Our goal was to combine impressive LED, projection mapping and automation using rotating and tracking scenic units as a great way to reveal performers.”

To handle the technical requirements for the lighting and visuals, Good Sense turned to WorldStage Inc and Senior Project Manager, Josh Perlman, who returned for the third year in a row. Siegel credits WorldStage for their willingness to “roll with the punches on a show that underwent many changes along the way,” Siegel says. “I think we had 16 or so rounds of budgets. WorldStage was always very patient and accommodating.”

According to Perlman, WorldStage began working with Good Sense some four months prior to the Brandcast, reviewing each design and working out the complicated technical systems required to support them. “This year the design introduced a significant projection tracking element, which added a bit of complexity to the show,” he says. “To make it even more fun, the tracking pieces, when rotated, revealed an LED video wall on the reverse side of the dimensional projection surfaces. This provided the best of both worlds – punchy LED visuals and sculptural projection mapping with all visuals tracking the movement”

The movement of the four large scenic pieces allowed presenters, guests and performers to enter and leave the stage area in dramatic fashion while keeping the visuals flowing in an uninterrupted stream as the projections remained in view throughout the rotational movement. ShowMotion was again tasked with handling the scenery and automation. Their extensive Broadway experience gave them an edge, however Brandcast required them to install and test intricate automation in just a few (long) days, while normally they would get weeks to prepare for a show. Luckily the expertise of Ashley Bishop (Senior Project Manager at ShowMotion) provided her team with the focus to execute a flawless show.

“Our design required the projected images to follow the screens as they opened up,” says Siegel. “Then, we combined those visuals with the big “hero” screen, which used Barco C5 LED, as well as 9mm LED for the other scenic units. They looked great and worked well together.

“The screens had a very glacier-like appearance with multiple protruding planar surfaces, but the LED on the back was very flat,” he explains. “Adding the tracking of the projections really changed things a lot. It required a lot of time and programming, but it was very much worth it because it created a great effect – as if the imagery was painted on the surface of the scenery.”

Siegel notes that, “generating content pixel maps for a set like this is always a challenge. They need to be very precise and they create very large files, which makes content coordination tricky. For example, one performance featured a dancer on stage interacting with an animated, hand-drawn partner who was flung in the air for quite an amazing effect across the screens. That sequence alone was very complicated and it was one of many.”

To support the multitude of content and display requirements, WorldStage deployed a veritable mountain of technology. The main backgrounds and show content played off ten d3 Technologies’ media servers (primary and back ups), which fed all the destinations. The d3s and all the other playback sub-systems were routed through five Vista Systems’ Spyder X20 units. “Everything worked just great,” Siegel reports.

The image tracking function was supported by a custom app created by the WorldStage Integration team and kept the visuals glued to the projection screens no matter where and how they moved.

Perlman notes that in addition to the major screen switching elements, WorldStage provided a 7-camera live video shoot during the Brandcast, switched through the companies large Ross HD rig. “This coverage was switched to IMAG feeds as well as to records, which were cut down and posted quickly on YouTube after the event concluded,” he explains.

“Let’s not forget that WorldStage also supplied the lighting for Chris Dallos’ lighting design, and that was great, too,” Siegel says.

At WorldStage Mike Alboher was the EIC who oversaw the entire system: d3 integration, Spyder implementation, Ross Video switching and video transmission. Raul Herrera was the lead programmer with Alex Bright the server tech and projection warper. Programmer Bruno Fare and system tech Jason Spencer commanded the Spyder X20s. Mike Naylor is the Ross engineer.

Sound Designer Dave Ferdinand (One Dream Sound) had his own set of challenges to overcome. Siegel originally wanted to use the main array at the theatre, but the design called for a stage that extended into the audience and the large rotating projection screens that occasionally blocked the main array. Ferdinand needed to add a second vocal array downstage, but with all the front projection he needed something with a small silhouette. He chose Meyer Sound’s MINA arrays, which offered the punch he needed in a tiny package.

Good Sense & Company is a Brooklyn-based agency that designs and manages live events for some of the biggest and most enterprising arts and entertainment groups, charities, corporations and private interests around the world.

