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Feeding the Machines

  • The Holy Genre: Lighting Houses of Worship

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesJuly 2018 | July 13, 2018Over the past few months, I have been discussing various genres of production that automated lighting programmers often come across. This month, the genre study continues with a look at programming for House of Worship or religious based events. Typically, these occur in a church, synagogue, temple, or other religious location. Many are large productions, […] Read More...
  • The Rectangular Genre: Television

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesJune 2018 | June 4, 2018Lighting for television used to be rather unique and limited to only televised events. However, now it seems that nearly every type of production is shot on video in some manner. Corporate events, concerts, house of worship and many other shows utilize I-Mag, streaming and video archiving on a regular basis. While the actual lighting […] Read More...
  • The Genre Series: Architectural Installs

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesMay 2018 | May 14, 2018Continuing my series on different genres of automated lighting programming, this month I will focus on architectural installs. These can vary in type from outdoor building facades to interiors of restaurants or retail stores. In some cases, it can also relate to specialized art exhibits, roller coasters, or even zoos or parks. With each of […] Read More...
  • The Joy of Theater

    Brad Schiller | April 2018Feeding the Machines | April 6, 2018It seems that most of us started our fascination with light early through the magic of theater. I personally started working in theater in junior high (well before automated lighting) and assumed that theater would be my primary work going forward. Of course, as my career grew, things changed, and I have been fortunate to […] Read More...
  • Crafting Corporate Events

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesMarch 2018 | March 12, 2018I often say that one of the best benefits of working in the lighting industry is that we get to work on a wide variety of production types. This month, I am continuing my coverage of some of these different genres of production by writing about programming for corporate events. Read More...
  • The Genre Series: Concerts

    Brad Schiller | Current IssueFebruary 2018Feeding the Machines | February 16, 2018One of my favorite things about working as an automated lighting programmer is that there is a vast array of different types of genres to work within. While the basics of programming are the same, there are certain things that are unique to the various types of productions. Over the course of the next few months, I will cover some of the distinctive attributes that you must be aware when programming on specific types of shows. For this edition, the programming procedures and operations common for concert and live music type productions will be discussed. Read More...
  • Fifteen Resolution Suggestions for 2018

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesJanuary 2018 | January 11, 2018Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping…into the future, and another New Year is upon us. (And yes, that song was from more than 40 years ago.) The beginning of the year is often a time of reflection and resolutions. While many will try to save more money, lose more weight and finish goals, there are many other things that we each can aim to improve upon in 2018. In no particular order, I present the following automated lighting programmer New Years resolutions. Read More...
  • Paging All Playbacks

    Paging All Playbacks

    Brad Schiller | ArticlesDecember 2017Feeding the Machines | December 14, 2017

    Automated lighting consoles have many great programming and playback features that provide many useful functions. One of the more clever functions has to do with expanding playback capabilities. Instead of being limited by the number of physical buttons and faders on a console, most make use of pages (or banks) to increase the playbacks immensely. The page functionality can be used for much more, such as organizing songs or scenes, adjusting playback styles, expanding capabilities and more. It is important for lighting programmers to understand the paging functionality of their console.

  • The Other Left

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesNovember 2017 | November 9, 2017

    Automated lighting programmers have many great tools at their disposal that aid in the programming of shows and the creation of cues. Some are more important than others, but all have their place. Taking the time to adjust parameters so that they work as expected is an essential secret of programmers. While the console’s fixture library should take care of most of these settings, they often fail or are not specific for your needs. Programmers should take the time to ensure that parameters (particularly pan/tilt) are behaving in the best method possible for each specific show.

  • A Programmer's Guide to Sushi

    A Programmer’s Guide to Sushi

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesOctober 2017 | October 12, 2017

    Irasshaimase! Over the years, I have noticed that a majority of the automated lighting programmers I know also enjoy eating sushi. There are, of course, some exceptions, but I feel pretty confident in saying that most do. It actually makes sense if you think about it; there are many similarities between the raw fish cuisine and the craft of programming automated lighting. The skill of the chef, the varieties of available options, the creativity and more all align between the two very different topics. Since I personally love sushi and programming, I feel it is time to really compare the two.

  • Grand Master Fader

    The Grandest Of Them All

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesSeptember 2017 | September 9, 2017

    Magic fader on the desk, who is the grandest of them all?

    The absolute worst moment for anyone at a lighting console is when you have been stumped as to why your fixtures have no output, only to discover that the Grand Master is down. If this has not yet happened to you, then be on the lookout because it does happen at least once to everyone. Read More...

  • It's not always easy to take a 'bio break.' Photo of Hot 97 Summer Jam courtesy Stageline.

    The Unmentionables

    Brad Schiller | August 2017Feeding the Machines | August 11, 2017

    The set of skills one must master to work as an automated lighting programmer range from lighting knowledge to console syntax to organization, and much more. Most people are aware of the common abilities that a programmer must become proficient with in order to provide a great programming experience.

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