PROTESTERS: Leave The Location Crews Alone

Have you seen this video?

The video above is of some protesters assaulting a location crew outside of the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.  To be completely honest, I don’t want to give these douchebags the press, but this is ridiculous.  This bunch of idiots claims that the location crew was shining their “hot lights” on the protesters.  Are these people really that stupid?  Why do I have a hard time accepting that there are people THIS STUPID out there?

Frankly, I think they are fortunate that these guys’ crew brothers didn’t level their rude protesting asses for screwing with gear and people trying to do their jobs.  Maybe instead of a t-shirt that says “Intolerance is a Beautiful Thing,” Fatty Mc-Hasn’t-Seen-His-Penis-In-Years should practice some intelligence.

Wow, that made me really angry.  Have you been in a situation like this ever?

I think Ghandi said it best:

“I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians.  Your Christians are very unlike your Christ.”

iPhone Lighting Software: ZinmanCo’s PocketLD and Synthe FX’s Luminair v2

As far as iPhone software goes, “there’s an app for that,” right?  How about an app for MAKING ME A PIZZA RIGHT NOW AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

<deep breath>

Okay, I feel better.  But seriously, there are tons of apps out there for every single thing you can imagine.  The other day I downloaded an app from the iTunes store that played these crazy soundscapes to help you fall asleep.  Awesome.  As far as lighting goes, there are tons of apps out there for that, too.  But I think it takes more than the skill of coding an app to make an iPhone app – hell, there are programs out there that generate iPhone apps out of a website feed or a podcast stream, and apps that really do nothing at all.  You have to have an understanding of the basis of what you’re doing in order to make a useful iPhone app.

Two such iPhone app developers are Ryan Hisey from Synthe FX (makers of Luminair) and Mike Zinman of Zinman Software (makers of PocketLD and many others).  Both are pushing updates this week to their popular iPhone suites.  What these two guys do forges the way.  End of story.

First, Zinman Software’s PocketLD – a program that International Cinematographer’s Guild Magazine called one of the top five apps for filmmakers and cinematographers:

PocketLD V2.0 Now Available on the iTunes App Store

LONG BEACH, CA – ZINMAN SOFTWARE, makers of the popular lighting related iPhone apps, announces the release of PocketLD v2.0. PocketLD allows lighting professionals in theatre, film and TV to calculate the FC/LUX and Beam/Field Diameters for over 2000 fixtures and lamps.

V2.0 adds the functionality for users to edit the existing library, create their own fixtures and organize these fixtures into an improved Favorites List. New fixtures included in the library include Dedolight, K5600 and Kobold.

Developer Michael Zinman says “This is our most ambitious update for PocketLD since it was released two years ago. I’m so happy with these changes and I’m confident our world-wide user base will find the new functions a great add.”

Recently, PocketLD was featured in ICG Magazine (International Cinematographers Guild) as one of the top five apps for filmmakers and cinematographers.

For more information, visit www.zinmansoftware.com

Direct download of PocketLD v2.0 on the App Store is available by following the link below.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocketld/id292911261?mt=8

About Zinman Software.

Zinman Software is a technology leader in applications for the event production industry. Among their products are a number of iPhone apps including Genielux, ML Finder, Pocket LD, Gel Calc, iSwitch DMX and TCP/IP Remote. For more information visit www.zinmansoftware.com.

Ryan Hisey and Synthe FX’s Luminair v2 – a lighting control suite that turns your iPhone into an amazing lighting tool for programmers, designers, lighting directors, and lighting technicians in all trades.  I mean, 36+ hours on batteries?!  Fuhgeddabadit.  Luminair v2 is being developed to do some amazing things in CAST Software’s wysiwyg, Release 25. More on that later, but be sure that it will rock!

Synthe FX release Luminair v2.0 for iPhone & iPod touch
Cincinnati, OH, February 25, 2010 – Synthe FX have released Luminair 2.0, a major upgrade to the wireless multi-touch DMX control app for iPhone and iPod touch. Luminair is revolutionary wireless lighting control software, which uses the Art-Net protocol to control
compatible lighting equipment and media servers via the iPhone and iPod touch’s internal Wi-Fi hardware.

