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A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by David Steinberg

Lightware Matrix Router Failsafes the Set for Innovative Rise Against Music Video

IMG_6008Lightware Visual Engineering’s MX8x8DVI-Pro matrix router played a key role on the set of the new “Tragedy + Time” music video from the American punk rock band, Rise Against. Lightware USA is the US distributor of Lightware Visual Engineering products manufactured in Budapest, Hungary.

“Tragedy + Time” is from the band’s latest album, The Black Market, and was directed by Wes Kandel and Casey Hupke of Zoic Studios. It features the band performing against a backdrop of stylized skyscrapers on which lighting effects and moving video images are projected.

Media server programmer Cory Froke, of Chaos Visual Productions in Burbank, selected the Lightware router to work in conjunction with a mixed d3 Technologies master server and a d3 understudy, which fed two stacks of two Barco FLM-HD20 ultra-bright projectors. Rectangular cardboard boxes covered in butcher paper and standing on end were the skyscraper-like set pieces mapped with dynamic, patterned imagery.

“Lightware was there to handle failover. We were shooting straight to tape with no postproduction,” says Froke. “In the event of a media server failure, we relied on d3 to send network switching commands to the Lightware router, which acted as a video signal switch from one server to another. The d3 custom scripting handles automatic failover with less than one frame of delay in the event the main media server failed.”

Froke explains that the innovative music video “was loaded in, programmed, shot and loaded out in under 12 hours with no preproduction and almost no post other than editing. All the color correction, slow motion and framing was done in-camera so the editors simply chose the best shots for each take.”

Froke says that the Lightware MX8x8DVI-Pro “is the most efficient router we have in stock. All of the Lightware gear is very seamless and reliable. You don’t even notice if it switches over. And its advanced EDID management is always super useful.”

In addition, “the router’s compact form factor was perfect for a job like this. It didn’t take up much space. There was a great feeling of relief to have it on board for this music video.”

Froke finds that “Lightware USA is always there if you need support on a project. It’s one of the few companies left where you call someone’s cell phone and it’s guaranteed that they will answer.”

About Lightware USA

Lightware USA is the US distributor of professional AV products manufactured by Lightware Visual Engineering in Budapest, Hungary. With the flexibility of the Lightware product line, the Lightware USA team is able to assist with the design for some of the highest performance systems in the world. Router sizes ranging from the robust UMX4x4-Pro up to the impressive 160×160 25G Hybrid give Lightware USA the edge over the competition when it comes to routing multiple video sources to the ever changing variety of displays in the industry. Their array of solutions for extending the highest resolution video formats including 4K and 3D over Cat or Fiber put Lightware USA on the forefront of cutting edge technology, system design and technical support.

For more information on these products, visit www.LightwareUSA.com.

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Clay Paky B-EYE K20s Get The Thumbs Up at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor Hotel and Casino

DSC_6291Caesars Windsor Hotel and Casino in Windsor, Ontario has added 26 Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20 LED-based moving lights to the inventory of its concert venue, The Colosseum. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky lighting fixtures in North America.

A 5,000-seat venue, The Colosseum ranks #15 among venues in North America in desirability, service and shows, reports production supervisor Dan Leroux who toured for 25 years with Metallica, Pearl Jam and other top bands. “Artists come through this venue and are blown out of the water. We have close to 600 fixtures in the air, 10 moving pods on back and front truss, and all the latest lights, including B-EYE K20s.

“When a recent artist came, they left their lighting truck in Detroit because they didn’t need it. Another major headliner didn’t need to bring in their two trucks. Our rig is used by artists 90 percent of the time, which saves time and labor. They bring their ground packages and that’s it.”

Leroux noticed K20s on several TV shows, including a concert by Soundgarden and asked Andrew Beck, general manager of A.C.T Lighting Canada, Inc., about the fixtures. “Andrew brought some for us to see and the director and vice president of Caesars said we’ve got to buy these!” he recalls. “I’d never seen a fixture like it before. It’s amazing what it can do, and its brightness and color saturation are unbelievable.”

Each of the 10 lighting pods at The Colosseum has a K20; six pods are mounted on the upstage truss and four on the front truss. The remaining 16 K20s are positioned on the ground. PRG Toronto supplied the fixtures.

