InLight Gobos Now Offers Online Ordering!

Yeah, that first night in a hotel when I have a big presentation the next morning is always a wash.  Always.  I’m in Orlando, at LDI, getting ready to teach

I don’t write about press releases unless I believe that there’s something to talk about, and I just got a good one.  InLight Gobos is now offering ONLINE ORDERING.  I heard about some other cool stuff that’s coming from InLight Gobos, but if I told you, I’d have to kill you.  I mean, figuratively of course, but not in the Shakespearean way.  Sorry, I’m just not that kind of girl!  Guy!  You know what I mean.

Rick Hutton, president of InLight Gobos (and just a stellar guy) sent this:

Dallas, TX (October 25, 2011) – InLight Gobos has opened a new online shop at http://www.inlightgobos.com/catalog/.  Developed to provide added convenience and value to customers and prospective customers, InLight Gobos Online Shop features their full inventory of color, greyscale and black & white gobos.

InLight Gobos offers a wide variety of color, greyscale and monochrome patterns for catalog reproduction.  All patterns are available in a variety of sizes to fit most projectors and lighting fixtures on the market, and the Online Shop provides customers with a fast and convenient way to order glass gobos 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Customers simply select a category, then choose the gobo pattern, size and quantity and required sizes. Orders are shipped within 3 days from order date, with faster shipping available if needed.

“We wanted to bring a higher level of convenience to our customers,” says company President, Rick Hutton, “Our entire catalog of stock gobos are available for viewing online, making it convenient for new clients and those already familiar with our extensive line of designs , online shopping made sense.  We’re confident that our customers will find it to be an excellent complement to our services and customer care efforts.”

The Online Shop can be accessed directly at http://www.inlightgobos.com/catalog/ and is also featured on the company’s home page.

InLight Gobos was formed in 2002 with a simple mission to bring the best quality glass gobos at a competitive price to the lighting and entertainment industries; this mission still stands today. Over the years InLight Gobos has continued to bring new innovations to the lighting and projection industry. In partnership with Beacon SSR Stage Light AB, their patented process allows them to produce the most detailed and thinnest full-color gobos in the market.

Awesome.  If you’ve ever used Rick’s glass, you know that there is no other.

Laser Goofing, JimOnLight Style

I was a fairly big laser nerd before I met Rick Hutton, but after becoming friends with THAT mega-nerd, I have begun to really get into lasers and the whole use of coherent light.  I think one of the highlights of 2011 so far was hitting Photonics West with Ocean Optics and SeaChanger and walking the laser show floor with Rick.  You see, I see the term mega-nerd as about the best compliment you could give a person.

I have been goofing a bit with my 1W blue (445nm), my 10mW HeNe (632.8nm), and a Coherent Radius 405 (violet, 405nm) I picked up pretty cheap on eBay.  I also have a ton of amazing optics and bench components that I was given by the great folks at InLight Gobos and Laser Surplus Sales.  I want to make some fun art with the stuff that I have, and as I acquire more, and one of these days I’ll save up and get a 5W Argon laser (oh HELL yes) and I’ll build some crazy system of galvos and any other crackadelic thing I can come up with to occupy my non-working, non-sleeping time.

I can’t afford the several thousand dollars for a decent laser breadboard for my hobby, so I pulled a DIY and built my own out of two chunks of fine-grade pine that I glued together and fastened with a few large gauge fasteners.  It cost me about 40 bucks total, which is a lot less than $1977.74, let me tell you.  I have about a 16th of an inch deflection over the course of the surface of the table, a grid of holes drilled on one inch centers over a 24″ x 60″.

Just a few teaser shots – I’m oretty bummed at the loss of my DSLR, my little 12MP Elph just ain’t cutting it with this specific wavelength photography:

 

Holy sh*t I love lasers. Wear your laser safety glasses, kids!

The House of Atreus – Lighting Design by Jim Hutchison

Now that my semester is over and I have a chance to comb through hundreds of photos from the unbelievable season of shows that we do here where I teach, I can blow some smoke up the rear of my design career and show some pics of the last 6 months of my life as a lighting designer!  I got my butt kicked over this last semester, but I did a lot of design work, including a break in the apparent hiatus I had over the last decade in writing music for shows.  I love being able to write music and record it for a show I’m lighting – for some reason the two design areas just meld so well in my head.

