EIBTM 2012 – Lighting Designers, JUMP ON THIS

I just got back last week from Barcelona, Spain – I was over at EIBTM 2012 for CAST; we’re exhibiting the Vivien suite and showed some wysiwyg to some folks.  In this respect, that’s unimportant.  What is important is the fact that I have never been to a show where there was such a potential for lighting design greatness than I have when I saw the show floor at EIBTM.

First – this show is absolutely jam packed and crazy.  Good crazy, mind you — this is a large show completely filling the Fira Gran Via Barcelona, which is a big, beautiful hall:

There are stand after stand of countries marketing to Event and Meeting Professionals and hoteliers and all kinds of really corporate stuff — 5-star hotel chains showing their best properties, city and country travel and tourism bureaus hocking their destinations as the “in” place to come for a particular event/meeting/what-have-you, and there is a lot of really tremendous design there — glass and wood, real plants, just and amazing display of crafstmanship.  Even our stand, a 10X20 over in the Technology Pavilion, had puttied and painted corners and generally looked sleek and nice.  There was one thing missing from most of these displays, and there were some magnificently enormous displays…

…the touch of a Lighting Designer.

There is amazing opportunity here, people — perhaps it’s time to start putting together some proposals and sending out some resumes, yeah?  Even though this is not (I repeat not) a lighting trade show by any stretch of the imagination, some of these countries’ displays could really benefit from the touch of a lighting designer.  Countries like Estonia, my favorite stand even though not the largest, could really benefit from some nice programming and sequencing to best fit their country’s appearance.  There is something so elegant about having the calculated eye of an LD to put some real pizzazz into something so important as hundreds of millions of dollars of potential revenue, if not exponentials of that figure.

This is not to say that they didn’t have the services of a lighting designer, but to me it did not appear as though an LD had given a lot of input other than GI (general illumination) in many of these cases.  Also keep in mind I’m a critical bastard who looks intensely at these things, and from a different perspective than any one of the attendees of this show — it’s just not what the show is about at all, it’s about destinations, events, meetings, and all of the revenue that goes along with that industry.  BUT, to the right LD, one of these stands could be a playground of immense proportions!

A few random teasers — there is a gallery at the bottom of the post with everything and anything from this trip!

Entering into the Fira Gran Via Barcelona for the show:

Spain’s EIBTM booth:

Denmark’s EIBTM booth:

Holland’s EIBTM booth:

Oh yeah, and Barcelona!  It was my first time in Spain, but I have to report that I only got to enjoy one really great meal and a bunch of hotel and convention floor food, I had the show on top of a beta program going on and writing documentation for said release.  I got a lot of cell phone shots of various locations around Barcelona, but I was busy from sun-up to sundown and didn’t really get much of a chance to enjoy Barcelona.  Sorry, Barcelona!  Maybe next time!  My Dad says you’re pretty cool, though.  La Barca del Salamanca is one awesome awesome awesome restaurant in Olympic Village along the water in Barcelona, there are some shots in the gallery of the amazing meal we had there with Corbin Ball!  Thanks Corbin, I had a blast!

Awesome.

Every street a different set of panels, but every street had them about every ten meters for miles.

The Maitre d’ un-crusting the salt from our sea bass at La Barca del Salamanca!

This image below was so awesome – this was a stone statue of a woman and child that was sitting by the Fira Gran Via loading dock entrance.  It’s obviously very old, but it was just so excellent to see this stone woman standing guard with her child over the loading dock.  I love stuff like that.

Click on any image thumb below and open up the Gallery view!

A Fox Family Las Vegas

You know, this last trip to Las Vegas for LDI 2012 makes 77 times to Las Vegas since I started going there in 2003 for shows.  Maybe that’s not a lot of Las Vegas for you, but that is a lot of Las Vegas for me.  A lot.

