ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS of the Fall Scholarship Contest!

I apologize for the delay folks, I’m fighting some kind of flu bug.

Now, without further dudes:

Ladies and gentlemen, the public has spoken in the Fall Scholarship Contest!  Congratulations to TEAM DULUTH, who takes first place by popular vote.  First runner up is Johanna-Mai Vihalem who is currently in Paris, and the second runner up is Daphne Mir, everyone’s favorite budding LD out of SoCal.  Congratulations to each of you who entered – each one of you is going to receive a 4Wall Entertainment t-shirt and a box of goodies from me.

Winners, I’ll be in touch shortly to get relevant information!

I’d like to take a moment to comment on and add a little surprise to the contest.  I put the donated scholarship funds and my contribution to the pool out to vote by the Community as a whole.  The readership is full of very intelligent and influential people who are all out there shaping and advancing the industries of light – researchers, designers, scientists, laser engineers, LED manufacturers and developers, production technicians, lighting directors, solid-state lighting scientists, opticians, doctors, physicists, and many other professionals read the blog each day.  The reason that is able to do anything for the community is DUE TO the investment of the community into the future of our beloved industries.  I trust the readership to choose.  Far be it for me to take seven light lovers’ videos and make a decision on whose passionate plea for light was better than any other – I got warmth from each and every video.  I am inspired by each and every one of you.  So much, in fact, that I am going to give each of you a post on for your video over the next month.

I want to add one more mention to the contest – after watching all of these videos, I felt like I needed to recognize one video for its production and creativity.  I enjoyed every one of these videos – and I plan on having more of these contests to give back to the lighting industries.  Overall, on a production aspect, I want to recognize Nik Robalino‘s video for being the most well produced.  Nik, please tell your crew that I think they did an excellent job.  I’m working on putting something special together for you and your crew.

Contest participants – I’ll be in touch shortly to get addresses and all of that so I can send you each some good stuff.  Great job to everyone – you should be ridiculously proud!  Thank you to the Community for participating.  More to come!

FINAL DAY for VOTING in the Fall Scholarship Contest!

It’s here, everybody – the final day of voting in the Fall Scholarship Contest!  We’ve got pretty excellent videos submitted – each and every one – and I am excited to see how the industry votes!  The lighting industries have really reached out for this one, and there are a lot of people to thank.  The voting ends tonight, at midnight CST.  Get your votes in before then!

MORE good news, in addition to the outreach that has taken place already – David Johnson from Live Design/LDI has contributed a FREE TICKET to the 2011 Broadway Lighting Master Classes in May 2011!  This will go to the first place winner of the contest.

So far, here’s the scholarship prize lineup:




  • $250 USD!

In addition, everyone who entered the contest gets a t-shirt courtesy of 4Wall Entertainment, and a box of goodies from me!

I’d like to thank SeaChanger, David Fox, InLight Gobos, 4Wall Entertainment, Zero88, and Live Design for giving to the future of the lighting industries.  These folks are among the sort that care about what happens to our beloved industry.

We’re going to have a lot more of these scholarship contests – with the economy the way it is right now and the way that Universities are raising tuition and fees on what seems a monthly schedule these days, it is up to us as people who are dedicated to the lighting industries to make sure the future is sustained.  You heard it here first.

Now GO VOTE in the Fall 2010 Scholarship Contest!!! Hurry, voting stops at MIDNIGHT TONIGHT CST!

UPDATE! Fall Scholarship Contest! READ ME!

Holy cow, holy cow, followed by holy cow.  If this contest were a Scorpions song, it would be “here I am, rock you in quite the same fashion as that of a hurricane.”  I have received some outstanding news, people – news that affects this contest for the positive!

Some of the industry’s most future conscious companies have stepped up and offered some additional funds for the Fall Scholarship Contest – which means I’m able to offer MORE PRIZE MONEY for the winner!  Also, something that rocks pretty hard, I am now able to offer a RUNNER UP prize!

The web’s favorite fox, the Fantastic David Fox from the lighting team at KA in Las Vegas, Larry Zoll and the great people over at Zero88, and the monumentally awesome team over at SeaChanger have offered some funds to boost the prizes!  Now, I am able to give a $1000 first place prize (and two tickets to see KA in Las Vegas, good for one year through Mr. Fox) and a $500 Runner Up prize, which ALSO features two tickets to KA, good for one year!

UPDATE:  4Wall Entertainment has just contributed $250 to the pot, making the first prize $1000 USD! 4Wall is also giving ALL OF THE WINNERS a 4Wall t-shirt!  Everyone who entered wins!

UPDATE:  Rick and Adri at InLight Gobos has contributed $250 to the contest pool – now I can offer a Second Runner Up prize of $250!

