Hall and Connolly Carbon Arc Spotlight, Restored by Rick Hutton

Have you ever heard of the old lighting company Hall and Connolly, Inc?  They made spotlights – reflector-less carbon arc spotlights, that were huge and, well, new then, old now! Hall and Connolly, Inc, from what I can find through research, became part of the Sperry Corporation and the Sperry Corporation’s holdings at some point in the WAY early 1900’s.  The Sperry Corporation made big wartime spotlights and other World War II-era gear.

The IATSE #354 website had some awesome information on these spots, including a manual!  I posted the pics of the manual pages after the gallery, check them out!

Check out this Hall and Connolly spotlight – Rick Hutton from InLight Gobos restored this puppy (Spot #322) from dilapidated rustiness to a state of beauty:

This is what it looked like before:

Look through this gallery of shots – click on a thumbnail, a gallery view will open, and you’ll be able to see them all full-sized!

Hall and Connolly Spotlight Manual pages:

Thanks Rick for letting me shoot the spot, and thanks to IATSE #354 for the pics of the manual!

Lightning in Oklahoma City – from the JimOnLight.com World HQ

For the first time in my life, I live in an apartment tower.  I’ve lived in apartments before, of course, but never anywhere that had floors above the second or third floor.  I’m on the thirteenth floor, with an amazing view of downtown Oklahoma City.

I have found a new kind of peace with this kind of view – when I make it home early enough that the sun is still up, it is amazing to watch the city get ready for the night time by turning on architectural illumination.  The city has a soul, and you see it at night when it is shining.

Another amazing sight at this vantage is storms.  Oh holy crap do I love storms and lightning – and Oklahoma City is right in that tornado-y, ass-kicking thunderstorms and hail alley of the country.  A few weeks ago we had a string of days that had afternoon thunderstorms – and I had my camera on the tripod!

Check these out – I hope it is a good start to your morning!

and I kid you not, when this wave was over, the freaking sun popped out, and BOOM – DOUBLE RAINBOW.

A Total Moment of Randomness – My Fourth Phase T-Shirt

I was throwing out some old t-shirts this weekend, and I came across one of my favorite t-shirts ever – my old Fourth Phase UK shirt!  For most of you this will probably be one of those “what the hell is Jim talking about?” moments, but for the people who know Fourth Phase from the days before they became part of PRG, I hope you enjoy the memories!  Fourth Phase doesn’t exist anymore, but I spent some time putting together some cool rigs in their warehouse!

This t-shirt has been all over the place.  Unfortunately, white deodorant stains t-shirts, at least hundreds of thousands of miles of it does…

A Homeless Lighting Story

Something happened to me this morning that might have changed my life a little.

I went out to my truck this morning to go get a cup of coffee, and on the way there I was confronted by a man coming from the city bus terminal.  I was a bit thrown off by this because of some events that happened yesterday (long story short, I got into a physical altercation with a man stealing from my truck the day before), so I was a bit reserved about someone approaching me by my vehicle in a parking lot.

The conversation started like this:

“Hey, you’re Jim.”

And?  Who are you?”

“I just wanted to ask you about light, man.”

For the next 30 minutes, this guy and I talked.  He explained why he knew who I was, and what he was approaching me on the street to talk about in the middle of the morning.  Let’s just call this guy “Mike” for purposes of concealing his real name.  Mike explained to me that he sleeps across the parking lot from where my truck was parked, and he noticed the bumper sticker on my truck window with the website name on it.  Mike then told me that because it’s so hot outside here in Oklahoma City, people with no place to live go to the library and other places around town with air conditioning to spend their days until they get kicked out back into the street.  It’s been consecutively in the 100’s here for the last few weeks, so Mike told me he does a lot of web surfing.

It turns out that Mike isn’t an uneducated guy, but he explained that he’s a bit bipolar, got messed up with being a drunk, and has a hard time holding down a job.  Mike said that he’s not into meth (and had all of his teeth), and that he’s just trying to stay alive while he “plays the game of figuring” his life out.

Mike then asked me, and I’m paraphrasing:

“A lot of these crazy m***f*** around here like to mess with a man when he’s tryin’ to sleep.  I have a flashlight that I keep in my bag that’s heavy, and those big batteries cost money.  Is there something I can find that has a solar power collector in it that I can charge during the day and use at night?”

I have to admit that I figured the next step was “hey man, can I also have a few dollars?”  After I stared at him for a few seconds, I felt incredibly bad that I prejudged this guy who generally just wanted to know about what he asked, and I snapped out of my dazed stare and we talked about solar flashlights, person to person.  After about 10 more minutes of conversation, I asked Mike if he wanted me to give him my solar flashlight that I had in my apartment, and Mike said no thanks.

I tried to convince him that he could just use it for a few weeks if he wanted (I’m not naive, I realize I’d probably not see it again, but that was perfectly acceptable for me) and then give it back “some time.”  Mike told me that he didn’t want any money and that he could take care of himself.  I finally got Mike to say “yes” to the flashlight, so I asked him to just wait there while I ran and went for it.  As the story seems to go, Mike was gone when I got back.

I went back to my apartment.

I also completely forgot to get coffee.

My life has been absolutely effing surreal lately.

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!

JimOnLight.com Wants A Student in the World to Have $500 for Books

Books and supplies for lighting students are expensive.  Watch this video:

JimOnLight.com’s Fall 2010 Student Book Money Contest from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

The JimOnLight.com Fall 2010 Student Contest RULES:

  1. Make a video telling the world how you feel about the best thing ever – LIGHT!
  2. Upload the video somewhere like Youtube, Vimeo, Viddler, or somewhere else public before September 15, 2010 at midnight CST.
  3. Email Jim with the link to the video:  either jim AT jimonlight DOTCOM or jimonlight.com/contact

Guidelines:

  • There is no time limit or minimum on your video.  Make it as short or as long as you like.  Just make your case.
  • Please, no naked anything.  It doesn’t help your case, and if you make it public, you better believe people are going to see it.
  • Be nice.  The world would be so much more awesome if everyone was nice and treated each other how they’d love to be treated.
  • Light Associated Media LLC and JimOnLight.com cannot be held responsible for anything you do that upsets people.  I just want to help a student.  Don’t put me in a situation where I have to make defensive decisions.  By entering the contest with your video you agree not to act like a fool and do stupid things.
  • I make final decisions on who ultimately gets my $500.

Now go out there and make the best video about your love of light that you possibly can!

Umphrey’s McGee at House of Blues Dallas – Video from the Lighting Position

Back at the beginning of June I spent a day with Jeff Waful of Umphrey’s McGee at House of Blues in Dallas.  I helped load in, took some pics, shot some video, and generally just had a fantastic day.  I got so much content from my day that I am just now getting to it.

I just cut this video up for the web – top of set two, “Miss Tinkle’s Overture.”  If you listen closely at the end, you can hear my enthusiasm for the amazing work Jeff Waful pulled off for that tune.  You do realize that he busks a lot of the shows, yes?  The man has some excellent timing.

Check out the video – pardon the terribly overexposed blues, the Flip HD absolutely sucks at saturated colors, much to my chagrin:

Umphrey’s McGee at House of Blues Dallas – Miss Tinkle’s Overture from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.