Focus on Fundamentals

Tour School’s STEADI Program

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Tour School’s STEADI ProgramA few years ago, when Tour School co-founders Ed Wannebo and Dr. Susan Ullrich looked out on the state of staffing the production industry, what they saw concerned them. On-the-job training continues to be one of the primary methods of training new recruits, but the founders wondered what improvements could be made to the process. Add a comment

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Houses of Worship

Installations: Bonita Valley Community Church

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Bonita Valley Community ChurchWorship Facility Opens with Versatile Lighting, Video System

After 10 years of fundraising, design, and construction, Bonita Valley Community Church (BVCC) opened the doors to its new home of worship July 2014. Building dedication ceremonies took place just last month, on the one-year anniversary of the opening.

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Houses of Worship

Installations - Destiny Christian Church

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Illuminate Production Services (IPS) owner Rick Franke and his son, Caleb, helped the church modernize its visual presentation to churchgoers.Destiny Christian Church is a well-established parish with a number of ministries, classes and outreach programs providing for a congregation of over 3,000. A growing ministry located in Rocklin, CA, they sought to change their style of worship and their approach to the worship experience, with lighting as a key component. Rick Franke, owner of Illuminate Production Services (IPS) has been instrumental in this goal. Hailing from a family steeped in ministry, he himself served as a youth minister for 15 years. He tells a bit of his back-story.

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Houses of Worship

A Talk with LD Greg Persinger

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Greg Persinger and Vivid Illumination helped transform Indian Hills Community Church in Lincoln, NE.Greg Persinger found his calling as a church lighting designer by asking a simple question: Could he augment his touring rig with the church’s in-house moving lights? When the tech director he had posed that question to admitted that only one of his 40 fixtures worked, Persinger dug deeper into the reasons why. You could call it inspired intervention.

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Houses of Worship

LED Technologies - A New Dawn for Church Visuals

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LED video opens the door to entirely new forms of visual expression. Pictured here, Chauvet Professional’s PVP S7 LED panels from at the City Church of New Orleans.Advances in LED Technology Create New Opportunities to Engage Worshippers

Churches have long recognized that lighting can help engage their congregations in a number of different ways, from reflecting the varying moods of services to creating a more visually appealing presentation on stage. Adding new dynamic visual elements to their services will also help churches attract and keep the attention of younger people.

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In the Trenches

Preparing FOH for a Festival

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Vickie Claiborne at FOH during the inaugural Rock in Rio USA festival, which took place in Las Vegas May 9-10, 2015.Earlier this year I had the opportunity to head up a talented team of programmers for a major music festival making its USA debut, Rock in Rio.  Having worked in concert touring throughout my career, I am no stranger to music festivals; however, I had never been the “go to” person for a main stage at a festival, so I eagerly took on the challenge and began preparing myself.

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In the Trenches

Russ Felton on Festival Prep Work

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Russ Felton, in the trenches, doing festival prep work.I was recently able to catch up with Russ Felton during a break in his schedule, which is one that barely allows for sleep. I’m chatting with him during lunch to see how he handles all the pressures of dealing with the lighting at these massive festival shows he works on. Russ is one of the top lighting crew chiefs in the world. He is employed by BML Blackbird, one of the top lighting companies on the East Coast, located in Secaucus, NJ, right outside NYC. Russ deals with everything from touring acts to trade shows to stadium-sized festivals.

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Video Guru

Video Technician Summer Camp!

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Leatherman Surge multi-toolThe following is a list that we have compiled to help you, the budding video technician know what to pack for camp this year.  It is by no means a complete list, but it’s a good start for the young camper.  We’re excited that you chose this path and can’t wait to meet all the campers and have them learn this fun, exciting craft!  We’ll do most of our work indoors, but sometimes we’ll be outside so don’t forget the rain gear.  Also, as much as we want you campers to be comfortable and have the right stuff, the bus is a little limited on space- so try not to pack too much.  Even though we have a strong returning group of people, many of you are new to this camp and are pretty nervous.  That’s okay!  We’ll help you out and make sure you have a fun, safe trip!

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Lighting for the Camera

Lighting 'American Ninja Warrior' Aboard the USS Iowa Battleship

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Lighting 'American Ninja Warrior' Aboard the USS Iowa BattleshipCalled the “hardest obstacle course in the world,” American Ninja Warrior runs its athletes through such grinding physical trials — i.e. dangling in mid-air while swinging from one set of sharp spiked grips to the next — that no contestant has ever been able to complete them all and emerge a winner. The big winner has been the top-rated NBC reality show itself. Now in its seventh season and drawing over 5 million weekly viewers, ANW has tackled its own challenge of maintaining edge and excitement by continually affecting new themes as it takes its famed truss course to different locations across the U.S.

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Feeding the Machines

The Perfect Programmer Recipe

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Making the perfect programmer requires a host of carefully selected ingredients mixed together. When this recipe is followed, the result is a highly talented and creative individual capable of orchestrating his/her fingers over a lighting console to direct lighting and video elements into a carefully crafted piece of art. A perfect programmer requires much more than just knowledge of console commands, so it is essential to follow this recipe completely. Mixing the elements together to form a programmer necessitates careful selection of the correct quality ingredients. Let’s take a look at what it takes to make a perfect programmer: 

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