Marketing, PR, Content Production, Branding

The Fifth Estate

Archive for August, 2013

5E takes a trip to the theatre with Philips Vari*Lite!

27th August, 2013

International lighting designer Declan Randall is utilising Philips Vari-Lite’s intensely bright and versatile VL3500 Spot Luminaires and customized gobos to create impressive effects for the Johannesburg production of Starlight Express 5E is excited to hear.

“The one effect I wanted to achieve right from the beginning was to create the train tracks for the races out of light,” says Randall. “I designed a series of custom gobos consisting of straight and curved sections of train track and we used these to build the routes. For this effect to work, I knew that I would need fittings that were really bright, had excellent optics and also offered a reasonably large gobo size to facilitate the artwork’s intricate detail. The VL3500 was the obvious choice. Not only were we building the tracks, but also we would apply a number of dynamic effects to these, often using colour, to animate the racecourse. The lights needed to be punchy – we were trimming at 9m, much higher than is usual for that theatre.”

Randall explains that the desired effect of shuttered/flashing light as a train moves was an interesting starting point: “There were loads of dynamic effects in the show and there were moments where the cast would pass through rhythmic patterns of light and shade which helped to achieve the sense of motion. The director, Janice Honeyman, wanted to ensure that the narrative of the show be made clear to the audience, so there was a lot of time spent on ensuring that we focused light where it was needed for the scenes to help the audience follow the story line. The stage area was huge, so this was essential to ensure that nothing got lost. The optics in the VL3500s are superb and extremely reliable – they hit their marks consistently. The colour mixing is also quick, which meant that I was able to use several colour effects in the show as well.”

Theatre lighting supplier Gearhouse Splitbeam provided the VL3500 Spot Luminaires for the production, which played at The Mandela, Joburg Theatre. Splitbeam’s managing director, Alistair Kilbee, comments: “Starlight has always been a larger-than-life kind of production and the scale on the South African version lives up to expectations. My team has been working closely with UK-based Declan Randall who is a designer who loves to push the limits of theatre design.”

Randall adds: “Splitbeam really understands the theatre market – they always go the extra mile to ensure that the designer gets the right lights for the job and are super supportive and helpful throughout the whole process.”

“The VL3500 Spot Luminaire offers a wealth of features for lighting designers keen to create a memorable and impressive design. The 6:1 zoom optics combined with two gobo wheels and a precice shuttering system is a favorite among designers worldwide,” explains, Philips Vari-Lite Product Marketing Manager Brad Schiller.

The fixture also features CYM colour mixing, variable CTO colour temperature correction, a six-position colour wheel, separate dimmer, and an independent dual blade strobe mechanism.

Proudly built in the USA, the VL3500 Spot luminaire maintains the same high standards for imagery, beam control, color and brightness found in all Vari-Lite products. The luminaire is also the same size as all other Vari-Lite Series 3000 luminaires, providing a consistent hang configuration and appearance no matter which luminaire type is required.


5E catches Festival Fever with Avolites at Global Gathering.

22nd August, 2013

Avolites are the Fifth Estate company of choice to party with  and this year ElectricFly has deployed the lighting manufacturers consoles across this year’s Global Gathering festival – including two Sapphire Touch desks in two of the main arenas.

This was the sixth year running the Derbyshire-based company has provided production services, design, crew and show operators for the event.

Over 12 years, Global Gathering has grown into one of the UK’s leading dance music festivals. Held at Long Marston Airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon, a range of house, trance and dubstep DJs, plus live acts, entertain more than 50,000 people across the two-day event. Each dance arena is sponsored by different clubs on the Friday and Saturday nights, and this diversity is something the lighting designers are keen to reflect in their programming.

ElectricFly co-director Nick Jevons explains why he selected Avolites for the festival’s four main arenas. “Avolites are not only my desks of choice, but my operators’ also,” he says. “I know from experience how good they are for programming a dance event on the scale of Global Gathering. They allow you to be really creative on the fly. Avolites has supported us on every Global Gathering we’ve done, and this is essential to our success at the festival.

“Dance music moves at such a fast pace; you’ve got 12 hours of music, and you need a console you’re not going to get bored with, that doesn’t produce the same look throughout, something with a lot of flexibility and creativity. It’s like having a painter’s palette, it’s a great way of mixing light and colour.”

