RED Prime Steak in Oklahoma City – You Need to Train for This Much Awesome

I’m trying not to be a big fat ass this year.  I’ve been pretty successful so far, I’ve lost a few pounds a week.  The one thing I’ve tried hard to do is to stop eating fast food, and instead spend that money on the nicer restaurants around the world.  I’m a lighting nerd, OBVIOUSLY, so one of my favorite parts of this lifestyle change is enjoying the unbelievable lighting designs that the nicer restaurants offer.

I got a bit of a wild hair the other day while driving through downtown Oklahoma City – I saw this place called RED Prime Steak on Broadway, over by Bricktown.  Myself and local photographer Kristen Lee of the famous Stella Shot Me photography studios went to check out the scene.  I mean, after all the entire place is red inside from the street.  At first glance from the road, RED looks like a pretty upscale place.

Well, it is.  It’s pretty absolutely excellently awesomely upscale.  As a matter of fact, if you are into eating some unbelievably delicious bovine, enjoying some serious mixed drinks and wine (srsly) and being wow’ed by an outstanding lighting design, you need to check out this place.  From the moment you walk into the entrance, designer Rand Elliott’s vision of a “red wind” is ever present, leading you to the center of the venue.

The main bar – up front by the street level:

RED is full of all kinds of nooks and crannies, as well as open sections with tables and seating – Rand Elliott‘s initial design concept for RED was of that representing a “red wind.”  Elliott made this happen with strips of red neon on a grand aisle of the restaurant that shine onto the original brick walls of the restaurant.  It’s quite stunning, actually.  Below is a capture from the RED website with a rendering and a hand sketch:

Check out the “red wind” section of the restaurant – red neon tubes create the ambient light that filters throughout the venue:

Our server, Ross (who is also the head caterer for RED Prime Steak) gave us a tour of the entire facility (as well as providing some excellent choices and recommendations) – the restaurant has a ton of space above it that is used for parties, exquisite or otherwise; there are several very private booths and tables meant for romantic meals or parties of several people.  I’m a huge fan of steak AND light, so this is a place I’ll be revisiting very soon.

The best thing about the lighting design in my eyes is the attention to minute detail throughout the restaurant – a slice of neon hidden there, white accent lighting hidden in crannies to accentuate the soul of the room, and a sense of quality brought forth from the lighting to the food.

If you’re in Oklahoma City and you haven’t tried RED Prime Steak yet, I have no idea what you could possibly be waiting for to happen before you make your RED experience.

Check out a gallery of the images taken at RED Prime Steak that night – great photography by Kristen Lee of Stella Shot Me Photography Studios!  Click on a thumbnail and a magical land of full size images opens up for your enjoyment!

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Aron Altmark Lights Benny Benassi at FLUXX San Diego

Our precious little sugar britches, Hebrew Hammer, and young LD Aron Altmark just had a cool gig in San Diego at the FLUXX club.  Aron had the pleasure of lighting international DJ superstar Benny Benassi.  How’s that for a resume credit?

The FLUXX rig:

  • 26 Elation Design Spot 300B
  • 34 Elation Opti Tri Par RGB
  • 10 Martin Atomic Strobe
  • 2 High End Systems DL.3
  • 595 LED Strips (around 400 in the circular grid overhead, another 195 in the circles w/ frosted plexi behind the stage)

Aron had a few days of programming at the ACT Lighting Studios (where he’s an intern this summer) on a GrandMA Lite with Series 2 software.  Check out these great looks!  Also check out Aron’s Picasa album of the shots – there are some I left out, and he’s got lots of cool stuff there too.

Gallery image view – click on one to see them all!

We’re proud of you, big guy!

Dallas PGA Golf Celebrity Party, InLight Gobos, and Absolute Lighting. PARTY. Part 2!

Yeah, I told you I had a metric ton of photos to put up for the party I went to with Rick Hutton on Monday.  That was an amazing time – I wanna party like that again soon!

BlissLight on the tree!

All photography C/O Jim Hutchison and Light Associated Media, LLC

Dallas PGA Golf Celebrity Party, InLight Gobos, and Absolute Lighting. PARTY.

I got invited to an amazing party on Monday night.  A “local Dallas PGA golf celebrity” who shall remain nameless, Rick Hutton from InLight Gobos, and a bunch of awesome techs from Absolute Lighting in Dallas and I hung out until the wee hours of the morning, partying and hobnobbing with some really excellent people.  An amazing time was had by all.