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 national

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Alcorn McBride A/V Binloop HD Helps PaintScaping Grab the Audience for Gardner Denver at OTC’14

LA-based PaintScaping wowed the crowds at OTC’14 with a 4K 3D projection mapping display sourced from Alcorn McBride products. Four 8-channel Alcorn McBride A/V Binloop HD players provided dynamically animated, live-action content captivating the crowds at the Gardner Denver booth. The effect was so remarkable it even made in the front page of the Houston Chronicle.

The Gardner Denver booth was uniquely designed for OTC’14, the largest energy trade show in the world. Gardner Denver designs, manufactures and globally markets pumps for the oil and gas industry.

“We designed the mapping for the booth after consulting on the shape of the mapping structure, which was inspired by Justin Timberlake,” says PaintScaping CEO Philippe Bergeron. “The client had seen a concert and wanted that look – something very different from what you see at other trade show booths. The result created quite a buzz at OTC!”

The content was in two pieces, a three-minute showpiece and a 25-minute informational loop. “Twenty-five minutes of 4K is very challenging for the pipeline,” Bergeron says. Four 8-channel A/V Binloop HD players were on site along with four Christie 18K Roadster HD projectors. “We rendered the content at 4K then split it into four HD files and converted them for the Binloops. The job was hard for us but the content splitting went flawlessly.”

With a “Beyond Tough” theme, the showpiece highlighted Gardner Denver products with bullet points and animations, live-action montages, an animated particle system, world map, a pulsating 3D mapping surface and a high-energy music track.

Although PaintScaping had deployed A/V Binloop HD players previously, the company now owns a complement of the devices, which were the perfect choice for a trade show of this size and scale.

“Binloops are extremely reliable when it comes to synching – that’s their strength,” Bergeron notes. “This was a project where we could not afford even one-frame delay, because you would see it. When you do projection mapping on a building and the walls are separated by several feet, delays aren’t as obvious. But at the trade show you couldn’t camouflage a delay.”

Mapping was done with PaintScaping’s proprietary software. “It was very challenging because we had two moving targets: the structure and the projectors,” Bergeron explains. “Mapping had to be done on site the day before the show once everything was up and exactly in place. So we had almost no time to map. But the Binloops performed fantastically. Flawlessly!”

In addition, the trade show floor was flooded with light. “The images were sensational especially considering the enormous amount of ambient light,” says Bergeron. “The projection was so bright – almost like it was a poster.”

Jared Stone, Marketing for Gardner Denver, says that “having no experience with Alcorn McBride before the show, I was unaware of what we were dealing with. I was very happy with the smooth operation of the Binloops as well as with Philippe and his team’s expertise. PaintScaping did a great job with the entire show.”

Stone notes that the 3D mapping “was definitely the hit of our show and garnered attention from the local media, including the Houston Chronicle – the third largest publication in the U.S.!”

At PaintScaping the lead 3D animator was Barry Dempsey, with additional animation by Andrea Losch and Gordon Fales. Rob Ostir created the 3D set up of the projectors. The field team was led by Mike Cianciola along with the AV Technician Chris Butterfras.

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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WorldStage Returns to Annual Cisco Partner Summit with Six Screens and 9,322 Pixels

WorldStage marked its tenth year supporting the annual Cisco Partner Summit by providing its AV expertise and equipment to the general sessions of the 2014 conference in the Venetian Hotel ballroom in Las Vegas.

Hired by InVision Communications, WorldStage executed a very complex design for the summit, which was staged for Cisco’s channel network. The ballroom was dominated by a ribbon of six projection screens, all of them angled in a forced perspective set design. They boasted a 9322×1254 pixel map for speaker support, demos and entertainment by the Magnetic Poets, Android Jones, Mason Bates and the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra.

Two of the screens doubled as scrims so performers behind the screens could be lit and seen clearly by the audience. Three other screens were muslin, and the center screen utilized a zero-gain Da-Lite fabric.

WorldStage also furnished a compliment of Christie S+ 16K and HD 20K projectors, a 14-channel Pandora graphics/playback engine to feed three screens directly and a Vista Systems Spyder 3 Series image processor to feed the other three screens, including the widescreen. Projection mapping was performed within Pandora for a fluid and borderless screen look.