The show that I’m starting with here is called The House of Atreus, written by one of our newly tenured professors, Lance Marsh, and produced at Oklahoma City University’s School of Theatre, where I am the Head of Lighting Design and Technology.  “Atreus,” as we affectionately call it, is based on Aeschylus’ Oresteia.  Lance wrote four plays, and we ended up producing plays #2 and #3 as a two “act” performance.  Plays #1 and #4 were done as live readings done late night after the produced works.

This show was dark, as you can imagine – the stories, the performances, the music, as as much as I could possibly work it in, the lighting design.  I worked a lot within shadows, playing lines of text with light, and using the scenic design as the basis for the crazy ideas I had for the actual house of the House of Atreus.  At the time that I was in the design phase for Atreus, I had also just finished my shoulder surgery, and I had this ridiculously gnarly bruise from the nerve block performed on my arm for surgery.  Consequently, if you have never had an upper-extremty nerve block, it leaves your upper extremity, in this case my right arm, dangling like a warm roll of salami (pardon the description, but it’s totally accurate) from your shoulder.  So, just to give you an idea about what the bruise looked like, here’s the bruise.  Sorry, it’s freaking graphic:

So one day I’m standing by the mirror getting ready for work, and as I’m putting the sling on my arm I noticed the bruise, and it hit me – that is the PERFECT image to make into a gobo to project onto the door of the actual house of Atreus!  There is so much that happens inside that house – a wife murders her husband, children murder their mother and her lover, and all kinds of gore and misery comes from inside this house.  I took a pic of the bruise and toned it a little towards the monochromatic magenta side to match what was going on the door in terms of paint treatment.  The gobo image looked like this:

I called Rick Hutton from InLight Gobos to make me a full color glass gobo of the bruise image, and Rick made me an awesome B-sized gobo.  Because of the way that InLight Gobos does their process, the very fine detailed points of the gobo were able to be focused and sharpened in the fixture, which to me as a designer was essential!  Check out the gobo from Rick:

This was kind of a bittersweet production for me, just simply because in the middle of the dress rehearsal week, some ass hat stole my DSLR and lenses out of the theatre while I was either in the scene shop or walking to the bathroom – so I got one good shot of the gobo completely focused perfectly, and a bunch of shots before we got the focus correct.  We switched to a larger throw barrel after the production shots I actually DID get before my camera was stolen, so please forgive the mis-cut projection in the images below.  Hopefully you’ll still enjoy the shots!  Here’s the perfectly focused gobo on the door to the house of Atreus – throughout the play I would fade this image in and out to accentuate the action.  My team and I felt like we really succeeded in using the image to its full potential.  Thank you for making such an awesome gobo, Rick and Adri!!!

Here’s some production shots – I included a few of my favorite in full size, then I put the entire set into a gallery for your convenience – just click on a thumbnail to open a gallery view!

Agamemnon’s dead, and it’s about to be game on:

Elektra praying at the altar:

Cassandra proselytizing the Furies:

The death of Agamemnon at the hands of Clytemnestra:

Thanks to Jeremy Fisher (my ALD) and Jason Foreman (scenic designer) for their photos!

Jay Shinn – Light Art Opening in Dallas, April 2, 2011

Are you familiar with Dallas area light artist Jay Shinn?  Jay is a light artist – his medium is light.  He is amazing at communicating within his chosen medium – which is a mix of light, paint, projections, sometimes geometry on several dimensions, and his work evokes a kind of transcendental peace when you view it; you can get lost in Jay’s work for a long time.  It’s hard to really nail down a style to Jay Shinn’s work, although it can be spread across the fields of several artists using paint and light.  To me, Jay Shinn’s work evokes feelings of a modern-day Dan Flavin, depth and focus like the work of Josef Albers, geometry that evokes Fritz Glarner‘s work, with the subtlety of Kazimir Malevich.

Whew!

I’m going to be interviewing Jay soon, so look for the interview to hit JimOnLight.com soon!

I had the pleasure of attending this opening with Rick and Adri Hutton of InLight Gobos, who have been doing gobo work for Jay for a while now.  Such a fun time had by all!

Check out some of Jay’s work from that night, and click on one of the thumbnails below for a gallery view of the entire set of photos!

Gallery image view!

Thanks to Kristen Lee of Stella Shot Me for the great photos.

2010 JimOnLight.com LIGHT AWARDS: the RENT-A-GOBO Program from InLight Gobos

I’ve decided to award some credit to where credit is due in my humble lighting opinion to some companies, products, and people across the year 2010 who have wow’ed me to no end.  I did a lot of work in 2010, and that work was made possible by fantastic companies and products that allowed me to create lighting without being hindered by poor workmanship or development.

