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New in 2019: NextGen and PL+S

Nook Schoenfeld • Editor's NoteMay 2019 • May 3, 2019

PLSN editor Nook Schoenfeld

So a bunch of us were sitting around at the Parnelli Awards last winter, swapping war stories and giving accolades to what’s new, from gear to production designs. While sitting there, one of our industry’s favorite comedic veterans announced that he’s tired of reading about his friends as well as himself. Well, let’s just say his words were somewhere along the line of “We need some fresh meat to read about.”

Indeed. While it’s certainly our gig at PLSN to bring you up to speed on the latest and greatest productions, sometimes it gets repetitious. Being an editor, I want to try and see what’s out there to report the news, but there are certain artists that make ridiculous demands of us in order to cover their production in our mag. Hence you will probably never see anything written in PLSN about Beyoncé or Ariana Grande. So, we pass on them and in the end, all the folks who vote on the Parnelli Awards have no reason to vote for these acts, as they have had no publicity.

Instead, I’ve been looking at a lot of the younger designers who are doing some incredible things with live events. Their wealth of knowledge from being brought up in a different time period, through different technologies than an older generation, is showing people new ways to become visually stimulated. These acts like to see themselves and their productions acknowledged in print and we want to give them a chance for others to see their work.

Because I have images and suggestions to take a look at this person or that band, I get to see a lot of cool images and shows by people most of our readers have never heard of.

‡‡         The Next Generation

Last month, a friend of mine wrote to me and said I need to take notice of this cat he was touring with at Euro festivals. He was an Italian LD who was looking after a native artist over there named Fedez. I had heard of neither, but two minutes later, I looked at some amazing images after Googling the artist. What I viewed was Next Generation Parnelli type stuff. If this guy is doing amazing work at 25 years of age, just imagine where he will go in his career. I reached out to him and subsequently, we introduced the world to my new friend, Jacopo Ricci. (See PLSN, April 2019, page 58.)

We featured Jacopo in a new PLSN column called “NextGen.” I comb the social media and Instagram accounts out there looking for interesting people, without attitudes, that are doing neat stuff. They might just be unknown cats, but they are gaining recognition and doing things that may be out of the norm. Some are LDs, some are creators of weird art. Some are the next big production coordinators. Such is the case this month, when I introduce you to my little friend, Max McDougall (see NextGen, this issue, page 56). He’s going places.

Nook meets a new friend at PL+S

‡‡         New Gear in Frankfurt

On another front, I went to the Prolight+Sound exhibition last month. I love this fair because I get to see all the new gear first-hand. There are so many companies here one would never chance to see at LDI. I post images of new gear on Facebook, and many of these new products end up being great conversation starters. One case in point: a simple prototype of a new fixture from SGM. It won’t be ready until LDI, but the tease is in. (Check out the photo on this page).

As you’ll find by turning to page 26, there was so much to report on. Booths that were once packed with great advances in technology now boast help wanted signs. It seems everyone has a 50,000-lumen output LED product of some sort, but is it waterproof? Does it do something special that the likewise models don’t? You gotta have a niche these days.

I’ve only been going to this show for about five years now, but to see Astera go from a table in a back corner to a packed corner booth full of unique wireless products was nice. To see Claypaky lay claim to the first moving beam light that utilizes a laser for a light source shows us we are just touching the tip of this technology. This year was truly amazing — and I can’t wait until next year.

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