Bill Klages Teaches Television Lighting at ETC’s Summer Camp

I finally got through ALL of my Bill Klages shots – last week at ETC’s Summer Camp in Middleton (at the ETC Mothership!) I got to listen to Bill Klages talk about setting up shots for film and broadcast.  You know who Bill Klages is, right?  He’s only the father of modern television lighting and all.

It was pretty amazing to get to see him work and teach the audience.  The man knows light, and it is so obvious how much skill he has developed over the course of his career.  I snapped a ton of shots of Bill while he was giving his seminar, and I’ve listed a gallery view below.  Click on one, and you’re transported to a mystical gallery place of images, like MAGIC!

I just loved this shot – the model is Marina, who was a champ and a good sport for the demo.

Fred Foster, ETC‘s CEO, introducing Mr. Klages.

Fred Foster giving Bill Klages his “HD” hat.

Gallery below!

A Tour of ETC’s Amazing Factory – Also Known as “The Mothership”

While I was in Middleton this last weekend for the ETC Summer Camp, I was lucky enough to get a grand tour of the place where all Source Fours, Sensor dimmers, ETC consoles, and other ETC lighting lines are created, manufactured, and repaired when necessary.  This was a pretty cool experience, quite frankly!  I have a metric ton of images for you all here – along with some narration for most of them.

*Deep breath*

I’ve put these images into a gallery with descriptions and titles – click on the one on the top left below here and the gallery pages will load up, and you can step through each images by clicking on the icons underneath each large image.  Simplicity!

JimOnLight.com Covers ETC’s Dealer and Rep Summer Camp

I had a great time this last weekend at Electronic Theatre Controls‘ 2010 Summer Camp – the great folks at ETC had me up to experience their Dealer/Rep Summer Camp Conference, where ETC dealers and representatives across the world learn about new products, existing products, talk to people working in the major leagues with their products, and generally have a good time.  The first night I was there, I had a day of learning about Selador LEDs, Unison systems, Sensor dimming, and seeing a shootout of ETC products against other products in the industry.

I mean, who hasn’t ever used an ETC product?  I can say that it certainly isn’t me – my career started out on a Microvision FX, and ETC stuff has been in my career since then.  It was pretty great to meet everyone, see people I knew, and meet new people that I will know from now on.  The factory is pretty awesome – I’ve got a post all about that on its own, as well as a post with Bill Klages’ lecture about television and film lighting!

One of the absolute highlights for me at this conference was listening to Pete Weigland and Nick Gonsman give a demo on integrating wireless devices with the EOS console.  Nick and Pete gave so much information on wireless devices in general that my mind was absolutely full of information on wifi, and happy to be so full.  Thanks, Nick and Pete!

Check out some images, won’tcha?

Me and Lowell Olcott rocking a few bottles of the Spotted Cow…  YUM!

My favorite shot of John Kuehl, ETC’s web and social media genius

David Lincecum, Jim Hutchison, Bill Klages (the father of modern TV lighting), and ETC’s Pres, Fred Foster

David Hilton and Novella Smith talking about Selador LED fixtures

The Sons of Sunset jamming in front of the ETC Mothership!

Here’s a ton more shots – in gallery format!  Click one and flip through them all!

Thanks for having me, ETC!

RIP Jody Hanson from ETC

Oh wow.  What a bummer of a thing to read.

ETC‘s long time Promo and Ad Manager, Jody Hanson, passed away this last weekend.  I just found out about it.  That lady was awesome – a hard driving deal maker with a respect and knowledge of the lighting industry that we all call home.  Jody understood how important the world of blogging and Social Media was to the industry, and she was supportive of people like myself in the beginning of our careers.

We’ll miss you, Jody.

From ETC’s press release about Jody’s passing:

Middleton, WI (2 June 2010) — A mainstay of ETC’s Marketing department for over 13 years as the company’s Promotions and Advertising Manager, Jody Hanson passed away on Sunday, May 30, 2010. The global family of ETC grieves the loss.

From January 1997, when Jody started at ETC, she brought her passion for professionalism to the ETC Marketing team, locally and globally. Entrusted with ETC’s representation to the promotional media, Jody was well known and respected in the industry. She led countless successful promotional campaigns and projects for ETC — on every new product since the introduction of the Obsession® II lighting control console.