“The fixtures really made an impression when a network television show was here,” Leroux says. “Their lighting director told me he changed his plans and was going to use them in the show’s upcoming rig – they made that heavy an impact on him.”

Leroux likes “how versatile the K20s are: You can use them as a wash, as a spot, even turn them into a Sharpy with the size of that beam. I love having independent control over every pixel, the effects macros are amazing and the colors are vibrant with true reds and purples.”

He admits to being “pretty fussy about fixtures” and says he looks at a lot of lights that don’t make the grade. “Automated fixtures are changing, the technology is changing and the K20s are years ahead of everything else. It’s a real world-class fixture. Clay Paky hit on a winner with this product.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, added, “This venue sounds perfectly suited for our B-EYE’s. Their versatility should work well for any performance they bring in.”

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NASA Headquarters Adds Vista Systems’ Spyder to Multi-purpose Auditorium

Washington-20141121-00047NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. has upgraded its main auditorium with a Vista Systems Spyder image processor installed by Whitlock, a global AV and unified communications solutions provider headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

“NASA hosts a variety of events in their auditorium from project reviews and town halls to press conferences and tweet ups,” says Jim Stephens at Whitlock. “NASA needed to be able to see multiple images on one screen, which was already in place. So we suggested three Christie projectors, edge blended, and a Vista Spyder to achieve the required results.”

“The auditorium holds 200 people and is also used by NASA TV for broadcasts,” notes Gerald Gloster, branch chief for facilities and space planning at NASA HQ. “We have a one-piece glass screen, approximately 8×22 feet in size, with rear projection. We need to be able to handle a number of different inputs and different AV aspect ratios and put multiple images up on the screen.”

Whitlock chose Spyder after having many positive experiences with the system. “We’ve been using Spyder for several years on projects, and it has proved to be great, a solid workhorse,” says Stephens. “Spyder is at the top of its class – it’s really the best product for this kind of installation.”

Spyder gives the auditorium eight inputs so it can source from DVD players, Blu-ray players, NASA TV feeds and multiple laptops and display their images on the screen. “We can run something off the DVD player and show PowerPoint graphics on a split screen,” Gloster explains. “We can split the screen for up to eight different images.”

Gloster says, “Whitlock took us down the right path with Spyder. It’s been working great, and we’ve been very happy with it.”

Stephens finds that “Vista Systems is always good to work with. They’re helpful and smart guys. And when you ask for support they’ll jump through hoops to give it to you.”

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.

About Whitlock
Whitlock is a Global Audiovisual (AV) and Unified Communications (UC) Solutions Provider, specializing in collaborative technology design, integration and managed services. The company helps customers meet goals, drive action and improve efficiency by streamlining interactive technologies and standards. Areas of expertise include enterprise videoconferencing, unified communications, digital media, digital signage, video walls and projection technologies. Whitlock also offers follow-the-sun 24×7 service level agreements as well as onsite and remote AV/NOC support. Whitlock serves customers from 20 U.S. locations, plus a worldwide delivery partner network through the Global Presence Alliance.

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Clay Paky Fixtures and grandMA2 Hit the Road with Fleetwood Mac

SF8A5210The iconic rock band Fleetwood Mac never stops thinking about tomorrow – and planning their next tour to delight fans. For their current “On With the Show” tour a complement of Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20 LED-based moving lights, Sharpy Wash lights and a grandMA2 console have been specified by lighting designer/production designer Paul “Arlo” Guthrie. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky fixtures and MA products in North America.

The band launched the 40-city North American tour September 30 and, after playing to packed houses, added at least 28 more dates in a second leg, which will begin in January 2015. “On With the Show” marks the first full-member tour for Fleetwood Mac since 1997.

“Designing for Fleetwood Mac is always a challenge since you’re dealing with five different personalities,” says Guthrie. He began by giving them “the biggest, cleanest, most open stage set up I could, so every single seat in the house gets a clear view of the stage. I made sure to remove clutter so everyone can see the band members.”

Guthrie added a big upstage videowall, three above-the-head ribbon videowalls and 12 lighting pods.

A dozen B-EYE K20s are on the audience side of the pods to light the fans. “They do pixel effects and perform very quick, easy and huge washes from 12 watts – they can light the entire audience,” Guthrie says. “We don’t use smoke or haze so we don’t really use beam effects. But we do use a lot of pixel animation. For some songs the fixtures replicate what’s happening on the videowall.”

