ProLightingSpace

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All Blog Posts (770)

How to Keep Your Lights Running in Tip-Top Shape

Hey ProLightingSpace - I write a blog over at LearnStageLighting.com, and simulcast the posts here.  Check out this weeks post below, or visit it right here on the site!

It's fun to own and take care of other people's lights and do great shows! Executing cues and making a…

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Added by David Henry on February 24, 2015 at 6:30am — No Comments

Shop Etiquette

Today, a cross-posting of yet another (earlier) blog I did for the geeks and friends at Elite Multimedia, regarding shop etiquette.

"...much like another space we as people in this industry spend our time in - the tour bus - there is a set of common rules and courtesies that act as the lubrication of the social engine, allowing camaraderie and commerce to proceed unimpeded. Let us examine some of the Best Practices I've found over the years."…



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Added by Craig Rutherford on February 13, 2015 at 12:00am — No Comments

How to Wire DMX for Stage Lighting

Hey ProLightingSpace - I write a blog over at LearnStageLighting.com, and simulcast the posts here.  Check out this weeks post below, or visit it right here on the site!

For beginners in stage lighting, one of the ideas that can be baffling is how to wire up all of your fixtures.  Back in the "old days" you simply ran control cable to your dimmers, and power out to your conventional…

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Added by David Henry on February 10, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

Chauvet's COLORdash Accent Quad, TMB's Firefly

COLORdash Accent Quad



This is not the next big 1700-watt moving light, it's not even a moving fixture. But it is interesting, because it fills a previously difficult-to-fill role, a small-color changing fixture that has a reasonably tight beam. Accent / cove lights for architectural applications are available, Color Kinetics has…

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Added by Craig Rutherford on February 4, 2015 at 3:30pm — No Comments

WHOSE FAULT IS IT, HUH??

So, I’m doing this corporate show about selling drugs, or maybe it was paint, I forget. No matter what the product, I’m pretty sure that it would have to be ingested very carefully.  And with the supervision of a doctor or some guy who works at Home Depot.

And then there’s this exec who is about to rehearse his big speech, and suddenly most of the stage lights go out.  I know it wasn’t my fault because I was drinking coffee and wasn’t paying any attention when it happened. My fingers…

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Added by Wayne Lambert on January 31, 2015 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

Idea Recording Gear: Analog Versus Digital, The Smackdown

Once, my friend and Ronnie Dunn's production manager Mike Adams happened upon me drawing in my little black notebook in which I record my set design ideas, doodles, and concepts, he exclaimed "Time to get an iPad, Analog Kenny!" I do own an iPad, and I do use it, and it got me to wondering: why don't I use digital drawing applications more to record my thoughts? I don't dislike sketching on an iPad, and in fact I've tried to get into it several times. The question I've asked…

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Added by Craig Rutherford on January 27, 2015 at 5:47pm — No Comments

Getting Started in the Industry

Today, a cross-post of a thing, a "blurb" if you will, that I wrote for my friends at Elite Multimedia, answering that question that I get asked on the road more than any other: "How do I get started in this industry?"

On, therefore, to what you really want to know: how to score a position as the Designer With Ultimate Creative…

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Added by Craig Rutherford on January 22, 2015 at 7:32pm — 2 Comments

What's Coming in 2015

Hey ProLightingSpace - I write a blog over at LearnStageLighting.com, and am going to begin simulcasting the posts here.  Check out this weeks post below, or visit it right here on the site!

What to Expect, and What to Get Excited About in 2015

Hey Guys, I am really excited for 2015 in the LearnStageLighting.com world.  2014 was a really fun and exciting year, and I can't wait…

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Added by David Henry on January 21, 2015 at 5:28am — 4 Comments

Zoetrope Sculptures are Cool, Trippy

Zoetropes may have been invented thousands of years ago (Wikipedia says around 100 BCE), the technology can still be used to today for some very cool effects. I first saw the 3D zoetrope effect at a Blue Man Group show with "dancers" off the side, and again at the Animation building at Disney California Adventures. However, I've not yet seen anything as cool as this, from designer John…

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Added by Craig Rutherford on January 17, 2015 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Fetishizing Incandescents

A recent post on a production-related website talked about the gradual shift toward LEDs and fluorescent lighting as a double-edged sword - citing the uncomfortableness of the spectral qualities of fluorescent and LED light as a reason that people will simply leave areas lit with these sources and seek out full(er)-spectrum lighting such as daylight or incandescent. The article offers some of the standard arguments I've read over the years about why we like incandescent lighting, its…

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Added by Craig Rutherford on January 14, 2015 at 12:00am — No Comments

