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Archive by David Steinberg

New Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Chooses Robert Juliat Followspots

When San Antonio’s Tobin Center for the Performing Arts opens in September, its H-E-B Performance Hall and Alvarez Family Studio Theater will boast Robert Juliat Cyrano and Buxie followspots, respectively.

The new Tobin Center rises behind the façade of the former San Antonio Municipal Auditorium along the famed River Walk downtown. The 1,750-seat multi-purpose house will be the home of the San Antonio Symphony and other resident companies; its inaugural 2014-15 season will feature such diverse performers as comedy legend Bill Cosby, radio icon Garrison Keillor and “The Prairie Home Companion” and 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; it has installed four Cyrano 2500W HMI followspots whose narrow beam angle makes them the perfect fixture for long throw distances. The Alvarez Family Studio Theater is a black box-style space with multiple seating arrangements; it has acquired a pair of Buxie 575W MSD ultra-compact followspots, which deliver a powerful punch in a small package.

Technical Director Stefan De Wilde was familiar with Robert Juliat followspots from his tenures with Disney and Cirque du Soleil. DeWilde confidently selected the followspots, stating that Robert Juliat followspots “were the industry standard for top-of-the-line fixtures,” he says. “They were the most flexible, light-weight units with high output and extremely high quality. The Tobin Center is booked through 2017 so these lights will get a lot of use. We need products that will hold up under a lot of use and still provide a beautiful, powerful output of light.”

The Cyranos were an ideal choice for the large H-E-B Performance Hall. “We needed a long throw, flicker-free unit since we will accommodate broadcast level television production,” notes De Wilde. “The design was also important. The Cyrano’s color changer is mounted on the center of the fixture, which is more ergonomic for the operator, and the fixture is balanced.”

Likewise, the compact Buxies were a good fit for the Alvarez Family Studio Theater because of their “small footprint, great output and quiet operation,” he reports. “This is a small theater. I can mount the Buxies on a tripod, put them in a spot tower or clamp them to the catwalk railing. They have beautiful optics and will last a long time thanks to their high-quality construction.”

The Robert Juliat followspots were obtained from the Texas Scenic Co.

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Third Eye Blind Rocks with Clay Paky and grandMA2 on 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 and a grandMA2 light console are hitting the road with them. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of both brands in North America.

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.”

Schellenger, who also programs the band’s lighting, uses a grandMA2 light for lighting control and has an onPC command wing for back up and two NPUs in the racks. He migrated to grandMA2 about 18 months ago.

“Now I can’t stand going back to anything else!” he declares. “grandMA2′s too powerful. It does everything I want to do and easily achieves the looks I’m going for. Although I’ve used the full-size grandMA2 many times, the grandMA2 light is the perfect size for touring.”

On the Festival Tour he’s doing quite a lot of bit mapping across the Nexus panels, the B-EYEs and a complement of Martin MAC Auras. 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!”

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Vista Phoenix Management System Installed at Traffic Management Center of Mississippi Department of Transportation

The Mississippi Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Program has installed a Vista Phoenix for its traffic management center. Vista Phoenix’s network-distributed open content management system for the simultaneous encoding, decoding and display of audio-visual data is deployed on the Christie MicroTile wall that monitors traffic cameras.

‘We converted from analog to digital a while back, and our previous equipment was not compatible with an end-to-end digital solution,” says John Gilligan with the Mississippi Department of Transportation. “Vista Phoenix looked to be a very efficient addition for us.”

Vista Phoenix provides seamless access and control of AV data, regardless of the user’s location. Whether used by multiple parallel participants, single offices or in the field through mobile technology, Vista Phoenix connects them all. AV distribution and monitoring are no longer contained to a single location – Vista Phoenix breaks through physical walls to encompass a global workplace.

The simple but powerful system consists of one or many Vista Phoenix hardware nodes as well as web-based management software connected through an Ethernet network. It’s scalable with one or hundreds of nodes, multiple display walls comprising up to 128 screens, multiple desktops and users. Comprehensive tools allow one or thousands of users to simultaneously view, listen to and interact with any source of information found in a multimedia environment from virtually anywhere through a single, robust system.

Vista Phoenix offers support for HDCP, H.264 encryption throughout with drag-and-drop simplicity. The system permits users in public utilities, government, security and surveillance, transportation and telecommunications to confidently make faster and more accurate life critical decisions, even in the most challenging environments.

“Vista Phoenix distributes media to the Christie MicroTile wall, which has a 10×4 configuration,” says Gilligan. “Vista Phoenix handles all the switching, most of which is automated. We’ve programmed the system to have some preset modes. And we broke it down regionally so we can view different regions of the state.”

