Red Bull Flugtag Tampa

October 8, 2011 at 11:19 pm (Art, Branding, Design Events, Florida, free, marketing, News, performing arts, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Timelapse photo of The Florida Aquarium's Flugtag in flight

Take a 100,000 of your closest friends and watch as 39 teams launch home-made flying machines off of a 30’ platform at the Tampa Bay Convention Center. Sounds like a fun day? You bet it was!

This afternoon Red Bull Energy Drink returned to Tampa Bay for the only US Flugtag event to be held in 2011. Teams came from around the globe to show off their machines made of wood, foam, pvc, fabric and other basic materials. They formed these into crafts of all different shapes and sizes. Some of my favorite included a giant fork, the A-Team van, the biggest bra you will ever see, and even life-size Back to the Future DeLorean! In the three Flugtags events, and 6 crafts, I’ve helped build I have never seen the hangars as packed as they were today. I’m not sure if this was due to the layout of the hangars or the amount of attendees, but there was barely enough room to move through the crowed before the launches started.

Throughout the day weather was a bit of concern. Wind was definitely a factor throughout the event, but the rain stayed away until this evening. Weather wasn’t the only good luck had during the day. A big scare came when Little Evil, Dade City Motocross Dare Devil, appeared to be knocked unconscious and had to be taken out of the water on a backboard. Luckily he was checked out and up walking around before the next team was out of the water. Other than it seemed to be a fairly safe day in the skies and water of the bay, which is always good to hear after an event such as this.

If you missed this event Red Bull is holding a Kart Fight in Orlando on December 1st and there are rumors of another Red Bull event in South Florida during 2012. If you have a chance to attend Flugtag I would definitely suggest it, if you have the cans to built one I would encourage it. I’ve actually built 6 of them helped launch two. This go around I designed and helped build two, one for Fox 13 and one for Jana Water, so you have some catching up to do …get on it!

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Spray Painting with Utrecht

July 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm (Art, Art Event, Education, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, social event, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

On Saturday, July 30th Utrecht Art Supply in Fort Lauderdale held an urban art spray painting demonstration with local artist, and Baltimore native, James Damatt. During the presentation participants learned about the different Montana Spraypaint products and caps, what they do and how to perform different techniques with them. The presentation was attended by a small group of people, each of whom had the opportunity to try their hand at some of the techniques. There is discussion of Utrecht holding a similar workshop with other urban artists in the coming months to show different techniques within the art form.

You can see some of Damatt’s work gracing walls in the Wynwood area of Miami as well the FAT Village Arts District in Ft. Lauderdale. FAT Village has continuous art walks held the last Saturday of every month with several artists’ studios open to the public. Damatt currently has a large piece on the south side of the warehouses at NW 5th Street and NW 1st Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.

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U2 360 MIA

July 1, 2011 at 10:05 am (Design, Florida, Miami, South Florida, technology, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Taken with a Blackberry

Imagine a structure 164 feet tall, that uses 120 trucks to move and several days to assemble. Now imagine that same structure surrounded by 50,000 to 300,000 people per tour stop; pretty impressive, right?

June 29th U2 landed their space ship like stage in Sun Life Stadium. This monster stage – the largest touring stage ever built – looks like a giant claw or a structure built by NASA. The stage has four legs that support a center column of LCD screens, speaker stacks, and even four aerial lighting platforms that 12 crew strap in to and get hoisted into positions within the legs. A giant spire looks as though it’s been thrust through the whole apparatus, and the stage has two concentric circles of performance platforms. There was a lot of buzz about both the stage and the tour when I went to LDI in 2009, but even with the advanced knowledge I couldn’t grasp the magnitude of this concert.

The idea of the stage, as the “360” tour name suggests, is a concert in the round. Instead of the traditional stage flanked by speaker stacks and fans only concentrated in one direction, the fans literally surround the stage. This stage did everything functionally and SFX wise that I was hoping for. Whenever I’d say “it would be cool if…” all of sudden that very thing would happen – smoke, LCD screens moving, elevator systems for bringing equipment on stage, even the ramps that span from the inner circle to the outer circle moved! With 432 speakers distributed between eight speakers stacks the sound quality was excellent no matter where you sat. This was truly a feast for the eyes and a massage for the ear drums.

U2s songs reverberated through the stadium and the crowd was so in tune to it that you could feel it. Yes in the way you do at a normal concert where you feel the bass and the music, but there was more than that. As people were clapping, stomping, and jumping I could actually feel the vibrations through the steel of the prestressed concrete of the stadium. This was both really cool, and a little disconcerting all at the same time. My mind kept bouncing between enjoying the show and worrying about the stadiums mechanical resonance and how that affected the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Obviously the fans did not cause the stadium to shake itself apart, or you would be reading about somewhere else than my blog.

