Actually Getting Paid for Designing Small Shows – A Primer


Oh, there is a subject right now that is so near and dear to my heart that must be discussed.

I know there are a lot of people out there that work small theatre gigs as designers, and I know also that there are a lot of people reading JimOnLight who work as crew, staff, or management for small venues that produce plays. Often this is a fun, rewarding experience as a designer, where you get to try out new stuff, use a very inadequate light plot in ways it’s never been used before (in your mind, anyway) and really do some Bohemian theatre work. You know, what a lot of us were trained to do: Theatre!

Unfortunately, there is one aspect of working in small theatres that will either be easy or very, very difficult for some reason — getting paid for your work. You’d think that this is something that would be cut and dry, no? Nope, in fact it is not cut, dried, rolled, or smoked. You either get really lucky and you work with a company that has its financials together, or you work with a company that is a bigger disaster than Chernobyl.


I just want to say that I’m not surprised by anything you’re about to read, I’m just a little shocked that in today’s age of having top be transparent financially, this kind of shit still goes on.  Again, not at all surprised, but it surely makes for good fodder.

I’ll keep the names to a minimum here, but I just had the displeasure of working on a tiny production a few months ago for a very small theatre company here in Oklahoma City, I still enjoy the occasional guerrilla Theatre piece as a designer. They’re managed by a small board of people who are more interested in picking the season’s plays than they are fundraising. The reason this little story is important is that none of the production staff have been paid, and they’ve opened, closed, and counted the ticket money on their season. The very scary thing was that I have an email from their board chairwoman that ostansibly says they hired us without having any money to pay us with in the first place. It would have been really swell to pay off a few bills of my own with that money — but it’s par for the course really, I did someone a favor, and no good deed goes unpunished, you know?

So let me reiterate:
We were all hired and promised fees, and the company had no money or ability for making good on that promise.

I picked up this little show as a favor to a friend, for a nil fee, which I was glad to accept.  Frankly, I’m fortunate that my rent wasn’t depending on that fee, because the other designers on the show certainly do, did, and still haven’t been paid. Unfortunately, in this business, this is the modus operandi of a good percentage of the smaller organizations that produce “plays.” The real bummer about that is that is drags down the entire system of Entertainment that we all are trained to support and design, and when you’re first starting out in this business, not getting a check for your work for months, or not at all, is a major financial killer to the young bank account.  There’s a company called Diamond Mine Productions that still owes me $2500 from 2004.  Thanks for screwing a just-graduated grad student out of four months rent, a-holes.

There are some things to watch out for that you typically learn after you’ve been promised that a company is reputable, and you usually learn them because they’re f***king you over a barrel and you learn it the hard way. But also, sometimes everything looks like it checks out, and them BAM — you get sideswiped by a Douchebag theatre company. Here’s a few things to watch out for and evaluate on the fly once you are offered a design gig somewhere, I hope these end up saving you grief.  The real bitch about this is that sometimes you just don’t have the option to pick and choose your companies as a freelance designer. However, stick with it, you will have that option in your career at some point.


Some things to consider:

* Make sure that you have a signed contract in hand that is clear in its requirements of you. Steer clear of working without a contract. Always. Most contracts you will see will have a variety of preparedness, ranging from having it stated that you have some programming days built in to the schedule, or it could be as simply written that you’re expected to have a finished design by opening night. Are there production meetings? Are you compensated for that time? Are you expected to send renderings of anything beforehand to someone, perhaps the director? Is the opening and closing dates of the gig on the contract? What if they extend the run, are you getting more money? I’ve seen and not signed contracts that tried to make me provide the rig, operator, and console — and I’ve had a few Union contracts, which are pretty freaking sweet because they’re written in your favor, the designer. You’re going to see that your mileage may vary, but please keep your head about you before you sign that paper.

* Make sure that if you have any “internal objections” that you solve them before you sign anything.  Nothing is worse than trying to unscrew yourself once you’ve obliged, and nothing hurts worse than having to do something because you were too big a wuss to voice your needs.