User familiarity is also a key factor to the desirability of Avolites. “Anyone who works on any of the Avolites consoles has experience of the Titan operating system,” continues Jevons. “The way you lay your console out, where you do your programming etc, is all very similar, from one model to another. For example, Toby Hogarth was using the Sapphire Touch in Arena 5, sponsored by Hospitality and and Chibuku, and he’s an Expert Pro and Tiger Touch user. I told him it would be a great opportunity to have a go on this, and he loved it. The Sapphire Touch is a bigger, more complex desk but he was perfectly happy using it. He knew exactly how it all worked, and the beauty of it is the operating system. It allows you to be creative and quick to programme, providing lots of flexibility and the ability to transfer shows across between desks. It changes what we can do all the time.”

Arena 2, the largest venue, hosted the Radio 1Xtra night on Friday and the Global night on Saturday. Here, ElectricFly’s project manager Ross Chapple worked with an ever-changing array of mainly urban acts and DJs, including Rita Ora, Wiley and Steve Aoki. Some of the live acts brought their own lighting designers, who added some new positions to what Chapple had programmed, but for the most part he was in charge of the lighting throughout the 12-hour stretches.

“It was a case of popping in lots of chases and things to keep it fresh all the way through, programming on the fly and keeping it moving,” explains Chapple. “Events like these are also great opportunities to learn how to do new things you want to achieve.”

On the Saturday night, the music in Arena 2 was faster paced, with lots of dynamic build ups and breakdowns, and here Chapple appreciated the motorised faders on the Sapphire Touch. “They allowed me to hop to another page, where I knew there was another playback, and initiate it, even if it was on the same fader as something I was using before, rather than having to release that and bring the next one in,” he says. “It’s quick, and especially good if you’ve got a big hands-in-the-air moment. You can have an infinite number of different playbacks and have them all playing at once.”

Avolites Expert Pro consoles were used in Arena 3, sponsored by UKF Bass Culture and Metropolis, and Arena 7, sponsored by House and Paradise, with Ben Hyman and Mark Jones operating respectively. Will Potts continued to tour the festival circuit with Disclosure on his Tiger Touch and Titan mobile too.

“I’ve been using Avolites consoles for the past two decades now,” says Jevons, referring to the special relationship he enjoys with the company, of which Global Gathering is a prime example. “Avolites has been so supportive of me throughout my lighting design career.”

Avolites’ Koy Neminathan comments: “We have supported Nick since the beginning of his career and have enjoyed working closely with him as he shot up quickly in the industry. Flexibility and faders were always key to Nick and when we launched the Expert Pro he was keen to jump onto the console which also included the touch wing. A proud owner, established user and a trusted friend.”


5E looks forward to Philips LED seminar in September!

22nd August, 2013

Leading LED lighting manufacturer Philips Selecon is teaming up with Oxford and Wirral -based Selecon dealer Lancelyn Theatre Supplies to present a series of Q&A sessions focusing on LED technology and The Fifth Estate will be first in line for tickets!

Running with the tagline ‘Learn Educate Discover (LED)’ the 19th September events ask, ‘What are the pros and cons of LED and can you use LED alongside tungsten?’

“Philips Selecon is collaborating with long-time partner Lancelyn to deliver number of seminars aimed at lighting designers, dealers, and industry professionals who would like to better understand the benefits and applications of these advanced LED technologies,” explains Philips Entertainment’s Key Account Manager Amber Tomlin, who will be helping deliver the seminars.

Philips Selecon already offers a comprehensive range of LED luminaires including the PLCyc1 and PLCyc2, the PLfresnel1 and the PLprofile4. All of these will be available for demo during the seminars.

The PLCyc2 features twin single source 120 watts RGBW LED engines and the PLCyc1 features a single source 120 watts RGBW LED engine. Both deliver smooth consistent colour mixing and blending capability of saturated and pastel colours. The PLCyc1 and the PLCyc2 enable stunning cyc and wash lighting effects on cycloramas up to 5m and 10m high respectively.

