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Articles from the December 2017 Issue

Wiess Energy Hall within the Houston Museum of Natural Science has become a showcase for advanced projection-mapping techniques. RabCup used Green Hippo technologies met the complex projection needs. Photos courtesy Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Bringing Energy City to Life

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PLSN Staff •
  • Articles
  • December 2017
  • Features
• December 14, 2017

The most comprehensive energy exhibit in the world, the Wiess Energy Hall, opened Nov. 20 in the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS). More than two years in the making, the highlight of the exhibit is Energy City, a 2,500-square-foot 3D landscape designed and fabricated by Paul Bernhard Exhibit Design and Consulting (PBE), the design company selected to create the
Wiess Energy Hall.

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PLSN Dec. 2017 Buyers Guide -Strobes

Strobes

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PLSN Staff •
  • Articles
  • Buyer's Guide
  • December 2017
• December 14, 2017

The days of xenon bulbs in strobes is just about over. Diversitronics, the one-time leader in the market, has stopped making fixtures, but they still sell bulbs. Solaris Strobe still offers one, and you may still be able to find a Lightning Strike in a Hollywood shop. The GAM Star Strobe (marketed by Rosco) is now a double-ended xenon flicker, but everyone else is now LED. The Martin Atomic got itself an Aura. The Ayrton MagicBurst is a strobe machine unlike any other. GLP may just be the leader these days with lots of functions — and a strobe with a tilt function. And all these babies are bright. Happy shopping, and be glad you’re just looking a photos and not actual units fired up at 100 percent.

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Lighting levels had to be balanced for the human eye and camera. Photos by Joan Marcus

Capturing ‘Holiday Inn’ for Posterity

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PLSN Staff •
  • Articles
  • December 2017
  • Focus on Theater
• December 14, 2017

The Art of Recording a Live Play on Camera

For theater lovers, nothing beats the experience of witnessing a show in person. But when one does not have the opportunity, watching it onscreen is the next best thing. BroadwayHD has begun capturing more and more shows for posterity and streaming them live from their website. One of the latest musicals to receive renewed digital life is Holiday Inn, the bright, peppy, colorful show inspired by Irving Berlin movie musical that wowed Broadway audiences last holiday season. It was first streamed live from Studio 54 last year.

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Elation Proteus Fixtures played a key role in the nightly shows for the 2017 State Fair of Texas. Photos by Interlaced Productions

Lighting the State Fair of Texas’ ‘Illumination Sensation’ Spectacle Shows

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PLSN Staff •
  • Articles
  • December 2017
  • Event Lighting
• December 14, 2017

The State Fair of Texas has been an institution in the Lone Star State since 1886. Held annually at 277-acre Fair Park in Dallas, this year’s fair ran from Sept. 29-Oct. 22. Although the fair’s nightly spectacular, “Illumination Sensation,” hasn’t been around for quite that long, it’s become one of the big draws of the yearly event. Lighting designer/programmer Nick Belley and show producers Interlaced Productions upped the shows visual appeal for 2017, incorporating effects from Elation Professional’s IP65-rated Proteus series moving heads, along with other Elation gear.

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Vanguard, formerly Aeson, is a young company on the move.

Vanguard LED Displays – Leading the Way

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PLSN Staff •
  • Articles
  • Company 411
  • December 2017
• December 14, 2017

Michael Wiener, founder and CEO of Vanguard LED Displays, is first and foremost an entrepreneur in its truest sense. Originally a CPA by training from Montreal, he’ll be the first to tell you that the pattern of his string of business ventures in his early years was pretty much that of a yo-yo, as he experienced many ups and downs.

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Robe BMFL fixtures backlit Sheryl Crow’s portal drop.

The Scenic Wizardry Behind Jeremy Roth’s Designs

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PLSN Staff •
  • Articles
  • December 2017
  • Features
• December 14, 2017

We sat down to chat with Jeremy Roth as one of his acts, Wilco, just flew in to town to perform three sold out shows at the local theater, finishing up a run that lasted over a year. Along the way, Roth picked up a couple more clients, Ray LaMontagne and Sheryl Crow, whom he designed touring set and light designs for.

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PRG provuded the screens above the stage. All photos by Steve Jennings

Arcade Fire’s ‘Infinite Content’ Tour

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PLSN Staff •
  • Articles
  • December 2017
  • Designer Insights
• December 14, 2017

We caught up with Canadian rock band Arcade Fire on their “Infinite Content” tour in Denver, CO, where the eight member band, including husband and wife Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, Win’s brother William Butler and the rest of the band swap places and an array of instruments throughout the show. The tour continues into 2018 for dates in the United Kingdom and ends in March in Madrid, Spain. We spoke with creative director Tarik Mikou (of Moment Factory), lighting designer & director Chris Bushell and video director Icarus Wilson-Wright.

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Katy Perry Witness - The Tour 2017 photo by Steve Jennings

Katy Perry – ‘Witness:’ The Tour

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PLSN Staff •
  • Articles
  • Cover Story
  • December 2017
• December 14, 2017

The current Katy Perry tour brought in a top-notch team with the return of longtime lighting designer Baz Halpin, who this time around is also producer for the tour. Halpin worked with the creative/show directors and choreography team of Antony “Ant” Ginandjar and Ashley “Ash” Evans of The Squared Division, with the company offering creative production and concepts for stage and screen. Back on board are associate lighting designer, lighting and video programmer Eric Marchwinski, lighting director, lighting and video programmer Drew Gnagey and production manager Jay Schmit, who’s been with Perry for the past seven and a half years.

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Song Liling (Jin Ha) during a colorful performance. Photo by Matthew Murphy

M. Butterfly

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PLSN Staff •
  • Articles
  • December 2017
  • Inside Theater
• December 14, 2017
Song Liling (Jin Ha) during a colorful performance. Photo by Matthew Murphy

David Henry Hwang’s play M. Butterfly re-emerges at a relevant moment in our history as the show delves into politics, gender identity and cultural stereotyping of the East by the West. Featuring some new material written in by Hwang to update it, the Broadway revival, the first since its original 1988-1990 run, was directed by Julie Taymor (of Spider-Man and Lion King fame), who is known for large, lavish productions.

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Smeeton has been a pioneer since the Psychedelic Sixties.

Parnelli Profile: Jonathan Smeeton, Visionary Award Winner

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PLSN Staff •
  • December 2017
  • Features
• December 14, 2017

It’s not just that 2018’s Parnelli Visionary honoree has worked with a lot of acts — it’s the artistic diversity of those acts that underscores the artistic diversity of a designer who is always reinventing himself. Jonathan Smeeton pioneered the concept of visually enhancing a concert beyond throwing some lights with gel on them, and he is quite likely the first LD to take a lighting show on the road. He went on to build by hand key lighting components, and was also an early designer of one of the first big festivals in England, the Bath Festival.

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2017 PLSN Gold Star Product Awards

2017 PLSN Gold Star Product Awards

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PLSN Staff •
  • December 2017
  • Features
• December 14, 2017

Over the course of 2017, the staff at PLSN checks out every new product that has to do with the live event industry and beyond. Besides the wide variety of lighting categories we have these days for fixtures, there are great innovations in everything from touring video systems to clamps and gadgets that aid us in our pursuit of the perfect tools for our shows.

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PLSN's 2017 LDI Show Report

PLSN’s 2017 LDI Show Report

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PLSN Staff •
  • December 2017
  • Features
• December 14, 2017

The LDI exhibition returned to the Las Vegas Convention Center Nov. 17-19, and with more than 350 exhibitors using the event for some of their most significant product launches of the year, there was plenty of innovation for the 16,000-plus attendees to check out.

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