While Vista Phoenix is already working “great – very efficiently,” Gilligan is looking forward to exploring more of the system’s offerings. “We plan to capitalize on some future capabilities, such as monitoring via the Internet.”

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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Alcorn McBride Supports Three New Powerhouse Exhibits at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Three large, new headline-making exhibits at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis are using an array of Alcorn McBride equipment for show control, lighting control, and audio and video playback.

Known as the world’s biggest and best museum for children and families, the venue’s mission is to create extraordinary learning experiences across the arts, sciences and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. The nearly 500,000-square-foot museum boasts almost 120,000 artifacts and draws 1.25 million visitors annually.

“It’s important to understand that this is a place for children and families where they can learn together and share interactive experiences brought to life through sound and light shows that are made more authentic utilizing tools such as the Alcorn McBride equipment. We find those kinds of details make our visitors feel as if they’re in the actual place depicted in the exhibit,” says Kimberly Harms, Director of Media and Public Relations.

Chief Technical Officer David Donaldson notes that, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ exhibits are strategically designed to encourage family interaction and intergenerational learning vis-à-vis a number of touch points. “High-quality sound and light shows stimulate the senses and help create a feeling in which children and families experience what it would be like to wander around another time or place via high definition video and sound recreations,” he explains. “These immersive experiences make it seem as though you really are in China or traveling the earth 77 million years ago.”

“Leonardo: The Mummified Dinosaur” opened at the museum in March. “We have a permanent exhibit called Dinosphere that is housed in a former CineDome, a large-format theater. It has about 150 programmable lights and artifacts,” says Donaldson. “In part of Dinosphere is Leonardo, the largest intact dinosaur ever discovered and one of only four mummified dinosaurs in the world. He’s about 20 feet long and 77 million years old.” Leonardo is a juvenile Hadrosaur, or plant-eating “duckbill” dinosaur. He was unearthed in Montana in 2001.

“Leonardo is in a special glass case with a sound and light show that tells his story,” Donaldson explains. “He’s already one of our most popular exhibits.”

Alcorn McBride equipment plays a key role in the Dinosphere and the Leonardo exhibits. At the heart of the Dinosphere is a V16 Pro show controller. An A/V Binloop HD handles video playback on monitors throughout Dinosphere. Two Lightcue DMX recorder/players are on hand, one for Dinosphere and one that manages 15 separate lights above the Leonardo exhibit. A single-channel AM4 MP3 and WAV player runs Leonardo’s soundtrack in synch with his lighting. When Leonardo’s seven-minute show is not running a Digital Video Machine HD 8400 plays back animated loops on a 90-inch flat panel display.

“Everything works very well,” Donaldson says. “We have been very happy with the Alcorn McBride gear we use as it has been very reliable and is solid state.”

Two new exhibits opened in May. “Take Me There:(r) China” is the second exhibition to explore modern life in a single culture. Take Me There:(r) Egypt was the first. To get visitors in the mood to travel, they board an airplane fuselage where two video monitors are mounted on the front wall of the cabin and two overhead. Five rows of seats are offered, and windows line the sides. Three slots in an AV Binloop HD play back trip content: a video of flight attendants talking about the journey and views outside the windows. The Binloop triggers buttkickers underneath the seats, which simulate air turbulence.

Elsewhere in “Take Me There:(r) China” an AM4 plays ambient music and street noise in the market place, calligraphy shop, medicine shop and tea house. In a bullet train experience, visitors sit in two rows of seats facing each other with a window in between on which a Digital Video Machine HD 8400 plays back footage shot on the super-speedy bullet train. An additional AM4 is available in a performance space. Staff can press wall buttons to access a series of audio clips programmed directly into the system.

Also in the China gallery is “Terra Cotta Warriors: The Emperor’s Painted Army,” the first children’s museum appearance by the famed tomb statuary since they were excavated near Xian, China in 1974. Fifty visitors at a time are brought into the entry theater’s cue line where they watch a video run off a Digital Video Machine HD 8400. Then they walk into the dimly lit gallery where all of the sound in the 15,000-square-foot space emanates from an AM4. A concluding theater experience features two video walls running a loop from an Alcorn McBride Binloop.

The museum’s Playscape permanent exhibit also features an A/V Binloop HD for its cue line. Playscape incorporates new brain research to create an authentic, physical space to help young families explore some of the most important developmental touchstones of children’s lives. The Binloop runs video in synch for families waiting to enter the space.

“Alcorn McBride equipment has become a standard for us and a very good investment,” says Donaldson. “It’s very reliable, all solid state. When you have families involved, reliability is of the essence. We have a very low threshold for things that don’t work!”