The first of the 2010 JimOnLight.com LIGHT AWARDS goes to InLight Gobos for their RENT-A-GOBO program!

CONGRATULATIONS!  InLight Gobos, you saved my rear end by providing me with high quality custom glass gobos at a ridiculously awesome rental price for a production of The Light in the Piazza in the fall of 2010.  The problem I had was the need to incorporate some colored projections into a few of the scenes in The Light in the Piazza to accentuate a certain mood – at one point, Clara has a mental breakdown while looking for Fabrizio in a night time scene.

The InLight Gobos RENT-A-GOBO selection is colorful and vibrant – and I did not have the money in the budget to buy full-color patterns for the show.  As much of a bummer as this might have been at the time, this is why Rick Hutton created the idea of renting glass gobos for productions.  I have to believe that most of the people reading this blog have the same problem at one time or another, right?

InLight Gobos’ RENT-A-GOBO #BAB-003 – “Organism Color” – was my problem solver for this design challenge:

and the corresponding scene using the RENT-A-GOBO templates:

I also used InLight Gobos’ RENT-A-GOBO #BAB-128 – “Liquid” – for a nice textured breakup in several parts of the production:

I want to give a heart felt THANK YOU to InLight Gobos for allowing me to work within my budget and still produce art that I felt good about by renting glass gobos.  I could not have done this without your great glass rental gobos!

People, if you find yourself in this situation, I *highly* recommend checking out the RENT-A-GOBO Program through InLight Gobos in Dallas, Texas.  Rick’s work is the best on the market.  Now you can rent glass gobos to help your already tight production budgets.  Check out a capture from the InLight Gobos website of the RENT-A-GOBO selection:

Congratulations, InLight Gobos.  You’re the first winner of a 2010 JimOnLight.com LIGHT AWARD!

Check out my production photos from The Light in the Piazza – we toured this show to a venue in Arkansas as well, with rave reviews!  Click on a thumbnail below, and a gallery view pops up!

JimOnLight.com in San Francisco – the Non-Work Photos – at Photonics West 2011

I did have a hell of a time in San Francisco, that much has to be said.  Between working our butts off to make the booth look great, not getting some of the gear we needed shipped for our booth, and stumbling around looking for a Starbucks, I had a BLAST!

(Come on.  I kid – there’s a fu%$ing Starbucks every five feet in San Francisco, don’tcha know?)

Check out some photos I took on my trip – fun was had by all!

The lovely ladies of marketing from DiCon Fiber-Optics and DiCon Lighting – get ready, I’m posting something about a new DiCon product VERY, very soon.  Absolutely exciting!

Two industry veterans talking about touring – Rick Hutton from InLight Gobos on the left, Mark Hetrick from a billion road miles on the right.  Mark, Rick, and I walked the Photonics West tradeshow floor for a while, then Rick and I did some geeking out on the South floor.  What a great conference!

Here’s the image gallery of my trip – if you click on a thumbnail, a magic image gallery opens up!

The Technical Evolution of Automated Lighting – High End Systems’ Intellaspot XT-1 and PRG’s Bad Boy

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about technical evolution – perhaps it’s just a desire to slimline my life and conglomerate all of the technology I use into some kind of a tight suite of autonomous gadgets that all speak some common language.  Or not.  Who knows.

Something I find interesting is the progression of automated lighting technology over the last decade.  If you look at the progression of fixtures and systems over that period, you might notice that comparatively there is not a lot of major evolution that has taken place in the last ten years.  A lot of people will probably disagree with that statement, and that’s fine (as I welcome it), but the general functioning of the moving light hasn’t really changed.  There has been a very significant amount of improvements and enhancements over the last bunch of years – motors have improved, speed has increased, output has grown in strength, and zoom optics have improved, and we’ve also had some technological advances in power supplies.  We haven’t really revolutionized the way that moving lights work.  Am I forgetting some things, or omitting them?  Probably.  It’s not the point, though.

I’ve talked a lot with my buddy Rick from InLight Gobos about the evolution of automated lighting (being that he was one of the original engineers of moving lights) and I’ve had a few conversations with Jim Bornhorst from PRG (and recipient of the 2010 Parnelli Lighting Visionary Award) about the history of automated fixtures.  It is excellent to hear from the sources of the history you’re writing about regarding the very thing in question.  My conclusion is that the renaissance of moving lights was with them, in their day, when developing the fixtures was important.  Nowadays it seems like most companies drive themselves to develop and research just to increase the bottom line.

