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Archive for January, 2016

Triple E ModTruss provides strong and versatile solution at the Royal Opera House

26th January, 2016

UK – Track expert Triple E’s ‘universal building system’, ModTruss, has provided an incredibly strong and versatile solution to fly a powerfully bright 18kW Arrimax HMI head in an arc over the stage for the world premiere performances of ‘Morgen und Abend’ at London’s Royal Opera House.

The opera Morgen und Abend (Morning and Evening) is by Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas and is a co-commission and co-production between The Royal Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin. Award-winning Norwegian author, poet and playwright Jon Fosse provided the libretto.

The production team approached Hertfordshire-based ‘theatre magicians’ Lamp & Pencil to devise a solution for flying the Arrimax HMI head in a moving yoke across the stage to represent the path of the sun.

The vertical movement of the lamp is achieved with the existing flying system at the venues. The horizontal movement is realised with tracks on a frame with a carriage driven by existing point hoists.

The ModTruss sections were combined with Triple E’s Unibeam, carriers and other standard components and required very little custom metalwork. Triple E managed the project, designed and built the mechanical elements.

“For the mechanical side of the project, ModTruss was our first thought,” says Lamp & Pencil’s Robin Barton. “ModTruss not only gave us flexibility for adjusting the length but also incredible strength which allows for fewer pick up points. We were very impressed with the ease of assembly and the strength and flexibility offered.”

Cable management required some careful consideration. The team had to get DMX data, accessory power and lamp power to the head as well as find somewhere to put a 50kg ballast unit.

“After investigating our options, we selected the Igus e-chain product to provide the required cable management, protection and segregation at a low weight and with very quiet operation,” Barton continues. “When large cables are carrying around 90A at 225V DC, you need to be sure that they are well ventilated, sufficiently supported and do not bend too tightly – the cable chain achieves all of those. The cable chain runs in a trough which has to remain straight and level to ensure correct operation. Fixing this to traditional truss could have been tricky but the holes in the ModTruss made positioning adjustable brackets easy and the flat sides held them straight.”

The ends of the chain were terminated with bespoke enclosures containing connectors to allow quick connection and disconnection of all the lines.
Triple E ModTruss at ROH 4
“With the ModTruss structure we were able to produce a gap of 1′ between two runs of laminated 6″ ModTruss which fitted our ballast perfectly,” Barton explains. “The ballast is positioned at the stage left end where it is close to the proscenium bridge which allows a technician to access the controls if required.”

The ModTruss system, best described as ‘full size Meccano’, features a lightweight aluminium construction and a repetitious hole pattern and the ability to fix on all 6 sides, meaning applications are practically unlimited. The ModTruss product line lends itself to create endless configurations using standard accessories, and makes ideas that once took extensive custom design and fabrication to be constructed incredibly simply, easily, and speedily.
Triple E ModTruss at ROH 5
Morgen und Abend opens in April 2016 at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

“Another huge selling point of ModTruss is that at the end of the production, the kit can be dismantled and there will be a pile of stock components that can be used on other shows,” says Barton. “The Berlin production offers a narrower stage, and ModTruss provides the versatility to recreate, reuse and repurpose in another venue with ease.”

Morgen und Abend was directed by Graham Vick, with Richard Hudson as designer and Giuseppe Di lorio as lighting designer.

The Knight of Illumination Awards 2016 is off to a flying start

26th January, 2016

UK – The Knight of Illumination Awards (KOI) 2016 has launched and submissions are already coming in for its Television and Concert Touring and Events categories.

This year marks the 9th KOI Awards, which celebrates the creative talents of international lighting and digital content designers working in the UK in the sectors of TV, Theatre and Concert Touring and Events.

The 2016 edition will see the event moved from its usual date in early October to the 18th September to coincide with the PLASA London 2016 exhibition. The venue for the sparkling awards ceremony and dinner has also moved to join the PLASA show at its new location of Kensington Olympia.

Submissions are open for the Television and Concert Touring and Events categories and shows performed or broadcast between 1st August 2015 and 31st July 2016 in the UK are eligible. As with previous years the Theatre section can only be nominated by the judging panel.