Donaldson also gives kudos to Alcorn McBride’s staff, whom he calls “very responsive. I can always reach someone if I need something – it’s like they’re working right along with us.”

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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Lausanne’s Olympic Museum Reopens with AV System Design, Engineering and Integration by Electrosonic

When The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, reopened recently after a two-year renovation, it made extensive use of audio-visual and interactive techniques that take visitors on what’s been called “a multidimensional journey across the Olympic Universe.” Electrosonic designed the AV system, which is simple for visitors to use and offers maximum flexibility for the museum, under subcontract with media producer Centre Screen Productions of Manchester, England. Electrosonic handled the system engineering and integration under a separate subcontract with Paragon Creative of York, England.

Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, The Olympic Museum is now a greatly expanded, four-level venue spanning more than 32,000 square feet and featuring over 1,000 objects and 150 screens, which deliver an informative and immersive experience to Olympic fans and the curious from around the world. Visitors can tailor their tours to capture a broad view of the games or engage in an in-depth Olympic experience. The augmented reality created by the museum allows each person to seek the information and emotion they’re looking for and perhaps return home with some unexpected knowledge.

Ghostly images of the torch relay, projected onto a curtain of flexible, vertical silicone rubber rods, greet visitors as they walk up the ramp to the uppermost exhibit area, Level 1. The impressive, panoramic “Welcome to Olympia” display shows the origins of the games in ancient Greece. Created by three edge-blended Panasonic projectors, it’s the first of several panoramas visitors encounter. All of them feature multi-channel sound with Tannoy speakers.

The figures of athletes on ancient Greek vases come alive in an engaging interactive table display. The figures on the pottery are animated and displayed directly onto the table surface by projectiondesign projectors. LCDs provide information about the sports shown.

Also making a hit with visitors on Level 1 are the “Olympic Torch” exhibit and the “Historical Timeline.” The torch display includes an array of torches interpreted by six 22-inch Iiyama touch screens, a Panasonic projection of the lighting of the Olympic flame on a screen that can be viewed from front or back, and a stylized projection of flames dancing on the floor, which is part of the exhibit lighting.

The timeline uses five Panasonic projectors to produce one very long image of a “library” whose volumes relate to specific Olympic games. Five small interactive podiums enable visitors to open up a volume of their choice and see a compilation of images from that year’s games play out across parts of the timeline.

Another Panasonic three-projector panorama, this one dedicated to “The Best of Opening Ceremonies” from the games, completes the tour of Level 1.

Level 0, where the stories of the Summer Games, Winter Games, Paralympics and Youth Olympics are told, features a number of surround screens with multi-image content. Interactive displays in each area are based on 7thSense Delta server architecture for remote updating of content as needed. The panoramic “Inside the Race,” with five edge-blended Panasonic projectors, envelops visitors with highlights from the games and close-up looks at the athletes’ grit and determination to succeed.

The lowest exhibition level, Level -1, is devoted to the theme of “The Olympic Spirit.” The International Plaza has a three-screen display as well as three stacks of 55-inch, narrow-bezel Panasonic LCDs. Another three projector display acts as a backdrop to an exhibit of Olympic medals.

The “Words of Olympians” exhibit enables visitors to learn about athletes and hear their own accounts of participating in the games. Twenty AV stations, featuring 22-inch Iiyama LCDs, play looped programs. Stop and Listen Gorilla handsets deliver the audio.

The great number of screens throughout The Olympic Museum challenged Electrosonic to develop a consistent approach to the overall systems design. That approach is based on carrying all the video, audio and control signals on standard CAT-6 cabling; housing all computers and servers in racks in dedicated control rooms near the exhibits they serve; and minimizing variations in practicable equipment.

Four control rooms on the three different levels are outfitted with 19 equipment racks. The racks in each control room represent a sub-system under the control of a Medialon system controller. One of the Level 1 control rooms has been designated the Master control room for overall system control and linking to the museum’s Building Management System for automatic scheduled operation.

Electrosonic also specified a standard OEM computer for the interactive exhibits to ensure consistency of performance and to simplify maintenance. Delays due to compatibility problems that might not have been discovered until equipment arrived on site were eliminated by test-running the content on the standard computer prior to delivery.

