Knight of Illumination Awards IS A BLAST! You Going?

I saw this yesterday from awesome lady of lighting media Sarah Rushton-Read, about the upcoming Knights of Illumination Awards at the PLASA Show in October 2015 — seriously, if you’re going to PLASA and haven’t done a KoI, you’re missing out.  It is some seriously fun stuff, hands down!

I really really REALLY hope I get to PLASA this year…  it might be ruby slipper clicking time because I haven’t been able to see my UK peeps in so long.


The Knight of Illumination Awards 2015 has lift off 

UK – The 2015 Knight of Illumination Awards (KOI) has launched and submissions are already coming in for Television and Concert Touring and Events.

This year marks the 8th KOI Awards, which celebrates the creative talents of international lighting and digital content designers working in the UK in the sectors of TV, Theatre and Concert Touring and Events.

With a new award category in Concert Touring and Events for smaller club venues this year’s KOI will widen its reach to celebrate LDs from all stages and scales of touring. Concert Touring and Events is also welcoming a new member of the judging panel in the form of respected Total Production International Magazine editor, Kelly Murray,

Submissions are open for the Television and Concert Touring and Events categories and shows performed or broadcast between 1st August 2014 and 31st July 2015 in the UK are eligible. As with previous years the Theatre section can only be nominated by the judging panel.

Crucially, KOI continues to run as a pan industry event supported by the generous sponsorship of businesses operating across the industry. Award winning lighting designer and coordinator of the KOI awards Durham Marenghi explains: “In eight years KOI has established itself as a much coveted lighting and video industry award, respected for truly celebrating the art and creativity of lighting, video and show design. In fact so successful has the event been that last year it was referred to by the Guardian newspaper, in an article that detailed the creative value a lighting designer can bring to the overall production process.”

The KOI Awards was conceived and is organised by lighting manufacturer, Clay Paky, along with the STLD (Society of Television Lighting Designers), the ALD (Association of Lighting Designers) and Durham and Jennie Marenghi.

This year’s awards event will be produced and managed by The Fifth Estate Ltd, which also handles KOI’s marketing and PR. As in previous years the Awards will be generously sponsored by a broad spectrum of manufacturing and service businesses connected to the lighting industry and kindly supported by important industry organisations and the press.

Today, the KOI Awards continues to forge ever-closer ties between lighting and video designers – at all stages of their careers – and the lighting and digital content design industry as a whole.

A panel of industry experts assesses each sector of the awards and submissions can be made for TV and Concert Touring by visiting the KOI Website. The shortlists will be announced in early September.

In addition The Enrico Caironi Lifetime Recognition Award will be presented to an individual who’s passion for the industry has gone above and beyond the call of duty, in turn benefiting their colleagues, the industry and the wider world.

Last year’s winners included: Paul Keogan, Joachim Klein, Andy Purves, Adam Silverman, Ethan Wang for Theatre; David Higgs, Chris Rigby, Hugh French, Ben Cracknell, and Luke Halls for Television; Will Potts, Andy Hurst, Matt Button and Paul ‘Pablo’ Beckett, Blue Leach and Cate Carter for Concert Touring and Events. The winner for Lifetime Achievement was Brian Croft.

To find out more about the sectors and subcategories or information on how you can submit an entry for television, theatre or concert touring and event lighting and visual content please visit:

www.knight-of-illumination. com/categories

For more information and to make a submission for Concert Touring and Events or Television please visit the KOI website and social media sites at:

Facebook: knight.of.illumination
Twitter: KOIAwards

About KOI:

The Knight of Illumination Awards provides public recognition for outstanding achievements in Lighting Design by Lighting Designers working on productions in the UK.
The Awards for “The Knight of the Illumination” are nominated and judged by a panel of professional reviewers working in the specific categories and the ceremony takes place annually in the autumn in London.

PLASA Made Their Technical Standards FREE FOR ALL!

