With all the sadness of the tsunami disaster that has pervaded our world lately, our industry was hit with another, closer-to-home loss of Bill McManus, pioneering lighting designer, originator of the new PAR can in the 1970s, and president of McManus Enterprises and PeakBeam Systems.

While I did not know McManus personally, it is obvious he touched many lives, even those of others who did not know him well. His remarkable achievements aside, I think the following letter is a perfect example of his impact, as shared by Cary Levitt, president of Parlights, Inc.:

I know you will be barraged in the next few days with letters of remembrance of Bill McManus. I would like to offer my own thanks to Mr. McManus.

There is no doubt what he did to give birth to the touring lighting industry, father of the PAR can, trussing, etc. However, on the small scale, he was one of the first professionals to hire my crew for an “out of town” gig. It was the early 80s, and I was still cutting my teeth in the business. Bringing me up to Philly from Frederick, MD, for an Osmond Brothers show was a “mitzvah” that fostered my love of concert lighting. That show would become a touchstone for me in my early career.

I only met the man once or twice. I'm sure that he never knew how important this was, giving me the opportunity to play the Big Time. I shall remember him fondly until the end of my days. I know he meant a lot to a great number of my friends and associates who worked with him more closely. His presence shall be missed, but I suspect his legacy will be with us for many years to come.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Cary, and thanks also to the countless others who have written. We will be running an in-depth tribute next month, so please send your thoughts. The outpouring of remembrances for McManus is a testament to his influence and legacy.

Moving on to our issue at hand, we're looking at lighting of corporate/industrial projects, from challenges, to pointers from the pros, to a few recent projects of note. We also have a hot topic to address: with the increasing use of video in entertainment productions, who owns the art created by a video artist or VJ, the artist or the clientt? Check out the opinion of one such artist, who claims that he was robbed not only of original content, but also of some valuable clients, in “A Cautionary Content Tale” (p. 44).

I'll be anxious to hear other opinions on this topic. Drop a note if you have thoughts on the matter.