Already popular with theatre lighting designers who wish to avoid the issues of burned out colour and reduced output on saturated colours, the properly shaped asymmetrical reflector means that the PLCyc1 and PLCyc2 deliver consistent light distribution without the need for performance compromising vertical or horizontal spreader lenses. Not only that, all PLCyc luminaires support wireless DMX512 control, available via either Wireless Solutions, Lumen Radio, or City Theatrical formats and each optional wireless receiver also has a DMX512 out-port to control adjacent luminaires.

The most recent addition to the PL range is the PLprofile4 LED luminaire, which combines the same LED source technology as the rest of the PL range, with precision optical design to present a full feature profile spotlight. Four 120Watt high-power, RGBW LED engines deliver super-bright colour options while superior Selecon optics offer exact beam control and pattern projection.

Reg Berry from Lancelyn comments: “Over last few years LED technology has advanced at an amazing pace getting brighter and brighter every year, and we are continually being asked by our customers, venue users and venue owners what are the pro and cons of using LED stage lanterns and what is required to incorporate LED into an existing system. We are therefore extremely pleased Philips Selecon is able to work with us on these workshops and explain some of the thinking behind the Selecon range of LED luminaires. We hope this will be a unique opportunity for our customers the get hands on with the latest Philips Selecon LED lanterns and gain a better understanding of what LED can do for them and their venues.”

The Q&A sessions are scheduled for Thursday 19 September. Each will last one hour, with starts times of 14:30, 16:30, and 18:30 at Lancelyn Theatre Supplies, Electric Avenue, Ferry Hinksey Road, Oxford, OX2 0BY. To book your place email

We hope to see you there!

The Fifth Estate keeps track of Triple E’s new Erail.

22nd August, 2013

Entertainment equipment engineering specialist Triple E has supplied a custom-designed version of its aluminium Erail track for The Opera Group’s current tour of American Lulu.

Triple E – known for creating rugged track systems offering simple installation for the entertainment industry – was approached by production management and technical services company Illuminate Design’s Director Ben Payne to supply its Erail compact profile extruded aluminium track for the production. Illuminate Design has been contracted to The Opera Group for the production management of American Lulu.

“The brief from Designer Magda Willi was that the American Lulu production required a curved tab track to fit around the stage. The track needed to be rolled with some quite tight sections and had to be hung quickly and simply,” says Payne. “I went directly to Triple E as I have used their products before and I knew that they would be able to do what I wanted. Triple E’s Managing Director David Edelstein recommended his Erail product, and I took his advice.

“As we’re taking American Lulu to three very different venues – Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre, London’s Young Vic, and Austria’s Werkstattbühne – we needed Erail to be versatile enough to be installed at all three. Triple E has done a fantastic job – we have four Erail tracks running side by side and with some wizardry Triple E has designed a custom version for us so that the tracks don’t clash, and everything runs smoothly. It’s performing incredibly well, and been effortless.”

Triple E’s Georg Gehrmann was challenged with designing custom track mountings and sub assemblies to make the system break down into manageable sections for touring and to get around the problem of installation and transport restrictions. Georg comments, “Erail is a very versatile system and we enjoy producing custom made parts and special shaped layouts when required.

Erail is almost silent by virtue of ball raced nylon wheels, making it an ideal choice for small stages, conference halls, hotels, and school halls. When a cord system is required, Erail uses the standard matt black pre-stretched polyester cord is used on all Triple E tracks. Hand or motorised winches are available for operating Erail, or just a tensioned floor pulley. Erail can be rolled to any radius; the minimum is 500mm. Erail is stocked in 6.1m (20 feet) lengths.

American Lulu is an interpretation of Alban Berg’s opera Lulu by Olga Neuwirth. It is an Opera Group Production, co-produced with the Bregenzer Festspiele, Scottish Opera and the Young Vic in association with the London Sinfonietta. The tour visits Bregenz Festival, Austria 16th & 17th August; Edinburgh International Festival, 30th & 31st August; and Young Vic, London

13th – 24th September, 2013.

5E is excited as the UK takes its first order of new Philip’s Showline products.

21st August, 2013

High Wycombe-based Dry Hire Lighting has become the first UK rental house to take delivery of Showline’s new LED linear SL BAR 640 luminaire – and will soon offer the SL BAR 660 as well 5E are excited to report.