As Electronic Theatre Controls’ Chief Executive Officer Fred Foster reflects, “Jody gathered together a truly creative team of people who produced more than 100 trade shows, hundreds of media placements, and uncountable hits on our website. They all followed her professional lead to produce a precise and complete image for ETC. We all miss Jody, but her impact on our lives will never fade.”

ETC Vice President of Marketing Bill Gallinghouse concurs: “Jody had a unique ability to break down the largest and most complex objectives into manageable parts and guide them perfectly to fruition.”

Born on January 10th, 1954, Jody was a Wisconsinite who made the Madison area her home for the last 14 years. She is survived by her husband John, and her daughter Emily.

A memorial will take place for Jody on Saturday, June 5th, 2010, in her hometown of Columbus, Wisconsin, at St. Jerome’s Church, 1550 Farnham St., starting at 8:30 a.m., followed by a memorial mass of burial at 10:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that people make donations to or volunteer time with their favorite charity.

Please use Cornerstone Funeral Services’ online guestbook to express condolences to the family:
www.meaningfulfunerals.net/fh/obituaries/tribute.cfm?o_id=626959&fh_id=11053&s_id=B7DF14561337816249238C23C057EAAB

Five Decades of Lighting – USITT 2010 Lighting Commission Special Exhibit – Consoles Edition

One of the more awesome things I saw this year at USITT was the Lighting Commission’s exhibit on lighting equipment history – “Five Decades of Lighting.”  Todd Proffitt (@tm204) and Josh Williamson (@joshwilliamson) were involved with this exhibit, and I think they did an outstanding freaking job of putting it together.  I’m sure I’m not including many people who worked to make the thing happen, but nice exhibit!  I broke this up into two posts:  one on consoles, and another post tomorrow on fixtures and other equipment.

You might notice that these images of lighting control surfaces is not in any kind of chronological order – this is actually intentional.  Take a look and see if you can identify some of the characteristics of the various consoles over the course of the years.

The “Five Decades of Lighting” exhibit had fixtures, dimming, and consoles from the last five decades.  It was pretty great to actually get my hands on an old Light Palette Two – what nice wood detail work!  Can I order a Hog III with the cherry and maple inlay?

Also, it was awesome meeting Fred Foster from ETC and hearing him tell stories about the first consoles he designed, and the funny little tidbits he was sharing.  You’re pretty cool, Fred Foster!

Check out a quick video I made of the console section, followed by a ton of images.  Literally.

USITT’s 2010 Lighting Commission Special Exhibit – 5 Decades of Lighting – Consoles from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

The Strand 300 Series lighting console (I’m a big fan of the Strand 520i from back in the day):

the Obsession I (before it became the Obsession II):

a Luxtrol autotransformer unit.  Come on, you’ve seen these, yeah?  We always had one in undergrad powering the tech table lighting:

“That’s not a lighting desk.  THIS is a lighting desk!”  (the Light Palette Two).  I mean, literally a desk.  You can also fly the Starship Enterprise with that console:

Light Palette Two built-in keyboard:

The Light Palette Two, front side:

Lighting Methods, Inc’s little two-scene preset:

The Kliegl Performer – yes, that’s a cassette tape:

an old Kliegl Bros 2-scene preset, and a Century Lighting Edkotron controller:

Everybody knows the Express series – here’s a 250:

The ETC Vision – also see the Microvision FX, which wasn’t at the show, but you could hear the jubilant cries of “MICROVISION FX!” from the conventiongoers:

The ETC Idea – another of the early ETC desks that people came to know and love:

The ETC Eos – so sleek!

This thing – this is amazing.  This is the ETC ELC (Entertainment Lighting Control)

Thanks to JimOnLight.com Sponsors – January 2010

Folks, the readers of JimOnLight.com have been called a lot of wonderful things – “the most dedicated readership in the lighting industry,” “a very engaged group,” and my personal favorite, “the most supportive group of readers that a website could be fortunate enough to have.”

Yeah, that’s right, you guys rock.

Advertisements on JimOnLight.com are hand-picked.  I keep reputable companies on the site because you all deserve to have relevant ads supporting JimOnLight.com.  If it weren’t for the great companies that advertise on JimOnLight.com, I wouldn’t be able to write every day for all of you.

If your company is interested in being a part of this awesome community, check out the advertising page.

