Travis Bedard and Will Hollis Storm Kansas City and USITT (Changing Color Temperatures Where They Go)

Two of my favorite Twits (wait, that’s not right) are @travisbedard and @willhollis.  They drove all the way from Austin to hang out with everybody, and we all had an awesome time.  I’m only sad because I had to leave a day early.  This just solidifies the fact that we now have to make it a priority to get everybody altogether at the same time.

Will and Travis, thanks for making the effort.  You guys rock.

Five Decades of Lighting – USITT 2010 Lighting Commission Special Exhibit – Consoles Edition

One of the more awesome things I saw this year at USITT was the Lighting Commission’s exhibit on lighting equipment history – “Five Decades of Lighting.”  Todd Proffitt (@tm204) and Josh Williamson (@joshwilliamson) were involved with this exhibit, and I think they did an outstanding freaking job of putting it together.  I’m sure I’m not including many people who worked to make the thing happen, but nice exhibit!  I broke this up into two posts:  one on consoles, and another post tomorrow on fixtures and other equipment.

You might notice that these images of lighting control surfaces is not in any kind of chronological order – this is actually intentional.  Take a look and see if you can identify some of the characteristics of the various consoles over the course of the years.

The “Five Decades of Lighting” exhibit had fixtures, dimming, and consoles from the last five decades.  It was pretty great to actually get my hands on an old Light Palette Two – what nice wood detail work!  Can I order a Hog III with the cherry and maple inlay?

Also, it was awesome meeting Fred Foster from ETC and hearing him tell stories about the first consoles he designed, and the funny little tidbits he was sharing.  You’re pretty cool, Fred Foster!

Check out a quick video I made of the console section, followed by a ton of images.  Literally.

USITT’s 2010 Lighting Commission Special Exhibit – 5 Decades of Lighting – Consoles from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

The Strand 300 Series lighting console (I’m a big fan of the Strand 520i from back in the day):

the Obsession I (before it became the Obsession II):

a Luxtrol autotransformer unit.  Come on, you’ve seen these, yeah?  We always had one in undergrad powering the tech table lighting:

“That’s not a lighting desk.  THIS is a lighting desk!”  (the Light Palette Two).  I mean, literally a desk.  You can also fly the Starship Enterprise with that console:

Light Palette Two built-in keyboard:

The Light Palette Two, front side:

Lighting Methods, Inc’s little two-scene preset:

The Kliegl Performer – yes, that’s a cassette tape:

an old Kliegl Bros 2-scene preset, and a Century Lighting Edkotron controller:

Everybody knows the Express series – here’s a 250:

The ETC Vision – also see the Microvision FX, which wasn’t at the show, but you could hear the jubilant cries of “MICROVISION FX!” from the conventiongoers:

The ETC Idea – another of the early ETC desks that people came to know and love:

The ETC Eos – so sleek!

This thing – this is amazing.  This is the ETC ELC (Entertainment Lighting Control)

USITT 2010 – Kansas City Pics from the Show Floor

The view from the hotel room in Kansas City – as far as midwest hotel scenes goes, not too bad!

I’m back from USITT 2010.  I had a very huge fun time, most of it with the great readers of  I’m constantly saying that readers ROCK, and this last week I was reminded just how much you all rock.  I met so many people that I have only known digitally, and got to see people that I haven’t seen in a while.  An awesome week, to be sure.

Oh yeah, and I took a mega-ultra-super-metric-ton of photos and video.  Get ready.  Here’s a taste:

The illustrious @a_mandolin holding one of Luxim‘s wonderful LIFI sources at the excellent SeaChanger booth.  I love my Toms!

Electronic Theatre Controls‘ CEO Fred (Foster) and Bobblehead Fred:

The line for the Mag Lite giveaway – holy cow were those things popular!

Evening Kansas City from my hotel room window:

Amanda Lynne playing in City Theatrical‘s fake snow:

More of the Mag Lite line – wow, indeed, again:

Everybody’s favorite @LekoGirl with Bobblehead Fred:

This guy, @aronaltmark, is rapidly becoming one of my favorite guys:

People flocking to Amanda Lynne:

Jim (OnLight) trying to look thug next to @NoahCraft looking thug next to @JimOnLight:

Stay tuned.  More to come!

USITT Opens in A Few Hours

That’s right.  It’s not even open yet, but we’re all here feeling our absolute best and waiting for it to start.

I’m still a bit amazed that Sally Struthers is the keynote for USITT’s 50th Anniversary show – mostly for relevance’s sake and all – but I didn’t come all the way up here for Sally.  I came up here to meet and appreciate the thousands of students and readers who are here and ready to expand their minds.

The Gaff Dress Challenge is also going to be in full effect today, and our lovely participants are ready to show the dresses that they’ve made completely from gaff – I’ll be snapping photos and getting some video ASAP.  Stay tuned – and if you’re here, look for the bald guy with the t-shirt!

The 2010 Gaff Dress Challenge!

Whoa.  It’s like three weeks away!  I have to ask, where in the world did January and February 2010 go?!  Wasn’t it just Christmas?