Dry Hire Lighting’s Nic Tolkien first became interested in the SL BAR 640 during the 2012 PLASA show in London: “We had been looking for the ‘next generation’ of LED batten fixtures for some time and the Showline SL BAR 640 seemed to tick all the boxes. We’ve had tremendous success over the past couple of years with the Philips Color Kinetics ColorBlaze and ColorBlaze TRX fixtures but felt that now was the time to enhance our offering and get into some of the newer technology and add a fixture with the homogenized RGBW. Of course we were very happy to be able to do this with another Philips product. The SL BAR 640 looks fantastic as a direct view fixture and is phenomenally powerful as a wash or cyc batten.”

“Being committed to providing the entertainment industry with the most innovative lighting products today, Philips Entertainment is extremely excited about the new SL BAR 640 linear luminaire – and its sister the SL BAR 660,” said Brad Schiller, Showline Product Manager.  “As part of a well-planned family designed specifically for the entertainment lighting industry, the SL BAR 640 and SL BAR 660 are designed to work seamlessly together. They feature the Harmonize Color Calibration System, which gives designers the assurance that the luminaires will match not only from fixture-to-fixture, but also pixel-to-pixel.”

Offering lighting designers a complete lighting tool, the SL BAR 660 produces 20,000 lumens of output and the SL BAR 640 produces over 13,000 lumens of output. Both luminaires also feature a 60 degree beam angle, built-in effects and chases, an auto-orienting LCD menu, multiple dimming curves and colour modes, full RDM implementation, a unique strobe control paradigm, plus industry standard Powercon in/out and 5-pin DMX connectors.

Martin Palmer, Vari-Lite & Showline Product Manager EMEA adds: “We are delighted to see respected rental operations such as DHL incorporating the SL BAR 640 and 660 into their stock. These powerful 4-foot and 6-foot RGBW linear wash luminaires deliver exceptional light output and endless creative possibilities. The Harmonize Color Calibration System and the paired module control of the pixels along with simple batten-to-batten connections also ensure the SL BAR 640 and SL BAR 660 offer maximum flexibility and ease of set up and programming for designers and technicians alike.

“Furthermore, design options are endless with smooth transitions and endless arrays of colours whether used for direct illumination or as ‘eye candy’.”

We say this about alot of lights from Philips- but can we get one for our office please?


To see a product video for the SL BAR 640 and SL BAR 660, and to learn more about the complete Showline family, log-on to the official Showline YouTube channel


Gold Standard- 5E is left awestruck by PRG this summer.

19th August, 2013

Here at the Fifth Estate we are a little bit amazed by global production specialists PRG who have collaborated with events promoter Live Nation to deliver five unique concert festivals at London’s Olympic Park, which featured some of the world’s biggest artists.

PRG supplied an all-encompassing production solution delivering lighting, rigging, and staffing for the live shows, which ran on consecutive weekends from the end of June and into July 2013.

The programme included Hard Rock Calling (29-30 June), Summer Stampede featuring Mumford and Sons (6 July), Wireless Festival (12-14 July), Boris Johnson’s Go Local event (19 July) and the Electric Daisy Carnival (20 July).

PRG’s Account Director, Yvonne Donnelly Smith notes that each of the Live Nation events featured entirely different music styles: “We were briefed to deliver a super-flexible design solution that would work both creatively and practically across all events and lend itself to the differing acts. This design would form the backbone of all the events but would have the capacity to be further supplemented with additional fixtures as each event demanded. The end goal was that each would have its own unique character and look.”

PRG supplied a mammoth amount of kit and crew for all four stages at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: “The whole event demanded 19 trucks of kit, 35 crew and a six strong PRG Event Team who were on site throughout,” continues Donnelly Smith. “Festival specialist, Gordon Torrington, one of PRG’s Event Team was in charge for PRG. Gordon designed and co-ordinated the flow of equipment to site as well as managing the crew schedules. In addition we had a team of crew chiefs that worked with Torrington on each stage. On Main Stage was Ben Holdsworth while Sam Healey organised Stage 2. Alex Peters was crew chief and operator for Stage 3, while Stage 4 sat in the capable hands of Dana Read.”

