LITITZ, PA — Walter Eugene Clair, one of the Clair Brothers Audio entrepreneurs, died Dec. 3, 2013. Clair, known as Gene, is pictured here at the 2008 Parnelli Awards, accepting that year’s Audio Innovator Award with his younger brother, Roy. Gene was 73 at the time of his passing.Add a comment
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We have all heard it before — “work smarter, not harder.” It has been drilled into our mind set since our school years. Why work harder than you need to, think about it for a moment and figure out the best way to do it. Thinking about it now, were our early years paving the way for us to be lazy? Not necessarily, it means to be a critical thinker, be aware of your surroundings and make the right/smarter choice.
Tour: ZZ Top
Tour Name: Gang of Outlaws Tour. (ZZ Top with 3 Doors Down, Gretchen Wilson)
Dates: Feb. 14-Dec. 31, 2013, in Australia, Europe and North America
They say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Take that as you like, but we have a few suggestions on how to enjoy yourself while in our hometown. If you can think of it, Vegas can probably make that happen for you. We’ll let your imagination run wild. In the meantime, we have some rated PG-13 suggestions for you.
After years at Earl’s Court, PLASA moved its annual exhibition to open, airy and modern ExCeL London for 2013. More than 11,000 attended, including 2,200 international visitors from at least 84 countries, and the educational program included highlights from Eurovision 2013, the Glastonbury festival, West End theatrical productions and the 2013 Super Bowl Halftime Show.
To download a PDF of PLSN’s Nov. 2013 London Show Report, CLICK HERE
DALLAS — On October 18, the entire 19-block area of the Arts District here was used as an outdoor canvas for an immersive contemporary display of light art dubbed Dallas Aurora. Themed “Light of Convergence,” the project’s goal is to presents light art to the public in unique and unexpected ways, creating a visual interplay with the existing buildings, streets and surfaces of the arts district area. Participating artists showcased nearly 90 works involving lighting, projection, sound and performance art.
Michigan Stadium Halftime Crew Goes Long with Beams and Lasers
On Sept. 7, 2013, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI, the University of Michigan Wolverines squared off against the Fighting Irish from Notre Dame in the latest football matchup in a rivalry that dates back to Nov. 23, 1887. (After giving the Notre Dame students a few pointers about the new sport, Michigan won, 8-0).
Carrie Underwood and a Digital Cast of Thousands Kick Off the NFL Season for NBC
After six seasons, Faith Hill opted out and Carrie Underwood was chosen to sing the musical introduction to NBC’s NFL Sunday Night Football (SNF). A new intro video was created and shot with Underwood’s take on the theme song to kick off each week’s prime time game. It premiered Sunday, Sept. 8, before the Dallas Cowboys hosted the New York Giants.
George Travis knows who the real boss is. “You end up being part of this little touring group that can be a tight, dysfunctional family that shares one goal: putting on a good show,” he says. “We have to remember that when the music starts, we have 8,000 to 80,000 bosses who are the audience. The biggest excitement in this business is when the concert starts. Then you have your immediate reward… or you can also have your immediate judgment!”
Big Fish is certainly one of the most eye-popping spectacles to hit Broadway in years. The stage adaptation of Daniel Wallace’s book, which was also turned into a film by director Tim Burton, is a vibrant musical that features high energy numbers, dozens of scene changes and some dazzling visuals in which scenic and projection design are integrated into a seamless blend. The story concerns Will Bloom (Bobby Steggert), a young husband and expectant father who is trying to discern the truth behind the tall tales frequently orated by his flamboyant father Edward Bloom (Norbert Leo Butz), a small town Alabama man whose health is in decline.
Metallica: Through the Never merges both the concert and dramatic narrative genres into a feature film with visually stunning results. The Picturehouse Entertainment film is an unusual hybrid that reflects the band’s “go big or go home” style. Even the release of the movie was unique as it first opened exclusively in 3D IMAX in the U.S. before going to wide release a week later. Directed by Nimród Antal, who also co-wrote the script with Metallica, the dramatic portions of the story are interwoven with a Metallica concert that, literally at times, bleeds together for a dark visual feast based on the band’s hardcore metal music.
The Pet Shop Boys duo, consisting of Neil Tennant, (vocals, keyboards, occasional guitar) and Chris Lowe (keyboards, occasional vocals) may not be boys anymore — they’re in their mid- and late-50s — but the electronic pop duo have continued their ability to top the charts through the decades. Their 2013 Electric tour supports the July 2013 album release of the same name — the band’s 12th. The album was both a popular and critical success, with U.K. chart results besting any of the duo’s albums since the release of Very in 1993. Since the duo first hit the big time in the mid-1980s, they have sold more than 50 million records.
Australian country music singer Keith Urban embarked on his “Light the Fuse” tour, in support of Fuse, his eighth studio album. The tour launched in Cincinnati, OH on July 18 and ran through Oct. 5 in West Palm Beach, FL on its first North American leg. Urban has two more North America tour legs mapped out for Oct. 18-Dec. 8, 2013 and Jan. 9-Feb. 1, 2014. The album’s lead single, “Little Bit of Everything,” debuted in mid-May and the full album was released on Sept. 10.