This was one impressive concert. We left the stadium visually stimulated, physically resonated, and all over tired. If you want to check the tour out, there are only 10 stops left of the 109 scheduled on the tour. So get your tickets or watch it online!

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Refresh South Florida

July 29, 2010 at 11:14 pm (Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, marketing, networking, social event, Social Events & Networking, social media, South Florida, technology, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Tonight was Refresh South Florida, that’s right Refresh Miami and Refresh Lauderdale are playing nice together. This time around it was a joint venture between neighboring and symbiotic social media clubs.  The event was also different in that it followed the format of IgniteShow.com where presenters are only given 5 minutes and 20 slides, auto advancing every 15 seconds, to get their point across.

First to the platform was Jonathan Bradley of Afzet, Inc, home of Studdr.com. Studdr.com is a social networking site that allows you to post quotes, pictures and video of funny or interesting things that you witness or hear. He said that it is the kind of the site many people might use as bathroom reading material because of it’s short snippets of entertainment. I think the site has interesting potential, especially because a lot of my social media use is intended to entertain me in times when I need to see a funny comment or some content that allows me to get my geek on.

Mike Cuesta of Carecloud.com presented his company’s software that allows professional in the medical field the opportunity for a turn-key clinical, financial and administrative software manager.  Carecloud allows medical companies to streamline practices and move into a more lean of way handling all the data they collect on patients and their billing needs. Carecloud.com seemed to have the most practical and put together plan for profitability and company growth out of all the presenters. The software looks to have strong development and the potential to allow medical professionals to do more medical work and spend less time and money in secretarial duties.

Flavors.me, presented by Jonathan Marcus, is a site that allows users to build “an elegant website using content from around the Internet.” Flavors.me looks to be a good outlet for anyone who wants to put up a quick vanity page without needing much knowledge in programming. It sets itself apart from many theme driven design skins by allowing users to upload photos as backgrounds and adjust content along various paths – like Myspace, but less rigid in content structure.

After all of the companies presented individually they were invited for a short panel style question and answer session. Most of the questions centered around profitability, scalability, financial acquisition, and a few discussions about frameworks and development softwares and their role in creating an Internet based start-up.

All three companies are worthy of note and look to have a future online. The whole night was broadcast via socialchats.net to those who were not able to attend in their carbon-based form. For upcoming events, check out OEcalendar.com

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Fat Village – Walk’n with the Arts

July 25, 2010 at 6:51 pm (Art, Art Event, Design, Design Events, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, Gallery Opening, Graphic Design, Illustration, networking, photography, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Despite a tropical storm hitting to the south and the ever-welcoming South Florida heat, there was still a steady attendance at this month’s Fat Village Art Walk. New to the Art Walk were Brew la-la, Iron Forge Press, and Digital Art Wear. The Puppet Network put out a few show elements including a shadow puppeteer and projections of stop motion animation. Gallery 101 had a stronger showing compared to last month’s. The gallery had oil paintings of bulldogs by Drago Milic that were created with great color and emotion. While there I passed a few pieces made in different mediums that were very interesting – later I found out that they were all by Glauco Mendoza.

Overall it was a great night for the visual arts – puppets, printers, sculptures, painters and an entertainment company. The next art walk is scheduled for August 27th from 7 to 11 pm. See you there!

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ArtServe Red Eye 2010

July 24, 2010 at 3:04 am (Art, Art Event, Design, Design Events, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, Gallery Opening, movies, networking, News, photography, print media, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

ArtServe in Downtown Ft. Lauderdale hosted the reception for its 5th annual Red Eye event tonight. The purpose of the Red Eye event is to “create an innovative an exciting project that adds a twist to the conventional gallery exhibit” that “enmeshes gallery art with street art.” This year’s exhibit was on par with last year, with the exception of the graffiti. The graffiti, in my opinion, was better this year. This is not for a lack of technical skill; this year’s graf was more art piece verses last year’s predominant writer influence – I just prefer art over writing in graffiti.

This year’s event also played host to a fashion show that was previewed at Art Serve and continued at The Bubble in the IWAN facility (I did not attend this portion, but hope to visit IWAN before long). In the rear of ArtServe, live entertainment was playing and the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival held a Short Film Premiere Section.

Red Eye continues through July 30th, so check it out while you can.

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What The Flugtag!

