Live Design International invaded the Orange County Convention Center from November 16th through November 22. The show provides professionals from entertainment industries such as stage performing, theater, concerts, and any other live performance a chance to learn knew techniques, sharpen their skills, and see the latest technologies for live design.
At 10 am on Friday, November 20th the ribbon was cut and the show floor opened. The floor showcases products for any type of live event production. Vendors carry everything from truss and rigging equipment to special effects gear. If you need extension cords, custom fabrics, staging, safety devices, or AV equipment, then the show floor was the place to be. Some exciting new products were on hand this year including VER’s 3D LED screen – this was a surprisingly smooth portable 3D display, flexible LED panels in a variety of resolutions, and battery operated, DMX controllable, LED theatrical lighting elements. One of my favorite new products, though ultimately unnecessary, was the DMX512 controllable blender presented by Doug Fleenor Design (apparently Doug just built a house that is fully DMX controllable). Some of the most notable projects from this year were the lighting for the U2 360 tour and Jimmy Fallon’s stage for eco-friendly design.
Rose Brand hosted a great presentation by Martin Valentine and Herrick Goldman called Creative Influences in Design. The two Lighting Design Directors shared their film inspirations (of course Blade Runner made it onto both lists) and how films have effected the way light used in their respective medium – architectural lighting and theatrical lighting respectively.
Some of the most important and useful information came through the ESTA classes on rigging safety; it’s good to be reminded that the entertainment industry is (probably) the only industry in the world who suspends temporary structures with moving parts into the air, and asks people to work on top and walk underneath these structures while someone operates them in the dark. We viewed structural failures, fires, and other mishaps within our industry from the last 100 years, and discussed how to prevent them.
Social media has even creped it’s way into LDI. 4Wall Entertainment Lighting set up #LDIHunt - in order to win a prize from the company you had to complete a photo scavenger hunt and post the pictures to twitter. There was even a tweetup over the weekend (though I found out about it afterward).
The funniest part of LDI this year happened at the New Technology Breakfast on Friday morning. In a space filled with entertainment techs, lighting designers, and AV gurus one of the four projectors failed to work. By the next day it was fixed, but the humor was apparent.
The weekend was a great learning experience and a good time for all involved. Next year’s LDI show will be held from October 18th through the 24th in Las Vegas. I hope to see you there.
This weekend we had the pleasure of seeing “Naked Women Fully Clothed” presented by The Women’s Theatre Project. The play is “A titillating, provocative and humorous collection of one act and short plays that reveal and lay bare an array of secrets and revelations.” …In plain English, it was just funny!
The format was much like Saturday Night Live, providing monologues and group skits. The cast of six women transformed a modest stage into an array of environments through basic props and some imagination. Some of my favorite sketches were, “How to Be an Actress,” “I am Pastrami,” and “Warning! Women’s Body Parts Move” – where a “Nutty Professor”-type character explains that her body parts have been disappearing, only to discover that her thighs are now on Cindy Crawford. The play was so funny that my face hurt from laughing by the time intermission came around.
“Naked Women Fully Clothed” was the final performance of the 2009 Season, but fear not, the 2010 Season kicks off with “The Year Magical Thinking” from February 18 – March 14, followed by “Going To See The Elephant” April 22 – May 11, and Wicked Sisters August 5 – 29.
For more information about upcoming events, or how to sponsor the Women’s Theatre Project check out their website, or call them at: 866-811-4111.
Happy Veteran’s Day! We appreciate all you do in your line of service, and we enjoy what you do in your spare time.
Today was a special day. Not a birthday, holiday, or anniversary type of special day, but the kind of day when one is allowed to right a great wrong which was done to them. You see, back in July I went to get my haircut, a simple endeavor enjoyed by thousands of people every day, however, this day was different. I asked that my hair not be cut too short, suggesting not more than ¾” be taken off the top, so as not to excite my cowlick. The over-zealous person holding the sheers must have misheard me, fore I came out looking as though I was on the losing end of a fight with a weed whacker. Sporting a new Flock of Seagulls type of do (see above), with one side of my head nearly shaved and the other not much shorter than whence I began, I was faced with two choices – shave it, or try some spiked attempt at fixing it, both required a second trip back to the land of scary hair. As you can imagine I was not so inclined to revisit any of the many establishments within the chain that shall remain anonymous …but rhymes with Care Huttery.
After four months of allowing my hair to regain it’s strength and fullness it was time to turn a true professional loose upon my mane. So, for the first time I visited ManKind™ Grooming & Services in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. The establishment has the feel of an old-time barbershop, one you could see Capone hanging out it if were still alive. There are three beers on tap and wine available at the counter, a billiard table, and even a Harley-Davidson motorcycle suspended from the ceiling. The services provided on the “menu” range from the basic haircut and hot shave with a straight razor to massages, shoe shines, dry cleaning and even tailoring!
I have to say that I think I found my new barbershop, and a special thanks to Diego for bringing my hair back to the world of a professional man.
Is it just me or does Christmas keep getting earlier every year? No, not the actual day, – that’s hasn’t changed much in roughly 1500 years – but the commercialization of Christmas starts earlier every year. Yesterday I noticed a JCPenny decked from mall entrance to parking entrance in winter holiday décor, and a Target that already had their Christmas salutations flying – THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN!
Remember when Christmas would not even be thought of until the day after Thanksgiving? Now it’s like our fine pilgrim friends never existed. No more turkey decorations, or pilgrim hats. No cornucopias filled with a bounty of veggies and gourds that no one really eats. For the first time a Hallmark Holiday has actually trumped a Hallmark Holiday. What will we see next year, kids dressed as Santa, elves, and Chanukah Harry for Halloween?
Today I actually saw a tent selling Christmas trees. For those of you in states where the temperature drops below 50˚ F for more than two days a year it might not be that uncommon, but for us in South Florida where at 11 pm in early November it’s still nearly 80˚ with 70%+ humidity. I don’t care if you call them evergreens, those trees aren’t gonna last 2 months.
I miss the days when Christmas was just fun. Now it’s more burden than anything else. I understand that businesses are trying to promote early savings on gift buying in this new economy, but c’mon, with every passing year the holiday season becomes less fun and more like a chore. Marketers, advertisers, and promoters of holiday cheer; I implore you, please give the holiday season its soul back.