Hard Rock Calling used the Main Stage plus 2 and 3, Wireless and Electric Daisy employed all four, whereas Mumford and Sons and Boris Johnson’s event used the Main Stage only.

Torrington explains the approach: “Practically speaking we looked at the events as one single large-scale, long-term event. Each stage was designed to offer maximum flexibility to each of the headline act’s designers. Kasabian’s LD Nick Gray, who had a white theme, added some trusses and winches. This was in complete contrast to Bruce Springsteen’s Rock and Roll event the following night. The main stage was designed to suit the headline acts’ spec as closely as possible. For the Wireless weekend, Nick Whitehouse, LD for Justin Timberlake and JAY Z, added 200 Vari-Lite fixtures, 115 Clay Paky Sharpys and 38 Alpha Beam 700s. Nick had a different design for each of night of the Wireless weekend. Ben Holdsworth, who meticulously planned the huge overnight changeovers, comments: “The changeovers were a beautiful thing. All that was missing was a backing track and the changeover ballet would have been complete!”

Reflecting the stature of the main stage performers, PRG prescribed a lighting rig capable of producing dramatic results, regardless of the time of day. It included 53 Clay Paky Sharpys, 24 Clay Paky Sharpy Wash 330s, 20 GLP Impression X4s, 12 Vari-Lite VL3500 Spots and eight VL3500 Washes, 20 GS Beam 5Rs, 20 8-Lite Blinders , 38 4Lite Blinders and 30 Martin Atomic Strobes .

Stage Two’s design was primarily influenced by the dance acts that would perform at Electric Daisy and Wireless. “I used Clay Paky products – Alpha Beam, Spot and Wash 700s,” reveals Torrington. “The brief expanded when MTV submitted plans to film Wireless for broadcast. Tim Routledge came on board and added a mixture of ETC Source 4s, Vari-Lite VL1000 AS, GLP and his own PATT 203 – bringing a good size and very visual floor package to the stage.”

In fact, when moving from Wireless into Electric Daisy, the team worked with the festival’s Steve Lieberman who bolstered the rig with over 500 fixtures – from SGM, PixelRange, Clay Paky, Vari-Lite and ETC.

The focuses on stages three and four were far broader, with programmes that included everything from acoustic and vocal only to dub step and trance. “I used par cans from the front truss with a warm colour mix,” continues Torrington. “As well as the new GLP Spot One and GLP Wash one fixtures from PRG. These are LED source wash and spotlights with gobo wheels. They’re very impressive in that environment – bright with a good selection of colours. Together they can create lovely big looks for the more mellow acts and still change colour, and strobe with the best of them for the faster acts.”

Crowds flocked to the events in the tens of thousands, drawn by the entertainment and curious to check out how the Olympic infrastructure was being re-shaped. As audience numbers grew, so the pressure on every part of the production element increased. For PRG, meticulous preparations would provide the backbone for anything unexpected. The planning paid off and it turned out to be a smooth run of shows.

“There were very few challenges between events to be honest,” recalls Torrington. “Successful delivery is all about the pre-production and planning.”

“We started this process with Live Nation’s Production Manager Neil McDonald early in January,” elaborates Donnelly Smith. “Much time and energy was invested well before we arrived on site. This year the biggest was Wireless Festival. We were lucky enough to have the pleasure of LD Nick Whitehouse who ran all three headline acts for Wireless using our house rig and a further 3.5 trucks of lights from PRG. We used PRG’s BAT pre rig truss to fly the extra five trusses, all of which were used as a back wall of lighting. Each night it changed shape so using this allowed us to complete the change over in a matter of hours, thus still allowing Nick some dark time to focus. He then carried on the programming the following morning using our on-site WYSIWYG suit.”

The results left audiences spellbound. Wireless’s grand finale saw a two-and-a-half hour set from global superstars Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake, joined by Rihanna. If anyone was in doubt about whether the stadium could provide a platform for world-class musical entertainment, the sight of those three artists on stage left little room for dubiety.

Also, for PRG, the gigs proved to be an outright triumph. Through a well-planned production solution, which struck the balance between creativity and functionality, the company delivered a series of events that varied wildly in style. With no blueprint to work from, PRG relied on its experience and expertise, the quality of its equipment and its first class crew to ensure thousands of attendees enjoyed some unforgettable moments.