Cool Lamp Sunday

Today, a bit of really, really cool art by Dennis Parren. This lamp features cyan, magenta, and yellow LEDs pointed around at slightly different angles and crazy wire shapes. When these three primary colors (more on that later) combine, they create white light. When one of the colors is blocked by the structure of the lamp itself, however, multicolored shadows are created and cast about the room. Observe:…

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Added by Craig Rutherford on January 10, 2015 at 9:30pm — No Comments

"Pixel" Dance Show - Woah, Dude

Pixel (Link is in French, which I do not speak.) is a an interactive dance event that uses projection-mapping to create some very impressive illusions. It bills itself as "a work on illusion combining energy and poetry, fiction and technical achievement, hip hop and circus" and from the video below, I'd say that "technical achievement" is a bit of an understatement:…

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Added by Craig Rutherford on January 2, 2015 at 7:00pm — 7 Comments

Hypothetical set series: A Country Music Set

I designed this with a very specific country music duo in mind, but I won't say who because it doesn't matter. As is typical during the last two months of the year, I had a lot of downtime in which to ponder and build (in SketchUp) this set for a country music tour. For this set, I wanted to think more about how I'd use automation, if such were available, and ways in which I'd coax the maximum amount of looks out of a show. Behold, Generic Country Music Set no. 1:…

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Added by Craig Rutherford on December 27, 2014 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

Inspiration: Bob Potts Kinetic Sculpture

I have a soft spot in my heart for kinetic sculpture, especially these sorts of elegant, flowing pieces that masterfully evoke the organic movements of the natural world. These come from New York-based artist Bob Potts:



Bob Potts - Ascension from…

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Added by Craig Rutherford on December 21, 2014 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

Tour Theory: hierarchical relationships

Taking a break today to talk about some tour theory, if you will. This will be one of those posts that isn't really gear or project-related. What I want to instead focus on today is leadership styles on touring.



If one takes away nothing else further from this screed, take ye this, because its the core of my philosophy on tour: people, in general, hate being given direct orders. What I mean by a direct order is any imperative that comes in the form "X, go do Y."…



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Added by Craig Rutherford on December 17, 2014 at 5:45pm — No Comments

LDI, part III

In which I break with my title convention, talk about gear at LDI ONE LAST TIME, and pictures! Everybody likes pictures!

Lightwave International Phenom



Lightwave International released the Phenom, a small moving head laser that is rated for audience scanning effects. The company doesn't say what the laser diodes inside are rated for, but the unit draws only 3A @ 240v, which is impressive. The audience scanning feature is…

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Added by Craig Rutherford on December 16, 2014 at 9:30pm — No Comments

LDI: Part II

The Robe BMFL

This is one of the big fixtures at LDI I saw that I'm really looking forward to playing around with. Made by Robe, the BFML is the "Bright Multi-Functional Luminaire", though various backronyms regarding the name exist. We won't get into those. The unit is fairly sizable, probably a little smaller than a VL3K, with an Osram HTI 1500-watt lamp. By default the lamp is overrun to 1700 watts, which shortens its life to 500 hours, but…

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Added by Craig Rutherford on December 15, 2014 at 11:00pm — 2 Comments

LDI 2014: Part 1

Here are some initial thoughts regarding some of the things I saw at the Live Design International (LDI) trade show.

The Clay-Paky Stormy strobe

Finally, someone realized that some LDs just do not like the look of LEDs in a direct view application. I love the TMB Flare, but it is certainly one of many direct view LED fixtures on the market. The Stormy (Clay-Paky has chosen an interesting naming convention for its new fixture lines) is an LED strobe that looks like…

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Added by Craig Rutherford on December 15, 2014 at 12:00am — No Comments

Followspot colors

I generally specify followspots for tours where the artists are expected to walk around the stage, though I am generally not really a fan of followspots. The colors are finicky, the spots themselves are generally not maintained well - a venue typically bought their Super Troupers from Strong back in the '70s, and hasn't upgraded since, letting the components rust and get sticky, etc. Typically, followspotting is given to the crustiest, lowest-on-the-totem-pole guy on the call, usually not the… Continue

Added by Craig Rutherford on December 10, 2014 at 10:34pm — 4 Comments

URBANSCREEN installation

Another Creators Project video, this time from Germany:











The installation consists of 21 high-powered projectors inside a really, really big gas tank, projection-mapped onto the surface. They also play sound in the space, which due to the acoustics and sheer size of the… Continue

Added by Craig Rutherford on December 9, 2014 at 2:41pm — No Comments

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