Well, Entertainment Technology Show-LDI 2003 is now a thing of the past, so here are the award winning products from the show as well as the Designers and Technical Director of the Year that used their talents and imaginations to bring us memorable works and interesting new work. This year's ETS-LDI showcased a number of new and interesting products and technologies that promise to make our lives easier if not somewhat more interesting. Herewith is a recap of the award winning people and manufacturers.

Designer and Technical Director of the Year Awards

These are the awards that honor a few outstanding, talented individuals whose work stands out above the crowd. Many years ago we gave just two awards – sound designer and lighting designer of the year. Then we expanded to one sound and three lighting designers, for themed, entertainment, and architecture. But as LDI has morphed into The Entertainment Technology Show, the awards have morphed as well: this year we are honoring one sound designer, one lighting designer, one projection designer, and one technical director.

New this year is the technical director award, designed to honor someone who dedicates his or her life to taking the show from concept to reality and solving the technical problems that the designers throw at them fast and furious. Our first winner of this award has been technical director for the Wooster Group, Elizabeth Streb, and Center Stage, as well as numerous film and theatrical productions, including the innovative King Lear at CalArts, where he is one the design faculty; not to mention exhibits at the Field Museum in Chicago and eHenge in England. The 2003 ETS-LDI Technical Director of the Year went to Bill Ballou.

In today’s world, projection is almost ubiquitous, and while one doesn’t always think of Wagnerian opera and large-scale scenic projection in the same breath, this year’s projection design winners created enormous, mountainous panoramas that emerge from hazy dream-like backgrounds, as well as ominously lit crimson cliffs, and idyllic, almost psychedelic English gardens on stage in Seattle, in the extraordinary new production of Parsifal. So this year’s projection designer of the year is not one designer, but two and a half projection designers of the year, Bob Bonniol and Colleen Bonniol of Seattle’s MODE Studios.

In the lighting category, the winning designer has combined three aspects of lighting: themed, entertainment, and architecture into one fantastic futuristic project that is guaranteed to send you to outer space. It’s one of the most talked about attractions of the year, with cool architectural lighting grazing the outside, and an enticing mix of entertainment and architectural fixtures on the inside. The project is of course: Mission: Space at Disney World’s EPCOT and the lighting designer is Ken Lennon with Walt Disney Imagineering, winner of the 2003 ETS-LDI Lighting Designer of the Year Award.

Sound design, which is honored at the ETS-LDI show and at the EDDY Awards but not yet the Tony’s, is an increasingly important part of every production and installation in the world of entertainment. This year’s winner started out as a paperboy and pirate radio DJ, but quickly progressed to sound designer at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court and National Theatre in London. His recent credits include sound design for Closer and The Play What I Wrote on Broadway, as well as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Closer to Heaven in the West End. He has also been on the design staff at Autograph Sound for the past four years. The 2003 ETS-LDI Sound Designer of the year is Simon Baker.

2003 ETS-LDI Best Booth, Best Laser Display, and Creative Use of Light Awards

The Best Booth Award, Small Booth went to G-LEC for their eye-catching display of LED graphics technology. It was bright, colorful, flexible, and multi-functional.

The Best Booth Award, Large Booth went to Robe America for displaying their products in an immersive projection environment.

The Best Laser Display Award went to first time exhibitor Laserwurx, LLC and their exciting use of the LX1 Laser, a fully programmable laser that looks like a laser but acts like a light and runs off a lighting console.

The Best Creative Use of Light Award went to High End Systems for their entertaining 60s flashback, incense included, that combined moving light and digital media technology, clearly the next wave in the future of lighting.

Product of the Year Awards

At this year’s Entertainment Technology Show-LSI, we added an award for Projection products. At last year’s LDI show we have made changes in the Product of the Year awards. We are creating a distinction between New Products and Debuting/Conceptual New Products. We wanted to get away from manufacturers rushing a product to the show for a debut before it is ready for release. There are now two different categories for the product awards: Product of the Year and Debuting Product/Promising Prototype. To qualify as a Product of the Year, the product must have been released in the past year and be shipping. If a product is introduced at ETS-LDI for the first time, it qualifies as a Debuting Product/Promising Prototype. If the product had been a Debuting Product/Promising Prototype at one years show, it is qualified to be considered as a Product of the Year at the following years show. This product may be a concept or prototype as long as there is sufficient documentation showing what it will be. This award will honor originality and daring conceptual leaps.

This year the judges put in a lot of time racing around the floor, checking out all of the booths on the floor, the demo rooms, and even the conversations at the parties and in the hotel bars. Overall, we think that we have found products that push the envelope and bring technology to the next level.