It is rare at that we at The Fifth Estate are left speechless, but the scale of these events certainly took our breath away – hey we wonder if they do birthdays, hmm probably not!

The Fifth Estate jets off to Mediatech in South Africa!

19th August, 2013

The Fifth Estate witnessed first hand the continuing success of Philips Entertainment in South Africa following a hugely successful Mediatech in collaboration with Johannesburg-based dealer DWR Distribution.

Philips’ four premier brands – Philips Selecon, Showline, Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Vari-Lite, – are all reporting a rise in sales to major dealers and rental houses in South Africa.

Long-time Philips Entertainment lighting supporter Duncan Riley of DWR went all-out at Mediatech to create a visually spectacular stand, featuring an hourly repeating, six-minute light show designed and programmed by renowned South African lighting designer Joshua Cutts.

“Philips’ four major brands were given equal coverage for the light show, including a demo of the new VLX software with cool mapping, and the VL880 Spots, although the star of the show was definitely the SL NITRO 510,” explains Duncan Riley, managing director of DWR Distribution. “We demoed these using 12 units rigged in the arched truss of the stand, as well as via a single unit on display. This definitely raised the eyebrows of many customers – it was a real attention grabber!”

Joshua Cutts agrees: “The NITRO’s modular control and brightness were the main features for me. I loved the way I could do subtle low intensity effects between modules and then suddenly turn the FX into a powerful strobe. I really enjoyed the NITRO so I can’t wait to give them another run on the next show.

“The VLXs are also a world class wash light but the new modular control of the cells gives it a funky new feature, allowing me to create some very cool effects with them,” continues Cutts. “In addition the VL880, like all spots from Phillips Entertainment, has great optics with a massive zoom range. I mainly used them for gobo work.”

Grant Bales Smith, senior sales manager EMEA for Philips Entertainment, confirms that: “We were hugely impressed with the attention to detail, investment and creativity that Duncan Riley and his team from DWR put into their stand design. Joshua Cutt’s certainly had his work cut out but we felt he showcased our luminaires brilliantly. In fact, so successful was the show that DWR has already purchased thirteen SL NITRO 510s, and MGG Productions has twelve. And, I am delighted to confirm, that plans for further investment are imminent.”

On stand the SL NITRO 510, provided intense bursts of light and dynamic effects via more than 1,300 high-powered LEDs. “The SL NITRO 510 is more versatile than any other strobe on the market,” explains Brad Schiller, Showline product marketing manager. “It uses less power than traditional strobes, yet is extremely bright at over 68,000 lumens. It features six programmable zones that enable designers to create a multitude of looks. The luminaire can also be used as an intense light source. It possesses the exceptional ability of a continuous duty cycle, which means they can be on at full for near unlimited time without any loss in output. And, for easy flexible configuration, they include a built-in quick-connect system that allows them to connect in both horizontal and vertical orientations.”

Cutts also used a number of Vari-Lite VLX luminaires and demoed the recently released Indy software for the VLX Wash luminaire to great effect. The software enables individual control of the fixture’s seven 120-watt RGBW LED engines. This facilitates a multitude of stunning looks and original chases to be programmed on the face of the luminaire, further enhancing the creative possibilities of this industry leading LED fixture.

Further enhancing the rig capability was the VL880 Spot luminaire – complete with all of the optical quality and functionality designers have come to expect from Vari-Lite. It’s small, lightweight, and fast. The 800-watt MSR Platinum 35 lamp delivers impressive lumen output and the luminaire features a zoom range from 15º to 36º and a mechanical iris for continuous beam control. It also provides brilliant colour mixing with its three-wheel CYM colour assembly. Combine this with fixed colours, rotating gobos, independent zoom and frost and you have almost limitless output abilities.

DWR also provided a dedicated booth for all other Philips Entertainment brand products. On show from Vari-Lite was the new VL3015LT Spot luminaire, with its unprecedented 42,000 lumens of output with an unmatched 10:1 zoom optics system, plus industry standard luminaires such as VL3500 Wash, VL3000 Spot, VL2500 Spot and VL2500 Wash.