Crucially, KOI continues to run as a pan industry event, generously sponsored by a broad spectrum of manufacturing and service companies connected to the lighting industry and kindly supported by important industry organisations and the press. Award winning lighting designer and coordinator of the KOI Awards Durham Marenghi explains:

“In nine years KOI has established itself as a much coveted lighting and video industry award, respected for truly celebrating the art and creativity of lighting, video and show design. This year we are looking forward to strengthening our partnership with PLASA. We are confident that PLASA London 2016 will be a crucial platform for bringing together lighting industry professionals from all sectors of the industry and all parts of the world.”

The KOI Awards was conceived and is organised by lighting manufacturer, Clay Paky, along with the STLD (Society of Television Lighting and Design), the ALD (Association of Lighting Designers) and Durham and Jennie Marenghi. The event itself is produced and managed by The Fifth Estate Ltd, which also handles KOI’s marketing and PR.

Today, the KOI Awards continues to forge ever-closer ties between lighting and video designers – at all stages of their careers – and the lighting and digital content design, service and manufacturing industry as a whole.

Submissions can be made for TV and Concert Touring by visiting the KOI website. A panel of industry experts from each sector assess every entry. The shortlists will be announced in late August.

In addition The Enrico Caironi Lifetime Recognition Award will be presented to an individual whose passion for the industry has gone above and beyond the call of duty, in turn benefiting their colleagues, the industry and the wider world.

Last year’s winners included: Lucy Carter, Amy Mae, Alessandro Carletti, Tim Mitchell, Paul Barritt for Theatre; Andy Cottey, John Daly, Nigel Catmur, Gurdip Mahal, David Newton, Alberta Torres, Jessy Wang for Television; Le Roy Bennett, Will Potts, Tom Campbell, Terry Cook and Nina Dunn for Concert Touring and Events. The winner for the Lifetime Recognition award was Fred Foster, CEO of ETC.

To find out more about the sectors and subcategories or information on how you can submit an entry for television or concert touring and event lighting and visual content please visit


Philips Vari-Lite takes center stage at brand new Jordanki Culture and Congress Centre

26th January, 2016
Poland – Nearly 150 Philips Vari-Lite professional luminaires, including one of the latest additions to the product line the VL4000 Spot, have been installed into Toruń’s brand new multi-functional hub the Jordanki Culture and Congress Centre (or CKK Jordanki).
The 22,000-m2 building, designed by world-renowned Spanish architect Fernando Menis, is the culmination of an intense two-year building project that completed in December 2015. The venue is located in the city’s Old Town and boasts a unique aesthetic with cutting-edge technical features.
Hired by Wroclaw-based construction company INTERSYSTEM, Philips Entertainment distributor for Poland PS TEATR supplied and installed 144 Philips Vari-Lite moving heads into the venue’s 880-seat concert hall and 300-seat chamber hall. Further Philips Entertainment lighting brands were also installed by PS TEATR, including 32 Philips Selecon PL3 luminaires and 8 PLcyc2 luminaires and three Philips Showline SL NITRO 510 strobes.
“Even in the very early stages of the project, Philips Entertainment products were specified by the consultants and the venue’s technical managers because of their world-class innovation and reliability,” says Project Manager Paweł Ziomecki of PS TEATR. “Moreover, as CKK Jordanki hosts a diverse programme of events with many revered musicians and artists, the venue required luminaires which any lighting designer would be delighted to find at their disposal. Philips Vari-Lite fit the bill perfectly.”
The venue’s modular structure and mobile ceilings mean it can be transformed to provide the ideal space for a range of events, from large trade fairs to theatre shows.
“The fixtures are positioned over the stage and out over the audience to create an immersive environment,” continues Ziomecki. “However their versatility means they can also be re-hanged wherever needed in order to achieve the specific brief of the CKK Jordanki’s various events.”
The Jordanki Cultural and Congress Centre opened on the 12 December 2015 and is set to offer an extensive calendar of events including theatre shows and dance performances.