* ASK PEOPLE about that company and its practices.  This is the best way to find out information about a gig before saying you’re along for the ride.  You will be surprised at the amount of information you can gather by asking “a friend of a friend.”

* Do a little research on the company offering you a gig — how many shows in their season? How many seasons have they done? Do you know any other designers from past shows you might be able to query about the company’s preparedness for production? Have there been any legal judgments against that company, either in the city they’re in or in other cities? Do they have a reputation for cagey decisions or payment?

* Research the company’s infrastructure and if there is a managing board in place. Are these people community people, industry people, or people who want to be involved in “making plays” but are out of their league? Do some name searching on board members and managers before you take a gig — the Shelby, NC stage collapse from a few years ago for example, that promoter had been convicted of wire fraud and extortion. Know the people you’re doing business with, as a designer you are your own business.

* Ask for half your design fee up front. There is nothing wrong with this practice, and frankly I believe it shows not only the company’s dedication to the production, but to you as the designer as well. Having half your fee up front is a guaranteed way for a company to show you that they want to be serious about the production they just hired you to design. You’re going to hear “no” to this sometimes, which is what it is, but you need to make the call on whether or not you sign that contract.

* Find out about things like budget, reimbursements, and the like — never buy anything on your own dime for a show that you don’t already have written permission to get, so that you actually get reimbursed.  You would be blown away by the amount of times I have heard a story about someone buying something for a show, being told it is not reimbursable, and then seeing that something used in the show.  Screw that!  If the company wants it, make them buy it!  If that thing they want you to purchase and be reimbursed for is so urgent for the show, make them pony up for it.  What you’ll find is that often times getting reimbursed is harder than getting paid!

* Don’t be afraid to send somebody’s ass to collections, or get an attorney and sue in small claims court.  Make sure to include your time lost, your fees, and anything else you can get reimbursed for, having to had spent your time chasing down payment you were promised.  But make sure that you also have proof that you did the show and that you were the designer of record, preferably on contract.  Yes, there are people out there who will literally ask you to “confirm your services” before they pay you.  I have first hand knowledge of this kind of bulls**t.

Folks, it comes down to this very simple thing:
You’re a resource — and if you allow it, a company will exploit you as hard and for as long as they can, that’s the nature of capitalism.
You have to decide just how much you are willing to take.
Believe me, if you don’t spell it out in a contract, you’re either not getting something you want, or you’ll be taken to task to do things that aren’t spelled out in your contract.
Please believe me, this will happen.  It’s your responsibility to take care of you.


LIFE SKILL: Soldering Workshop, ENTTEC, #USITT2016

Happy Thursday friends and neighbors, I’m here in Salt Lake City for the 2016 USITT conference.

If you’re here, and if you don’t know how to already — you need to sign up for ENTTEC’s free workshop here at the Expo floor.  Jeremy, Crystal, and the awesome folks at ENTTEC are doing what this conference needs more vendors to do, which is training people for free on a life skill.  USITT is the place where you come to learn how to be better in this industry.

Serious claps to you, ENTTEC.  USITT folks, go sign up for learning how to solder for free.  I cannot stress enough how much you need this skill.



JimOnLight at #USITT 2015, in Photos

USITT 2015:  back from the show, glad to have gone!  Lots of friendly familiarity and new friends, libations of all sorts, and I finally had some time to see some folks I haven’t seen in a long time.

After this show particularly, I always feel pretty full of heart.  I’m going to hopefully be spending more time with everyone at trade shows since I’m no longer designing trade show booths at work…  which reminds me, anyone need an LD?  I’m in the South Florida area, interested in picking up a jam band of some kind!  I’m interested in doing something totally off-the-frigging-wall different with a band, something completely insane with light.

Here are a crap ton of photos from the 2015 USITT Conference and Stage Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio — click on any image for the JimOnLight Lightbox!

How was YOUR #USITT?  Did you see everything you wanted?  Did you meet new people and make new contacts?  Leave us a message on the post!