I think there are two very large exceptions to this statement:  High End Systems’ Intellaspot XT-1, and PRG’s Bad Boy luminaire.  I think that these two fixtures are my two favorites that came out of the last handful of years.  More than anything, I feel that these two fixtures are on the top of the research and development ladder – something that I am a HUGE proponent of, especially when it comes to advancing the way that our industry revolves and breathes.

Let’s look at the Intellaspot XT-1:

The unit has some interesting features – two wheels of rotating dichroic gobos is a big plus, as is the prism effect that splits the beam into two functioning beams.  Oh, and let’s not forget the 850W lamp that puts out 20,000 lumens on 120V.  I mean, it is an impressive fixture, both functionally and aesthetically.  What blows my mind about the unit is the increase in usability that Richard Belliveau and his team of awesome geeks have put into the Intellaspot XT-1.  USABILITY.  Say it with me, everybody:

USABILITY!

What the hell am I talking about here with the Intellaspot XT-1 and usability?  Well, for starters, the fixture is BALANCED.  When you go grab it off of a lighting position and get ready to stick it in the case, it is amazingly easy to manipulate.  Richard Belliveau and I had a great session before the fixture was released where we just took the unit out of the case and put it back in several times.  It was exhilarating.    There are a LOT of major market fixtures that are a NIGHTMARE to get in and out of their cases.  Not the Intellaspot XT-1.

IT’S MODULAR!  Power supply go bad?  You pull it out and replace it.  Color wheel stop working?  You take the bulkhead out and replace it.  MODULAR.  Screws in the fixture lids are captive, so that when you’re dangling by your bunk sock on a piece of truss trying to repair a fixture, and inevitably every unit goes down, you can do so without bouncing screws and hardware off of the stage floor.  There are bumpers on the front of the head so that when a stagehand or electrician drags the fixture across the floor, the lens and optics don’t get all screwed up.  The handles on the sides are comfortable and not shaped like hand breakers that just smash your phalanges when you put the weight of the unit on your hand.

Doesn’t it seem like all of this stuff should be a great idea?  High End thinks so.

Let’s look at PRG’s Bad Boy:

PRG’s Bad Boy is my other favorite fixture right now – besides the 48,000 lumens coming from its 1200W lamp, it’s a massive bright beast that is fast, steady, has some amazing – no, stunning – features (like split beamgobo morphing and tri-split colors).  If you’ve seen it, you know how beautiful its photons really are.

What tickles me about the fixture is again in the realm of usability.  Bad Boy’s lenses (all eleventeen of them) have a subroutine in the brain of the unit that opens up the lens train, lens at a time, so that they can be cleaned.  GO FIGURE.  The fixture has a big ol’ bright LED that tells you whether the unit has communication (green LED) or no data (red LED).  Have you seen the interface for the unit?  It’s like HAL from 2001 – I’m sorry Dave, but YES THE FIXTURE CAN REMEMBER WHAT WENT WRONG.  Reports, error logs, test sequences, and all kinds of other user-driven tidbits come from PRG’s excellent user experience.  I know the kinds of folks working over at PRG – one of the guys I know and am fond of, Adam DeWitt, is a smart freaking cookie – when you have people like that working on a fixture, then it gets done right.

Research and Development time and money is worth it, lighting companies across the world.  Please believe me.  Stop putting out crap when you could put out something respectable like the two units above.

I think this is a general message for the future of moving light technology in general.  Lighting companies – when you make something, make it so that it is usable.  Not just usable to designers, but usable to the people who keep the show looking as amazing as you envisioned it when you first developed the cool visual features that the fixture can make.  Follow Richard Belliveau and Jim Bornhorst’s leads when you’re in the research room – the people who work on your gear want it to be an awesome experience.

The 25th Anniversary of Rick Hutton’s 25th Birthday

People of Light:  If you’re looking for someone to look up to, I submit Rick Hutton for your approval.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of being at Rick Hutton’s 50th birthday (ohdamn) I mean the 25th anniversary of Rick Hutton’s 25th birthday.

Let me just say that I had a freaking blast.  I was in the company of pretty amazing people – being in the company of truly awesome people gives me so much energy and happiness.  It also is pretty great to be around so many mothers and fathers of the entertainment lighting industry.

I have to tell you a little about this party…  What exactly would you expect at a party from someone who started and runs the most successful and high-quality gobo business in the world?  Yeah.  You’d expect it to be awesome.  This party was awesome.