PLASA_Standards ProSightLogo

Tobin from Barbizon posted this on the Barbizon Blog on Monday — in a move of complete awesomeness, PLASA (the Professional Lighting and Sound Association) has teamed up with the specialty insurance carrier ProSight Specialty Insurance to bring us all the PLASA Technical Standards, completely free, for instant download.

With everything that has gone wrong in the last few years in our industry, it’s awesome to see that an organization has dedicated itself to each and every one of us and our collective safety in Production.  Thank you so much for this, PLASA and ProSight!

Get downloading your FREE Technical Standards NOW!  GO!  GET OVER THERE!

Thanks, Tobin!  You rock!

JOL Sunday Flickr

it’s another Sunday, everyone!  I’m in Stamford, Connecticut this week for PLASA Focus Stamford, one of the smaller PLASA shows that are gaining a lot of popularity.  I have to admit that these PLASA Focus shows are pretty awesome — smaller booths, smaller rooms, and the knowledge of the people attending that a manufacturer or lighting company can’t hide behind their huge LDI-sized booths at these smaller shows.  Things are right out in the open, and we as lighting technology and equipment makers are under a tighter scrutiny to perform without the glitz and flare.  I absolutely love it.  It’s like putting up or shutting up for two solid days.

This week’s JOL Sunday Flickr is pretty beautiful — I dug down deep for this one!


Pocket Universe

Rocca Calascio

LightMen Above Manhattan


Lollapalooza 2011

Tap Kids! 2011 Showcase

Glorious Morning Startrail



Ploumanach Phare

World's Largest Disco 2010

Chicago Airport - 1

E = m c²  [Explored]

Have an excellent week, everybody!

Sunday JimOnLight Flickr Group Photo Pool

three kings of lighting online at PLASA 2012 — Rob Sayer from, Jim Hutchison from, Justin Lang of

Happy Sunday, everybody! I’m back from PLASA 2012 in London, and I think I am finally caught up with sleep and no longer grumpy (sorry, principessa) after a grand return. I had a blast, saw some of my favorite people, met new favorite people, and didn’t sleep much! As usual, a standard trade show experience.

I signed into Flickr this morning to write a Sunday Flickr Group post, and I nearly jumped out of my chair with excitement.  This was an AWESOME day to check out the Pool!  Lots and lots of great images were just added by a bunch of great photogs and light artists — it’s totally worth a few minutes’ worth of black background photo gazing!

Check out today’s selection — it’s huge!

"Love" Light Graffiti


The Lenser Orb Challenge

Tree and Me - Brimham Rocks

N.D.B.C - I'M SEXY I KNOW IT - Today's Explore at #1 on Fluidr



Metal & Light


Oriole Park, Toronto

Face Down Olympic Gold!

Sunset Showoff.


The Calamari Sisters' Big Fat Italian Wedding

Deference of the Departed

A Chorus Line Rendering

Happy Sunday! I hope it is a relaxing and very chill one for each and every one of you out there!



You know, sometimes I crack myself up.  No, actually, I crack myself up all the time.  If you’ve ever hung out with me, you know that I am prone to these outbursts of laughter pretty much constantly because I think the world is awesome and hilarious often, so you can imagine what my neighbors must think of the guy who works in his apartment all day long just cackling to himself all day.  Oh, yeah, I also speak with my cat.  She does speak conversational English, or maybe I speak conversational Meow, I’m not really sure.

I think I need to get out more.  Which, coincidentally, allows me to SEGUE INTO THE WHOLE REASON FOR WRITING THIS POST!  HA HAAAA!

Who’s coming to THE FOCUS?!  [haha that’s not really what it’s called, but for the time being it’s called that in my noodle, so imagine it being said with a deep voice]

I’m literally about to jump in the car to drive from Oklahoma City to Austin for PLASA Focus, which is gonna be awesome!  I’m gonna be down there with CAST Software, so come by the CAST booth and give me a hug!  I love hugs; I was born with WAY too much extra Enthusiasm Karma, so I try to help spread it around the world by hugging everybody I meet.  FREE HUGS AT THE CAST BOOTH!  We’re right next to the InLight Gobos booth, so I GET THE BE NEXT TO TWO OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE for like THREE DAYS!!!!

