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Updates on the OnLights!

durham-JOL

This is where I got to write all last week — breeze, sun, outside. Peaceful!

Laura and I are on the move this week!  We spent the last week with Laura’s mom and stepdad at their cool house in Durham, Ontario — there is something completely different about Canada when you get away from the city centers.  Toronto is not representative of Ontario, or even Canada really — it’s like a mix of the nationalities you would get by sticking LA, Chicago, and NYC all into a huge cauldron and stirring it up.  Rural Ontario is amazing — the people are friendly, the towns are quaint, and there’s lots of road to be driven.

Tuesday morning we begin the next leg of the trip:  Durham, Ontario to Peoria, Illinois.  In about 10 hours we’ll stop driving and get out of the car to go to sleep!

We’re officially on the way to making Laura a permanent resident in the US, but in the mean time, we know we’re going to have to spend some time apart based on the residency maximums for a Canadian in the US.  It’s ok though, we’re ready for it, and Skype is an amazing thing.  This week is Illinois and my sister’s house in Peoria, IL.  If you’re within an half-hour of Peoria over the next week, send me an email or get ahold of me through the contact form and we’ll Tweet it up!

Our final destination is Dallas, Texas.  We’re heading there to set up camp and start promoting Lumen Buddha Studios, rock the full-time JimOnLight.com, and get back to the warm Dallas sun!

Now we return you to your regularly scheduled lighting adoration!  Have a great Monday, everybody!

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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.

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.

JimOnLight.com Hangs with Jefferson Waful of Umphrey’s McGee at House of Blues in Dallas

I had the absolute pleasure this last week to hang out with Jefferson Waful, lighting designer for Umphrey’s McGee, at Dallas’ House of Blues  establishment downtown.  It was great to see Jefferson again – he and I spent some quality time together at SeaChanger‘s booth at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas back in April, and we waxed philosophical about lighting, music, and all things design for the camera.  Videos coming soon of that, just for your information!

The day at House of Blues was great – I’m a master electrician whenever I’m not being lighting designer/writer/nerd-rockstar guy, and the UM crew was down a man, so I helped Jefferson with the load-in.  First – the House of Blues crew is superb.  Within the first five minutes in the venue, I discovered a friendly, helpful crew that all seemed to enjoy what they did, and the house’s L1, Boombah, was just an amazing guy to crack cheap jokes with and keep the energy in the room pumped high.  Fun was had by all.

A little bit about the Umphrey’s McGee crew – four guys, every one with a department head job.  Jefferson Waful in the lighting department (and lighting designer); Kevin Browning, the Sound Caresser (that’s FOH Engineer for you non-hackers); Bob Ston, Monitor Engineer and EPG (Extremely Professional Guy); Robbie Williams, Stage Manager; and Don Richards, Tour Manager and General Cool Dude.  A great crew, most of whom have been with the band for quite some time – Bob was telling me he’s been on with UM for nine years.  NINE YEARS!  When he says that he stays at the same emotional intensity level all day and doesn’t get angry, he’s totally telling the truth.

Load-in was quick and simple – Jefferson does six Mac III’s on cases on the deck, six Mac III’s from a rear truss, A7 LED heads on a FOH truss, and some Mac 700s to compliment the rig.  Some ACLs and specials from the house rig, and we’re off!  Mac IIIs have some punch, my friends.  That’s all I’ll say about that.  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Finishing up lighting load-in:

Updating focus positions:

More focus position updates:

It was outstanding to hang out with Jefferson during his programming time – I’m not quite yet a grandMA programmer, and Jefferson uses a full-size grandMA (I’m a Hog programmer).  After watching him work the grandMA, I think I need to get my rear in gear and learn this system.

Soundcheck was – well, it was amazing.  Not only do I enjoy the band, but watching Jefferson run some looks was impressive.  I’m a big fan of watching other lighting designers work – as a lighting designer myself, I’m never really conscious of the world around me when I’m driving a lighting desk, and it’s nice to know that others are so focused on the work themselves.  Check out a few of these Soundcheck looks:

The show was equally as amazing.  Here’s a few shots of the actual show, and below that I have added a gallery of ALL of the shots I wanted to post.  Click on the thumbnails, they open a gallery view.  Enjoy!

The anticipation of the first note and the first light cue:

The first cue of the show:

with Brock Butler sitting in:

The driver driving

Thanks to Jefferson Waful and the entire Umphrey’s McGee organization for allowing me the opportunity to spread the word of great music and outstanding design!  Let’s do it again!