If you don’t know who Rick Hutton is, you need to know Rick.  Rick is one of the coolest people I have ever met on planet Earth.  I met a few people on Venus, but typically they were made of viscous layers of sulfuric acid.  Definitely not as cool as Rick Hutton!  Rick is the owner of two very awesome businesses – InLight Gobos (@InLightGobos on Twitter, and facebook.com/InLightGobos) and Laser Surplus Sales, which is awesome if you’re a laser dork like me.

Rick has also become the first member of the Light Associated Media, LLC Board of Advisors.  That was my birthday present to Rick.  I feel so great that I have such a knowledgeable lumen scientist on the board!

Rick’s had all kinds of awesome in the lighting industry.  The lighting industry is partly what it is today because of Rick and the people that worked with Rick and the people Rick learned from early in the industry.  Rick was on the big Van Halen tour with the 1500 PAR cans that drove the ShowCo guys to develop the VL-0.  Rick also worked on the VL1, VL2 (my favorite), VL4VL5 (for which he and some other great people won an Emmy), VL6, VL7, and other stuff that is so effing awesome and monumental that it just kinda still blows my mind.

Rick’s also just a great guy and friend.  Wherever Rick is, there is happy.  Whatever Rick does, it’s friendly.  He’s become a great friend.  I look up to Rick – as a budding laser nerd, I learn a lot from Rick.  Also, he has an awesome wife, Adriana – who is way more awesome than I can possibly describe.

The talented, beautiful, hilarious, awesome, smart, and sexy Mrs. Adriana Hutton (left):

Rick brings people together – here’s Richard Belliveau from High End Systems and Jim Bornhorst from PRG with Rick:

Here’s Rick and Dawn Crosby, a smokin’ awesome chica I met this weekend, from the initial days of Vari*Lite:

Perhaps one of my favorite pictures from that weekend – a large crowd of some of the most awesome people in all of entertainment lighting – from the left – Jim Bornhorst (PRG), Dawn Crosby, Rick Hutton, Tom Hough (White Rock Design), Richard Belliveau (High End Systems), Hunter MacIntosh (American Ballast), and John Covington (PRG):

Happy (belated) Birthday, brother.  I love you, dude!

Also – I NEVER get to be in pictures, I’ve always got a camera strapped to my face!  Here’s me and John Covington!  JOHN IS 150% AWESOME!

Me and Dr. Tom Hough, a general bad ass.  Hough, what the hell were we talking about?  It must have been hilarious!

Steve Janders and Kin Reid from the world famous ShowLasers:

Theresa and George Masek from Vari*Lite:

Chris and Scott Dopson from Gemini Lighting in Dallas:

Check out all of the pics I took from the party – in Gallery format!  Click an image, it’ll open up a full-size viewing!

PRG at LDI 2010

I had a chance to get up-close and personal with the Bad Boy CMY at LDI 2010 this year, having the demo from Chris Conti with PRG.  I’m a big fan of the Bad Boy fixture, and I have been for quite some time – I posted about it from the last LDI, in Orlando in 2009.  They’ve added the element of CMY mixing to the Bad Boy – I’m a fan of the quantum color mixing, but CMY is also very important to have available for a moving head for the obvious reasons.

Check out some images, I’ve got video coming soon!

The actual PRG booth – a replica of the 438 grid panels they installed into the National Convention Center in Qatar.

Big beautiful beams from the Bad Boy luminaire.

One of my favorite gobos, InLight Gobos‘ “Rubber Band Ball,” that comes standard with the Bad Boy!

Check out a gallery of PRG/Bad Boy images – click on one image and a viewer will open up for your convenience!

LDI 2010: InLight Gobos iPod Giveaway, and $2500 for Breast Survival

More LDI 2010 shots – Adriana and Rick Hutton from InLight Gobos’ booth in the TMB Village this year.  InLight Gobos gave away a 32GB iPod Touch to the lucky miss Megan from Hoghes Theatrical.  I drew the name and InLight Gobos rocked the prize!

ALSO, in a glorious moment of success for breasts worldwide, InLight Gobos had a great thing running for Breast Cancer Awareness Month – they offered a $5 donation for every gobo purchased, and matched each donation.  InLight Gobos just donated $2500 to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure!  You go, guys!  I personally thank you for your donation for my friend Kory Jackson, who passed away a few years ago from breast cancer – she would have been thrilled for your support!

Pictures from the weekend:

Awesome!  Thanks to all who participated!