The outpouring of support that I have gotten for you excellent contest participants from the lighting industry is enough to make me choke up a bit.  This is why I love our lighting industries – because they care about our future.

Make sure to go vote on your favorite video at the official Fall Scholarship Contest page!

Side note:

If you’re from a lighting company and want to contribute to the winners’ prize packages in any way, please contact me via the contact form or by emailing jim [AT] jimonlight [DOTCOM].  I’m getting several emails a day about contributing – I’ll make sure to publish your name and company link.  This is all about our industry’s next rising stars.  Help out if you can!

Burning Man Bonus

Hey, JimOnLight readers, Jax here to share some more photos of Burning Man with you.  I didn’t go–I don’t fancy playa dust–but 50,000 people did, and they sure got to see some cool art.  These photos are fresh off the playa, some of this year’s sculptures with kick-ass lighting.  Enjoy! Scholarship Contest Entries – WATCH and VOTE NOW!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fall Scholarship Contest entry period has ended, and we have had excellent entries.  Excellent!  So much, in fact, that I have decided to post all of them for your voting and enjoyment!

These people have taken it upon themselves to tell you, the world, about what they love about light.  I am honored, excited, and overjoyed for you to see these entries.

First up:  Johanna-Mai Vihalem’s love of light.  Go, Johanna!

Now, Daphne Mir tells the world about her rise to rockstar lighting designer. Go, Daphne!

Jeff Handke, tell us what you love about light. GO!

It’s time for the men of The Duluth Crew to tell us why they love light. DO IT!

Drew Carter, it’s time to SHOW THE WORLD WHAT YOU GOT!

Nik Robalino, tell the world what you LOVE about LIGHT!

Last but not least, Zack Weigand shows the world what he loves about light. GO ZACK!

Okay internet – your turn.  In ONE WEEK from tomorrow, on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2010 by MIDNIGHT, a winner will be delcared, and their video posted on for all the world to see in its own post on Monday, September 27.  Contest participants, this is your time to tell the world to come and vote on your contest entry.

GET BUSY! Tell the world about your video!  Tell them to come here and vote!

VOTING: Everyone gets a vote, just choose from the list below.  RSS readers, come on over to the site and cast your vote for your favorite video!

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Let’s change the future by giving students worldwide the drive to become the next industry rockstars!

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.

STUDENTS. I’m Giving Away $500 for Books. You Just Have to Make A Video.

Lighting Students, listen up.

I posted the competition rules a while ago for the contest that I am holding for a FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR PRIZE for books and supplies (which, hey, kinda rhymes!) and the cutoff time is MIDNIGHT TONIGHT.  So far, we have two entries.  TWO.

Does no one want $500 free dollars for books? I gotta believe that this ain’t true.

The two entries that are currently in the running for $500 for books and supplies – Daphne Mir, whom we all know affectionately as @lekogirl, and Zac Weigand’s video.  Zack and Daphne are both lighting design students.  Check out Daphne‘s first:

and Zack Weigand‘s video:

The original contest video and rules:’s Fall 2010 Student Book Money Contest from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

The Fall 2010 Student Contest RULES:

  1. Make a video telling the world how you feel about the best thing ever – LIGHT!
  2. Upload the video somewhere like Youtube, Vimeo, Viddler, or somewhere else public before September 15, 2010 at midnight CST.
  3. Email Jim with the link to the video:  either jim AT jimonlight DOTCOM or


  • There is no time limit or minimum on your video.  Make it as short or as long as you like.  Just make your case.
  • Please, no naked anything.  It doesn’t help your case, and if you make it public, you better believe people are going to see it.
  • Be nice.  The world would be so much more awesome if everyone was nice and treated each other how they’d love to be treated.
  • Light Associated Media LLC and cannot be held responsible for anything you do that upsets people.  I just want to help a student.  Don’t put me in a situation where I have to make defensive decisions.  By entering the contest with your video you agree not to act like a fool and do stupid things.
  • I make final decisions on who ultimately gets my $500.

Jax’s Link-O-Rama: Goose Crap Edition

Light isn’t always a glamorous business, it’s true.  Sometimes you gotta get dirty.

Photo belongs to MistyDays.  Pretty, no?

My Rockstars. Who are YOUR Rockstars?

This is perhaps one of my favorite times of year.

This is a time where students and student designers (especially LIGHTING designers) are getting back into the swing of things in the University environment, and concepts are grabbing hold.  Brains are being developed.  The next generation of rockstar lighting people are being trained.  This is all very exciting to me.

Something that I find relatively disturbing is the answer to the following question that I have asked many high school and college age people:

Who do you look up to in lighting?  Who are your “rockstars?”