Among the new features in v2.0 is “Stacks”, which is a cue-list playback system designed to make it very easy to put together shows for a wide variety of uses. Cues can be programmed directly within Luminair, and also recorded as snapshots from an external console or any other DMX control source. Standard playback life using the device’s internal battery can run up to
3.5 hours, and can be extended to over 36 hours using a 3rd-party external battery pack. Playback will run indefinitely when the device is plugged into a power source.

Another major new feature in Luminair 2.0 is the ability to assign images as visual references to cues, using the iPhone’s built-in camera, photo library, or transferred via Luminair’s internal web server. Users can browse and trigger Quick-Touch cues using a CoverFlow view, which renders the assigned images in breathtaking OpenGL 3D. Also dependent on the new image
reference support in version 2.0, is the ability to export “Fixture POV” images and data directly over Wi-Fi from Cast Software’s next release of WYSIWYG R25.

Other notable new features in 2.0 include full group support, cut/copy/paste capabilities, accelerometer support for XY controls, plus extensive additions and refinements to the existing feature-set. Company founder and lead product developer Ryan Hisey says “The ability to program and playback shows directly from an iPhone or iPod, for periods lasting greater than 36 hours on batteries is really amazing. We’re really excited to see how our customers push the boundaries of automated lighting control.”

“In this release, we also took advantage of a lot of the great features that are built-in to the iPhone and iPod touch, such as the accelerometer, camera, and photo library. The images in CoverFlow look absolutely amazing, and users can easily add their own custom images and icons via multiple convenient methods. Additionally, we are very excited to be working with
Cast Software, who is a highly respected industry leader, on such a groundbreaking new feature for lighting pros.”

Availability
Luminair 2.0 is available for download now, exclusively from Apple’s iTunes App Store. For all existing customers, version 2.0 is a free upgrade. Full product details, videos, and screenshots can be seen at http://synthe-fx.com/luminair

Keep up the excellent developing, dudes.

Lady GaGa’s Brit Awards Performance

Okay, to be honest, I’ve not really heard much of her music until I saw this video.  Lady GaGa performed her tunes “Telephone” and “Dance in the Dark” at the Brit Awards recently.  It’s the one where she gave thanks to Alexander McQueen, the fashion designer who just passed away.

Al Gurdon (Super Bowl LD) designed the lighting for that performance, and Miguel Ribiero from PRG created the wysiwyg for the performance.  Gentlemen, what a kick-ass job you did.  Congratulations on that work.

Check this out:

JOBS in Dallas – Fox Needs Crew for Midland Pilot

Attention, JimOnLight.com readers!  It’s been brought to my attention that the Fox Network is looking for crew for a new TV pilot called “Midland.”  The Official Film Commission for the Greater DFW Region posted an ALL CREW call for resumes on their website.

So, let me say this again:
If you’re in DFW and need a gig, send your resume to these folks!  Film crew!

From the Film Commission website:

Crew Call for “Midland” – Fox Television Pilot

CALLING ALL CREW!

If you are interested in working on a pilot for a new Fox drama called “Midland”, please send your updated resumes ASAP to [email protected] and note “Midland Crew” in the subject line and position applying for. We’ll make sure and pass them along to the production team. Casting information will be posted as soon as we receive it. Please do not forward actor head shots/resumes at this time.

They are in the process of gearing up, securing office space and beginning to hire crew now so don’t delay! The project will shoot March 16-April 1st, so please submit only if you’ll be available during that time frame. We loving being able to share this kind of news with everyone!! Good luck!

No calls please.

Super Bowl Halftime Show – Starring The Who, and THE LIGHTING!

I just heard on NPR last night that 106.5 million plus people watched the Super Bowl on Sunday – more people than any other event on TV in the history of the world.  The last thing that had that kind of viewers was the final episode of M*A*S*H*, back in 1983 – 105.97 million.

(for those of you kids who have no idea what M*A*S*H* is, it was a show about surgeons in a war zone)

One of the things that is still getting some major press is the big spectacle half time show, starring The Who:

For those of you who are like me, I paid more attention to the lighting design for the Super Bowl half time show than I did The Who – I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think they rock.  They did at least when they were younger.  Who did rock this time was the lighting design team and suppliers for one of the biggest shows of the year – and the rumor is that the entire rig had a total of six minutes to get on the field and working.