Product of the Year

Product of the Year – Lighting/Entertainment – Martin Professional Maxxyz Console
The Martin Maxxyz Control Console offers programmers and LDs a string of impressive new features as well as feature enhancements. Among the features offered are fast processing powers, direct fixture access, effects generator, motorized faders, and quality touch screens. Maxxyz has all the features that professionals should expect.

Product of the Year – Lighting Architectural – iLight Technologies Plexineon
Plexineon is a new Linear LED lighting system that offers moisture and high temp resistance using far less energy than glass neon. Easy to install, Plexineon combines the long-life benefit of LED technology with the classic look of exposed neon.

Product of the Year – Lighting Accessory – Tent Tec ML Bracket
The ML Bracket is designed and manufactured for moving static and specialty lighting fixtures to tent poles or any ground supported column. The high finish aluminum parts, safety cable and formed banding strap shows the innovation Tent Tec brings to the real world.

Product of the Year – Lighting Tools and Software Award – John McKernon and City Theatrical Lightwright 4
Lightwright 4 represents a giant leap forward on theatrical lighting paperwork software. In addition to inspired ease of use, this new version allows the user to make and archive focus notes; communicate and administer work notes within one piece of software. It retains the ability to be customized to the users needs. The judges and many consumers were taken by the large advancements in Lightwright 4, the tool that more LDs use on a daily basis just made life a lot easier.

Product of the Year – Projection – Barco MiPIX Modular Intelligent Pixelblock
The judges found this “Lego” of LEDs a very cool product and envisioned many projects with 3 Dimensional video. Truly a revolution in the LED market, it’s small size and shape allow for it for it to be used to create intelligent lighting effects on large scale backdrops of any form, shape, or size.

Product of the Year – Sound – Yamaha DM1000 Digital Production Console
This extremely flexible two-rack DSP device features an extremely intuitive user interface. For users of the Midas Heritage and Legend boards, it sports a handy auto-solo function allowing for quick and easy outboard EQ selection from the console, as well as dynamic EQ via Threshold Dependent Equalization, which provides real time dynamic control over any potential problem frequency.

Product of the Year – Scenic, Staging, and Effects – Martin Professional Jem ZR 24/7 Hazer
The Jem ZR 24/7 Hazer is a high precision, continuously operating DMX haze generator capable of delivering an optically translucent canvas of light-enhancing haze for long periods. It features a 900W heater with three positions of temperature control; continuous operating ability; and uses water based fluid to produce varying levels of atmospherics. Product of the Year – Scenic, Staging, and Effects, Honorable Mention – Wenger Makeup Station

Product of the Year – Rigging and Hardware – Hoffend Vortek Rigging System
The Vortek represents a fully engineered and economical system for stage house rigging. Significant features include a secondary holding brake that is variable load and constantly applied, as well as a bold touchscreen user interface with intuitive features. The complete system, in all its speed and load capacity configurations, has been designed for high volume manufacturing and ease of installation. The booth was very effective recreation of a theatrical flyhouse.

Product of the Year – Widget – Lex Products E-String
There are also lots of nifty little products we call Widgets, or simple, clever solutions to common problems. This year’s clever solution is the E-String from Lex Products. Some brilliant ideas are so simple you wonder why they have come out only now. The E-String is a flexible cable with six outlets distributed along its length. Each outlet has an LED indicator showing the power is present. It is great for orchestra pits, backstage scenery, and tradeshow applications.

Debuting Product/Promising Prototype

Debuting Product/Promising Prototype of the Year – Lighting/Entertainment – Electronic Theatre Controls Revolution

Debuting Product/Promising Prototype of the Year – Lighting/Entertainment, Honorable Mention – Arri Sky Panel

Debuting Product/Promising Prototype of the Year – Lighting/Architectural – Color Kinetics Chromasic Technology

Debuting Product/Promising Prototype of the Year – Lighting/Architectural, Honorable Mention – OptiLED Chip LED Lamp Line

Debuting Product/Promising Prototype of the Year – Lighting Tools and Software – High End System Catalyst Version 3 Software

Debuting Product/Promising Prototype of the Year – Element Labs Versa TILE

Debuting Product/Promising Prototype of the Year, Honorable Mention – G-LEC LED Curtain

Debuting Product/Promising Prototype of the Year – Scenic Effects – Rosco Laboratories X-Effects Visual Projector

Debuting Product/Promising Prototype of the Year – Scenic Effects, Honorable Mention – Lightspace Corporation Club Scene Dance Floor

We want to thank all of the exhibitors for another year of great products, new technologies, and fun swag. There was a lot of good buzz on the show floor and there were quite a few attendees, many who came over from the neighboring IAAPA trade show in the new convention center space. As always it was a hectic, but great show. We did not have enough time to spend enough quality time with everyone; if we could only do without sleep, or clone ourselves, we could better utilize our time. We will see you all in Las Vegas, next year.