Happy Birthday, George Izenour!

Who’s that guy?!  Wait — is that George C. Izenour?  HEY!  Happy Birthday, George Izenour!  Today is the celebration of George’s 101st birthday!



If you don’t know who this man is and the legacy he left behind in 2007 when he passed away (July 24, 1912 – March 24, 2007), you need to do some research.  George Izenour is one of our industry’s most prolific inventor/designers, and we have many theatres and theatre complexes across the country because of that man’s brain.  George here was the winner of the 2004 Wally Russell Lifetime Achievement Award for his life’s work; the industry considers him one of the most important people in our business, and many consider him the Father of Modern Stage Lighting.  He’s earned the title!

Mr. Izenour recalled, back in his living days:  “I was born in a little town in the Beaver valley of Pennsylvania about 30 miles west of Pittsburgh; New Brighton. My father was a small electrical contractor. We moved in the third year of World War I to Ambridge, a company town closer to Pittsburgh adjacent to the Conway railway yards in 1917. In 1918, the last year of the war my father moved us to Mansfield, Ohio. I was six years old at the time and I started my formal schooling there.”

From an article at Live Design Online:

One of the most important figures in the lighting industry, George C. Izenour wrote his Master’s thesis on what was to become his first invention: the electronic lighting control system for theatre. His first job was as lighting director for the Los Angeles Federal Theatre Project. When that was dissolved in 1939, he was made a fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation with the mandate to establish a laboratory dedicated to the advancement of theatre technology. This was established at Yale University and became the home base for Izenour’s long career as inventor, consultant, acoustician, professor, and author (Theatre Design 1977, Theater Technology 1988, Roofed Theaters of Classical Antiquity 1992).

His most important invention was the inverse polarized rectifier circuit for dimming and switching. After working in a war research laboratory during WWII, he completed a lighting system that was patented by Century Lighting, ushering in the modern era of stage and television lighting. In the late 1950s he consulted on Harvard’s Loeb Drama Center, the first of over 100 performing arts venues in his prolific theatre consulting career. He has been a member of numerous professional organizations and received numerous awards during the 65 years of his ongoing career.

Mr. Izenour has several patents on file with the United States Patent Office — many of these are monumental changes to the way things were done at the time, including one of my favorites, a Filtered Thyratron Control circuit:



An interesting turn in his career, Izenour also worked as a government scientist in World War II, creating proximity fuses for the military in a laboratory on Long Island:



I find it exemplary that Izenour worked at the time for the US government; it’s a shame that it was making weapons.  He certainly made up for that in the remainder of his life, creating some unbelievably beautiful and functional theatre buildings and complexes.  From an article at Penn State, where several of Izenour’s blueprints and mylars are currently kept:

In the laboratory, Izenour focused on developing a practical, moderately priced, remote electronic stage lighting intensity control system; he succeeded with an electronic console system for stage lighting (the world’s first practical all-electronic switching and dimming circuit) in 1947. In May 1949 he was granted patents that protected both the electronic circuitry of the system and the mechanical design of the controls. Rather than selling the patents, he negotiated an exclusive commercial license to build and exploit commercially the electronic lighting intensity control system with Century Lighting Inc. and its executive vice president Ed Kook. Izenour became Century’s field engineer as well as its systems designer. Black-and-white network television opened up opportunities for expansion in 1951 and Century negotiated for the Century-Izenour (C-I) system to be the approved method of lighting control for CBS and NBC productions. During the winter and early spring of 1948 Izenour designed and fabricated the first working scale model of the synchronous winch system, patented in 1959.

By the end of the 1950s Izenour added theater design and engineering consultant to his credentials. He participated as theater design-engineering and/or acoustical consultant in more than 100 buildings. He designed and built stage machinery for the Dallas, Texas theater center, 1959; Loeb Drama Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1960; drama center, University of South Florida, Tampa, 1961; and other multiple-use theater buildings.Izenour has published three books, Theater Design (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1977; reprint, Yale University Press, 1996), Theater Technology (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988; reprint, Yale University Press, 1996), and Roofed Theaters of Classical Antiquity (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992).

