Current Issue - April 2015
Editor's Note

Amateurs vs. Amateurism

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

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.

On the Road

Nate Cromwell, Lighting Director for John Mellencamp

Written by: Debi Moen

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


Ultra Music Festival in Miami Turns 17

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

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.


Mobeon Credits Switcher for Live Production Edge

Written by: PLSN Staff

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.


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

Written by: PLSN Staff

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.


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

Written by: PLSN Staff

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 Dolby Theatre 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.


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

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

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).

Inside Theatre

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

Written by: Bryan Reesman

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.

Production Profile

Ariana Grande "The Honeymoon Tour"

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

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.”

Designer Insights

LD Travis Shirley Lights Pentatonix, Enrique Iglesias Tours

Written by: Steve Jennings (Photos and Text)

Pentatonix tour photo by Steve JenningsIn his teenage years Travis Shirley dreamt of the day when he would be a lighting & production designer. He remembered contacting designers like Steve Cohen, Joe Paradise and Joel Young asking them every question he could think of. As fate would have it, Shirley’s father became golf buddies with the highly successful country act, Brooks & Dunn, which led him to their very talented lighting designer, Larry Boster. He studied and watched Larry for as long as he can remember and he says, quite honestly, Boster is the reason he is in this industry.


Easton Corbin with Dylan Scott and Old Dominion

Written by: PLSN Staff

Easton Corbin with Dylan Scott and Old DominionLighting Cos
Stewart Independent Production, Performance Lighting Chicago

Merillat Sports Center
Adrian, MI


Education First 50th Anniversary

Written by: PLSN Staff

Education First 50th Anniversary photo by Ken LukasLighting Co
Port Lighting Systems

Hynes Convention Center Hall,
Boston, MA


Billy Idol 2015 Tour

Written by: Steve Jennings (Photos and Text)

Billy Idol tour photo by Steve JenningsLighting Cos
HSL & Neg Earth (Europe)

Various (Tour)


Dancing With The Stars Live Tour

Written by: Steve Jennings (Photos and Text)

Dancing with the Stars Live tour photo by Steve JenningsLighting Co
RK Diversified Entertainment

Various (Tour)


Global Dance Festival

Written by: PLSN Staff

Global Dance Festival photo by Jacob Tyler Dunn Photography - courtesy Nexus Audio VisualLighting/Video Co
Nexus Audio Visual

Tempe Beach Park,
Tempe, AZ


Die Antwoord

Written by: PLSN Staff

Die Antwoord 2014 tour photo by Anne ShultzLighting Co
Christie Lites

Various (Tour)

Behind the Lens

Creating Broadcast Quality Worship Video

Written by: Ricky Perinchief

The author’s AV setup for the worship band at NOW Church in Ocala, FL includes gear from Blackmagic Design.What do television and a Sunday church service have in common? While many people might think not much, the two actually have a lot in common. When it comes to AV, live production and broadcast, the worship market is a huge one. And professional broadcasts are no longer reserved for a handful mega churches. More and more of today’s churches are turning to television and live broadcasts to help spread their messages, keep their communities informed and reach new members. And thanks to advances in technology, it’s now more feasible than ever before.

Buyer's Guide

White Light LED Fixtures

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

White Light LED Fixtures, PLSN Buyers Guide, April 2015White Light LED fixtures are by no means new to the lighting world, but the sheer number of new models being fabricated by many companies is mind-boggling. With so many different models running in so many modes, one has to wonder how long it will be before incandescent fixtures will only be found in museums.

To download a PDF of the PLSN March 2015 Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE.

Road Tests

RoxBox EXA from Blizzard Lighting

Written by: Craig Rutherford

RoxBox EXA from Blizzard Lighting. UV model pictured here.Blizzard Lighting, a relative newcomer on the scene, has recently been making waves with their new lighting products. I got the chance to check out one of their recently introduced fixtures, the RokBox EXA. There’s no shortage of LED PARs on the market — just about ever manufacturer has one — so I spent a few days looking at the capabilities of their new light to see what set it apart.


Ushio Pro-Panel V2 Soft Light

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

Ushio Pro-Panel V2 Soft Light, reviewed in PLSN, April 2015Soft light fixtures are primarily used in cinematography and photography. The basic reason for this is that the light emitted out of these fixtures tends to wrap around an object, leaving no shadow behind the object. It can also be used as “Fill” lighting, supplementing other practical light fixtures and reducing any shadows caused by them on a set. These fixtures are often a staple in grip trucks and used in close proximity to the object one is illuminating as the fall off of light is rapid with this fixture. Many directors of photography have been known to swear that the use of soft lights eliminates skin wrinkles on camera.


GLP impression X4 Bar 20

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

GLP impression X4 Bar 20, reviewed in PLSN Magazine April 2015. Both the 20 and 10 are pictured here.LED strip lights have been around a while. These battens have lots of uses, and it seems that many are good for one function, but they may not fare well at another. Some didn’t use 4-in-1 LEDs, some didn’t line up perfectly in a row, and my biggest pet peeve — none of them could ever illuminate a whole backdrop evenly, from top to bottom with just a ground row of fixtures. Then along comes this product from GLP.

Video Digerati

Controlling Complex LED Fixtures by Pixel

Written by: Vickie Claiborne

As manufacturers of automated lighting continue to develop fixtures with multiple LED sources combined into one unit, the challenge of programming these fixtures increases. When units like the A.Leda B-Eye (Clay Paky), the Shapeshifter (High End Systems) or the MagicPanel 602 (Ayrton) are specified in a lighting rig, the programmer will likely be faced with the choice of whether to use the fixtures in a reduced mode or in a pixel mapping mode. A couple of factors will usually determine which mode the programmer goes with, including the vision for how the fixtures are to be used in the show and, just as importantly, the amount of available programming time available. Here are some tips to help take the second item off the list.

Feeding the Machines

Lighting Network Basics

Written by: Brad Schiller

Automated lighting programmers are constantly using new equipment and setup configurations. It is very important for programmers to understand how networking has become an integral part of many systems. While a full understanding of computer networking concepts, equipment, and topographies is not required, there are some basic networking principles that you need to be familiar with. The number of lighting devices connected together with wired or wireless networking equipment is growing on a daily basis, but the general purposes can be broken down into three unique situations. However, before exploring these categories, you must understand some basics of networking.

Designer Watch

Dierson Dives into Production Design, Bennett Designs Maroon V, Cory Says OK Go, Quick Cues and More

Written by: Debi Moen

Patrick Dierson with Yao Ming meme caricature borrowed from a fan at EDC NY 2014.Patrick Dierson is gravitating more to production design these days, he told PLSN. Most recently, he was production designer for DirecTV’s Super Bowl Fan Festival Jan. 28-30 in the Phoenix area. “I continue to handle discipline specific duties in lighting and visuals on certain projects as well, but production design seems to be what most productions are turning to me for,” he said.

LD at Large

Dealing with the Unexpected

Written by: Craig Rutherford

Illustration by Andy AuAfter a decade or so of touring, I’m eternally surprised at the sheer variety of problems that I get confronted with on the road. It seems there’s no shortage of new and creative ways that things can be mishandled, plugged in incorrectly, and perhaps even not plugged in at all. As denizens of the great and wonderful frontier known as The Road, it’s important that we develop a skillset of improvisation and problem solving while never breaking a sweat, or at least stoically pretending we haven’t, even in the face of moist and obvious evidence.