Guthrie was introduced to B-EYE K20s at LDI last year. “This is the first time I’m using them. The colors, dimming and patterns are great. The idea that we have 12 lights we can switch on and then light up the entire arena is great!”

Lighting Director Chris Lose adds, “The things that impressed me the most about the B-EYEs was their ability to act like an LED fixture and then with a simple flip of a channel behave just like an incandescent fixture. Most LED fixtures on the market are missing that warmth and glow. 

Three Sharpy Washes are mounted on each pod for a total of 36 fixtures. “They serve as the workhorse overhead wash light,” Guthrie explains. “Because of their brightness we get a little bit of a beam effect even with no smoke. That’s a real bonus.”

Guthrie first used Sharpy Washes for Fleetwood Mac last year then subsequently deployed them for Nine Inch Nails. “I like the fact that they don’t dim like an LED: Their mechanical dimmer is fantastic.  I like the size, speed and colors – it’s a great little workhorse light. There’s still room in my shows for lights that actually light stuff, and with Fleetwood Mac, we have to see the band and the stage, not just millions of pixels in your eyes.”

Guthrie opted for a grandMA2 console to run all the lights, media servers– even a heater for drummer Mick Fleetwood. “The whole show is cue-to-cue, no timecode,” he reports. “The grandMA2 is a nice stable and familiar work surface. It’s great to have something you can trust. While this is a straightforward show, it’s still important to have a system you can rely on. The grandMA2’s networking capabilities are also awesome; they enabled me and lighting director Chris Lose, who is touring with the band, to program simultaneously.”

Lose adds, “Simultaneously programming with Arlo on the grandMA2 is very easy. His vision was made very clear when he could dial up a look he wanted on his desk and then I could implement his looks into the show in a way that worked with the cue stack.”

PRG supplied the Clay Paky fixtures and grandMA2 for the tour.

George Masek, A.C.T Lighting Vice President – Automated Lighting, commented “We really enjoy working with Arlo on his projects, and I’m very proud that he has chosen Clay Paky and MA products to support his visions.”

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Electrosonic Provides Audio-Visual Systems Expertise For Trio of Thea Award-Winning Projects

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) has announced the winners of the prestigious 21st annual Thea Awards, honoring creative excellence in theme parks, museums and other attractions. Electrosonic has once again taken part in several of the winning projects playing key roles in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City (cited for Extraordinary Cultural Achievement), Harry Potter & The Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios Florida (Outstanding Attraction), and The StoryGarden at the Amorepacific Beauty Campus in South Korea (Outstanding Corporate Brand-land).

The Thea Awards were created by TEA to help realize a key mission of the association: bringing recognition to achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry. From a modest beginning in 1994, the Thea Awards have become internationally recognized as a symbol of excellence. Winners will be honored at a black-tie gala on March 21, 2015, at the Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, California.

“Electrosonic is honored to have participated in three projects named as 2015 Thea Award winners,” says Bryan Hinckley, Entertainment Solutions Director at Electrosonic. “For a number of years we have contributed to multiple projects honored by TEA as outstanding examples of their craft. That honor continues with the trio of Thea Award winners just cited for outstanding achievement in their categories. Our congratulations to the winners!”

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

Honored by TEA for its Extraordinary Cultural Achievement, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum “thoroughly integrates the site of the event itself into the experience, displays artifacts of every scale in compelling ways, and provides detailed context and historical record in juxtaposition with emotional witness and testimony,” TEA stated. “The audio visual media and interactives are powerfully dynamic but sensitively engaging, giving visitors many alternate ways to connect to the story.”

TEA also said, “this Museum fulfills its mission, conveying its important story with eloquence and emotional power while allowing for thoughtful reflection, learning and tribute by every visitor.”

Electrosonic provided the projection system design and integration for Universal for Harry Potter & The Escape from Gringotts, a new ride attraction at Universal Studios Florida. TEA cited the ride for its overall excellence and emotionally engaging quality saying, “in the themed entertainment industry, this attraction seems clearly to be the new yardstick by which all will be measured.” TEA noted that, “using what must be the largest screen images ever employed in a ride-through attraction, combined with extremely sharp-filmed imagery, [the ride] delivers the convincing illusion of absolute reality.”