To explain complex spatial relationships, Izenour and his draftsmen/graphic artists decided upon the longitudinal perspective section to capture the ambience of both stage and auditorium during performance, and orthographic isometric for structure and machinery. The Izenour Drawings of the Theater, an organized collection, came to the attention of the U.S. Information Service (USIS), the cultural branch of the Department of State. The USIS assembled a traveling exhibition of 100 of the drawings for showing throughout the world; the world premiere was held at the American Academy in Rome on 22 April 1977.

Happy Birthday, George!  Thanks for contributing such an immense amount of brainpower to our industry to make it as awesome as it is today.

Check out some of George Izenour’s texts — I highly recommend it, you’ll come away from the books having seen inside the brain of a true technological genius!

Theater Design: Second Edition- George C. Izenour


Theater Technology: Second Edition – George Izenour


Roofed Theaters of Classical Antiquity — George Izenour


Innovations in Stage and Theatre Design — George Izenour


Something else that is pretty cool to check out is some of George Izenour’s patents, from Google Patents (which is an AMAZING time waster if you’re bored!).  I highly recommend it!

Happy 101st birthday, Georgie!

Vigilante Cell-Phone-in-a-Theatre Justice – Kevin Williamson vs Rude Cell Phone Talker

You wouldn’t have your cell phone stuck to your face when you’re screwing, right?!  THEN TURN IT OFF IN THE THEATRE!


I have an extensive background in Theatre, and any time I see an article that mentions some douche with a cell phone ruining the experience of Live Theatre for everyone around them, I have to read it.  Anyone who knows me knows I have my freaking iPhone plastered to my face or 6 inches in front of my near-sighted eyes (and I DO wonder if my arms will ever get short enough for my vision), but when you’re in the theater for some Theatre, put your damned cell phone away!

I often wonder why more theatre companies dont just invest in a cheap DIY cell phone jammer that can be enabled and disabled with the flip of its switch.  Consequently, here’s an awesome article on Hacked Gadgets on Cell Phone Jamming for those interested.  If you can solder a DMX cable together, you can make a cell jammer.  Make sure, however, that the thing is legal in your jurusdiction — you’d hate to give the theatre cell idiots any more reason to be annoying.  Just imagine the morons with their iPhones who keep trying to get service — they’ll either put them away or leave, both of which are true theatre WINS!

Back on point:  Theatre reviewer Kevin Williamson and his date went to see Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 at Kazino in NYC; long story short…  oh, I’ll just let Kevin tell it:

I had a genuinely new experience at the theater tonight: I was thrown out.

The show was Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, which was quite good and which I recommend. The audience, on the other hand, was horrible — talking, using their phones, and making a general nuisance of themselves. It was bad enough that I seriously considered leaving during the intermission, something I’ve not done before. The main offenders were two parties of women of a certain age, the sad sort with too much makeup and too-high heels, and insufficient attention span for following a two-hour musical. But my date spoke with the theater management during the intermission, and they apologetically assured us that the situation would be remedied.

It was not. The lady seated to my immediate right (very close quarters on bench seating) was fairly insistent about using her phone. I asked her to turn it off. She answered: “So don’t look.” I asked her whether I had missed something during the very pointed announcements to please turn off your phones, perhaps a special exemption granted for her. She suggested that I should mind my own business.

So I minded my own business by utilizing my famously feline agility to deftly snatch the phone out of her hand and toss it across the room, where it would do no more damage. She slapped me and stormed away to seek managerial succor. Eventually, I was visited by a black-suited agent of order, who asked whether he might have a word.

In a civilized world, I would have received a commendation of some sort. To the theater-going public of New York — nay, the the world – I say: “You’re welcome.”

There is talk of criminal charges. I will keep you updated.