January Sponsors:



Electronic Theatre Controls – you might know them as ETC – is a great company that is known for their Source Four line of luminaires and their outstanding lines of lighting control consoles.  ETC has also entered the rigging market with their Prodigy line of hoists, and the LED market with the Selador line of fixtures.  Check them out if you haven’t – it’s worth your while!

Genielux is the new rental and sales locator for lighting, audio, video, staging, and entertainment production gear.  Using your iPhone, you can find out who has 300 star strobes in Stickney, Illinois when you’re in a pinch or find out who’s got your Meyer cabinets in Tookus, Nebraska.  For suppliers, it costs you a couple of bucks a month to get your information into Genielux and help people in a pinch.  Oh yeah – and for users, the Genielux iPhone app is completely free!  How much better does it get to help out the industry?

I gotta believe that everybody knows Mike Zinman and Zinman Software – he started out rocking AutoCAD with AutoBlock back in the day – now he rocks the iPhone software market with great software like ML Finder PRO, PocketLD, GelCalc, iSwitch DMX, and Portfolio.  Check out his stuff – it’s a time saver!

From color scrollers to LED fixtures, dichroic color-changing fixtures to feedback control, Wybron has been around for a long time.  Wybron’s Coloram scrollers have been in thousands of shows across the globe; their InfoTrace system has gotten tons of press for its feedback prowess; and the Nexera and Cygnus lines of fixtures are making their mark in the industry.
Thank you to our sponsors, and thank you to every JimOnLight.com reader on the planet!

Joe Cox’s Color Wall Needs Its Switch Turned On

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You know, it isn’t often when you see something that is a “shame.”  You know, like “aww, man – it’s a shame that 21 million people have no health coverage,” or “aww, man – they tore down that stem cell research drive through clinic and put up a Taco Shack, that’s a shame.”  You know, one of those really sorrowful that actually makes you think about the future.

This isn’t quite that bad, but it sucks in its own right.  On a comparative scale, this obviously doesn’t compete with health insurance and our disregard for stem cell research.  However, it is a shame that money and art seem to live so closely together, which is why this story is a shame.

In Raleigh, NC there is a light art installation that was born in 1972 called The Color Wall – the product of an artist named Joe Cox at North Carolina State University.  It’s a 12 foot by 36 foot panel that has colored light shining on it, changing by means of a mechanical system that the artist designed himself, all mechanical.  The Color Wall’s system changed the lights about 32 times every 2 minutes.  It’s been called the most significant work of public art in Raleigh.

Unfortunately, the system that Cox had designed has died a few times over the last few years, and finally took the final bow sometime in 2007 after two decades of mediocre if not failing operation.  There is a proposal into the school to change its control system to something more modern (ETC’s Smart Switch Relay) and, well, functioning, so that the Color Wall can keep inspiring the public and, well, actually lighting up and functioning like the artist initially designed.  What sucks about that is the system is about $6200 bucks (as of the last quote), and they are halfway there.

Feeling generous?  You can certainly donate to the cause of keeping this long-lived piece of light art alive.  Some Raleigh bloggers have also started a site all about the wall, and tracking the progress of restoration.  It’s not stem cell research or health coverage, but it is enrichment, which is also important.

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ETC Wins A PLASA 2009 Award for Innovation for the Selador Line!

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Electronic Theatre Controls, maker of the Source Four line of luminaires and the Ion, Eos, Congo, and Express lines of control consoles, won a PLASA 2009 Award for Innovation at this year’s conference for the Selador line of LED fixtures.  Congratulations, ETC!

The press release from the ETC newsroom:

Lighting, dimming and controls manufacturer ETC is celebrating after winning a coveted Innovation Award for the Selador LED range of fixtures at this year’s PLASA.

The award judges congratulated the ETC Selador fixtures for “taking a significant step towards the ultimate goal of energy efficient incandescent replacement lighting.” They continued by pointing out that “ETC has developed this LED fixture with a colour output that gets close to the spectral curve of traditional incandescent source, thereby making LED technology a step closer to wider use in theatres and similar applications.”

Outside of the awards, the PLASA show was, says ETC’s Promotions & Advertising Manager for Europe, Rosi Marx, a complete success, with product specialists giving demonstrations throughout the four days. “Although visitor numbers seemed to be down, in general we had a very busy stand,” she adds.

