A Weekend in Vegas

by Nook Schoenfeld
in Editor's Note
Nook Schoenfeld, Editor, PLSN
Nook Schoenfeld, Editor, PLSN

The yearly jaunt to Vegas was once again a fun time. Met a few new friends and caught up with a bunch more on the golf course, the LDI show floor and, of course, the nightly celebrations culminating with the Parnelli Awards on Saturday night.

The Parnellis

Speaking of which, it was great to see some old friends get some well-deserved love from their peers. (For all the winners and photos, CLICK HERE.) Danny O’Bryen got some love. He has done so much to make video a part of the live event industry that I wonder if all these LED tile manufacturers don’t owe the man a slight percentage of their company.

Richard Fernandez was heralded by longtime friend Tom Petty for doing the bazillion things a tour manager does when looking after artists. His legendary talents were acknowledged by many in the industry as his career was heralded during the ceremony.

Phil Ealy is a silent individual who may not be a household name often written about in the entertainment magazines. Rest assured, thousands of voters knew precisely who he was, as he got the nod for LD of the year for his work with Guns N’ Roses, a band he lit when they last toured in the 1990’s.

Woodroffe Bassett may have designed the lighting for Black Sabbath this year, but it was another legend that got the attention at the Parnellis, Michael Keller. His console chops and impeccable timing has made him one of the most sought-after lighting directors in the biz, and this was his turn to get a lot of slaps in the back.

The Show Floor

On the show floor itself (see Show Report), I scour every corner looking for unique cool stuff. Things that I have a use for in my night job. The most intriguing new moving light has to be the Elation Proteus series in my eyes. I saw a hybrid and a beam model of these small footprint/bright output fixtures in use. They have discharge bulbs and are enclosed in a water proof covering. This isn’t the first time I’ve preached about advantages of a moving light that is waterproof, but this is the first one I have seen that has an arc sourced bulb.

The logjam/party in the center of the floor was once again the fault of Blizzard Lighting and ModTruss. They had a display that showed a lot of great new products (I dig the Stiletto series myself) and some larger-than-life Rock’em Sock’em Robots made out of ModTruss for all us grown children to play with.

As far as non-lighting products, I got an education in safety from a few folks other than the local IATSE reps. I like the cable protection ramp systems that Checkers Safety Group had laid out — systems that allow for large set carts to travel safely over floor cables. Cable ramps that bend at angles. My personal favorite are the straight interconnecting ramps that have low light LEDs flashing on either side of the base. I’m blind walking backstage in the dark. Such a simple concept. Well executed, Checkers!

There’s always one light or video effect that grabs my eye. Something I have no idea where or what I can possibly use it on, but I really want to try. The first was a showing in the back room of some PixelFLEX video tiles that were covered in some kind of 3D vinyl-feeling element. It turned their normal high-res video screen into a 3D presentation (with the aid of audience members wearing glasses). It was indeed an augmented reality rave, complete with a DJ, laser show and a true 3D LED visual experience.

Portman P1

Lighting-wise, I really liked the look of this new conventional fixture made by Portman, a company out of Poland. The Portman P1 is a new retro lamp which is perfect in every detail and just plain beautiful. It can be used as a part of scenery, but also as a strong light source, with seven hex shaped cells of miniature cyc lights that have a tungsten color temperature and built in dimmers. The Portman fixture is available in the U.S. through Inner Circle Distribution.

Just about everyone on the floor has a new hybrid fixture. Nowadays the race is on to find small hybrid fixtures that do not have any of the issues of the first models released in the last couple of years. Chauvet did a good job of engineering on their Maverick Hybrid fixture and I can’t find a single thing I didn’t love about the Martin Axiom. When it comes to a cool one of a kind fixture, my nod goes to the Mega-Lite Medusa.

Lastly, it’s always nice to see a favorite old product revamped with the advancement of technology. AC Lighting’s booth featured the Chroma-Q Color Force II, a revamped sexy batten that is brighter, has more colors, and a new lens system designed for an even cyc wash.

For Nook Schoenfeld’s introduction to the Nov. 2016 issue of PLSN, go to www.plsn.me/201611ednote.