Mark Pyrah, CEO of Paragon Creative Ltd said, “As turnkey fit out contractor we worked closely with fellow British companies Centre Screen and Electrosonic to create seamless immersive environments that entertain, thrill and motivate in an entertaining and memorable way. We are delighted to say that the project was completed to both schedule and budget. We are immensely proud to have been involved in this stunning project.”
“Electrosonic put together a first class team, and from the kickoff meeting in Lausanne to the final installation 18 months later, the whole team performed superbly,” said Dave Postlethwaite, CEO of Centre Screen Production. “As a software producer you need a hardware company that is experienced, flexible, rigorous in their methodology and systems and, very importantly, has a team with boundless enthusiasm; Electrosonic had it all!”
Concluded David Rodriguez, Project Manager for the Technology and Information Department at the International Olympic Committee (IOC), “Electrosonic worked with the content manager, the integrator and the IOC, taking into account the needs of each and proposing technical solutions complying with the technical and energy-saving standards of the country. All of the interactive terminals, 98 projectors and 30 large-screen monitors and respective PCs were installed within very tightly imposed deadlines. After six months of operation, there have been very few problems. This shows the quality of the work Electrosonic did for The Olympic Museum. We are very pleased to have been able to work on this project with them.”

London-based Metaphor was the creative advisor throughout the museum rebuild. Paragon Creative appointed Mather and Company to handle exhibition design and Sutton Vane Associates lighting design. Centre Screen named Peter Key as audio consultant.

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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A.C.T Lighting becomes the exclusive distributor for Robert Juliat lighting solutions in the US

Robert Juliat and A.C.T Lighting have entered into a strategic agreement for A.C.T Lighting to become the exclusive distributor for all Robert Juliat products in the US.

The RJ USA Wallingford office will remain operational through the end of the year, but A.C.T Lighting will manage all sales and customer service issues going forward. RJ USA’s Fred Lindauer and Pete Engel will join the A.C.T Lighting sales group and the entire team will work together to provide a smooth and seamless transition.

Founded in 1993, A.C.T Lighting is the leading distributor of entertainment lighting equipment used in the concert touring, theatrical, and architectural industries.

“We are very proud to add Robert Juliat lighting products to A.C.T roster,” says A.C.T Lighting Chairman Bob Gordon. “Robert Juliat has long been a leader in the field and has established an excellent reputation for top-quality lighting fixtures based around superb optics and ergonomic design.” Robert Juliat is approaching its centenary: It was founded in 1919 and is still 100 percent family owned.

“We feel this agreement is a logical way to provide a future growth for Robert Juliat in the US. A.C.T Lighting is well positioned in the American market to bring added value for both the customers and Robert Juliat,” explains Robert Juliat’s Managing Director, François Juliat.

Contact sales@actlighting.com for further information.

Information on all Robert Juliat lighting products can be found at www.robertjuliat.com

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Mitsubishi Electric’s Diamond Vision Division Depends on Reliable Lightware Routers for Failure Control of Stadiums’ LED Screens

The Diamond Vision Systems of Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc. (MEPPI) has a big picture perspective of what Lightware Visual Engineering’s matrix routers offer the company’s stadium clients from coast to coast. Lightware USA is the US distributor for Budapest-based Lightware Visual Engineering products.

“Our primary application for Lightware is failover control” for the 15×58-foot LED “hustle boards” at the corners of stadiums, says engineering manager David Corathers. “We’ll put a big switcher on the front end [of our LED screens] with outputs for primary sources. But we also have to be able to patch different sources and need the routers in there for back up.”

Corathers has deployed an array of Lightware routers for the large LED screens at the homes of the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills. “The stadiums are installing new screens and upgrading all their systems,” he explains. “It’s often a case of having to support old and new screens, although Buffalo has all new stuff. We have a Lightware MX8x8DVI-Pro in there; another phase of the upgrade will require another 8×8. We’ve also been using 16x16s and the 4x4s and 4x8s for smaller projects.”

Lightware MX8x4DVI-Pro and MX8x8DVI-Pro is an 8 input 4 output or an 8 input 8 output DVI matrix router, switching all DVI-D resolutions from 640×480 @ 60Hz to 1920 x 1200 including all HDTV resolutions: 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 2048 x1080. All inputs have a unique cable equalization circuit which allows using up to 50 meter cable. All outputs drive 500 mA power on DVI +5V pin to power fiber optical DVI cables.

MX8x4DVI-Pro and MX8x8DVI-Pro contain an Advanced EDID Management system; EDID monitor identification data determines the native pixel resolution and refresh rates for connected computers. The user can emulate any EDID on the switcher’s inputs independently, read out and store any attached monitor’s EDID in 100 internal memory locations, and upload and download EDID files using the Lightware Matrix Control Software.

Corathers says Lightware products score high in reliability, ease of use and cost-effective pricing. “They offer good reliability at a reasonable price. We’re always looking for the best value for our customers, and the Lightware products do just that.”

About Lightware USA

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 in size from the robust UMX4x4-Pro up to the impressive 160×1602 5G 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 of resolution video formats including 4K and 3D over Cat or Fiber also set the product line apart from that of other manufacturers.

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

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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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