In addition, Electrosonic handled the design and systems integration for BRC Imaginations Arts, and maintains a service contract for Amore Pacific at The StoryGarden on the Amorepacific Beauty Campus in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. Situated at the corporate headquarters of the cosmetics and beauty products company, The StoryGarden was singled out by TEA for transforming the concept of a factory tour, “elevating the experience of a brand visitor center to the highest artistic and emotional standard…The arrival, interior design, media installations, interactives and galleries all deliver on the essence of Amorepacific’s brand while also delivering a distinctive experience.”

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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Clay Paky Sharpy Fixtures Help Deliver Powerful Message For “Stand Up to Cancer” Blockbuster Special

1When the fourth biennial “Stand Up to Cancer” special aired in the US and Canada on September 5 it raised more than $109 million for its groundbreaking collaborative research efforts. Some 60 Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures were deployed for the event. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of both brands in North America.

More than three dozen broadcast and cable networks in the US and Canada telecast “Stand Up to Cancer.” The show, staged at LA’s Dolby Theatre, featured celebrity guests, music by Lupe Fiasco, Jennifer Hudson and Common, The Who, the Dave Matthews Band, and Ariana Grande, and inspiring stories about patients who have benefited from the research supported by the organization. Atomic Lighting of Lititz, Pennsylvania provided the Clay Paky fixtures.

“This show really means a lot to me,” says Brad Hafer, vice president of account management, at Atomic Lighting. “‘Stand Up to Cancer’ is about something real – it’s not just done for ratings. It made us all feel that we were contributing something to the cause.”

Allen Branton was the lighting designer for the special with Felix Peralta, Daniel K. Boland and Darren Langer the lighting directors. Peralta worked closely with Branton on the show design. “We’ve been associated with ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ before; its message is a very powerful one and the show has high production values, but not flashy ones,” he explains.

The Sharpys were used as strong beam lights and for their Sharpy dappling technique, Peralta points out. “Giant white walls acted as video projection surfaces, which we enhanced with accents of color or Sharpy dappling – treating the scenic pieces with the high-output fixtures to create a nice effect that you can’t get with a hard-edged light. It was a big part of the look of the show.”

Since the special was “a strong, video-driven show,” Peralta teamed with Laura Frank, screens producer and media programmer, on the media canvas. “She and I like to make sure the lighting and video stories come from the same center, that the transitions are the same, the color schemes complementary or matching,” he explains. “When lighting and video play together both are much more powerful.”

Frank, who is the principal of Minneapolis-based Luminous FX, says Kurtis Kennington of Digital Flodur designed the media content creating “about a dozen looks for the show, plus the band. The entire set was projection mapped so the environment was video driven.” Looks included themes of science and technology to support certain speakers; the band was often accompanied by photomontages of cancer survivors.

“The show was as much about lighting the people in the audience as those on stage,” says Boland. “We made sure everyone was lit, the color temperature was fine. During rehearsal we keyed at least six positions for the people making speeches and introducing the videos, including one on a round extension into the audience.”

Darren Langer, the floor lighting director, worked closely with Boland to ensure consistent exposure levels for the talent and the audience and a “polished” look, Peralta says.

Peralta himself was responsible for lighting the environment for the show, including the scenic pieces and architecture of the house. He says production designer John Calkins partnered with Branton to create a “tasteful and powerful” environment that helped deliver the show’s strong message.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, concluded, “This was a very important show for a lot of reasons and we were proud to be a part of it. All the lighting professionals involved in this show are great talents and we always enjoy working with them.”

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

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Lightware Launches Series of Input and Output Boards for 25G Matrix Platform

25g_boards_4kLightware Visual Engineering has introduced a new set of boards for its flagship 25G matrix platform. They include the 4K-compliant 25G-HDMI2, the 25G-DVID2, and the 25G-OPTS2 and OPTM2 all of which feature 4K UHD support and handle resolutions up to 4096×2160 @ 30Hz. Lightware USA. is the US distributor of Lightware Visual Engineering products.

“Lightware offers the world’s fastest matrix switcher, the 25G Hybrid 80×80 frame, and has many supporting products in the 25G family,” says Drew Taylor, director of sales and applications at Lightware USA. “There are now many different I/O boards available for the 25G frames but these three stand out for the capabilities and flexibility that every Lightware user will want to take advantage of.”

