John Gleason emembered:
He was an incredible man-brilliant, cantankerous, demanding and caring. Demanding because he cared. Cantankerous because he wanted everyone to see and understand color and light in a totally new way.
It was sometime back in the middle 70s that Bob Benson made sure that I met Johnny. Back in those days Bob was selling equipment, Johnny was using it and teaching it, and I was trying to write in words of black and white about light and color. Ultimately what the young journalist and editor did learn about lighting and color was because of Johnny…and in some way in every lighting design article I wrote for Theatre Crafts/TCI and certainly in the repositioning of Lighting Dimensions magazine there was always John Gleason standing behind me, supporting me, and helping all who read to see.
One wonderful phone call:
Me: Hey John-what's up?
He: Working on an opera. It's one I've done before. So to make it interesting I've set myself a challenge…
He: Lighting it entirely without using any blue….
(The writer is the former editor and publisher of Theatre Crafts/TCI and Lighting Dimensions magazines)
In response to your invitation to comment on projection issues I offer the following:
It's not only the schools, etc who find the cost of top-end video projection prohibitive in some areas.
We at the Adelaide Convention Centre obviously service the corporate theatre / industrials area in South Australia.
Our focus is two-fold, 1: create excellent solutions for our clients; and 2: remain mindful of cost issues, maximising the ‘bang-for-buck’.
To this end, it is often difficult to sell clients very large and complicated projection and/or lighting solutions for their events.
Thence cometh the solutions, as you say, when we are forced ‘to come up with alternatives.”
Currently, a client of mine on a limited budget needs a solution to create a ‘conservatory feel’ for an opening night party in our large glassed-in foyer. (See: www.adelaidecc.com.au for photos.)
The environment suits the concept, and I sold the client on the idea of video images covering the foyer ceiling, which the current crop of standard LCD projectors can't do, as they won't tilt to 90 degrees.
To solve this problem without the expense of a Catalyst DL-1 system, I have designed using Clay Paky Golden Scan 2's in tandem with Sony PX10 projectors, building custom brackets to house both units on truss.
Simply, as the mirror heads are removable from the GS2's, and have large enough mirrors to capture the lens image diameter, I am mounting the heads in front of the projector lenses, sitting them alongside the GS2 bodies.
I then split the video signal through an Extron ADA6 video distribution amplifier to all projectors (you could use separate VDA's or a matrix to play multiple input video sources if required), and control the position of the image via the pan/tilt of the GS2 mirror heads. Any luminaire with a large enough mirror head could be used.
Obviously this is more of a middle-level budget solution, relying on clients with some cash to spend, but as you say, my hand was forced; the solution was discovered with a bit of lateral creative thought and product knowledge.
Technical Planning Manager
Adelaide Convention Centre
“Will I get hate mail from people offended that we put her on the July cover? And that November cover with Cirque du Soleil - theyr'e French, ain't they? Why is ED putting America haters on the cover? Pass the freedom fries!”
For most part, I usually just read the articles discussing the various different productions that ED showcase each month and look, in awe, at the pictures. And dream about the advertisements - if only I won the lottery. But this time, I read your editorial, “Mail Call” (ED December2003, p. 1). Very humorous, I must say but…
And let me be frank and say this is not “hate mail” as per your editorial. Just wanting to correct you (or your readers) by stating that Cirque du Soleil is not French as in France, but French as in French-Canadian. (Or were you generalizing the ignorance of the letter writers in question? Maybe that's it!!!!) And Poutine (fries covered with gravy and cheese) would be the French Fry gourmet of choice in Quebec.
Even thou, I am on the west coast of Canada, I am still happy to see theatrical projects or at least connections based from Canada being featured in your magazine. Keep up the good work.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
PS. And I haven't attached any sketches of Poutine or the Canuck Flag to heighten my point. Thanks again.