In a move that underscores a trend in the converging worlds of professional lighting and video, XL Video has named lighting industry veteran John Wiseman to the position of president of the touring division for the American arm of XL Video.
As a key player in the automated lighting market for 25 years, Wiseman has most recently held positions at High End Systems as executive vice president of business development and, before that, as vice president of worldwide sales. He has also witnessed major introductions to the market during his seven years at Vari-Lite, while working with Light & Sound Design to bring the Icon to the market, and bringing Coemar to the US.
Now, Wiseman makes a move to video with XL, where he will be responsible for developing new business, maintaining key accounts, and facilitating clients' creative needs.
According to Wiseman, his appointment is not a move away from the lighting industry at all. “I've spent over 20 years working with new technology from a marketing and business development perspective, bringing it to designers, and always being on the cutting edge of things,” he says. “In the last three years, I've seen lighting designers and production designers start to look at video as part of lighting and changing the way they design shows because of this.”
Wiseman notes that the trend of lighting and video becoming more of a single department follows the normal trends of business. While at High End Systems, he became more and more involved with video technology. “We saw the market was really saturated with high-tech automated lights, and it didn't justify our investment any longer, until there's a significant development in technology. We rolled the dice to investigate video, because that's what all our customers were asking for anyway.”
And the demand is justified, according to Wiseman, as the convergence is inevitable with advancing technology. “As sectors change, there will always be designers at the top of their game who can continue to do what they do, but the next generation is coming. Those who deny convergence is happening will be left behind, like the guys who rode horses and didn't like the idea of an automobile.
“There's a momentum that comes with technology that you just can't stop. People who think they are specialists and try to stay that way are just not living in reality,” Wiseman explains. “For example, one thing holding back lighting technology development right now is that there is a physical barrier, due to heat, that is preventing the next step, but LEDs are changing all that. With all development, we have to change our creative process. It's like when we first had metal gobos, then lithography, and now, media servers. Some tours are even starting to use the term ‘visual departments,’ as opposed to separate lighting and video departments, and all this technology is becoming more and more affordable. If the tours can cut costs that way, they will. It's just how it works.”
Wiseman plans to take the touring division of XL to the next level, providing not just imagery, but full service, custom visual systems for clients large and small. “We want to penetrate the market, not just to the top guys, but we want to develop the market so it's more accessible and more creative…creating looks, not just pictures.”
Wiseman joins Val Dauksts, Barbara Riedling, and Bob Magee in the Los Angeles office. In addition, he will work closely with Chris Mounsor and the UK team to create what the company is calling the “first global concert touring video support company.” (www.xlvideo.com)