Well Kevin, I can’t say I blame you, and it might not have been a great move to toss the moron’s cell…  but I probably would have done the same thing had my wife let me get away with something so vigilante.  I salute you.  Let’s hope you don’t get arrested for property damage.


Here’s something awesome from the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin to their talking and texting patrons during their movies, it’s well worth the watch!

Thanks to The Gothamist for more info on the story!

Let’s Be Safer, At Least in the Entertainment Industry

Update:  the image below is for free use, please download away and print to post in any place that you need to warn riggers to clip in.  Right click here and choose “Save As” to grab the image.

I was sitting on the couch yesterday with Laura, and I was writing some posts.  I remember turning to her and saying “babe, I hate writing about people dying.”

I was looking back at the posts I’ve written about our brothers and sisters dying on the job or at a show, and those posts have more traffic than anything I’ve ever posted on – the world’s thirst for death and blood never ceases to amaze me.

People outside the Entertainment industry have amazing reactions to the kinds of accidents we have in this business — a man falling 100 feet?  A roof structure falling onto a handful of people at a concert?  An LED video panel crashing to the deck onto people working below it?  These are serious accidents that attract the attention of people worldwide – and considering the number of productions and events that occurs every day compared to the number of accidents that end in bodily harm or death within our productions, we’re doing quite well.  Maybe not airline odds, but we’re doing OK as far as the stats are concerned.  But here’s the thing — what exactly is ok when it comes to the injury and death of our production and design professional brothers and sisters, wives and husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends, sons and daughters?

This lighting designer submits that zero is the number that is acceptable.

But:  as the government is responsible for making the rules and laws that we depend on “to keep us safe” on the job, it’s our responsibility to do what is necessary to remain safe at the gig, on the job site, and while the show is going on.  It is our responsibility to make sure that we can keep working safely just as well as it is the people who make the rules.  It is our responsibility as an active and involved industry to make sure that our people are safe on the job, and that they go home at the end of every day and night.

Collectively, we’re really bad at being 100% safe in our business, and you know what I mean.  I have been just as guilty in my life as the next man or woman in this business, where opening night is just as important a deadline to satisfy as a wedding day or Christmas.  When I say you know what I mean, I’m talking about the standing on the top step of a ladder, climbing truss to “just focus that one spot” without a harness, maybe climbing an AP boom to focus without being hooked up to fall arrest.  Also in this category falls the common Entertainment industry trends of removing the legs from man lifts, moving people around in man lifts with them fully extended, and on and on and on and on.  When I was young and still climbed trusses, I’m sure I’m guilty at one point.  It took me learning what my life was really worth to make me start remembering that safety is way more important than some stupid show, some deadline.  It’s something that I am reminded of every time I have to write about another Nathan Byrd, another Dean Williams.

Young production professionals and students of Entertainment Production and Design programs across the world, listen up:
While it’s important to work hard and get the show or event done and ready on time, it is not important to jeopardize your safety to get something on a work list done at the expense of risking your safety.  Quite frankly, that last sentence should read “YOUR SAFETY IS NEVER EVER TO BE JEOPARDIZED FOR A SHOW.”  Just because that top hat is kind-of in there and you can only reach it by stepping off of the lift for just a second doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea.  You must think of what can happen if you fall – who takes care of you?  What happens if you’re paralyzed if you’re “lucky” enough not to die?  How will you work and take care of yourself and family?  Just because you’ve done it before and you’ve succeeded in being fast at your job because you cut corners instead of coming down to re-position the lift or ladder does not make you “good at your job.”  It makes you a dumbass.  That’s right — it makes you a dumb ass.

