Scharff Weisberg, Inc. (SWI) of New York has been a leading provider of video, audio, and lighting technology to the artistic, theatrical and corporate communities for 25 years. As pioneers in the field, they were one of the first companies in the USA to recognize the creative potential of the Hippotizer media server by Green Hippo and were instrumental in making it North America's favorite media server. The relationship has flourished to the present day, with Green Hippo being given many opportunities to provide solutions for the creative minds at SWI.
“In addition to the obvious technical advantages of this great piece of equipment,” says SWI Director of Technology, Lars Pedersen, “Hippotizer comes along with world-class technical and creative support, allowing us to focus on delivering the best possible shows for our customers.”
Hippotizer's versatility is evidenced by its wide variety of applications. Recently, SWI has specified Hippotizer for shows and events such as Turner Networks' Spring Up-Front meetings; the Pali Poker V tournament at the Hammerstein Ballroom; the 92nd Street YMCA Annual Gala, “Come Together”; Handel's Messiah Metal Rock Opera, A Joyful Noise; and The Wizard of Oz national tour.
At MTV'S Live New Year's Eve broadcast (2007/08), the Hippotizer drove columns of MX LED fixtures, transforming the MTV Times Square Studios into a Masquerade themed party for the live broadcast. “Scharff Weisberg came in to patch our Hippotizer to all the column surrounds, and that looked great,” explains Lighting Designer Christopher Landy of Vibrant Design. “They also helped max out the console to seven universes.”
For the Blue Man Group's “How To Be A Megastar Tour 2.0,” three Hippotizer HD media servers were integrated with ILite and OLlite LEDs, projectors and cameras. “This was a big thing for us,” says Caryl Glaab, Blue Man Group Artistic Director. “We had used servers before with mixed results. But working with Scharff Weisberg and using a system designed for video made a huge difference – the results were amazing. The Hippo really made the process of making changes to the show and tweaking cues more streamlined than ever before. Merging the video cues into the grandMA lighting board and having the board operator handle all of the cues also made for a smoother, more efficient process.” SWI project manager John Ackerman adds, “Using the Hippo as the front end of the system optimized the content acquisition process. . . . Combining video and lighting cues in one board without using a separate show control system and operator has tightened up the look of the show and created a more elegant system. The video in a Blue Man Group show is immersive; it's more than just magnifying the staging of a song. It's much more integrated.”
The list of shows using Hippotizers from SWI continues to grow. In addition to those listed above, recent productions include MTV's “Total Request Live” and “Sinatra at the London Palladium” which required a particularly innovative convergence of projection and cinematic technology
Find out more about Scharff Weisberg at www.swinyc.com. Hippotizer is manufactured by Green Hippo and distributed by TMB. For more information about Hippotizer, visit the TMB Hippotizer web page at www.tmb.com/products/hippotizer. Learn more about other innovative and exciting products from TMB at www.tmb.com.