I have always been a nerd on the Nth degree – I looked up to people like Westinghouse and Edison, Niels Bohr and Robert Oppenheimer.  Yeah, I am a nerd.  Nerd is the new “passionate.”  But when you look at the things that Michael Faraday, Georg Ohm, Alessandro Volta, Francis Robbins Upton, and people like them of their times accomplished and discovered, it’s hard to call people like Brittany Spears and Taylor Swift “rockstars.”

At least to me.

The people who are getting into light and lighting now are the people who are going to lead the technological development of it tomorrow.  It’s so important to me that we not forget the work that the rockstars of today are doing (and STILL doing) to keep our industry progressing at a rapid, uncontrolled pace.  When politics and money get in the way of technological process, it still, to this day, blows my mind.  Our world LIGHT problems, like creating sustainable energy, figuring out how to better utilize incandescent light and arc sources, integrating dichroic glass into the world outside of entertainment, and the like are not problems solvable by policy and politics.  These are technological issues.  We need more technically interested people, and not policy makers to solve the issues.  Jacques Fresco, a social designer and engineer, said that we don’t need more law, we need more technological solutions.  If you’re driving down the road drunk, your car needs some sort of a system that feels the car oscillate and brings it to the side of the road to a stop – not a law that people constantly ignore, which causes death and destruction.

I found an article a while ago that sparked my feelings on this subject – Wired Magazine had an article about how the lack of nerds and geeks in our midst from the emerging young population is a national security risk.  Whereas you all know how I feel about military uses of light, I tend to agree with this assessment of the shortage of people passionate about their future.  Has the emerging population on average lost sight of the drive associated with work ethic?  Is studying for a math exam less important nowadays than seeing what’s up on Facebook?

It certainly seems like it, doesn’t it.

I had the absolute pleasure over the Memorial Day weekend to meet a man named John Covington while I was hanging out with Rick Hutton from InLight Gobos over that weekend.  John Covington is a guy who, along with Rick, was one of the initial ShowCo/Vari*Lite people from back in the 70’s and 80’s who developed a lot of the things we use in the lighting industry today, as well as, you know, the FIRST MOVING LIGHTS.  John Covington works for PRG now – he’s the guru of all things analog.

I am in Nerd Heaven when I have those excellent conversations with Rick and John about things like lasers, laser ablation (which Rick was the first to do for gobos in our industry, which is why his gobos are so damned good), the first digital programmable ballast and power supply (which, by the way, JOHN was the first to invent, like two decades ago), and other amazing technological discussions.  Hearing stories about the development of the VL1 and VL2 series, the VL5, laser gobo etching, and all that kind of stuff really, really makes me excited to be in this industry.

I look up to people all over the industries, because our industries are full of very rich and interesting history.  You also learn a thing or two when you observe a master at work.  Hell, I learned more about dance lighting design from Steve Shelley than I ever would have on my own.  I also learned ridiculous amounts of things from Richard Cadena, who is just a smart fella full of excellent insight and information.  I learned how to program a Hog from Benny Kirkham, who is one of the coolest cats I’ve ever met.  The first programming book I ever read?  A manual on lighting programming by Brad Schiller.  I saw several Metallica shows as well – products of Brad Schiller’s creativity and prowess behind the desk.  I learned from Richard Belliveau as well – I have spent more time inside of Intellabeams, Studio Spots, and Studio Colors studying the systems and figuring out what made them tick than I’d like to remember!

(Brad also helps me become more diverse when I write boring stories and post things that don’t necessarily interest the common good – thank you Brad!)

The list goes on and on.  What is important is that each and every one of these people who I look up to as a lighting professional are out there doing what they do because they love it.

You have to have heroes – rockstars – people you look up to, people that you learn from, people that you value.  When you realize that your career is more than just a job, I think that you are able to then figure out who really are your rockstars.  Most of them are very humble, and have done what they have done in the industry because, well, it is their career.  They don’t think they’re better than anyone, and they don’t have something to prove – they love their work.  Dedication to furthering a career is something that no one can give you.  You either have it or not.  I highly encourage you to find out about the people who have done the developing of your particular industry and get to know them.  You’re going to realize that you all have the same questions – and perhaps they have an answer or guidance that you would have never before realized.

If this is your industry, have respect – work hard at it.  Become a nerd about it.  It’s the only way to become the best.  The people who are currently the best want you to be the best, too.

I want to say thank you to the industry, and all of the people associated with the industry who get it.  Thank you for doing what you do, and being so damned great at it.

New Naked Visual Eye Candy!

No, no no, I don’t mean ME naked, you perverts.  Who wants to see that anyway?

I mean NAKED, the awesome visual studio and motion company out of Paris – they did the PussyCat Dolls a while ago, and they’ve just been doing some unbelievable work.  You kinda have to check out the NAKED Compagnie website!

Check this out, and check out their Vimeo feed.  Pretty great!


Thanks, Naked!