How do you tell a kid learning how to do this kind of work that it’s so very urgent to get it done by the deadline and at the same time tell them that you can’t cut corners for their own safety to get it done?  I used to say this to students, and it always seemed to be a real eye-opener:
What do you think is going to happen in most cases if you fall in some theatre or working for, let’s say, a production company doing a concert or event?  If you hurt yourself, the money to take care of you has to come from somewhere, right?  Taking care of someone who can’t urinate on their own anymore, let alone eat or walk, is really expensive – in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars a month.  What’s going to happen first and foremost in most cases in most situations, the company that controls the place you fell (if you’re lucky enough to have lived) is going to make sure it’s your fault, somehow.  We’re talking about a lot of money here, kids, they’re not going to just pay out without a vicious, nasty fight.  However, the chances are that you’ve already signed a waiver of holding the company responsible for damages you sustain on the site.  So once you fall and hurt yourself forever, you’re screwed.  This also means your parents are screwed; your wife or husband, if they stick around, is screwed.  Your kids, if you have them?  Screwed.  Your career?  Well, it’s screwed because you obviously didn’t care about it anyway to be careful enough to continue doing it.

In chatting with a friend about this exact subject, the observation was brought up that the people hurt or killed in the accidents we’ve been having lately have been seasoned professionals, people who knew their job and did it frequently.  That’s all fine and good, but one thing is certain – if the seasoned professionals who have died were doing exactly the right thing, the chances are better that they would have survived.  Questions pop up in the most recent case of Dean Williams, who fell from the primary steel at the AT&T Center in San Antonio — why did Dean fall?  According to the news stories, [Dean Williams] had been wearing a harness connected to a safety line, Berry said, but he disconnected it to step around a beam, where he intended to reconnect to another safety line on the other side.”  Was Dean not wearing a double lanyard?  Why was he completely disconnected from the safety at any time up there working?  Do you see what happens now when even the most seasoned of professionals slips up, even for one second?  I bring up this accident in hopes that some young tech out there owning the road will see that you’re not going to win against time and risk.  I hope that maybe this also hits some older, more seasoned guys who are cutting corners with their future.

If you were hurt on the job because something happened and you were hurt without breaking a rule, that’s something completely different.  I am not talking about that here.  This post is for the know-it-all kids out there with the eagerness of a puppy and a fear level lower than a Navy Seal who can scale vertical structures with the speed of Spidey and can climb out on a beam with no tremble whatsoever.  Let Dean Williams be your example of what can happen when you let down your guard for one hundredth of a second.  By all accounts, Dean was a pro.  He let his guard slip for a half a heartbeat, we all do it.  Let’s all quit letting down our guard together, as an industry.

We’re awesome, we can do anything we want to do, as long as we do it together.  Please share this with your friends and family on all sides of the industry, let’s get this in everyone’s ears and eyes.

Jim Hutchison Leaves CAST Software, Opens Lumen Buddha Studios – A Lighting Industries Think Tank and Design Studio


I have the most amazing news to share, and I’ve had to hold it in for the last month…  Fortunately this isn’t an April Fools’ joke!

After four years with my extended CAST Group family, I’m very excited to tell the world that I am leaving CAST Group as the Product Manager for the industry lighting design suite wysiwyg and the Events and Meetings industry design product Vivien Event Designer to open a lighting industries think tank, design studio, and industry relations consulting firm!  World, please welcome Lumen Buddha Studios to the world of light!  The timing is right, the industry is right, and all of my cards have come together to make this happen.  We’ll be moving back to Dallas, Texas soon to begin this adventure!

My goal with Lumen Buddha Studios is three-fold, and I am making three definite divisions in the company:

    Lumen Buddha Studios will provide a resource for lighting industries companies that allows them access to the wealth of knowledge and understanding of the Lighting Industries, including consulting services for a number of industry subsets — Social Media, Research and Development, historical Industry trends, and Industry Intelligence to name a few.
    Lumen Buddha Studios will provide the most excellent services for Lighting Industries businesses to reach out into the Social Media world — many companies struggle to get real results from their Social Media outreach, and Lumen Buddha Studios  strives to provide that edge that the Lighting Industries need to survive!
    Lumen Buddha Studios
    brings two designers with three decades of experience creating stunning designs for clients worldwide — myself, Jim Hutchison, Lighting Designer, consultant, and creator of, and Tupac Martir, Visual Designer, Light Magician, and creator of Satore Studio in London.  Tupac is bringing his entire studio team’s expertise to projects with Lumen Buddha Studios here in the United States.  I’m so very excited to have another unbelievably creative organization on board!  Lumen Buddha Studios will be offering Lighting Design and Production services to the Events Industry, Concert Production, Corporate Entertainment, Theatre, Dance, Opera, and most experimentally, grand scale Light Art!