I always seem to forget to go do things like enjoy the Bellagio Fountains here and there, but I get out there and do it because I know it’s worth the spectacle of enjoying it now and again.  There are a lot of really great restaurants I love to visit when i go to Las Vegas, but there are usually only so many hours in the day.  Fox, who makes JimOnLight.com a nice place to live and not a Vince Flanders contender, took some time back in April for NAB 2012 to show me some of what outside of Las Vegas looks like.  I took a nice road trip back a few years ago to Zion National Park, but other than that, I’ve played a hell of a lot of places in Las Vegas, mostly corporate – so that means I’ve seen a lot of bars, restaurants, venues, bars, bathrooms, theatres, and bars in Las Vegas.  That was a different time though, ooh how I used to party…

Check out what was a really awesome evening with the Fox Family back in April 2012 for NAB!  This is completely not industry related, so sit back and sip the morning coffee and check out mountains!

Click on any image below and open the Gallery view!  This was a fun trip, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

 

My Random Traveling Life Lately

I just sorted through eleven thousand photos from the last few months.  I’m finally getting time to plow through the enormous backlog of content I have to share with you!

I noticed that I had so many photos of traveling — nothing really terribly focused, but just so much traveling.

SO.  MUCH.  TRAVELING.

I was going to try and put some rhyme or reason to this collection, but I think you’ll enjoy it if you don’t travel — and you’ll commiserate if you travel like me or more.  Some people travel about ten times what I do…

and then there’s the road warriors…

Check out the whole gallery!  There are 112 photos from random locations…  see if you recognize them!

(Click on a photo icon and you’ll open the JimOnLight Photo Gallery!)

 

My Final Nine Months in Oklahoma Starts Today

Happy Monday, everyone! Like a lot of people reading the blog, I’m back at campus today too to begin another year of sharing light with fresh new minds!

This year is a very special year to me, because I’ve decided it’s going to become my last full-time year in Oklahoma. In May of 2012, I’m resigning my position at Oklahoma City University and dedicating my time to our industries on a full time basis.  The Light Associated Media team has some pretty incredible things in store for the world, and I am going to dedicating the rest of my life to the pursuit of perfect light, making larger than life light art the entire world can appreciate, the growth of my design firm, writing JimOnLight.com, and spreading the knowledge of light with the planet. Together I know we can turn this world into the best place for a sentient being to be and create, as of course all sentient beings need to do.  Remember that movie “Short Circuit?”  All THAT sentient being wanted to do was make breakfast.

“For moist crisp potatoes, brown on one side, then turn over.”

I’m planning on putting myself on the market for a band as well, anybody know a band that needs me to drive the spaceship?

One of my goals that is becoming a reality (with much, much, much more development to come) is teaching the world about light, but for FREE. Knowledge is power, and collectively we have a lot of knowledge. This knowledge should be for the entire world to use for the benefit of all mankind. I’m making this happen, if it’s the final thing I do before my last breath. I swear this to the world. I will make this happen. Somehow, some way, this will become a reality. Can you imagine a world where the status quo for knowledge of lighting is so far above the current norm? Our industry would be unstoppable, and I’m not talking any kind of more efficient cable and data, I’m talking real live Sky Hooks here, people!

But seriously, yeah.  I haven’t decided where the new home base will be, my lease is up in May 2012.  I’ve had thoughts about going back to my great friends in Dallas, moving to Las Vegas to be near the awesomesauce that is Nevada, and I’ve thought about West Coasting it (to steal a term) and moving somewhere on the west side of America, a place I’ve only worked and visited.  The mountains are in there too, I really did like Denver.  Got a suggestion?  The world is a monster place.

I have so much cool stuff in store for my kids this year, I am SO EXCITED!  I get to spend this next two semesters having a blast with some people who really love light!  I have an absolutely outstanding group of students for my final year in Oklahoma (one interned with Cirque all summer, another was the Chief Electrician for a Shakespeare summer series, another is a Chief at a theme park for the summer, others did rock all summer, some studied film), and I’m readying them as best I can for the lighting industries as a whole. It is our responsibility to the industry. If you’re out there teaching lighting design, you better be doing it as hard as I am. We owe it to the future.

Changes are good. You know what’s even better? Cake. Oh, I miss cake.  My newer lighter self doesn’t let my inner tank-ass out very often these days.  Every time I go into the closet though, it’s like I’m clothes shopping!