Avolites Titan One controls giant Star Wars ‘Lightsaber’ installation

22nd January, 2016

Ireland – Dublin’s 398ft high ‘Monument of Light’ Spire was transformed into a giant ‘Lightsaber’ in December to celebrate the premiere of the new Star Wars film, ‘The Force Awakens’, using powerful fixtures controlled by Avolites’ Titan One DMX USB Dongle.

Commissioned by Disney, Tom Rohan of event production house Eventco conceptualised the installation alongside lighting designers Mick Murray and Matthew Cregan. The team used 16 of Clay Paky’s intensely bright SuperSharpys to beam colours up the Spire to create the Lightsaber effect.
Titan_One_Avolites_900The event lasted for three weeks, with the team checking and controlling the lighting via CCTV, connected to the internet, which sent live images back. They then accessed the laptop within the Spire using the TeamViewer app.

“We did initial focusing on an Avolites Tiger Touch II and then transferred the show to a Mac laptop with the Titan One Dongle installed,” says Mick Murray. “With the Team Viewer app we could log in to the show at any time and reset a fixture or do further programming. Using a time of day clock, we could trigger cuelists to light up the Spire at 5pmAvo close up lo res each day and run a separate sequence overnight.”

Avolites’ Titan One DMX USB Dongle facilitates fast and Intuitive control of intelligent lighting, dimmers and LED effects from one on-screen console. It allows the user to output one line of DMX with the full functionality of Avolites Titan Software, and access to Avolites’ powerful features such as Pixelmapper, Quicksketch, Media Clip Select, Attribute Control-Blades and ShapeGenerator.

“Titan One is very easy to use and the offline interface is simple but powerful,” Murray continues. “I find it the best for offline editing.”

The event was a huge social media hit for Disney and Star Wars, with Dublin residents sharing photos of the spectacle for the world to share or retweet.

SuperSharpy lightsaber 1 © Jeff Pioquinto (Lower Res)

Image © Jeff Pioquinto

Triple E Chaintrack smoothes new National Theatre production

18th January, 2016

UK – A new production of Harvey Granville Barker’s play Waste is currently showing at The National’s Lyttelton Theatre with smooth ‘swipe’ curtain movements utilising Triple E’s Chaintrack, Unitrack and Unibeam systems.

The controversial play, which was famously banned by the censors when it was first written, tells the story of the ambitious independent politician Henry Trebell and his plans for a bill to disestablish the Church of England.

The National Theatre’s Deputy Production Manager Clíona Ní Mhocháin approached Triple E’s Managing Director David Edelstein to assist with the track solutions.

“We needed a smooth, silent and reliable system to achieve a swipe motion to go from an empty stage to actors’ preset,” explains Ní Mhocháin. “We also wanted to create an aperture to suggest the outside world further upstage that could change size and position easily and quickly, which Chaintrack provides.”

WASTE by Barker,         , Writer - Harley Granville Barker,  Director - Roger Michell, Designer - Hildegard Bechtler, Lighting - Rick Fisher, The National Theatre, 2015, Credit: Johan Persson/

The team has rigged a total of three tracks, all with motors and speed variable control. The track systems are a mixture of the newly supplied Chaintrack and the National Theatre’s existing Triple E stock of Unibeam and Unitrack.

“One track and curtain swipes from one side of the stage to the other, and the other two tracks and curtains are on the same truss but slightly staggered to allow us to move them to different positions on and off stage but look like they are on the same plane,” Ní Mhocháin continues. “Chaintrack was easy and quick to install, has worked perfectly from the start and is low maintenance. It’s easy to operate and almost silent which tied in nicely with the style of this production.”

The National Theatre has a longstanding and positive relationship with Triple E. Triple E’s managing director David Edelstein was part of the stage management team at the National Theatre when it opened in 1976, progressing to production management on the Olivier and Cottesloe (now the Dorfman Theatre) stages. Since then, Triple E track systems and motors have been used on a wealth of NT productions, including, most recently, Travelling Light, which toured UK theatres and was broadcast to cinemas worldwide in 2012 via NT Live.

“After discussing the show’s needs with David and seeing a sample of the Chaintrack we were happy that it suited our requirements perfectly,” says Ní Mhocháin. “The ability to store the curtains into spiral stacks means that when offstage they fit behind, and within the footprint of, the show masking flats.”