Shoot me a call if you’re in the PLASA Focus FALLOUT ZONE (aww yeah) and you wanna try and get together!  I have to believe there will be large groups of people being ridiculous.  Come be ridiculous!  Just hold down the star key on your cell and it calls my phone directly.  I KEED!

TWEET! ME! UP!  See you there!

Thanks Wikipedia

Have opinions about industry standards? Voice them!

PLASA StandardsNo, seriously! Every time that any standard is submitted to ANSI for approval or revision, it is first put into public review. That’s right, I said public. PLASA (formerly ESTA) is who puts forth our entertainment standards. At this very moment, there are 11 Entertainment Technology standards up for public review.

  • BSR E1.21 – 201x, Entertainment Technology — Temporary Ground-Supported Structures Used to Cover the Stage Areas and Support Equipment in the Production of Outdoor Entertainment Events
  • BSR E1.6-2 – 201x, Entertainment Technology — Design, Inspection, and Maintenance of Electric Chain Hoists for the Entertainment Industry
  • BSR E1.39 – 201x, Entertainment Technology –Selection and Use of Personal Fall Arrest Systems on Portable Structures Used in the Entertainment Industry
  • BSR E1.1 – 201x, Entertainment Technology – Construction and Use of Wire Rope Ladders
  • BSR E1.6-3 – 201x, Selection and Use of Chain Hoists in the Entertainment Industry
  • BSR E1.41 – 201x, Recommendations for Measuring and Reporting Photometric Performance Data for Entertainment Luminaires Utilizing Solid State Light Sources
  • BSR E1.18-1 – 201x, Standard for the selection, installation, and use of single-conductor portable power feeder cable systems for use at 600 volts nominal or less for the distribution of electrical energy in the entertainment and live-event industries
  • BSR E1.24 – 201x, Entertainment Technology – Dimensional Requirements for Stage Pin Connectors
  • BSR E1.32 – 201x, Guide for the Inspection of Entertainment Industry Incandescent Lamp Luminaires
  • BSR E1.33-201x, Entertainment Technology – Extensions to E1.31 for Transport of ANSI E1.20
  • ANSI E1.26 – 2006, Entertainment Technology – Recommended testing methods and values for shock absorption of floors used in live performance venues

All of the preceding, except for ANSI E1.26 – 2006, is in public review until October 18, 2011. ANSI E1.26 – 2006 is in public review until August 30, 2011.

From PLASA about the documents, review and voting process:

The draft documents are produced by members of the working groups in the Technical Standards Program. Membership in the working groups is open to all who are affected by the work of the group; membership in PLASA or any other association is not a requirement. Voting members are required to attend meetings, but observer members are not, although they are welcome to attend and to speak on issues if they choose. More information about working groups and an application to join are available under the working groups link.

I’m not certain how untimely the first item on the list, BSR E1.21 – 201x, looks with all of the staging incidents that have occurred this summer, but certainly now is the time for those involved, and even those not directly, to make a stronger standard. Just remember, they aren’t looking for rants – as valid as they may be.

got fox?

Jax’s Link-O-Rama: Mercy Street Edition

I’ve been laid up with a back injury (yup: incurred in the theatre!) for the past few days and am not getting out much.  And so this is the Mercy Street edition, because that’s what happens to be on Pandora right now.

Extremely cool rehearsal photos are from Mr. Gabriel’s website.

In Case You Hadn’t Heard, ESTA and PLASA are Proposing A Merger

This is pretty huge news, everybody – if you’ve not heard about this yet, it’s time to hear about it now.

