Lighting Industry Oral History Interviews, from NAMM

I was kinda blown away the other day looking at the Rusty Brutsche and Jim Bornhorst interviews on the NAMM website, so I dug a bit further.  There are dozens of interviews there!  Not just for us photon ninjas, but from audio and industry parents who helped make our work an industry.  I’m a big believer in learning from the past to solidify the present and improve the future.

I personally find learning about things that I am most passionate about most effectively comes from hearing others talk about it.  Passion FOR a subject when discussing a subject makes it 100 times easier to absorb the material that you’re hearing, and it makes the people talking about their subject even more in tune with how badly you want to learn.  I went to a USITT a handful of years ago where Peter Morse talked about his career, and a lot of the things he talked about were his life experiences — that makes for one amazing presentation!

Check out some of these outstanding Pro Audio/DJ Oral History Interviews from NAMM, I picked out the lighting industry specific ones — I wasn’t disappointed, these videos are awesome!

Bob See
8/5/1947 to 2/10/2015, Requiescat en Pace

Bob See -- NAMM Oral History

Ralph-Joerg Wezorke
Founder of LightPower

Ralph-Joerg Wezorke NAMM Oral History

Lori Rubenstein
ESTA — Entertainment Services and Technology Association

Lori Rubenstein NAMM Oral History

Patrick Stansfield
12/19/1943 to 10/27/2014, Requiescat en Pace


Jim Bornhorst
Co-Founder, SHOWCO


Rusty Brutsche
Co-Founder, SHOWCO

Victor Pavona
President, ETA Systems

The entire directory of video Oral History is found here on the NAMM site, and the DJ/Pro Lighting directory is here; this is by far not an exhaustive selection!

Rhinos are NOT Fat Unicorns: Superbowl 52 LX System Plot

I’m glad to post a really cool system diagram PDF — PRG‘s lighting network from Superbowl 52!  Uh, I mean Superbowl LII.

The Conti and the JimOnLight

Chris Conti, PRG’s Product Manager (for all kinds of badass entertainment lighting equipment like Bad Boy, Best Boy, Ground Control, et al) and Drawer of All Things Amazing shared this with me this morning — it is oh so important as lighting designers to not only MAKE a Notes Box, but to READ the Notes Box.  It is where we have our most fun.  A lot of times, as is evident in the famous Van Halen tour rider about the brown M&Ms, the Notes field is a place where you can NOT read it and really, really terribly screw up a show.  That’s why I always highly recommend reading that Notes Box, future and current lighting folk!

Here’s the Superbowl LII Notes Box:

Lighting NOTES Box for Superbowl LII

And perhaps just as importantly, it is CRITICAL to have some FUN with your plots.  Hence, I give you Pete’s Previz of Pleasure:

Pete's Previz of Pleasure!

Please feel free to download the PDF, it’s located here and below:

Superbowl 52 PRG Lighting Systems Network Diagram — right click and save as, check it out and learn something new!

Also, a TIME LAPSE of the whole Halftime Show, in under a minute!

Also, a note on Superbowl LII’s Halftime Show itself…

Superbowl LII Halftime Show Lighting System Diagram

I learned through the grapevine that there was to be a whole monster mess of pyro at this year’s Superbowl Halftime Show.  Installed, rehearsed, reinstalled, re-rehearsed, and one thing was discovered with all of the pyro and all of the smoke that was generated by the pyro…  US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis does not have the appropriate air handling facilities to evacuate the massive amounts of smoke generated by all of the pyro planned to be used on the show — and since the venue could not evacuate the smoke, the pyro was cut the day of the show.  The smoke itself caused massive potential issues with massive amounts of variables, and the effects were cut in order to benefit the production as a whole.

People have been very critical of this year’s show — people in our industry — and I don’t have a show that even PALES in comparison to the monster that this was; I commend the paid crew of around 300 or so people, and the VOLUNTEER crew of around 300 people for plugging enough connections and placing lighting carts in their proper places in about 6 minutes, and then striking all of it in another six minutes once it was done.

Remember:  just because you didn’t design it doesn’t mean it’s poop.  Remember also, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes that is so far out of your purview for a reason, and all of those variables — from dock sizes to entrance and exit paths to temperatures and conditions — all participate in their own way to making a show.

My congratulations for a megashow that was loaded in, performed, loaded out, and pulled off in literally no time.