David Edelstein comments: “Working on the Chaintrack systems for Waste was a very positive experience, the NT knew exactly what they wanted to achieve and we were able to fulfil the brief with the minimum of custom parts. It was great to see so much of the NT’s existing stock of our equipment being used to good effect on this production.”

Waste is scheduled to run until the end of March 2016.

(Image © Johan Persson)

Avolites to debut Ai R Series and ‘supercharged’ consoles at ISE

18th January, 2016

The Netherlands – Avolites will be at on stand 8-K330 at ISE to launch its powered up new range of Ai R Series media servers and preview the feature-rich new Titan V10 software.

The company’s redesigned, bespoke booth will feature a ‘Media Integration Focus’ area where visitors can get hands on with the latest in integrated lighting and video.

A highlight of the stand will be the new Ai R Series – Avolites’ most powerful Ai servers yet, utilising a 6 Core i7 processor running at 3.5Ghz with 16Gb of fast RAM, solid state drives throughout, 1.2TB of Media Storage and benefits from up to 25% increased performance from the AMD W7100 due to twice as much GDDR5 memory and a significant increase in Bus speeds.

“We’ve packed the very best technology into the Ai R Series so we can be sure it satisfies even the most demanding of applications,” says Avolites MD, Steve Warren. “The servers offer smooth playback of up to 8K media using the leading AiM Codec plus 4 or 8 full 1080p HD outputs. The Ai R Series is the future of media technology now, direct from Avolites. We can’t wait to debut it at ISE.”

Visitors will also be among the first worldwide to get a sneak preview of the much-anticipated Titan V10 software, which enhances the best loved features of V9, including even more pixel mapping functionality, fully custom Key Frame Shape engine and fully featured theatre functionality.

Also on show will be the new Arena console with Optical Titan Net Switch (TNS), both of which are shipping now, and Avolites’ complete Titan Net solution.

“The Arena console has attracted a huge amount of attention since launch – we’ve been inundated with lighting designers, rental companies and specifiers,” says Avolites’ Sales Director Koy Neminathan. “Feedback has been fantastic on the vast array of faders and buttons alongside an integrated touch screen, a second, smaller touch screen and the rotary encoders. The unique Optical Switch built in to the console was hailed as an incredibly useful tool.”

Arena is the ideal console for festivals, theatres and anywhere that a larger control surface is required. It combines the popular interface of the Tiger Touch II with 30 additional Playback faders and expanded live control options and features.

The Optical TNS is perfect for connecting FOH to stage using Cat5E Ethernet cables for distances under 100m, and an Optical input for fibre connections over distances exceeding 100m. The 1Gb network switch also features a built in UPS to ensure the stability and resilience of your show setup.

Avolites will be at on stand 8-K330 at ISE from 9 – 12 February 2016 at Amsterdam RAI.

Avolites Sapphire Touch and Tiger Touch II network beautifully for Frank Turner

15th January, 2016

UK – Nitelites’ lighting designer Shaun Moore controlled a ‘punk rock ‘n’ roll’ show for English folk singer Frank Turner’s headline gig at London’s Alexandra Palace recently utilising Avolites’ Titan V9 Multi-User feature to network a Sapphire Touch and Tiger Touch II.

To create a high-octane show, Moore’s rig included Martin Mac Viper Profiles, Mac Auras and Atomics, Clay Paky Mythos, and Par 64 Can CP61/62s.

The Sapphire Touch served as the main console, with the Tiger Touch II (TTII) used as Multi User and Back up. The system ran Artnet through a Main and Back Up Luminex System.

“Avolites consoles are always my first choice, and now with the introduction of the V9 software I can easily network so my TTII is constantly backing up my Sapphire Touch, so in the unlikely event of my main going down I can jump straight onto the TTII with no need of changing any cables or switching nodes,” explains Moore. “This feature saves carrying additional consoles for support, having to switch nodes or even copper lines to the system and allows me to block out the elements of the rig the support can’t use without affecting my show file.

“This also allows the support bands to have their own handle world without affecting my show file or having to reload files in between them and us.”

Turner’s support for the Alexandra Palace gig came from Will Varley and Skinny Lister.