Two major organizations in the entertainment industry, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) and the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) are voting on a merger.  “Wait a second,” you might ask yourself – “what good would that do?”  Well, that’s what being a professional in the industry is all about – working on making our industry better one step at a time.  That also means making decisions about what happens in our industry, and now is the time for action.  If you’re a member of ESTA or PLASA, you’ll be getting a ballot soon – send it in!  On May 31, voting closes on the merger, and we’ll hear about the results in early June.

What are your thoughts on the merger of PLASA and ESTA?  Please comment below and share your views!

If you want to see the packet that was mailed around to members, the link is here (PDF link), and the ESTA website has additional information on the merger.  Below is a letter than was sent out a month or so ago regarding the merger:

Dear Members,

It has sometimes been said that many people spend more time ‘planning the wedding’ than they do ‘planning the marriage.’  We will tell you (with great conviction) that this is certainly not the case when it comes to the proposed merger between ESTA and PLASA. Ever since last fall when we announced that the ESTA Board of Directors and the PLASA Executive Committee had agreed in principle to merge our two associations, countless hours have been spent by the ESTA and PLASA teams, your elected representatives and numerous volunteers to provide you with specific information on several topics to prepare you to cast your vote in May, 2010.

The best business plans are straightforward documents that spell out the “who, what, where, why and how much” and that is precisely what we have tried to do for you. This package includes the following:
  • An Executive Summary that clearly identifies the key issues and provides a high level view of the rationale for this merger and how the merged association will operate. Most importantly, it provides you with information about how this merger will impact you as a member of ESTA;
  • Documents have been provided that offer specific details regarding the following:
    – Membership Structure
    – Governance Structure
    – Dues Structure
    – Code of Conduct
    – Technical Standards Program
It is very important to point out the following:
  • The current ESTA staff fully supports this merger and all of them will continue to provide you with member benefits and services;
  • The member benefits and services are in no way reduced by this merger. In point of fact, new benefits and services are planned and others will be enhanced;
  • ETCP will continue as a major program dedicated to fostering safety in the industry and will operate along a separate but parallel path to PLASA’s program to accommodate both legal and regional differences in certification standards;
  • The existing committee structure will continue and will enable PLASA in North America to continue to make good use of the valuable volunteer efforts that have long been the core of our association;
  • Protocol will continue to be offered as a quarterly journal and will become a part of the PLASA Publishing team;
  • The ESTA Foundation will continue to operate as a separate 501(c)3 educational and charitable foundation under its existing name. The merged association will continue to provide support for the Foundation and its programs including Behind the Scenes.
As we said, a tremendous amount of work has been done already (and will continue through the voting process). This merger has our complete support and also enjoys the unconditional support of the ESTA Board of Directors, the Technical Standards Committee, the ETCP Council, the ‘Has Been Society’ (ESTA’s Past Presidents), the ESTA Staff and program participants too numerous to mention.

Even with all of this support, the vote to approve this merger does face the challenge that a majority of all voting classifications (Dealer and Rental Company/Manufacturer and Distributor/PSO) must vote AND a majority of those voting must vote in favor of the plan. Andrew Carnegie once said that “you can’t push anyone up the ladder unless he is ready to climb himself.”

What can you expect in the next several weeks?
  • This package of information is being sent to you both electronically and by snail mail;
  • Your comments and questions are welcome between now and April 6th;
  • For those of you attending USITT there will be a special meeting on Wednesday, March 31st from 9-10:30am at the Marriott Kansas City Downtown in room Moten AB dedicated to a discussion of these materials;
  • In mid-April, you will receive a copy of the revised by-laws that would specifically govern PLASA in North America;
• By May 1st, you will receive your ballot regarding the proposed merger and by-law changes;
• Voting will end May 31st;
• The results of the vote will be announced in early June.

William Shakespeare said that “we know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

We have made substantial efforts to provide you with the information and tools that you need. We urge you to make comments and to ask questions if there is anything that you do not understand. Your active and enthusiastic participation in this process is urgently needed to shape the future of our association.