I met so many people.  I saw so much mind-blowing party lighting.  I rubbed elbows with really awesome men and women, and just had myself an excellent experience.  I will say this – when InLight Gobos is involved with anything I see, it is always absolutely visually stunning.  Yeah.  Rick’s stuff is the best in the industry, in my humble designer opinion.  He’s been rocking and rolling on top of this biz for many, many years.

Rick was the general contractor for the design, the templates, and the BlissLights, and he subbed out equipment to Absolute Lighting, who provided DL-2s, COLORados, and other general gear.  Control was on a Hog III, and the video content mixed with the LED wash on the “local Dallas PGA golf celebrity” house made this party one of the top 2 house parties I have ever attended.

Thanks for the amazing time, the sushi, the sushi display platforms (leave that one to your imagination), the mind-blowing party lighting, and the invite.  If you’ve not heard of Absolute Lighting, you need to check them out.  Great people, great work!

I have A LOT of pictures of this one, folks.  A lot.  Like over a hundred.  I’m gonna spread them out over a few days so as not to screw up your JimOnLight.com image loading experience, so get ready for days of excellent views!

A long-exposure of the space cannons at the entrance to the neighborhood:

Yours truly, Rick Hutton, and Flo the awesomeness at the end of the night – or beginning of the morning, however you want to look at it:

Laura and Austin rocking the DL-2 rig:

All photography C/O Jim Hutchison and Light Associated Media, LLC

High End Systems Rocks the Face Off of Pure Volume at SXSW 2010

I was chilling with my wife and Josh Benton (you know, the guy who runs the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard) during the “Fray Cafe” event at the Red Eyed Fly at SXSW last weekend.  In comes Adam DeWitt (@xedmada) to have a beer because I posted my status on GoWalla, and all of the sudden I was on the way over to the Pure Volume venue in Austin to meet up with Craig Burross from High End Systems.

That’s like a freaking lighting nerd’s dream.  So, I walk into Pure Volume with Adam, and there is truss everywhere.  The venue has a very low ceiling, so Craig Burross and his team had installed some very interesting configurations in the club.  I was very impressed.  High End Systems, I heart you so much.

Cameron Gordon was busking as the lighting director at the venue.  Nice work, Cameron!

I know the fixture counts I have won’t be accurate – but it was a Hog III and wing, 12 ShowPix, 6 ShowGuns, and 6 Cyberlight 2’s.  Oh, and a bunch of DL3’s.  The Cyberlight 2.0 is a <expletive> fantastic fixture.  The industry needs a great scanner – Cyber 2.0 is where my money is going.  That fixture has been awesome since it was first released.  You and your huge creative brain, Richard Belliveau!

I made a little video of some of the lighting inside Pure Volume – check it out!

LDI 2009 – Chauvet Lighting’s Booth

LET THE PICTURES BEGIN!

I loved posting last year’s LDI pics of the booths I photographed.  It was like giving the people who couldn’t go a chance to see what it was all about!

Every LDI, I am always amazed by the sheer magnitude of Chauvet Lighting‘s booth.  It’s always massive, it’s always a sunburst of color, and you can usually see it from just about anywhere in the convention center.  I also got to meet Navah, the girl behind @chauvetlighting on Twitter.  Great to meet you finally!

Check out this booth!

chauvet-8-ldi2009-jimonlight

chauvet-1-ldi2009-jimonlight

chauvet-6-ldi2009-jimonlight

chauvet-4-ldi2009-jimonlight

chauvet-2-ldi2009-jimonlight

chauvet-5-ldi2009-jimonlight

chauvet-3-ldi2009-jimonlight

High End Systems – The Blackstone Audio Days

Have you ever heard of Blackstone Audio?  JimOnLight reader Joey van der  Berg just sent me a link to a really retro-excellent video from the early days of High End Systems and their rental stock of lighting – when it was Lowell Fowler’s first company, Blackstone Audio.  The video is below.

Lowell’s bio (founder of High End) on the High End website gives a little history:

along with wife Sue, he founded Blackstone Audio Visual, a production company marketing to touring groups and special events. In 1986, along with partner [Richard] Belliveau, High End Systems began wholesaling lighting products to the entertainment industry on a global basis. Shortly thereafter, the company moved into the design and manufacturing of microprocessor-based lighting fixtures and control systems. In addition to serving as CEO and/or President of the company for over 25 years Fowler has held various capacities primarily in the sales and marketing organizations. He is currently a member of the senior management group and serves on the Board of Directors. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Texas.