Avolites Frank Turner 3

Titan V9’s Multi User Networking facilitates multiple console connectivity to work collaboratively or independently on the same show. A show can have multiple users, each with their own User Settings, Handle Worlds and Selected Key Profiles. When set to Multi User, consoles can still be used as backups.

“I moved up to the Sapphire Touch in 2013, having been an Avolites user for almost my entire career,” Moore continues. “It was the best choice I could make – having the dual screen enables faster and easier programming time, and having the additional and motorised faders allows more hands-on control over the lighting rig and programming behind each song’s cue list for fast and easy access while running the show live.

“Equally, the TTII is perfect as it has a similar layout to the Sapphire Touch, and is great for updating show files either in the edit suite or on the bus or even in an airport!”

Nitelites provided full production for the tour (

Following his UK shows, Frank Turner heads into mainland Europe for performances in January and February in cities including Zurich, Berlin and Vienna.

(Images © Alex Alevroyiannis)

Avolites Tiger Touch II controls ‘big impact’ Mallory Knox tour effects

14th January, 2016

Lighting designer Jordon Cooper armed himself with an Avolites Tiger Touch II with Fader Wing to control a series of dynamic UK ‘Homecoming’ gigs for alt-rock band Mallory Knox following their American tour.

“The band had been in the US for most of 2015 and wanted to create a big impact on their return,” says Cooper. “The Tiger Touch II, loaded with V9, is my first choice for this type of show. I designed the tour featuring a lot of multi-cell fixtures, LED tape and effects such as smoke machines and strobes, so I used the Pixel Mapper and Key Frame Shapes features, which offer a very quick way to create effects and it gives you a lot more control on how precise they are.”

The team opened each show with a giant Union Jack backdrop to mark the homecoming, and designed two large set pieces either side of stage which were based on Mallory Knox’s ‘MK’ logo, seen on the album artwork for ‘Asymmetry’ – their second album. Both of the letters were outlined with LED tape, with individual DMX control. More than 35 metres of LED tape was used in total.

Mallory Knox By Ian Taylor 3

In addition, Cooper’s rig consisted of 24 x Robe Robin 100 Beams, 4 x Martin Atomic 3000, 2 x Chauvet Colourband Pix Batten and 4 x Chauvet Geyser RGB.

“The Tiger Touch II is great for fitting into small FOH areas – it doesn’t take up much space at all, and is light enough to move around easily,” Cooper continues. “Cloning, and adding fixtures into the show is a very easy process. Fixture swap couldn’t be simpler and the data merges across almost seamlessly. You can add fixtures into cues in just a couple of quick steps too and very few button presses.

“The screen is very responsive and the Titan software is very user friendly and intuitive. The TTII’s layout is perfect for how I build my show files. The macro buttons and static playback faders are great for things like key light and effects units. I like being able to customise the macro buttons and essentially use them as extra faders. Being able to assign key profiles and different playback modes make it very easy to extend your programming and make use of these buttons as more than ‘workspaces’ or ‘macros’.”

The tour was supplied by Robbie Baxter at R&M Productions. The techs were Olly Suckling and Zac Leighton.

Mallory Knox played shows across the UK in the autumn of 2015, including a headline show at London’s Roundhouse.

(Images © Ian Taylor)

Ampco Flashlight Sales helps launch TourPro to European market

12th January, 2016

Europe – The Netherlands-based Ampco Flashlight Sales has been elected as the main EU distributor for TourPro, a brand new range of high quality yet economical products designed and manufactured by parent company SHS Global.

Already seeing considerable success in Australia and the Americas over the past three years, TourPro has set its European launch in motion with extensive support from Ampco Flashlight Group’s Sales and Rental divisions.

“We have had a long relationship with Ampco Flashlight Group in various types of business for more than 20 years,” says CEO of SHS Global Leigh-Anne Aiken. “With TourPro, our focus was originally the USA. However during a meeting with Ampco at Prolight + Sound 2015 the European partnership organically came about and it’s already proving successful.”

The TourPro range sees a USP of superior design versus affordable price with a strong focus on powerful IP-rated fixtures. Unlike other budget lines, its quality and innovation rivals manufacturers at the higher end of the market.