PHISH at BLOSSOM – June 4, 2011

After a marathon week, I am back in the saddle at the Light Associated Media Headquarters in Oklahoma City!  A 15 hour drive from Columbus, OH to OKC happened a few days ago, and after sleeping off the remnants of that, I have my buddy Greg in town, hanging out and restoring some peace.  After the crazy schedule of working through the semester and trying to figure out how to do all that needs to be done, it’s time for a switching UP in gears.

You know how I spell relief after a hell schedule?  P-H-I-S-H.  Greg and I went to Blossom Music Center in Cleveland to see one of the shows on the summer tour – I had plans to interview Chris Kuroda again, but Phish’s media people never got back to me regarding the interview.  Sorry folks.  I know a lot of you had requested a second set of interviews with Chris, but I guess they’re too busy to accomodate me.  Regardless, the show was amazing, the band was fantastic, and the tour seems to be going very, very well.  Kuroda’s driving a pretty fun rig, and he seems to be having a lot of fun with it!

The rig, post show for detail:

aaaaaaaaaaand while being driven:

I’m not gonna run my mouth here much about the show, I think the few shots I got from my point-and-shoot (damned camera thieves) speak volumes.  There is some video coming, stay tuned!

A gallery view is below – click on a shot, and a gallery opens up!  Enjoy!  Also, did you go to the show? Drop a comment below, tell the world what you thought of the lighting!

 

Jeff Waful +1 is Now on Relix.com

This is a pretty awesome day for a good friend of mine – Jeff Waful, lighting designer for Umphrey’s McGee, just published the first episode part of his series, Jeff Waful +1, on Relix Magazine‘s website.  FINALLY we have a show about being on the road while ON the road!  Part one is live now on the Relix site, Part two is coming later today.

Check out the Jeff Waful +1 trailer:

I am so happy for you, Jeff!  Everybody, this is a pretty awesome series.  You MUST check it out if you have ever worked on the road!  Head on over to Relix Magazine right now to check out the series!  Great job, brother!

What are YOU Hoping to Get Out of LDI?

LDI 2010 is obviously coming up at the end of this week.  I am so ridiculously excited!  Not only do I get to see the products and systems that are being touted as the top cheese in our industries as a whole, but I also get to see our brothers and sisters in these lighting industries that we love.  I mean, really – how great is that?!  This time of year is my favorite time of year.

For those of you who read JimOnLight.com and are going to LDI – there are a few things to remember about the conference if you’ve never been.  First and foremost – you’re gonna have a blast, see amazing light and lighting, and you’re going to meet people wandering on the floor and in company booths that you’ll get to know and see across the world for the rest of your life.  Make the best of it!  TALK to people.  VISIT with the companies.  CHECK OUT the gear.  PUT YOUR HANDS on the gear.  This is your chance to go shake hands with some amazing people.  Make sure that you do it!

There is going to be a LOT of really cool lighting to experience, from LED this-that-and-the-others to the High End Systems Intellaspot XT-1, PRG’s Bad Boy CMY, the Martin Mac 101, and Mac 350 Entour.  This is a good time to pay attention.  I’m a programmer out of necessity (I do love doing it, don’t get me wrong), but my brain leads me more towards the luminaire side of lighting – optics, light sources, color, reflectors, and output.  When I need something programmed like a master, I call professionals like Cat West and Benny Kirkham!

A special note about LDI if you’re looking for a job:
Make sure that you take lots of resumes and business cards.  Also, make sure that your whole experience isn’t about you looking for a job.  Some people are looking for people to hire, and some aren’t.  If you’re lucky enough to find a job opening, play it cool and offer your materials.

Also, here’s a special note for new companies exhibiting at LDI – and quite frankly, for some of the existing companies that exhibit at LDI:
People who come by your booth want to talk to you.  People want to know about your products, see your face, and actually feel like you give a s*%t about talking to them about your product.  They want to give you a card.  They also want to feel like you’re not too good to talk with them because you’re too busy looking for someone with the smell of money on them.  Try to keep this in mind when you’re on the floor and someone comes up to you.  The picture below is of a booth at LightFair 2009 in Las Vegas – now does this kind of atmosphere welcome someone to come up to you and learn about your products?