July 13, 2010 at 10:45 am (Florida, free, Miami, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Saturday, July 10th,  Miami witnessed Red Bull’s Flugtag for the first time in 6 years. The event, put on by the energy drink, travels to various cities around the country each year encouraging inhabitants to build flying machines that they will hurl off a 30’ platform into the water to see if they can fly.

In 2004 I was part of the team “Camel Skiing” from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, but this time I wasn’t able to get enough people, nor enough time, to gather a team of wanna-be aviators. Luckily the company I work for, Sixth Star Entertainment, was asked to build not one, but two of these machines. The first was built for Telemundo over the course of two days and was used for the test flight on Friday. The second, built in only one day, was to celebrate the signing of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat.

Enough stroking my ego – back to the main event! I have never seen Bayfront Park packed by so many people. The estimated number of spectators was between 80,000 and 100,000! That’s a lot of people in one area on one day, even for Miami. No matter where, or when, the Flugtag event you are guaranteed that the flying machines will be impressive (most will not fly) and that you will be entertained. At this year’s Miami event all walks of life were represented: from Luchadores to Beer Connoisseurs, Ibis to Rubber Ducky, rednecks in Mullets and even a giant wedding cake by a couple who is getting married at the event! Flugtag was wrapped up by a show from the U.S. Coast Guard who flew in a helicopter to pluck the Coast Guard’s Flugtag Pilot from the water.

We need more Flugtags in South Florida! We have some annual events like the Coconut Grove Bed Race, but nothing really compares to the creativity and overall experience of a good Flugtag.

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Fat Village Art Walk

June 27, 2010 at 7:56 pm (Art, Art Event, Design, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, Gallery Opening, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Fat Village Art Walk including the Art of Alex, Sixth Star Entertainment, and Gallery 101

You’ve probably heard of 2nd Saturdays in the Miami Design District, but how about 4th Saturdays in the Fat Village Arts District in Fort Lauderdale? That’s right, Broward County is getting it’s culture on.

Saturday June 26th spirited in the monthly summer gatherings with the opening of some new studios covering fine arts and entertainment. In the last few months the area has had a surge of new talent come to join neighboring Sixth Star Entertainment, Blackbooks and the Puppet Network within the district. Some of this talent includes The Art of Alex, Rachel Henriques, Alfred Phillips, Gallery 101 and – moving in just days before the event – was the Downtown Music Hall featuring the Floribbean Swamp Funk Roots Rock Jamband, Shack Daddys.

This little stretch of Downtown Fort Lauderdale is proving to be quite promising as an up-and-coming arts district. Join them the 4th Saturday of every month through November. The area spans 4 blocks from NW 6th St. on the north, to 4th Street & from N. Andrews to the railroad tracks on the west side. See you next month.

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Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, 1923-1937

April 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm (Art, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, photography, print media, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Gary Cooper and Mad Men's Don Draper. Photos taken nearly 90 years apart ...timeless

We were finally able to enjoy some culture this weekend with the viewing of Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, 1923-1937 on view at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale. As someone who did not know much about Steichen’s career beyond recognizing a few photographs it was interesting to find out more about his life and work.

The layout of the exhibit starts in the early 1920’s, where many of the portraits have a sepia and faded palette to the prints, from there it chronologically follows his career through the 1930s. His photographs of the 20s seem (at least to me) to be more straightforward and less dynamic than his later works. As the 20s gave way to the 30s Steichen’s photos have more depth, both in the blacks of the grayscale and the human interest displayed within the frame. His film noir treatment of light and the Art Nuevo, and especially Art Deco styling of his backgrounds, subject mater, and overall aesthetic really began to take shape as his career progressed.

Though probably known best for his female subjects, the way he shot his male figures are both epic and timeless. The photo of Gary Cooper in the late 20s reminds me of the Don Draper character from the AMC show Mad Men (see images above). My favorite photo out of the entire exhibit was probably the smallest on display. It was of a movie director or producer taken in 1930. The man (who I really wish I could remember who it was) is seated in a director’s chair with lighting and grip equipment serving as the background. The camera is positioned lower that the subject and the lighting is of an intense key light with mild fill …exceptionally powerful and stunning.

After viewing the exhibit you see how Steichen was able to influence fashion photography from that point on. The texture and shape he could create through the natural curves of his models coupled with the lines of the fabrics they wore were both dynamic and simplistic. Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, 1923-1937 was on display at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale from February 28 through April 11th, 2010. From Fort Lauderdale it makes it’s last scheduled stop at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO from May 15 – July 25, 2010.

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LDI 2009

November 22, 2009 at 1:28 am (Design, Design Events, Florida, networking, technology, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

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.

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