“I believe what impresses clients is that we reach a very high standard but at pricing where they benefit from a faster, more significant return on investment,” continues Aiken.

TourPro products include the ‘LightSky’ range of intelligent tools, including spot, beam, LED and wash fixtures.

“Our LightSky product Aquabeam is unique.  There are no other IP rated high-powered beam fixtures like it,” says Aiken. “We also have recently released an IP rated strobe, LED wash fixtures, smoke machine and other products to expand the range.  This will aid not only the production market but also fill some major gaps in the installation market.”

Over in the USA, Premier Global Productions is currently supplying TourPro fixtures to tours including Tim McGraw and Metallica, with Metallica recently adding dozens more fixtures. Canadian-based Solotec has also placed an order for Cirque du Soleil in Mexico, plus more units for its own rental stock.

Ampco Flashlight Sales’ Peter de Fouw comments: “Having known the TourPro team for a long time now, we knew that whatever they were cooking up had to be serious and reliable. Funnily enough, the first product we were introduced to was the FireBall 1212 LED Par. No longer than five minutes after specialists from our Rental Department had a look it, the FireBall 1212 was their new standard LED Par. They were very impressed with the latest PowerCon connectors, robust, tourable quality and last but not least, the very high colour mixing capabilities.

“This is exactly what the TourPro engineers do well – adding that bit of functionality and quality that makes all the difference.” 

The range will be available for demo on the Ampco stand, booth 311, at the upcoming CUE exhibition in Rotterdam later this month.

“We expect to see a high level of interest in the products at CUE and have no doubt that the TourPro range will prove to be very popular very fast,” concludes De Fouw.

CUE 2016 takes place between the 18 and 20 of January at Ahoy Rotterdam.

Avolites Ai EX8 servers power futuristic Singapore exhibition

5th January, 2016

Singapore – A technology rich exhibition offering a ‘taste of what living in Singapore will look like in 2030’ opened in December 2015 featuring immersive, multi-sensory experiences with visuals powered by Avolites Ai Infinity EX8 servers.

The ‘Future of Us’ project is one of the last major events to celebrate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee. It is housed in four domes, situated in the Gardens by the Bay area of the island, where visitors can view films and interactive visuals. Ai is powering the visuals in ‘Dome 1’.

The AV solution for the exhibition is provided by design and technical production company Dorier Group, which is based in Geneva but has offices around the world, including in Singapore. The main production company is PICO – a ‘total brand activation company’ which specialises in world-class events and visual identity.

London-based Gaianova, which provides dome hire and a range of video skills and services to all sectors of the events industry, became involved with the project as a consultant and support to Dorier Asia.

“We were brought in because of our combined expertise with domes and media servers,” explains GaiaNova’s Ben Stern. “In the early stages of the project, we visited the site to assist with the initial install of the AV kit system set up, and then provided ongoing support for the techs on the ground.”

Dorier Asia purchased the Ai EX8 servers from Singapore-based Avolites distributor Total Solution, one as the main server and one as backup.

Ai EX8 inside the DomeThe content played in the magnificent Dome 1 structure is an eight-minute 3072×3072 film with stereo audio, which was produced by Vivid Three – a leading visual effects, 3D animation and CGI outfit in Singapore.

“Ai is our media server solution of choice for dome work because of the auto blend feature,” Stern continues. “This is a hugely powerful tool for producing high quality edge blends and warping onto the dome in a fast turn around time which is very important on a show that needs to run day in, day out for long duration of time. We also used time code triggering of the clips using the system clock to automate the scheduling of the show.”

Avolites’ Ai EX8 is supercharged with full 3D visualisation, the revolutionary Autoblend feature to simplify complex maps, an intelligent output page to take the headache out of addressing outputs, and an intuitive user interface.

The ‘Future of Us’ Ai system will be running 11 hours a day, seven days a week for the next three months. Each system consists of an EX8 Ai Server connected to six Panasonic 21K WUXGA projectors.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially opened the exhibition on 1st December. It will run until March 2016 and 700,000 visitors are expected.


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