The secret's out!

If you subscribe to LD's sister publication, Entertainment Design, have seen the ads in this issue on pages 8-11, read the stories on page 14, or have paid any attention at all to the industry grapevine, then you know what I'm talking about. Goodness, after all that, you better know. But if, by chance, you're still in the dark, I'll wait right here while you turn to page 14.

Yep, all this industry talk about convergence made us realize the time was right for us to converge too. In December, ED, LD, and SRO will merge to form a new multimedia franchise, comprised of Live Design, a Theatre Quarterly supplement, E-newsletters, and a state-of-the-art website.

This is big news for us, and we're all very excited at the prospect of creating this new venture for a changing market. But I want everyone to know that this isn't something we took lightly. I've been with both magazines since 1993, which is a long time to be anywhere, quite frankly, but I've had so much fun, I can't seem to leave. But I also have been around long enough to know that the industry is changing and that it will continue to change much more in the coming years as technology advances. Because of that, we felt the time was right to shake things up and create a new book that will both help you understand this new frontier and follow you as you push the boundaries of convergent design and technology.

Live Design means great things for you, the reader. We'll now be focusing on bringing you the best single monthly magazine devoted to lighting, staging, and projection out there today. Combine that with our Theatre Quarterly supplement, E-newsletters devoted to the theatre and rental and staging market (with more to come), and a newly redesigned website that will be by far the best in the industry, and you've got a stable of multimedia products that help your jobs better than any other source of information currently out there.

We'll be providing you with much more information about our new direction in the weeks to come, both on the website and via email. Look for a sneak peek at the new magazine and the unveiling of the new website at LDI. I'm glad to finally be able to share this with you, and I look forward to hearing your feedback. Spread the word!
David S. Johnson

The End of an Era?

My head is spinning, but I suppose that's better than having it rolling.

No, this is not the end of an era. Let's not get melodramatic about all the news going on over here. It's just publishing, after all.

In case you haven't heard, after more than a year of deliberation, planning, researching, and scores of meetings, we are putting Lighting Dimensions to rest and ushering in the era of Live Design. Now, don't get upset, as I know some of you will. This is change for the best, and I can prove it. Read this issue, and you'll understand why.

For months, the industry has been repeatedly flogged with the convergence stick, and I know we're all tired of it, so instead of talking about it anymore, we're doing something about it. The fact is if you're denying it's happening, then it's time to take your head out of the sand. It's here, and we're taking it to the next level, leading rather than catching up later.

You only have to look at Ellen Lampert-Gréaux's detailed look at The Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang Tour (p.68) to see where we're headed. With lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, the scale of the rig is impressive on its own. In terms of the overall visual design, however, we couldn't snub coverage of Mark Fisher's sets, incorporated into which are a whopping 420 AC Lighting Chroma-Q Color Block DB4s uplighting audient seating sections that flank the stage. And let's not forget the video — of course, there's video. Looking at all the elements of visual design is becoming crucial to our readership.

For a tour of The Will Rogers Follies (p.66), video has actually replaced lighting in part of the set (the stairs), as compared to the original production. Now, we are not saying that video is completely replacing lighting by any stretch of the imagination. But we are saying the two sides are starting to come together, and it is time to embrace it.

The same trusted staff will be here covering all things in visual design for you. And while you won't have the pleasure (or irritation) of reading my editorial letters — that dashing guy across the page from me will be handling that task in Live Design — I will certainly do my part to inject as much sarcasm into my articles as possible while maintaining professional and journalistic integrity.

See you at LDI.
Marian Sandberg