Yeah, me neither.  These people below actually sneered at us when we walked by (when they weren’t staring at their Blackberries):

This wasn’t like the end of the day or anything, this was 2pm during an afternoon Expo floor session.

Come over and say hi to me and Jax if you see us on the floor – we’re coming on Thursday, leaving Sunday.  I’m looking forward to seeing you all!

A Day in The Life of Jeff Waful, LD of Umphrey’s McGee

Talking to fellow lighting designers and seeing how they do things is one of my favorite parts of writing JimOnLight.com – just recently I had the absolute pleasure of having a nice long chat with Jeff Waful of Umprey’s McGee, and this morning I awoke to an email from Jeff about a two-part video he’s posted on his day.  From the bunk to the coffee, to the venue, to the focus, to the dinner, to the show – and then the out.  We end at the bunk again, as we always do on tourdays.

This is a great look into the life of a rock and roll lighting designer.  It’s well worth the watch.

Jeff, I will be buying you and Wade some drinks at some point soon.  Stay tuned.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Thanks, Jeff!

(and for all of you people out there who thought it would be awesome to assume his last name was not pronounced like that wonderful flat thing that goes with syrup and sausage, it’s actually pronounced “waffle.”  I’d like to see a waffle light UM like this Waful does, though.)

Progress: Jeff Waful and Umphrey’s McGee on the Mantis Tour

I posted a while ago about a lighting designer to watch – a guy named Jeff Waful.  Jeff is the lighting designer for the band Umphrey’s McGee, a great improv rock band that falls into the Jam Band category in my head.  You know me and the jambands, I love it.

Jeff’s work with Umphreys is full of energy – it’s quick, changes rapidly like the music of Umphrey’s, and gives the audience a real visual sense of the music itself.  The UM website has a bunch of images from recent shows, and I grabbed some of my favorites for you to see.  The shows are October 9, 2009 at The Orbit Room, October 28 at McNear’s Mystic Theatre, and November 11, 2009 at the Opera House.

Visit the UM website for more images, and where to see them live.  I highly recommend the show, it’s a lot of fun, and you leave without your face because it will have been rocked off.

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A JimOnLight Community Question: How Do You Stay in Shape On The Road?

This might be a silly question for some, but for many people who work across the industries of light, being away from home, family, friends can be along the same vein as being away from the treadmill/elliptical machine and a healthy diet.  All of the ways that we live when away from home can be positive to our experiences of the world and of our current away gig – but sometimes we party like it’s 1976 – er, I mean 1999 – and forget that we’re actually working and not just having a  vacation.

One of my goals while here in Sweden is to lose some weight while I am spending lots of time in front of my computer learning about spectral power distribution curves and how Americans are apparently silly that we call fluorescent lamps in 8ths (like a T5 or a T8).  It’s getting colder here in Sweden, so every time I go outside to run or jog or play basketball, I get sick for 3-4 days.  This is forcing me to find other ways to observe some moments of cardio, and the process is going s-l-o-w-l-y.  My problem might be one of motivation, especially after a 16-hour or 18-hour day.  What’s your excuse?

I ask for your your community input on this one – can you answer the poll below and maybe leave a comment about how you stay in shape on the road? If you don’t stay in shape on the road and don’t really care – why?  If you are having a hard time staying in shape when on the road but are trying valiantly to do so, what are the problems you’re having?  I realize I’m opening myself up for one of those GI Joe jokes here – but in order to learn about light and practice our art and craft, we must maintain a healthy body and mind.

What tricks and/or tips can you share with the JimOnLight.com Community?

How are your health habits on the road?

  • I could certainly do more to be healthy when I travel for work. (39%, 9 Votes)
  • Waitress, can I have two more heffeweisens and another order of fried cheese? (30%, 7 Votes)
  • I stay healthy on the road, but motivation is a problem. (22%, 5 Votes)
  • The work itself keeps me in good health and fitness. (9%, 2 Votes)
  • I do just fine keeping myself in good health while on the road. (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 23

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