Lightware’s 25G Hybrid frames are scalable up to 160 inputs and 160 outputs and manage signals in 8 distinct layers. The platforms offer break-away switching, which has never been achieved before and which effectively results in “three-dimensional” switching flexibility. At the heart of the platform are the various I/O boards, which connect sources and display devices together either locally or through various extender options.

The 25G-HDMI2 4K compatible HDMI input and output boards provide fully transparent HDMI 1.4 connectivity to the latest high-end digital sources including the Audio Return Channel and 3D functions between the endpoints. The new 300 MHz board supports the latest 3D formats as well as HD multichannel audio. They feature 8 HDMI connectors with an additional digital S/PDIF audio connector for each HDMI port. Each input and output has 30m copper cable compensation and individual EDID Management.

The 25G-DVID2 4K compatible DVI-D single-link input and output boards provide fully transparent HDMI 1.4 connectivity to the latest high-end digital sources including 3D functions between the endpoints. The new 300 MHz board supports the latest 3D formats as well as HD multichannel audio. Each input and output has 30m copper cable compensation and individual EDID Management.

The 25G-HDM2 and 25G-DVID2 series are both available with different audio and USB add-ons for more complex applications where advanced audio or control options are necessary.

The 25G-OPTS2 4K compatible single-mode optical input and output boards are available with a variety of fiber optical connectors like LC, SC, ST or Neutrik OpticalCON. These optical boards can extend up to 10,000m distance with single-mode fiber technology. The OPTS technology provides a transparent medium for all existing video, audio and control signal formats according to the 25G multilayer architecture (Video, Audio, Ethernet, USB KVM, RS-232, IR and CEC transmission), and allows extension from MODEX transmitter and receiver units.

The 25G-OPTM2 4K compatible multi-mode optical input and output boards are available with a variety of fiber optical connectors like LC, SC, ST or Neutrik OpticalCON. These optical boards can extend up to 300m distance over multi-mode fiber. The OPTM technology provides a transparent medium for all existing video, audio and control signal formats according to the 25G multilayer architecture (Video, Audio, Ethernet, USB KVM, RS-232, IR and CEC transmission), and allows extension from MODEX transmitter and receiver units.

“The addition of these three series of boards demonstrates the deep and expanding commitment of Lightware to 25G signal management,” Taylor reports.

About Lightware USA

Lightware USA is the US distributor of professional AV products manufactured by Lightware Visual Engineering in Budapest, Hungary. With the flexibility of the Lightware product line, the Lightware USA team is able to assist with the design for some of the highest performance systems in the world. Router sizes ranging from the robust UMX4x4-Pro up to the impressive 160×160 25G Hybrid give Lightware USA the edge over the competition when it comes to routing multiple video sources to the ever changing variety of displays in the industry. Their array of solutions for extending the highest resolution video formats including 4K and 3D over Cat or Fiber put Lightware USA on the forefront of cutting edge technology.

For more information on these products, visit www.LightwareUSA.com.

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New York Festival of Light Makes a Hit in DUMBO with Clay Paky Supersharpys in U.S. Debut in Dazzling Beacon Installation

New York Festival of Lights, Dumbo/Brooklyn New YorkThe first annual New York Festival of Light (NYFOL) came alive November 6, 7 and 8 after dark in DUMBO, Brooklyn attracting crowds so large that the family event had to turn away people Saturday night. NYFOL utilized numerous Clay Paky fixtures on the main stage under the Archway of the Manhattan Bridge, and Clay Paky’s new Supersharpys, controlled by a grandMA2 onPC Command Wing, created the spectacular Beacon installation at The Pearl Street Triangle. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky lighting and grandMA products in North America.

NYFOL offered visitors a curated collection of lighting installations created by local and international lighting designers, performance artists and technologists – all working with the medium of light. The event was presented by The New York Festival of Light Organization, a non-profit art group. Its vision is to create and provide a unique and delightful experience for residents and tourists by enhancing New York City’s architecture through interactive, static and projected lighting installations.

NYFOL marked the U.S. debut of Clay Paky’s Supersharpy fixture. Clay Paky was also represented at the festival by a dozen each of Sharpys, Alpha Spot HPE 700s and A.leda B-EYE K10s.