This is the first in a few very large events happening in my career right now, and every single bit of it is due to this unbelievably excellent industry we all call home.  There’s some additional big news coming, but you have to wait for that one, just like me!  In the mean time, in addition to @JimOnLight on Twitter, please follow @LumenBuddha for news and information about the opening of this exciting event!  Make sure to also follow @TMartir (Tupac Martir) and @SatoreStudio to keep up with the exciting projects of our UK studio partner!

A message of thanks:
Thank you for all of the support and readership that you have all given me over the last six years. is still going full-speed, and is showing no signs of stopping!  I’ll quit when you quit, and you have all been unbelievable in your support for this site everyday.  Thank you so very much for coming here to read about light every single wonderful day.  David and I wish it were in our power to personally thank each and every pair of eyes that comes here to learn about our favorite thing every single day, but obviously that would be impossible.

Thank you, Light Lovers of Planet Earth.

El Molino Burlesque’s Beautiful Video Facade — Barcelona, Spain

I was in Barcelona back in November of 2012; I posted some photos of that very busy trip, but I didn’t really have time to go out and do some sightseeing because of the show schedule.

There is one thing I did get though, I filmed it on the last night I was there.  We were staying at a hotel called Hotel Barcelona Universal, and from my room, I had a great view across the Paral Lel, the street out in front.  Across the street was this beautiful building facade, all made of video, that had a big windmill attached to the front of it.  The name?  El Molino, or “the Mill.”   Check it out:


Not really much to look at from the outside, right?  I mean, it’s fun and all, and obviously there is something happening of fun inside of the building.  However, El Molino has an enormous video wall outside that is pretty beautiful, and there is some very fun content that is displayed on the video wall.  It’s huge in comparison of the other parts of the facade!


This building underwent a major renovation after a 1997 closing of the theatre, which from what I found was the first time it was ever actually closed.  The venue has a pretty interesting history; from the El Molino website, translated from Catalan:

The story of the Mill began in 1898, when the owner of the task The Aviary, a modest cabin located in Vila Vila Rosal corner, sold his business to 100 pesetas. The new owner will change its name to The Aviary Catalan and mount a small empostissat. After three years with a musical program stable, the local had already found its place in the world of entertainment Parallel.

After a brief flirtation with the movies under the name Grand Salon Siglo XX, in 1908 there was another change of owner and renamed Petit Moulin Rouge, in imitation of the famous Moulin Rouge in the Montmartre district of Paris.The new business is designed to bring the nightly entertainment cabarets of Paris “in Spanish”. It is the time of the Music Hall, which appropriates the same time, he sees as his fame avenue that the highest number of shows in Europe grows.


So the entire point of this post was to show the video I recorded of the video content of the video wall outside of El Molino.  Check it out, this is some fun architainment!

A Short LDI Walkthrough

Happy Tuesday morning, everyone!

I put together this short LDI walkthrough for those who weren’t there – it’s only 3 minutes and it’s not all-inclusive, but I think you’ll dig it anyway.  There’s nothing political, nothing about war, nothing about the Presidential election — it’s just pure light enjoyment!  Check it out!

Icewolf’s Guide to Photography for Theatre

I gotta thank charlesDcharles on Twitter for sending this my way – if you read Icewolf’s blog, then you’ve already seen this, but it’s worthy of another mention!


Icewolf has posted a pretty excellent and comprehensive guide to shooting for theatre – from camera basics to composition basics, to light meters and image processing in post.  It’s an excellent article, you should definitely check it out!

Really, that’s it for this post.  Go get a coffee now, that’s what I’m gonna do.