Here we are, just weeks before LDI98, and some inevitable last-minute changes are taking place to the workshop program. A few have been cancelled, including the evening trip to see As You Like It at Arizona State University, due to technical complications beyond our control. Also cancelled (or, in the best of all possible worlds, just postponed until another time) is the master class with Donald Holder. His busy schedule has taken him to Japan to light the next production of Disney's The Lion King, making his visit to Phoenix impossible.

This also means that "The Lion King: A Case Study" will now be a one-part session with Holder's associate lighting designer Karen Spahn and programmer Aland Henderson talking about the complexities of working on a musical of this magnitude. It promises to be an interesting session, providing a look at the process involved in lighting this kind of mega-musical. (Production electrician James Maloney, who was scheduled to be on this panel as well, is busy working on the revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.)

There are also some additions and further details to note. Worth dropping in on are the LDI98 Light Lunch presentations. These offer an informal way to meet leading lighting designers, so grab a sandwich and join Rogier van der Heide from Hollands Licht in Amsterdam on Friday, November 12, and lighting designer/UCLA professor Neil Peter Jampolis on Saturday, November 13, for these informative lunch-time presentations, open to all LDI attendees.

The LDI98 computer lab is a new addition to the program this year, offering an expanded version of the software presentations we have presented in the past. So far, the schedule of presentations is as follows: Friday, November 13: WYSIWYG by Robert Bell, 4:00-5:00pm; Saturday, November 14: Microlux by Louis Barriere, 10:00-11:00am, and Lightwright 3 by John McKernon, 4:00-5:00pm. On Sunday, November 15, CompuCAD is scheduled for 9:30-10:30am. A daily schedule of presentations will be posted in the computer lab.

Ted Ferreira of City Design Group has lined up a great panel of experts for his presentation on designing with and specifying neon. His panelists include Mark Frank of Lighting Design Alliance, Jason Cooper of MarCAD, Barry Luz of Fluid Light Technologies, and Dave Bullock of Federal Sign. Ferreira is a recent winner of the Themed Entertainment Association's Thea award for his work on Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas.

More about gobos and other fun products comes your way in a new session featuring LDs Christina Giannelli and Tim Hunter, who will experiment with a variety of expendables to add texture and color as well as form to light. They will offer design options for all budgets in a session that will be moderated by Joshua Alemany of Rosco Laboratories, to be held Saturday, November 14, 9:00-10:30am.

Stay tuned to the LDI webpage at www.etecnyc.net for more changes as the LDI98 workshops evolve. After all, this is one of the most ambitious programs we have ever presented. See you in Phoenix!