Editor's Note

Learning to Love Video

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Nook SchoenfeldI saw two shows last month that had absolutely no video components. It was odd, having to focus on the performers themselves with nothing other than a lovely set to distract you. Okay, one was The Grinch, a play performed quite professionally at the Children’s Theater of Minneapolis. And the other was a punk rock band I saw thrashing in a club. They were good shows… but then I saw Fleetwood Mac last night, and it was a spectacle to behold. It all came back to me — why I love my pixels. I like them small, big, spread out or even on curved surfaces. They just make me happy.

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Publishers Note

There is Some History Worth Repeating

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15 Years of PLSNI like history. In fact, I even minored in it in college. I guess I am a firm believer in the old adage, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Actually, there is some history that is worth repeating. For instance, I’d be happy to take another 15 years like the first 15 years of PLSN. Yes, with this issue of PLSN we are now officially 15 years old — smack dab in the middle of adolescence!

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On the Road

Justin Kitchenman, LD for Luke Bryan

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Justin KitchenmanTour: Luke Bryan

Dates: “My Kind of Night Tour” runs Jan. 2014-March 2015. A new production starts May 2015.

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Features

Cirque du Soleil Varekai: Riggers Fly Performers, Not Just Motors

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Cirque du Soleil Varekai: Riggers Fly Performers, Not Just MotorsI recently visited behind the scenes at Cirque du Soleil’s traveling arena show, Varekai. As with all of this company’s performances, safety is the key factor. Performers fly through the air, climb 20 feet up on set pieces and do all kinds of circus style stunts, without a net. Production manager Mike Naumann walked me through the setup and how Varekai rolls.

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Features

PLSN Celebrates 15 Years

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PLSN in 2000 and in 2015For a 15th Anniversary, apparently it’s appropriate to give crystal. We’ll demur, but it’s crystal clear that it has been a grand and successful adventure — one that promises to continue many years to come. Of course, we got here with a lot of help and support from our advertisers, some of whom were with us from the very beginning.

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Features

LabeLive & Lecrae: A Production Company Unites with an Artist to Step Up His Tour

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Lecrae (c) Daniel Routh, Daniel Routh PhotographyNashville and the phrase professional songwriting are practically synonymous. The city’s importance to contemporary and traditional American country music is undeniable and self-evident. But in recent years, Nashville has experienced an influx of recording artists of all stripes, positioning the capital of the Volunteer State as an emerging force in the live-event industry.

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Features

CMT's Ultimate Kickoff Party: LD Mike Swinford Gives New Fixture its Debut in a TV Special

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CMT Kickoff (c) Michael Appel

The very first College Football Playoff National Championship Game took place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on Jan. 12, replacing the BCS National Championship Game of seasons past, and with it came a whole weekend of festivities, none of which were brighter than CMT’s Ultimate Kickoff Party.

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Features

Lighting the Los Angeles Auto Show: No-Nonsense Moving Light Gets the Job Done

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Lighting designers have substantially cut labor costs and focus time requirements while adding improve light ante precision with the console-controlled fixturesHeld Nov. 21-30 at the L.A. Convention Center, the Los Angeles Auto Show (LAAS) is one of the most influential auto shows in the world. Production companies TLS Productions, Inc. and Christie Lites client Creative Technology played a major role at the event, using nearly 2,000 Elation Design PARs to light cars and scenic elements for some of the world’s top car brands.

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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

Ted Sydor: Projecting His Own Path at the Met

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Sydor, an animator, helped the Met make the leap to digital imageryEdmund “Ted” Sydor is an old-school analog man working in a digital world. Originally a stop-motion animator, he is now the projections supervisor for the Metropolitan Opera, and he is applying his offline, old school know-how to a brave new digital realm for both himself and his employers. “It’s the new fancy tool in the toolbox,” he acknowledges. “Half of our new productions this season have a major video component in them.” Over the years, he has played a major role in shaping the Met’s video imperative, learning and growing on the job.

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