Also on stand was the new PLCyc2 and PLprofile4 LED profile from Selecon. Other Selecon luminaires include Acclaim and Rama Fresnels, Acclaim Axial Zoom Spot, SPX ellipsoidals, and more.

On show from Philips Strand Lighting was the versatile 250ML moving light control console – an evolution of the popular Strand series 200 console. Ideal for smaller productions it can take care of a hybrid of lighting instruments. Alongside this was the Light Palette VL16 console.

Philips Vari-Lite and DWR also partnered to supply a museum of lighting technology at MediaTech with Classic Vari-Lite fixtures and controllers such as the VL2C, VL4, VL5 and more.

Mediatech reported that around 6,500 tech savvy key decision makers walked through the doors of Johanneburg’s Coca Cola Dome to experience the latest trends in advanced technology, broadcasting, pro AV and entertainment. DWR was one of 120 exhibitors that gave visitors a dynamic and unique spread of technical products and services, which combined represented over 800 brands.

It was fantastic for The Fifth Estate to visit South Africa again, we are beginning to see it as our home away from home- wonderful country, wonderful people!

Light Up! The Fifth Estate can’t wait to see the new Phillip’s luminaires at IBC next month.

19th August, 2013

The Fifth Estate are buzzing in excitement! We can’t wait to see Philips Entertainment’s groundbreaking new luminaires at it powers up its premier lighting brands – Selecon, Showline and Strand Lighting – at IBC 2013 (Hall 11, Stand G81) from 13-17 September at Amsterdam’s RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Representatives from each of the Philips brands will be on-stand to demonstrate the full range of professional media and entertainment luminaires and control products including the PL range of LED luminaires from Philips Selecon. Ideal for TV Studios, small theatre, museums and multipurpose venues the PLCyc2 offers twin single source 120 watts RGBW LED engines (the PLCyc1 offers a single source 120 watts RGBW LED engine), which enables truly inventive, totally consistent colour mixing for stunning cyc and wash lighting effects.

“Offering a smooth, even beam, the PLCyc1 and PLCyc2 seamlessly blend intense washes of colour on cycloramas up to 5m high and 10m high respectively,” says Selecon’s senior sales manager Grant Bales-Smith. “Using LED source technology combined with a properly shaped asymmetrical reflector, the PLCyc1 and PLCyc2 deliver consistent light distribution without requiring the compromising performance of vertical or horizontal spreader lenses. Not only that all PLCyc luminaires support wireless DMX512 control, available via Wireless Solutions. Each optional wireless receiver also has a DMX512 out-port to control adjacent luminaires.”

In addition, the new PLprofile4 LED luminaire will join the PL LED lighting range, including the PLfresnel1 and the PLprofile1. The PLprofile4 combines the same LED source technology, which is applied across the PL range, with precision optical design. Four 120Watt high-power, RGBW LED engines deliver super-bright colour options with exact beam control and pattern projection.

Joining the PL range will be Selecon’s already popular, broadcast-focused Studio Panel. This offers a compact lightweight LED solution that is designed for both studio and location use. Units feature tunable white colour temperature control from 3000K to 6000K – making it ideal for a wide range of lighting applications. Requiring just 50 watts, the unit will operate on AC or DC voltage. The battery power input is designed to allow location operation using industry standard batteries. Plus, a range of specialist holographic diffusers can provide beam angle control with minimal light loss.

Complementing the Philips Selecon range on stand will be the highly acclaimed Showline range including the SL NITRO 510 LED strobe. This unique fixture delivers super bright, intense bursts of light and dynamic effects via over 1300 high-powered LEDs. Not only that, its continuous ‘on’ operation along with six unique zones of control allow total flexibility, while unique built in chases aid creativity and simplicity.

With over 68,000 lumens of output, the SL NITRO 510 rivals conventional strobes and retains dynamic looks whether washing a stage or pointing directly at an audience. Additionally several other Showline products will be on display including the SL BAR 660, SL BAND 300, SL PAR 150 ZOOM and more.