“Last year, the summit was in a very large convention space with 60-foot ceilings,” says WorldStage account executive Richard Bevan. “This year they were in a ballroom where the rigging points were more limited. Getting the right spot and making sure the projection cones were clear of the stage areas took a lot of coordination.” The rapid install was achieved in a remarkable 18 hours – load in, rigging, cabling, screen building.

WorldStage also provided a distributed audio system suitable for screens that reached almost to the ceiling, productions comms, and mics and monitors for entertainment support. The audio team juggled over 90 audio sources while managing the wireless frequency coordination in a venue shared by four other meetings and numerous simultaneous breakouts.

“Like many projects these days, the set up time was aggressive but the entire team showed up well and outperformed expectations .” says WorldStage project manager James Sarro. “Our client, his client, the production staff and all involved were very happy with how the show went.”

At InVision Communications Rick Voigt was executive producer, John O’Brien main tent producer, Aaron Hiester producer for the Americas portion, Tony Castrignio designer and Danny Champ technical director.

Obscura Digital was the content creator for the multi screen images and videos.

At WorldStage Florian Mosleh was media consultant and Pandora programmer, Luke Frey and Charlotte Ibarra projectionists and Kenny Stanford freelance video director.

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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Clay Paky Sharpys and grandMA2 Consoles Go Bollywood at the IIFA Awards for the Hindi-Language Cinema

An awards show like none other took Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium by storm when the annual International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards came to the U.S. for the first time. The IIFA Awards honor artistic and technical excellence in Bollywood, India’s famed Hindi-language film industry that sells more than 3 billion tickets every year. The show, which aired on Star World Network, used a large complement of Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures, grandMA2 consoles and grandMA 3D for preprogramming. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of the Clay Paky and MA Lighting in North America.

“The IIFA Awards are the Indian equivalent of the Oscars with 800 million viewers worldwide,” says lighting designer Eugene O’Connor. “Cinema is huge there, and the awards show lasted more than five hours. It had a very big open and included production numbers with 60-70 dancers.”

O’Connor knew that Clay Paky Sharpys “were always going to be the main light” for the show in a stadium that demanded “big looks” for its giant TV audience. “With so much video on stage we needed something that was going to break through,” he adds.

Sharpys always top O’Connor’s fixture list. “You can’t beat them, especially if you can get enough of them,” he says. “We had 85 Sharpys from PRG on the IIFA Awards. We positioned 16 on the floor across the front of the stage and 14 across the back. There were six vertical towers with three or four Sharpys on each, plus a bunch on the roof.”

He notes that “when you light for TV you tend to light for FOH, but I light for many different angles. I like a lot of heights, and I let light wrap around the stage so everything is very big, bright and colorful. And the Sharpys performed really well.”

Three grandMA2 full-size consoles and one grandMA2 light were deployed for the show. “Console one was for all the moving lights, console two was its back up, console three operated the media servers and console four, the grandMA2 Light, was its back up,” explains technical director Ola Melzig of M & M Production Management AB, Stockholm.

“With the schedule as tight as it was during load in and rehearsals on stage from 10 am to 4 pm daily, once the stage was ready grandMA 3D was crucial for the lighting team,” Melzig says.

O’Connor agrees. “Using grandMA 3D for preprogramming was a life saver. Last year we couldn’t get the lights in the air until the last minute, and grandMA 3D really saved us. This time I decided to do a lot of preprogramming, and it performed perfectly.”

Programmer Aloysius Dsouza deployed grandMA 3D on his Apple MacBook Pro, which was connected to a plasma screen for external display. “We only had three days for programming while the crew was rigging lights and getting all aspects of the show ready,” he says. “The show also had the challenge of being outdoors with sunset timings.”

Dsouza says he uses the grandMA2 exclusively. “It has unique features that are ahead of their time,” he notes. “I have used only a small portion of them and aspire to use all of them very soon. It’s an excellent and trustworthy console.”

O’Connor also gives kudos to the grandMA2s. “They’re great desks with a lot of fire power. I really like them.”