Bill Groener
Lori Rubinstein

RSC’s Lightlock – Stop Moving Lights from Moving Everything Else


Have you seen this device or heard anything about it?  You’re looking at the RSC Lightlock – a device that uses physics to stop moving lights from wiggling the heck out of whatever they’re attached to – truss, battens, etc.  The Lightlock was developed with the intent of slowing the swing of trapeze-style hangers, and boy does it work – check out this test video of the Lightlock in action, and then it gets powered off.  Watch the difference:

Amazing.  From the RSC Lightlock website:

The main benefits of RSC Lightlock, the RSC’s lighting invention, are:

The device enables the creative benefits of moving lights to be used in a broader variety of theatre, TV and film situations as it removes the need for heavy duty mounting infrastructure.

Use of lightweight rigging means that the moving light can be situated virtually anywhere and the halting of movement ensures that there are no ‘out of action’ moving lights.

Quiet Operation
The RSC Lightlock emits low noise levels, which allows its use during live performances.

Health and Safety
The RSC Lightlock reduces the need for bridges or trusses and therefore reduces the need for working at height when maintaining or adjusting a light.

Cost efficiency
Moving lights can be maintained at ground level by lowering the rig to where staff can safely maintain or adjust them. Avoiding working at height results in significant time savings for the entertainment industry.

A lighting designer can choose to create the same design with a smaller rig, resulting in a cost saving and environmental benefit.

There’s a decent FAQ on the Lightlock website – I recommend checking it out if you want more information about the device. iSquint tells that Total Structures/Total Solutions will be manufacturing the device, which won a PLASA 2008 Award for Innovation. It’s not surprising that it was recognized for innovating – that thing is amazing.

As a special treat, here’s Patrick Stewart to present the Lightlock:

Thanks Erich and iSquint!

WYSIWYG Wins A PLASA 2009 Award for Innovation!


Our beloved WYSIWYG won a PLASA Award for Innovation at Earl’s Court in London this last weekend – a well-deserved win for both Cast Lighting (and everyone who busts their rears there) and all of us WYSIWYG users.  WYSIWYG Release 24 has amazing real-time viz.  Amazing.  Render-quality amazing.  I am a fan after all, but I’ve used so many software suites over the years (from MiniCAD to Vectorworks to AutoCAD to SoftPlot to AGI32 to DiaLUX to Sketchup to you name it, I think I’ve used it), and as a lighting designer in no matter what genre of lighting, I still love my WYSIWYG.

From the PLASA Show website:

Cast Group of Companies, for the WYSIWYG R24. The plethora of LED display technology caused Cast to re-evaluate its design and visualisation software which has led to a significant redesign of the graphics engine and fixture attributes. It now allows the full visualisation of modern display technology including video and LED screens and their content.

From Entertainment Technology News:

From among 62 products entered, last night CAST Software walked away with a coveted PLASA09 Award for Innovation at Earls Court in London. The Award “recognises products which advance the industry by demonstrating a new style of thinking, improving technical practice, or taking a key step forward in terms of safety,” according to the Professional Lighting And Sound Association.

The Award was presented by Adam Afriyie MP, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Universities and Skills and was judged by a panel of eight independent judges drawn from across the industry. In making the Award, the judges explained: “the plethora of LED display technology caused CAST to re-evaluate its design and visualisation software which has led to a significant redesign of the graphics engine and fixture attributes. It now allows the full visualisation of modern display technology including video and LED screens and their content.”

Bruce Freeman, chairman of CAST Software and Gil Densham, president, accepted the Award at which time Freeman said, “WYSIWYG R24 is a total bottom-up rethink that delivers advances so revolutionary that they are ahead of the leading-edge! To assure that the system demands of the new features and visualisation in R24 are met with the same WYSIWYG speed and dependability, CAST designed and built a brand new proprietary engine. Now production professionals can model all the hottest new LED fixtures on a per diode basis and display them running in realtime. R24’s new visualisation incorporates the inverse square law feature and volumetric beams so WYSIWYG’s realtime Shaded View is really virtually real!”

Congratulations, Cast!