Lighting designer Ira Levy, who heads lighting production company Levy Lighting NYC, cofounded NYFOL with Liam O’Braion and serves as its creative director. Four years in the making, NYFOL finally gives New York the kind of impressive festival of light found in other major cities.

“We have such an active lighting industry and were the only city without a festival of light,” says Levy. When prospective sponsors and others asked for a proof of concept, The NYFOL Organization staged last year’s First Light in lower Manhattan as a launch event to raise awareness and generate excitement for a festival of light. A.C.T Lighting supported First Light and was eager to jump on board for NYFOL, which was planned for DUMBO.

“Ira is a long-time friend, so we offered to provide the new Supersharpys and create a powerful statement for the festival,” says Brian Dowd, vice president of sales at A.C.T Lighting. Collaborating with Levy, he mounted eight Supersharpys on a 6-foot tall platform and pointed the lights up at the sky to form a the Beacon, a stunning tapering column of blue light that could be seen from midtown Manhattan. A big mirror ball hung in the center of the platform spilling shards of light over the area when the beams focused on it.

“We have been demo’ing Supersharpys to customers here for several months but this was believed to be the first use of Supersharpys in the U.S.,” says Dowd. “Supersharpys were just used to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Each Supersharpy is only 470 watts but their power is mind-numbing: Nothing in lighting history comes close to it.”

Clay Paky builds on the Sharpy’s worldwide success with Supersharpy, an ACL beam-type moving head featuring a 470-watt, 7,800K lamp. Its light beam is three times brighter than Sharpy and packs an even bigger impact than the numbers suggest. Supersharpy’s light can reach incredible mid-air distances, making it the first low-wattage beam light that can really challenge a searchlight.

“The Beacon became an iconic part of the festival,” says Levy. “It reached up higher than the 20-story buildings in the neighborhood, and you could see the rotating pattern in the clouds.”

Dowd provided a grandMA2 onPC Command Wing to run the Beacon. “Its small footprint adapted well to the location,” he says. “It’s small but has all the power of the grandMA2 light in a package that was easily transportable to DUMBO.”

Levy Lighting provided the Clay Paky fixtures that played key roles on the main stage under the Archway of the Manhattan Bridge lighting the performers and highlighting the architecture of the structure. The stage hosted an array of DJs as well as singer and light performer Nicole Renaud; the sonic cinema group Zero Times Everything, which provided the live soundtrack for the laser show; and iLuminate.

“We lined the tunnel with two lines of stick truss, which housed the moving lights and laser system,” Levy explains. Twelve Sharpys accentuated the laser effects shooting beams “that were safe enough to light people,” he says. Twelve Alpha Spot HPE 700s “gave texture and depth to the ceiling architecture” while twelve B-EYE K10s “washed the stage and highlighted the performers.”

The NYFOL Organization was “really elated with the response” to the festival, which quickly went viral via social media and the local press, Levy says. “We felt it was a real opportunity for our industry to branch out from what people expect us to do – light for New York theater and concerts – and also capitalize on the general public’s fascination with light. It opened the door for more than B-to-B relationships. We were gratified to see so many young people and hope kids will remember it and students will think of light as a career path. NYFOL can also be a hatching ground for manufacturers to think about different – maybe unintended – ways to use their lights. It opens up the industry to more creativity by more people.”

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 and B-EYEs Amp Up the Energy at “Nights by Absolut” on Brooklyn’s Pier 9

IMG_7890Clay Paky Sharpy and B-EYE K20 fixtures helped light up the New York City sky when “Nights by Absolut” launched on September 12 with a high-volume, high-energy twist on the club scene.

Vita Motus, the design studio of Heather Shaw, transformed the Pier 9 Container Terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn into one of the most exciting clubs in the world for just one night. The iconic silhouette of the Absolut vodka bottle took center stage with the New York City skyline illuminated behind it. DJs Alvin Risk and Araabmuzik took command of the music on the stage below and built suspense for a surprise appearance by guest DJ Zedd.

The event, produced by VICE, was part of the innovative Absolut brand campaign, “Transform Today,” which launched last year. “Nights by Absolut” staged in Johannesburg, Berlin and Sao Paulo followed.

