Editor's Note

Amateurs vs. Amateurism

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Nook Schoenfeld introduces the April 2015 issue of PLSN magazineAn amateur is defined as someone who doesn’t get paid for the work they are doing. An amateur may be a college athlete busting his butt in exchange for an education. He or she may be a volunteer worker. They may not be trained well, but they are doing their best to do something they want to participate in. Either way, they are not considered skilled professionals, even if they are quite good at what they do.

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On the Road

Nate Cromwell, Lighting Director for John Mellencamp

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Lighting director Nate Cromwell is working with LD Steve Cohen on the tour looks for John Mellencamp's 2015 shows. Photo courtesy John Mellencamp Management.Tour: John Mellencamp’s Plain Spoken Tour

Dates: In theaters, Jan. 21-Aug. 4, 2015, North America

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Features

Ultra Music Festival in Miami Turns 17

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Ultra Music Festival 2015 - Worldwide Stage photo courtesy of Chauvet Professional.After 17 years, the Ultra Music Festival has become an institution in Miami. The 2015 event, held March 27-29, drew 150,000 from around the world with the world’s top DJs spread over several stages. They play in front of what can best be described as “lighting sculptures,” because the structure designs are so unique, massive and spread out over the complex that one can hardly refer to them as just a lighting rig. PLSN caught up with LD/production designer Steve Lieberman to speak about his designs.

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Features

Mobeon Credits Switcher for Live Production Edge

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Mobeon used Roland’s VR-50HD for E3 2014.Mobeon is a company that thrives on creating live interactive events, where audiences are engaged and the client’s messages can be seen and heard with the highest quality possible. They produce live production and streaming services for concerts, competitions, conferences, conventions, corporate events, houses of worship and worldwide product launches. This company specializes in transforming media.

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Features

At 2015 Milan Expo, China’s National Pavilion to Feature LED-Infused “Field of Hope”

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The field is comprised of strands featuring CreateLED technologies.A major focal point for the 4,590-square-foot China National Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo in Italy this year will be a dream-like field of LED-infused artistry titled The Field of Hope, the Spring of Life. More than 140 countries are participating in the exhibition, which is expecting to draw close to 20 million visits from people around the world for a six-month span starting May 1 and ending Oct. 31, 2015.

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Features

87th Academy Awards Visuals Rely on New Hippotizer V4 Media Server System

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The 2015 Academy Awards ceremony at the Kodak Theatre. Photos courtesy Green HippoFor the seventh year running, Hippotizer by Green Hippo was the media server of choice at the Academy Awards, broadcast from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Feb. 22. But if the brand hasn’t changed, the crew found a new visual solution with Hippotizer’s new V4 hardware and software system.

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Features

USITT 2015 Features Record Number of Attendees, New Lighting and Video Technologies

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Terrence Spivey’s keynote focused on diversity. Image courtesy USITTMore than 280 exhibitors were on hand at the USITT show March 18-21 to share information on their latest products with a record 5,500 attendees. It was a very positive experience as students, professors and distinguished guests participated in panel discussions that followed the keynote speech by Terrence Spivey of Karamu House (pictured here).

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Features

Fleetwood Mac: The Full-On Mac is Back

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FleetWood Mac (c) Steven JenningsI’m having lunch today with Paul “Arlo” Guthrie, who could well be the finest Australian export to the States since Vegemite. He has again assumed his recurring role as production designer for Fleetwood Mac’s latest world tour. The band wrapped up well over a year ago when one of the founding members, bassist John McVie, had to take a leave of absence due to health issues. But that was after another original member, Christine McVie, sat in with the band for a show in London last year. She had been missing from the lineup since 1998, and for the first time in 17 years, the five members from the powerhouse lineup of the 1970s were involved in the show. I also spoke with lighting director Chris Lose and with screens provider Danny O’Bryen about the tour.

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Inside Theatre

Anna Louizos' Scenic Design for Broadway's 'Honeymoon in Vegas"

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Honeymoon in Vegas on Broadway, photo by Joan MarcusThe marriage of classic stage scenery and video backdrops in the current musical Honeymoon In Vegas represents a synergy of old and new school technology that imbues the production with a fresh modern look without going into visual overdrive. Tony-nominated scenic designer Anna Louizos has worked with traditional scenery and backdrops on shows like The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Curtains, and while two previous shows she worked on implemented video, this time she wanted to tackle the video/projection design herself.

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Production Profile

Ariana Grande "The Honeymoon Tour"

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Ariana Grande concert photo by Paul GuthrieThis is not Broadway, this is a concert. I take my daughters to shows and I look up and can’t find the talent located on stage. We didn’t want that. We wanted a polished act with classy props. Think of a Bette Midler-type show where the singing is never second fiddle to the spectacle. Don’t get me wrong, we have dancers and a great stage set, but our artist is the center of everything.”

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