I was looking a little further into the background of High End Systems, and it started out as Blackstone, then became LightWave Research (the people with the original Intellabeams) and then High End Systems.  Most of the progress seems as though it was technology driven.  An engineer named Steve Tulk who started with Blackstone Audio tells a little of his story:

In 1984 I began working at Blackstone Audio Visual as a repair and installation tech. During the 3 years of working in Clubs and Disco’s, I was privledged to have been involved with some of the most elaborate systems built in the US in the 1980’s. Lighting was just beginning to “evolve” in the US market. Much of this was driven by the lights that Blackstone imported from Europe for it’s own installations. Eventually Blackstone opened a small distribution company and called it Highend Systems.

In 1986 the FDA loosened the restrictions on class 3A lasers. This allowed a very contraversial product known as “Laser Chorus” to be built and sold into clubs. Laser Chorus was a low power laser that came in 4 different colors and was able to be safely used directly on the audience. Since this was such a new and novel product, it became very popular.

Following the popularity of Laser Chorus, another revolutionary product was born called Color Pro. The Patented Color Pro system used 3 light bulbs with dichroic filters to seperate the light into Red, Green and Blue then re-combine them into 1 light beam again to allow for almost any color to be produced from it. Since dichroic color filters were fairly new to the entertainment lighting industry, there were no inexpensive sources of these filters, only very expensive scientific grade filters which really weren’t very precise either. With that need for filters in the lighting industry, Blackstone opened another division called Lightwave Research. Four men (including myself) made lighting history by building the first optical thinfilm coating laboratory for production of dichroic filters for the entertainment lighting industry. Color Pro was a HUGE success and launched Highend Systems/Lightwave Research up to the next level.

Interesting. I am so looking forward to LDI.  Check out the video:

Brazil’s VJ Zaniz – Production Reel

I’ve been finding a lot of interesting digital visuals lately, as I have a weird architectural lighting project in my head.  One of the artists I’ve come across lately is Brazil’s VJ Zaniz – his work has a very interesting quality – sometimes it feels very Cubist to me, other times slightly impressionist.

Here’s a video reel:

Thanks, VJ.TV!

Wybron’s CXI IT Scrollers at Le Poisson Rouge

poncho sanchez

I just got a press release from Jennifer at Wybron – check out this article about the old famous Village Gate Club, now called Le Poisson Rouge:

WYBRON CXI SCROLLERS COLOR NYC CLUB

Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison – some of the world’s most legendary artists performed at The Village Gate during its nearly 40-year run in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

The Bleecker Street venue closed in 1993, but today it’s alive again in the form of an eclectic club called Le Poisson Rouge (in English, “Red Fish”). As a “multimedia art cabaret,” according to club’s Web site, LPR strives to highlight a variety of musical and artistic styles.

And to create the perfect atmosphere on stage, LPR Head Lighting Designer Ethan Kaplan brought Wybron along for the ride.

Eighteen Wybron CXI IT color-mixing scrollers provide vibrant hues for the intimate stage that’s hosted Paul Simon, Mos Def, Andrew WK, Salman Rushdie, and many more (and the eclectic calendar continues).

Fixed on Source 4 PARS, the CXIs feature two overlapping gelstrings with frames of cyan, magenta, and yellow, which mix together to create an almost limitless color palette.  Kaplan likes having the flexibility to tweak colors on the fly.

“The CXI’s color mixing allows me to make subtle live color changes during the show without upstaging the performers,” he said. Ten downlights and eight frontlights ensure the performers never wander into the dark.  Kaplan especially likes the CXI’s blues and magentas.

“As far as durability goes, these units get scrolled back and forth seven days a week,” Kaplan said.  “They have been exposed to dust (they were installed while the venue was still under construction), severe vibrations (nightly DJ parties on the weekends), and showers of fake blood (Mini-Gene Simmons, don’t ask). In the last 10 months since the venue opened, only one out of our 18 scrollers has required maintenance.”

And in this color-rich environment, creativity reigns night after night.

Check out Wybron’s website for more info on the CXI scrollers – I’ve used them, I would vouch for them.

metropolis

Enttec’s Playback, Programming, and Shortcut Interfaces

I read about some of the PC lighting control company Enttec‘s wares tonight – considering I am saving up to buy the Hog 3 PC programming and playback interfaces for use with my WYSIWYG suite (I have a loooong way to go…), these units look pretty cool.  Provided, that is, they would work with the Hog 3 PC software, and connected to my WYSIWYG suite.  Enttec has a programming wing, a playback wing, and a shortcut wing that, hooked together, could make a pretty sweet interface.  Enttec’s software, LightFactory, is what the units are geared for – but they claim that the units work with any PC based lighting control software.  The units connect to the PC via ethernet.

Enttec, these things are great!  I want to know more!

The programming wing:

enttec programming wing

The playback wing:

enttec playback wing

The shortcut wing:

enttec shortcut wing