The Selador demonstrations weren’t the only ones grabbing visitors’ attention: ETC’s Unison Mosaic architectural control system, SmartBar 2 portable dimming and Element lighting control console were all extremely popular.

Element is ETC’s newest lighting desk and is designed with smaller theatrical venues and schools in mind. This no-fuss system targets conventional lighting control in smaller venues. Perfect for student and volunteer staff, Element redefines the basics of lighting control. When conventional accessories, LED fixtures or moving lights are added to the rig, the press of a button accesses the On Demand ML Controls, giving direct control of complex devices via a mouse or touch screen.

I’m looking forward to what’s next with Selador!

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The Best Source Four Imitation EVAR

A young lighting designer that I think we all need to watch for as she progresses in her journey to become one of the great illuminateers posted one of the funniest pictures I think I’ve seen in a long time – a creative, intelligent, and shamelessly excellent representation of an ETC Source Four ellipsoidal reflector spotlight.  Daphne, this is one of the greatest costumes ever.  Thanks for letting me post these!  I just know in my heart that the ETC folks will be pleased as punch to see you were thinking of them!

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ETC Unveils The Element Console

What’s that you say?  Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) has released a new series of consoles!  So, to the huge family of consoles at ETC – from the Microvision FX way back in the day to the Expression line, the Express line to the Obsession line, the Congo, Eos, Ion, SmartFade, and architectural controls Unison and Pharos – welcome to the market, ETC Element!

People at USITT 2009 today will be seeing the new console.  I had a plane ticket to USITT, and I’m supposed to leave tomorrow – but I am too sick with this bronchitis crap, and I’ll be missing this year’s conference.  Someone take a picture for me?

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ETC unveils new ElementTM lighting control consoles, USITT 2009

Middleton, WI (20 March 2009) – When customers demand, ETC listens. Users have been asking for an ETC lighting control console designed expressly for modest rigs and maximum hands-on fader control. In response, ETC is introducing their new ElementTM consoles at USITT 2009 in Cincinnati. ETC Controls Product Manager Sarah Clausen explains: “ETC defined the basic lighting controller when the Express console was introduced in 1995. We’ve seen over time that the basic lighting rig has changed. With Element, we’ve redefined what ‘basic lighting console’ means, without losing the ease of use of Express.” Element comes in two hardware versions, based on fader count (the Element 40 or the Element 60). Each supports either 250 or 500 channels and a full two universes of DMX output.

Element is directed at smaller venues like schools and houses of worship who depend on single console operators or volunteer staffers. It is designed to handle rigs outfitted predominantly with conventional fixtures (spotlights, PARs, fresnels, and their accessories – scrollers, mirror heads, gobo rotators, etc.), while also accommodating some LED fixtures and/or a small number of simple moving lights. “We based Element on our Eos® control system but with a simplified feature set in a stand-alone console,” says Clausen. Integral faders, a single cue list and command prompts echoing those of the Express console make operation of an Element console simple and direct.

ETC addressed a number of special requirements in this new console. Users asked for channel faders. ETC engineered Element with true LTP channel faders for handling simple shows directly or for building up looks for use as submasters or cues, or for editing levels live. Users wanted submasters. By turning a switch, Element’s channel faders become 40 submasters for simple playback of live shows. When submasters are needed all the time, the Element 60 console provides 20 additional dedicated submaster faders. Users wanted the simplicity of one-button operation if needed: Element records cues and fade times into a single cue list for simple playback of more complex shows using a GO button. Or, when users are ready to move up, they can access more complex timing functions like cue parts and follows to create more intricate lighting transitions.

Element also opens the realm of special effects to basic operators by recording effects directly into cues or loading them into submasters for more dynamic lighting looks.

Element even navigates basic accessory, LED and moving-light control. At the press of a button, the console’s On Demand ML Controls appear on screen with tools designed to control smaller numbers of non-intensity equipment like scrollers, gobo rotators and mirror heads for conventional fixtures. Element’s color and gel-picker tools simplify the control process further, applying appropriate colors to LEDs and color-mixing accessories and fixtures.

Smaller-scale venues like schools will appreciate the deep customer and technical support behind Element — from its on-screen prompts, Help system, and video tutorials, to ETC’s online Community Forums and standard expert 24/7 phone support.

ETC plans to begin shipping Element this summer 2009.

For more on Element, see product page: www. etcconnect.com/element