Melzig says he’s done “a ton of big, high-profile events” and has been “extremely impressed with how stable the MA platform is. They performed flawlessly at the IIFA Awards.” He adds that, “the MA network ties everything up very nicely in a safe and secure way.”

Melzig also showers praise on the staff of the Raymond James Stadium. “I’d like to send them an extra thank you. They were, hands down, fantastic to work with.”

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Clay Paky Sharpys Treat TV’s “Nashville” Stars Like Country Music Greats

ABC-TV’s musical drama, “Nashville,” features a number of performances in every episode. The final episodes performance got the full star treatment with Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures.

The series, which just finished its second season, shoots in and around Nashville with many of the musical performances staged in a purpose-built studio in town. Sometimes the musical sequences are shot on location; the recent two-part season finale featured performances at Fort Campbell, the US Army base on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, and at Nashville’s LP Field.

“The storyline included performing for the troops at Fort Campbell and involved a mobile stage on the tarmac with Apache helicopters flying over the stage,” says lighting director Steve Fallon, who works with DP Michael Lohmann on the lighting design for these segments. “Then we had the star of the show in the grandeur of a stadium performance at LP Field.”

Fallon, of Fallon Media Design, has been using Clay Paky Sharpy Wash fixtures throughout season two. “They’re a great light for TV in terms of color temperature and their small footprint,” he reports. “But we opted for the Sharpy Beams for the stadium, and they were perfect.”

The stadium was a challenge to light because Fallon had “a vast, three-level area to cover,” he explains. “Sharpy was the right choice because it was the only fixture that would give us the throw distance required. And it was the only one that delivered the punch we needed.”

Fallon deployed 150 Sharpys from Tony Macre of VER Nashville spread over multiple levels of the stadium, and reports no failures. “The load in was in the rain and freezing cold, but we had literally a zero failure rate. That’s amazing. We’re very happy with the Sharpys.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “The Sharpy is a great fixture for television as well as live entertainment. This application is a perfect example of both of those.”

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

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Robert Juliat Victor Followspots Light Up Broadway Hit, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

Photo: Joan Marcus

The unconventional rock musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” is lighting up Broadway, and its lighting designer, Kevin Adams, is using Robert Juliat Victor followspots to light up the stage at the Belasco Theatre.

Neil Patrick Harris stars as Hedwig Robinson, who’s described as the “internationally ignored song stylist,” in John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s musical tale of life, love and a botched operation. The show garnered eight Tony Award nominations and four Tony wins, including Best Lighting Design of a Musical, for Kevin Adams, Best Musical Revival and Best Actor in a Musical, for Mr. Harris.

Adams consulted with his associate Paul Toben on what followspots to use for the show, and Tobin “spoke highly” of Robert Juliat’s Victor 1800W MSR followspots. “He knew the parameters and selected the Victors,” Adams says. “We needed really bright, white spots, but we also needed quiet, small units since we were putting them in the house close to the audience. With this in mind Paul knew we’d be happy with a pair of Victors.”

Adams explains that the Victors “are really close to the box seat wall, so there is no room for someone to stand at the wall side. The spot operators have to stand on opposite sides of the unit. I had a lot of anxiety about whether we were going to be able to keep that position.” The solution? One of the Victor followspots is a left-handed model.

“They are a dream come true – super bright with a really even field of light,” Adams reports. “The Victors are very white, so whatever color we put in it looks great. We never have to balance them. And they’re also really quiet.”

He says the followspots are “holding up well” during performances. “They are everything I was hoping they could be and more. They’re terrific!”

Adams acquired the Victors from PRG.

About Robert Juliat

Robert Juliat is a three-generation, family-run, company dedicated to the manufacture of quality lighting equipment for entertainment and architectural applications. Robert Juliat lights are installed worldwide in venues as diverse as The Metropolitan Opera House in New York, the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, Caesar’s Palace and other showrooms in Las Vegas, the Royal Opera House in London, the Los Angeles Music Center, and the Hong Kong Academy School. Robert Juliat lights are used on major tours and events such as Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion, the South African Music Awards 2013 and the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

R&D, production, and company headquarters are based in the village of Fresnoy-en-Thelle, 50 km north of Paris. Robert Juliat USA is located in Wallingford, CT. For more information visit www.robertjuliat.com

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