DMDS7tudios of North Miami Beach worked with Vita Motus and VT Pro Design to bring the custom-rigged, 85-foot tall Absolut silhouette to life with 84 Clay Paky B-EYE K20s and 72 Clay Paky Sharpys.

“The goal for the design team was to bring a very progressive brand like Absolut to the forefront of the technology movement, and there is no other effect or lighting fixture on the market currently that has so many options and so much power as the B-EYE,” says Scott Chmielewski, principal of DMDS7tudios, which was brought onto the project as programmers and technology consultants and integrators. The company was charged with programming and implementing the B-EYE lighting effects and pixel mapping the individual LED cells within the fixtures.

“There is literally nothing like the look of the B-EYE out there and, with the fixture’s latest software, options have expanded dramatically,” notes Chmielewski. “The ability of the B-EYE to change from a very powerful and bright wash light to an effects-filled fixture made it an obvious choice for this project.”

He calls the design of “Nights by Absolut” “nothing short of immersive in both its scale and use of technology. Using a well-scripted and choreographed escalation of the event, each element of the project came to life in dramatic steps showcasing a different use of technology and integrated design.”

Chmielewski says there were “no issues with any of the gear” during the pop-up club’s unforgettable one-night only event on Pier 9. “Every element of this show performed flawlessly. We were in an exposed outdoor environment with limited access to the fixtures once they were hung, so that’s one of the reasons the B-EYEs were chosen,” Chmielewski says. “So many options, so few moving parts.”

“Scott is such an innovative designer and this project was really impressive,” says A.C.T Lighting Vice President of Sales, Brian Dowd. “DMDS7tudios has been a great partner of ours and we look forward to many more projects of this caliber from them.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, added, “This was a very interesting project and we’re so glad the B-Eyes were able to delivery everything Scott needed for this. We look forward to working with him again.”

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Moorpark College’s MDG Ice Fog Q Generator Delivers Just the Right Atmosphere for New Production of “Dracula”

MC DRAC 1Dracula is eternally popular. A new version of the tale of Vlad the Impaler hit big screens recently while on stage Steven Dietz’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” opened at the Moorpark College Performing Arts Center where an MDG Ice Fog Q generator helped create just the right atmosphere for the play. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of MDG foggers in North America.

Moorpark College is one of three in the Ventura Country Community College District near Simi Valley, California. The Performing Arts Center staged “Dracula” in time for Halloween with evening and afternoon performances in mid- to late-October.

“When the theater opened in 1996 we had two dry ice barrels with pumps for fog effects, and they broke down a lot,” recalls Mickey Howell, the performing arts technician at the theater. “Then we rented MDG Ice Fog units. In the last couple of years funding from the state has enabled us to buy new equipment, and an MDG fogger was one of the things on my list.”

Unlike traditional dry ice machines, MDG Ice Fog generators use liquid CO2, or liquid N2, to create the maximum low-lying fog with zero residue. The machines are extremely quiet, self-contained units on wheels for easy operation. They offer adjustable low fog output and are compatible with remote control timers and a DMX interface.

Howell had seen an MDG Ice Fog Q machine at LDI and was impressed by the amount of its output in a short amount of time. “Also, you could pump it out for long periods – five or ten minutes continuously,” he says. In addition, “the fog dissipates rather than rises. With dry ice there are so many nuances and it can be dangerous, especially around students. But the MDG fogger is very easy to use. It’s the best I’ve seen in the past two years.”

“Dracula” marked the debut of the system. And it couldn’t have picked a better play to showcase its capabilities. Fog shrouds Dracula’s castle and Lucy’s tomb and, at times, Dracula himself appears as fog. “One of the characteristics of Dracula is that he is actually fog in part of the play,” Howell explains. “It’s a great effect, and we’re glad to be in the position to create it now.”

He reports that the MDG Ice Fog Q “worked out really well” for “Dracula.” “It’s an incredible unit that does what we tell it to do. It produces great effects and is very reliable. And in theater reliability is especially critical.”

Howell gives kudos to A.C.T Lighting president Bob Gordon who has “helped educate” him on equipment to enhance the Moorpark College productions. “The first set of scrollers we ever got were from Bob – we’ve been dealing with A.C.T since we opened,” he says. “Bob has helped me to grow the equipment inventory and the quality of my theater. It’s nice to work with someone you know and trust.”

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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