Oh – and pre-viz/lighting design for the Super Bowl Half Time Show?  It was done in Cast Software’s wysiwyg Suite!  OH YEAH!  (That’s right, I love it, you love it, and it is the epic awesome.)

The Super Bowl XLIV Lighting Team – definitely not an exhaustive list, and my apologies for the hundreds of people who got left off the list:

Lighting Designers:  Al Gurdon
Designer:  Bruce Rodgers of Tribe
Lighting Directors:  Bob Barnhart and David Grill of Full Flood
Programmers:  Mike “Oz” Owen, rocking the Vari*Lite Virtuoso, and Pete Radice
Rental Company:  PRG USA and PRG Europe
Lighting Crew Chief/Gaffer:  Richie Gorrod
Media Programmer:  Jason Rudolph

An update from Jason Rudolph himself – thanks a lot, Jason!

Lee Lodge was the creative producer handling content, which was made by Loyal Kaspar out of NYC.
XL video was the video vendor. The stage was made of 3000+ MiStrips, driven by 2 HD hippos provided by VER, Matt Waters was the server tech.

From XL Video, Ken Gay and Bob McGee were the project managers. Mike Spencer was the system engineer. Luke Pilato was the head system tech. Led techs were Rodrigo Azuriz, Trace Deroy, Douglas Eldredge, David Imlau, Fernando Gutierrez Llama, Curtis Luxton, Stephen Otten, Eric Petty, Rod Silhanek and Don Stevens.

An update from Margaret, who sends the URL of Loyal Kaspar, the company who did the video content – http://www.loyalkaspar.com

Update - Jason Rudolph writes back (Feb 11, 2010) [Thanks, Jason!]

I can tell you this, the LED fixtures in the rig were Color Blocks, most of the fixtures were VL3500 wash units with the clear lens installed, on the stage were Color Blasts, and Iwhite color blasts.  Atomic strobes all over, and a few lightning strikes for good measure.  There were also a few Alpha Beam 1500s in the rig, but I’m not sure where they were.

Oz programmed on a Virtuoso VX, I was on a DX2.

We had 2 HD hippos, and one HippoCritter for pixelmapping the Color blocks, which we only used for one song, its output was merged with the console output so that we had both as an option.

If you know any people who worked the crew, give them a shout out in the comments – what a terrific job they did!

I am expecting an equipment list soon – I will update this post as soon as I get it from my source.  But for those of you who didn’t get to see this amazing lighting feat, below are two videos, part one and part two, of the half time show.  Enjoy!

(Thanks, Times Online, for the image of The Who!)

100 Years of Visual Effects

I’ve been reading a lot into visual FX lately again – there is a project in my head that I am trying to suss out details for, and I keep running into all of these digital lighting research materials.  Here’s a good one – special effects from the last 100 years:

Details of the video:

A “5th-grader-friendly” collection of clips and making-of footage from notable visual effects films of the past century.
Originally intended for educational use as an introduction to a classroom lecture.
The music track is “Rods and Cones” from the album “Audio” by Blue Man Group.

1900 – The Enchanted Drawing
1903 – The Great Train Robbery
1923 – The Ten Commandments (Silent)
1927 – Sunrise
1933 – King Kong
1939 – The Wizard of Oz
1940 – The Thief of Bagdad
1954 – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
1956 – Forbidden Planet
1963 – Jason and the Argonauts
1964 – Mary Poppins
1977 – Star Wars
1982 – Tron
1985 – Back to the Future
1988 – Who Framed Roger Rabbit
1989 – The Abyss
1991 – Terminator 2: Judgement Day
1992 – The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
1993 – Jurassic Park
2004 – Spider-Man 2
2005 – King Kong
2006 – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
2007 – Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
2007 – The Golden Compass
2008 – The Spiderwick Chronicles
2008 – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

MSNBC Reporter Monica Morales VS. Lighting Equipment

Did anyone see these clips?  MSNBC reporter Monica Morales had a little accident on air when a c-stand smacked her right upside the head.  It was obviously not happy with the way the story was going.  Monica, I kid!  This kind of thing happens all the time, I’m sure.  Anchor Mika Brzezinski clearly waxed poetic on this subject when she said “Oh my goodness, I love it when the wind blows down the light thing.

Me too, Mika, me too.