No Matter the Size of the Venue, Big Looks All Around
Since Jefferson Waful, LD for jam band moe from 2003-2008, took over for Umphrey’s McGee LD Adam Budney in late 2008, the band performs in a variety of venues — everything from theaters to sheds and arenas. They can range in size from Oklahoma City’s Diamond Ballroom, with a 14-foot trim and a capacity near the 1,000 mark, all the way up to the 12,000-seat Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta, GA.
Spurlock Lighting & Design
Premier Global Productions
Advanced Concert Productions
El Paso, TX
Andrew Gumper is only 31 years old, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have decades of experience in the live event industry. He has spent the last 20 years immersed in activities ranging from programming lighting consoles, designing the look of various shows and running a production company that took him from his parent’s basement to the helm of AG Light and Sound, one of the fastest-growing production companies in the U.S. PLSN caught up with Gumper to talk about how he did it.
Universal Studio’s sci-fi feature film, Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise, presents a post-apocalyptic earth, which would seem to demand heavy visual effects (VFX), and while there are many in the film, there are some surprising sequences that are, in fact, not CG. For two of the primary, futuristic sets — the Sky Tower and the Cloud Tower — cinematographer Claudio Miranda, ASC, and director Joseph Kosinski filmed most of the visual effects live in-camera rather than using green screens. It’s an old-school style that immerses the actors in the actual environment, but not the first instinct of filmmakers when the environment is supposed to be a cloud-surrounded glass-walled apartment 3,000 feet in the air.
Who doesn’t like having a big display? For work on a computer or watching TV or playing video games, bigger displays are always the best. The LED Display Panels that we are examining this month are a bit large for a single person to view in a home. These display systems are designed for large displays to play video for the masses.
To download a PDF of PLSN’s Oct. 2013 Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE
PRG’s RH+A division now offers the Ultraviolet series of lights, including the UV Bullet and UV Wash. While developed with architectural lighting installations in mind, these fixtures can also be used for entertainment industry applications, ranging from amusement parks and haunted house attractions to “cosmic” bowling and nightclub dance floors.
Dodd Technologies Serves Up a Visual Feast for Multi-Venue, Three-Day Convention
Working a three-day convention event with thousands of attendees and a plethora of live video content is already a challenge for collaborating companies, but add in a live concert event as well as video walls in two other locations, and the juggling act becomes trickier. But Indianapolis-based Dodd Technologies was up to the task of tackling the ExactTarget Connections conference, which included speakers Jim Collins, Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a presentation by Pinterest.
With their intense beam, fast pan/tilt and dramatic aerial effects, fast-action beam fixtures have drawn notice from designers in recent years, not with just the aerial effects but the ability to make the stage itself look bigger. Chauvet Professional’s Legend 230SR Beam, launched earlier this year, is positioned as an affordable and versatile fixture that gives designers the tight beam looks they crave.
Creative LED products are becoming more and more popular, especially in the installation and touring markets. Designers are looking for unique ways to design with light and video while also bringing to life their artistic visions. However, in order to be able to design freely with LEDs, products have to be easily manipulated and flexible in order to be shaped into virtually any design; this means that LEDs have to be available in configurations other than linear strips or matrices like those found in LED video panels. The VC-Dot series from Martin meets these demands and excels in ways other LED strings stop short.
LEDs are widespread within the entertainment industry. From video panels to lighting fixtures, LEDs are showing up everywhere. And lately, the scope has grown even wider to include costumes. Recently, I turned on the television and stumbled across a performance by the famous Rockettes dance troupe in which they were all dressed in black jackets covered with LEDs. As I watched, I realized that video images were being pixel mapped onto the dancers; and of course I was instantly intrigued!
Back when I worked in broadcast television, the first thing they told the on-camera newscaster was “never wear a striped.” The skeptic who disregarded the message was shown his air-check the next day (along with a nasty note from management), and his jaw dropped when he saw the patterns of geometric lines crisscrossing his shirt. From that point forward, a solid-colored wardrobe was standard issue.
One of my favorite things in life is being behind a lighting console in full control of a lighting rig. Whether programming or operating, I find true joy in pressing the buttons and watching the lighting change. Through the years working as an automated lighting programmer, I have found it very important to consider the ergonomics involved with my FOH setup. Working with a console for many hours can be very draining mentally, but it also takes a toll on your arms, wrists, legs, and more. This is why you should always plan accordingly to ensure that you are in a position to perform your very best behind the console.
The modern age of lighting has brought us many advances. Along with DMX and new light sources, there are new ways to measure and index the amount and quality of the light that those light sources produce. Measuring light output is pretty easy. Grab a light meter (or download one for your smart phone), point the light source at the eye of the meter (or camera of your smart phone) and look at the measurements. You will see a bunch of numbers come up — the mathematical computations of certain values that make up your light source.
Mandylights LD Richard Neville — assisted by his associate Alex Grierson — designed the lighting, video design and programmed the Ricky Martin Live tour, which was an all-new show following the artist’s success as a judge on The Voice Australia. Lighting Director Churry Lafuente is operating the design on tour, which wrapped up in Australia (Oct. 3-20) and heads to Mexico in December. Veikko Fuhrmann created the stage design.
I've viewed a lot of huge cool productions this year. The photos I always see are giant productions that require trim heights of 50 feet and stage widths of 80 feet or more. This is great if you are playing stadiums and the local Enormo-dome. But to be honest, outside of the EDM festivals, there are only a handful of artists out there that play these kinds of venues exclusively. But that doesn’t seem to stop certain production designers from building unpractical touring packages.