Umphrey’s McGee at House of Blues Dallas – Crappy Cell Phone Pic Tease

So, while I’m writing this article about my experience hanging out with outstanding lighting artist Jeff Waful of Umphrey’s McGee last night at House of Blues in Dallas, I want to tease your vision with some crappy iPhone pics I tweeted frequently throughout the show last night.  Lots, lots more images, video, and other stuff on the show last night to come, but while I’m sorting 1943 images and compiling 14 video clips, here’s a sample of what went down all day yesterday.

For those who care – the setlist:

Set One
Sociable Jimmy, 2nd Self, Example 1 > Passing, Prowler > Can’t Find My Way Home, Utopian Fir

Set Two
Miss Tinkle’s Overture, Cold Gold^, Graceland^, Dump City, Spires > End of the Road > Thin Air*

Encore:
The Bottom Half

Brock Butler opened
^ with Brock Butler on dobro and vocals
* with Pink Panther theme teases

Enjoy!  More to come, so stay tuned!

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.

JimOnLight.com Happy Hour – Tonight! 6:30pm! Trinity Hall, Dallas!

You know you wanna come hang out with lighting people.  We are a unique blend.  Like a fine scotch whiskey that someone dumped battery acid into and made it stay up late after throwing it down the stairs!  The description above is for any non-lighting people who want to come hang out – if you like having light in the world, come down and have some fun!

The first of many JimOnLight.com Happy Hour gatherings!  Tonight, 6:30pm, Trinity Hall Pub (off of Mockingbird), come hang out with some like-minded folks!

Trinity Hall Pub is located just off of Mockingbird, literally next to the Mockingbird DART station – 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas 75206. Check out Trinity Hall Irish Pub’s website, those cats are cool.

COME ON DOWN!

JimOnLight.com February 2010 DFW Happy Hour!

Hey, everybody! Are you in Dallas, Fort Worth, or somewhere close to the DFW area and wanna meet some lighting folks? Come to the JimOnLight.com February 2010 DFW Happy Hour!

Let’s get together in a few weeks – February 17, 2010, around 6:30pm – and have some pints, chat about some stuff, and enjoy each other’s company! If you’re involved in the lighting industries in any capacity or you just love light, come down to Trinity Hall Pub (off of Mockingbird) and meet some fellow lighting peoples!

I figured 6:30pm to 9pm would be plenty of time, but if we party later into the evening, then that’s just a plus for all of us!

Do me a favor – post a comment below, shot me a quick email through the contact form, or RSVP on the Facebook Event page if you plan on attending. I just want to try and plan ahead. Come on down, I want to meet you all! Let’s get a huge lighting tribe going in the Dallas area!

Trinity Hall Pub is located just off of Mockingbird, literally next to the Mockingbird DART station – 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas 75206. Check out Trinity Hall Irish Pub’s website, too!

Come on down, make plans, let’s get together!

So Much Progress, So Few Local Artists

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(image from UnFair Park, the Dallas Observer blog)

Ah, I love being back in Dallas, Texas.  There are so many things going on in Dallas right now, from new construction, to art installations, to new construction with art installations implanted.  As a lighting designer in the DFW Metro, I am extremely excited to see the projects being put into play in the downtown scene come to fruition.

Case in point:  the new Main Street Garden, with lighting installations from New York light artist Leni Schwendinger and a very soon-to-be large Christmas tree designed by New York landscape designer Thomas Balsley.  After all, Dallas is a place that is growing and changing like the best of the cities in our great country.  We’re proud of Dallas.  We’ve got the big new AT&T Performing Arts Center to house some of the best work ever to be presented on stage, the Dallas Theatre Center and their ever-so-awesome seasons of life-changing theatre and works of genius, and a city so full of artists, designers, and other extremely creative people that it’s busting at its seams.

Since Dallas is full of people who love art, love light and lighting, and certainly love this city, why are the majority of the lighting designers and lighting artists chosen to do work on the city of Dallas from places like New York, Chicago, or LA?

When it comes to lighting the city of Dallas itself, why aren’t local companies and local lighting artists chosen?  Does the fact that a designer or artist lives in Dallas make that person exempt from creating “good” art?  Believe me – there are people right here in the Dallas area who have ideas and design talents just as good as those from any other “big” city.

I’m certainly not naive, don’t get me wrong – with regional theatre companies like Dallas Theatre Center, it can be impossible to light a show there if you’re not from New York, LA, or Chicago.  I guess it really comes down to who you know – which is a shame considering the talent in DFW.  From a budget standpoint, doesn’t it seem like hiring local talent might cut back on expenses that could otherwise be avoided?

So how can we change this and give local talent a chance to do what no one in Dallas seems to believe we can do?  I know that this problem isn’t a Dallas-only issue.  So how would you improve this in your community?

Thanks, UnFair Park!