My sister-in-law is a reporter – hey Carolyn, this ever happen to you?

Goodness indeed.  That stand cracked her right in the head!

PRG’s Bad Boy is Rocking Eurovision

Joan Lyman Melzig

I just got a press release from PRG – Bad Boy is rocking the crap out of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009.  Check out the press release:

PRG Bad BoyTM boasts biggest show to date on Eurovision Song Contest 2009

New Windsor, New York – May 16, 2009 – The annual Eurovision Song Contest, now in its 54th year, is one of the most-watched television productions in the world, with estimates of some 200 million viewers. The format began simply enough back in 1954 – a live broadcast of the members of the European Broadcast Union competing to win the title of Best Song in Europe, with the winner bestowed the honor of hosting the contest the next year in their home country. The production has since reached astounding proportions, now with 42 countries competing in three live broadcasts – two Semi-Finals and one Final.

When Russia won Eurovision in Belgrade, Serbia last year, Russian show producers were immediately driven to make the 2009 production in Moscow the biggest and most breathtaking in Eurovision history. The live broadcasts for the Semi-Finals were held on May 12 and 14 and the Finals on May 16, with viewer numbers skyrocketing to new heights, thanks to a live feed online via www.eurovision.tv.

The equipment list is impressive to say the least, with an astounding 2,000 square meters of LED, but the real talk of the show has been the 72 PRG Bad BoyTM luminaires. Since the fixture hit the shelves at the beginning of this year, it has been seen on major tours from Oasis to Britney Spears and on television productions such as the Grammy Awards and The Celebrity Apprentice.

The fixtures are installed around the entire rig and positioned directly over the stage. Rich Gorrod, lighting gaffer, who has been on-site in Moscow since March 31 said, “They’re absolutely spectacular. They’re bright as hell, giving the Syncrolites a run for their money, with lightning snap color and gobo change. Plus the zoom is unbelievable, from pencil beam to super wide, and most of all they’re incredibly reliable. They’ve been running 18 hours a day for the last four weeks – which says a lot for such a new light. They just do everything that it says on the tin – fantastically well. We’ve brought two techs to Moscow just for the Bad Boys and they’ve been bored to tears!”

Lighting Designer Al Gurdon (MTV Europe Awards, Robbie Williams) is equally as pleased, citing, “They’re simply a dream come true. We have loads of LED, and these still stand out with no problem whatsoever. They look amazing on camera and deliver these vibrant, saturated colors that I want with incredibly smooth and fast precision. A show of this magnitude demands quite a lot from its equipment, and the Bad Boy has proven itself to be a champion.”

The Bad Boy is a hybrid luminaire that combines the qualities of a traditional automated fixture light with a large-venue fixture.  “It was one of the first things specified for this production,” said Eruovision Production Manager Ola Melzig.  “I first saw it at PLASA last year, and I could immediately tell that it was designed with today’s shows, which often involve high-brightness LED screens, in mind.”

The Bad Boy is definitely standing out on the Eurovision stage, with a powerful 48,000 lumens.  Its high definition optics work perfectly for television – yet another reason they were specified.  In addition to the optical clarity that comes with using high-quality lenses, the Bad Boy features also include smooth, fluid control of focus, zoom range of 8:1 (7° to 56°), and imaging thanks to high-speed servo motors and full-field 0 to 100% dimming.  The Quantum Color® system utilizes individual color filters providing variation in both saturation and hue, resulting in a much broader and vibrant range of saturated colors.  Plus, the Bad Boy was designed with energy efficiency and carbon footprint standards in mind.

“We at PRG are very pleased to play a supporting role for the Eurovision Song Contest,” says Anne Johnston, Vice President of Marketing for PRG.   “It is exciting to see this many Bad Boys on such a grand stage with a worldwide audience. We were thrilled to see the Bad Boy was enjoying so many rave reviews from the hard working crew and designers. The production is a massive undertaking and we are proud to play a role.”

For more information on PRG, please visit www.prg.com.

Oh, isn’t it beautiful?  BASQUE IN IT!


Making of Honda’s “Let It Shine” Video

Remember this video?

My lovely wife just sent me the video below, which is a short “making of” video, featuring the crew, designers, director, and lighting designer Tim Dunn.  I had no idea this was done on a GrandMA!  Cool!

Thanks, honey!