The last six days have been some of the busiest of the last few years.  At one point last week I felt like I was busier than when I wrote my Master’s thesis.  That will make sense to a lot of people out there, methinks.

A news bump – coming up at a little Theatre Technology conference coming up March 31-April 3 in Kansas City, MO:

@lekogirl vs. @a_mandolin for 2010 – who will throw down next year?  Who has the creativity to take 2010?

There will be an event at USITT that will be a Gaff Tape Prom-type deal, but we’re working on having it offsite of the conference center.  Stay tuned.  Aww yeah.

The Gaff Tape Dress Showdown


Two of my favorite Twitter folks, @lekogirl and @a_mandolin, are gonna be having a showdown using Gaffer’s Tape to make a dress of some sort.  For those of you who don’t know gaff tape, it’s what we use in the lighting industry (and in pretty much all over facets of entertainment) as the duct tape for everything.

These rocking chicas are going to use it to fight it out, homemade dress style.

It is so on.  The bar is high – here’s @lekogirl’s color filter dress from LDI 2009:


But watch out…  @a_mandolin brings this to the ring:



I am throwing $20 USD into the winner’s pot for this competition. If you’re interested in donating to the 2010 Gaff Dress Challenge, get a hold of me through the contact form.  Any kind of donation (money or otherwise) is great.  I’m trying to make this worthwhile for these two talented ladies!

The rules are simple:

  1. The main fabric of the dress can be gaff tape.
  2. Yes, you may use non-gaff tape for fasteners, boning for corsets, zippers, whatever.  Make sure to ask first.
  3. The dress must rule the school.

Easy!  The end of this gaff tape dress-off will be at USITT 2010.  More details as they emerge.

Get ready, we’re going to get our faces rocked off.


I just got a press release from Patricia at Electronic Theatre Controls in Middleton, WI about the USITT Conference that’s happening in March.  Are you going to USITT this year?  Check ETC’s booth out, and if you need a conference pass, read the release!

ETC at USITT 2009: New LEDs, lighting control console, and student opportunities!

Middleton, WI (27 February 2009) — When the doors open at this year’s USITT, in Cincinnati, March 19th, 2009, students will rush the ETC booth in greater numbers than before. Always a show favorite, ETC’s booth (#1100) will pack them in this year as the company exhibits their new LED product line publicly for the first time, unveils a brand-new lighting control console, and stages some phenomenal student opportunities.

The riot of people at the ETC booth will be viewing a riot of color — from ETC’s new SeladorTM Series x7 Color SystemTM LED fixtures. ETC waited to get into LEDs until LEDs could be real stage lights, offering a color quality and light output that would blend with and complement the gel colors of professional lighting rigs. Energy-saving and beautiful, the Selador Series’ PalettaTM, LustrTM and VividTM LED fixtures offer cool and warm hues, saturated colors, bright white light, and finally – natural-looking light for skin tones.

Getting back to lighting-control basics, but with cutting-edge innovation, ETC will reveal the newest console in the award-winning Eos® family. Designed for modest rigs dominated by conventional lights and a need for more hands-on fader control, this new board contains a roster of lighting-control fundamentals. Channel faders, submasters, cue lists, effects, plus control of devices like motorized accessories for conventional lights, LEDs and small numbers of moving lights – all the right, user-friendly tools for smaller venues such as schools relying on single board operators and volunteer staffs.

ETC recognizes that USITT is a critical career-networking opportunity for students and educators. As a free resource this year they will provide a special on-site service center: the unique ETC-sponsored Portfolio Workspace to help people make last-minute adjustments and updates to their portfolios and résumés. Located in the ETC Connect lounge [Duke 252 room], the Portfolio Workspace will provide all the finessing tools needed, including Mac and PC computers (loaded with Microsoft Office®, Photoshop®, Vectorworks®, and AutoCAD® Lite), plus CD burners and blank CDs, color printers, and layout tools — like cutting boards and rulers. Not to mention quality résumé and photo paper, inserts, slip covers, labels, colored pencils, glue sticks, and more. ETC will even provide card stock for generating business cards, as well as 17×22 photo-quality prints — all free. ETC’s popular mentors Doug Tuttrup and Durrell Ramer will be on hand for on-the-spot portfolio advising.

And, as every year at USITT, ETC will host their standing-room-only famed Student Session, where students have the chance to meet ETC and ask good questions for great swag prizes. And, if all that’s not enough – students will have the chance to win one of three sleek professional portfolio cases. The date and time to put into cell-phone calendars: ETC Student Session, ETC USITT booth #1100, at the close of the show, approximately 5:00pm, Friday, March 20th, 2009. To attend, students must stop by the ETC booth or ETC Connect Lounge ahead of time to receive a VIP Student Pass that allows them to remain on the show floor after show hours.

Applications for ETC’s LDI Student-Sponsorship will also be available at the ETC booth, as well as free USITT-exclusive ETC Selador T-shirts — destined to be some of ETC’s coolest collectible tees yet (and available only as long as quantities last!).

ETC also reminds people that free USITT show floor passes are available from ETC and USITT. Follow this link: and enter ETC1100 in VIP Code box.