Showline will also be exhibiting its new SL BAR 640: Offering designers a complete lighting tool, the SL BAR 640 produces over 13,000 lumens of output and features a 60 degree beam angle, built-in effects and chases, an auto-orienting LCD menu, multiple dimming curves and colour modes, full RDM implementation, a unique strobe control paradigm, plus industry standard Powercon in/out and 5-pin DMX connectors. The 4-foot SL BAR 640 delivers exceptional light output and endless creative possibilities.

Finally, offering control that can easily cope with a hybrid of luminaires, Philips Strand Lighting will be exhibiting the versatile 250ML moving light control console – an evolution of the popular Strand series 200 console. It features four encoders and an LCD display screen for quick and easy automated lighting and LED control making it ideal for smaller productions using a range of lighting instruments and sources.

“The 250ML is already proving itself to be an ideal lighting control solution for multi-purpose venues, smaller TV Studios and smaller theatres,” comments Grant Bales Smith, Senior Sales Manager for Philips Entertainment EMEA. “We have had a great response from customers and end users since its launch at shows including: Frankfurt, PLASA Focus, Showtech, ABTT and Mediatech South Africa. We’re therefore very excited to be able to show off the console for show visitors to experience at IBC.”

“Today Philips Entertainment is leading the entertainment lighting industry in the design, development and manufacture of innovative, efficient and versatile theatre, concert and display luminaires alongside control and power and signal distribution,” adds Graham Eales, Philips Selecon’s general manager. “As ever we’re delighted to be able to take the opportunity to demonstrate the latest additions to our range of both traditional tungsten and cutting edge LED fixtures, and lighting control to a professional and discerning audience.”

What can we say? Beautiful lights, beautiful city- it will definitely light our week up- see you there!

BC’s 2013 exhibition takes place at Amsterdam RAI from 13-17 September.

Music to our Ears – Charcoalblue’s Managing Partner made Companion of LIPA

8th August, 2013

The Fifth Estate are very excited to see that forward-thinking theatre design consultancy Charcoalblue’s Managing Partner Andy Hayles has been made a Companion of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts!

Hayles was awarded the honour – an accolade given for outstanding achievement in the performing arts, and practical contribution to students’ learning – by Sir Paul McCartney at LIPA’s summer 2013 graduation ceremony.

‘It’s been my privilege to contribute to the fantastic Theatre and Performance Technology Course at LIPA over the last few years. Not only are the students highly motivated, but Richard Redrop the course director has woven a fantastic series of seminars together covering auditoria design, acoustics and emerging technology. I am very proud to be play a small part is the course’s success!’

LIPA is one of the United Kingdom’s leading institutions for performing arts and offers a wealth of courses including acting, sound technology, and theatre and performance technology and design.

‘Principal Mark Featherstone-Witty places a particular emphasis on preparing students for the real world. Whether they are music technologists, stage managers or designers there are no ivory towers in Liverpool! As well as nurturing skill and creativity, each student is prepared to be resourceful, persistent and personable; values that are highly prized in the industry. I certainly learn a lot from the students to bring back to my team at Charcoalblue!’

Other leading figures from the entertainment industry were also honoured at the event, including DJ and producer Mark Ronson, veteran US record label boss Seymour Stein, and Olivier award-winning choreographer Stephen Mears.

‘The day was particularly special for me as the City of Liverpool has been very kind to Charcoalblue. We have contributed to five projects in the City. So graduating in the Phil (a building we are currently refurbishing with Emma King and Caruso St John Architects) which is located on the same street as the Liverpool Everyman Theatre, due to open early next year, was a delight. And I’m still not sure I’m worthy to share a stage with Gemma Bodinetz, the Everyman’s wonderful Artistic Director, Sir Paul McCartney and the other esteemed LIPA Companions – but I think I got away with it on the day!’

Andy has seventeen years’ experience in theatre consultancy, including two years as a director of Theatre Projects Consultants. He was co-founder of Charcoalblue in 2004 and is the Managing Partner of the Partnership.

Some of Andy’s past and current projects include the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Transformation, and Courtyard Theatre, RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon; National Theatre Studio and the NT Shed, London; Old Vic Theatre, Bristol; Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse; National Theatre Future Project, London; Camden Roundhouse, London; Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square; Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester; Young Vic Theatre, London, St Ann’s Warehouse, NYC, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

….And perhaps The Fifth Estate’s office?….


01273 660784

12-14 The High Street,