I have always had an affinity for strobes. Ever since I got into this biz, I have been fond of all kinds of these fixtures and watched them grow in wattage from small Xenon gas discharged units to Lightning Strikes to LED models that are just blinding. Strobe lights originated in 1931 using flashtubes with energy supplied from a capacitor, similar to a battery, but capable of charging and releasing energy much faster.
TOUR: “Carrie & Lowell” U.S. tour (April-June 2015); U.K./Europe (Aug.-Oct. 2015)
DESIGN: “I am operating the show that Marc Janowitz designed. The show has a simple and sexy look. Most songs are just one or two cues. I find it harder to do the simple looks — it can be difficult to make sure the lighting is stimulating and engaging enough for the audience while trying to not duplicate looks. However, during the last song of the show, ‘Blue Bucket of Gold,’ things get a little crazy.
There are a lot of great things about running a magazine publishing company. For one thing, it gives you a medium to engage in discussions with others when you have an important topic on your mind that you feel is beneficial to share with others. Through the years, when I have penned a publisher’s note, it has always been about something in our industry. However, this time I am going off-script. I want to chat with you about an organization I have become aware of that is doing very good work for sick children around the country that you might want to know about.
Tony Award winner Scott Pask has tackled set design for large theatrical productions many times before, not to mention juggling multiple projects. He had five shows open this spring on Broadway, including the highly acclaimed Something Rotten!, the hilarious musical comedy about the birth of the musical genre in the Puritanical world of South England in 1595. The show was nominated for ten Tony Awards and won one for Best Featured Actor for the exuberant Christian Borle, and it is a true crowd pleaser that lovingly sends up the beginnings of musical theater through a satirical Shakespearean lens.
“Since I started working with The Rolling Stones back in 1982,” says longtime lighting designer and show director, Patrick Woodroffe, “the background to the planning for a tour would always be the same. The band would get together and ask a question. ‘Should we go on tour?’ If the answer was ‘Yes,’ they would then commit to a year and a half on the road, and we’d be off. Mark Fisher and I would design a production, spending millions and millions of dollars on the grounds that this would be amortized over 160 performances or whatever. But they don’t work like that now.”
Rush hit the road last month for what they are calling the continuation of R40 — celebrating 40 years as a band. Parnelli award winning production designer Howard Ungerleider actually explains that he is entering his 41st year with the band, having been brought into the fray back in 1974 as he says, “to teach a new band how to tour.” But what is separating this tour from any other Rush show is they are touring behind a theme this time. They are “Deconstructing” their career live — as each song they play takes you back one more step in their long, storied career.
Lighting designer Peter Morse has had a long history with the Divine Miss M, Bette Midler, supporting tours since the Experience The Divine world tour (1993-1994). Subsequent tours and shows have included the Return of the Divine world tour (1996-1997), the Emmy Award-winning Diva Las Vegas HBO Special (1997), the Kiss My Brass tour (2004-2005), The Showgirl Must Go On (at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, 2008-2010, which was also taped for a special that debuted on HBO on NYE 2011). The current Divine Intervention tour kicked off May 8, 2015 in Hollywood, FL and toured North America through the end of June. The production has since shifted to the U.K. for five more shows this month.
Production Design International (PDI)
Neal S. Blaisdell Arena
Girls in kabuki-style makeup donning butterfly wings, dancers in floppy panda suits, faux hippie chicks in rose-colored sunglasses and a halo of flowers around their heads, giant daisies like something straight out of a Lewis Carroll opium delusion. Welcome to the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), often dubbed North America’s largest electronic music festival, where the phrase “making a scene” has never been more apt.
Stroboscopic lamps are defined as a fixture that emits flashes of light. Since being invented back in the 1930s, they were predominantly made of xenon flash tubes that emitted discharges of light that were about 5600° Kelvin and lasting only milliseconds. Strobes have really come to life lately in the advent of LED technology. These advances are happening rapidly and there are now a ton of options in a market that was quite limited just a few years ago.
To download a PDF of the PLSN July 2015 Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE.
“Part of our vision which was developed in the mid 1990s was to become a global company. In order for us to achieve that, we needed to be near to our customers, understand their requirements and grow with them.” So says Jon DeSouza, president and CEO of Harting USA. This explains the reasoning behind Harting opening up a branch in the USA back in 1986, and their continuous growth all over the planet for that matter.
Like a few others, Hermann Fruhm imagined lights moving. Unlike others, he took a wholly unique approach to the proposition, and after nearly three decades of gestation, his vision of a truss rig that moves lights is coming to fruition.
The 46th annual World Series of Poker will have 23,000 players this year according to executive producer Mori Eskandani. The event returns to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV May 27-July 14, 2015, a 2,522-room property owned by Caesars Entertainment. An enormous undertaking, the WSOP occupies the Pavilion, Miranda and Brasilia Ballrooms, with the main event and set in the Amazon Ballroom.
Gravity and its related safety hazards never sleep, so crews working at height need to be vigilant about protecting themselves and others. Mountain Productions is helping with an expanded array of fall protection offerings including harnesses, lanyards, fall arrest systems, helmets and more. Their inventory from DBI-SALA includes some of the most trusted fall protection equipment in the industry. Along with DBI-SALA’s extensive product line, they are also now offering Python Safety’s drop prevention products and KASK’s Super Plasma helmets to keep crew members safe on site.
I walk into the Morpheus Lights shop in Las Vegas, and the first thing I see are these black balls. Row upon row of little rolling balls emitting light in synchronous harmony. That alone was a pretty big “wow” factor upon first sight. But then I round the corner, and there are bigger balls with multiple light beams emitted in every angle. Rotating continuously in every angle. I am experiencing flashbacks to the 1970’s and the days of disco. I instantly realize that Ayrton, the leading innovator in new LED product manufacturing, has once again come up with some revolutionary products.
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.
SAP, the world’s leading provider of business software, is known for helping companies run more efficiently through enterprise application tools. SAP’s annual Sapphire Now brings together more than 20,000 customers, partners, and prospects from across the world to showcase new ideas and solutions from across SAP’s extensive product line.
“He said music has color, and the color of music is blue,” said LD Chris Stuba. The design inspiration for Brian Wilson’s summer tour starts with that thought from the Beach Boys legend. Wilson, who is performing with fellow band mates Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplain, presents a welcoming design and programming challenge for Stuba on the lighting console. “Sometimes the bridge of the song starts at the beginning, or the song changes through many time signatures throughout,” Stuba said. “I had to approach programming and running this show differently because of those variances.”