What’s new at High End Systems? Plenty. Read on…

The Handshake™ won the award for Best Lighting Controller in the New Product Showcase and Awards Presentation at Lightfair 2001. The portable lighting controller is designed to run on a Palm Organizer. It can be used to program and configure lights, plus it also analyzes DMX data for troubleshooting purposes. It can be used for everything from retail and architectural applications to corporate/industrial shows.

The Catalyst™, a high-powered video projection system, debuted at last week’s Infocomm. The Catalyst is an orbital movement system, like a periscope, that mounts to the front of a video projector. It allows static images or moving video to be projected anywhere within a 360° by 180° hemisphere of movement.

But see for yourself. On July 11-12, the company invites all interested parties to see its new offerings at its Lone Star headquarters in Austin, from 3-6pm both days. The office is located at 2217 West Braker Lane, Austin, TX, 78758; please call the special reservations hotline to RSVP at 877-468-1693, or call the main line if you have any questions at 512-836-2242.

In other High End news, Australia’s Universal Lighting & Audio Pty Ltd. is now the exclusive authorized reseller of High End Systems automated lighting products and the Flying Pig Systems Wholehog® II console in Australia. It has offices in Queensland and Melbourne.

The latest projects include "Could it be Magic: The Barry Manilow Songbook," which had its world premiere Saturday, June 16, at the Mercury Theatre in Chicago. LD Seth Jackson, longtime touring LD for Manilow, is again working with the artist, who has written and is directing the show, but is not starring in it. Says the LD, "It's a revue show--a showcase of his musical catalog--performed by a six-piece band and five singers/dancers."

Jackson says they have "shoehorned" into the 300-seat house a rig of 12 High End Systems Studio Color® and 11 Studio Spot® 575 automated luminaires, along with 200 conventional fixtures. The moving lights are run by a Hog™ 500. All the High End Systems gear is provided by Intelligent Lighting Creations of Skokie, IL.

The crew includes production manager Chris Garbacz, master electrician Nettie Wasowski, board operator Geoff Miller, and stage manager Lucia Lombardi. “Could it be Magic” is booked until August 5.

The x.Spot™ is part of Lynyrd Skynyrd's summer tour (June 7-September 22) in North America. The LD, director, operator, and co-set designer is Steve Owens, who is using 27 of the units. Supplying the rig is Theatrical Lighting Systems, Inc. (TLS Inc.) in Huntsville, AL, in conjunction with DeLux Productions in Nashville. It also features 10 Cyberlight®Turbos, 17 Studio Beams™, and 34 Studio Color 575 automated luminaires, run by two Wholehog II consoles. In the lighting package are also 72 PARs, an assortment of conventionals, and eight UV units. TLS Inc.'s David Milly says, “This many x.Spots has added an incredible dimension to the stage set--more so than any other stage set I've seen.”

Joining Owens on the tour are lighting crew chief Jimmy Winn, and lighting techs Brian Palmer, Mark Donahue, and Mike Robison. Production manager/co-set designer is John David Nixon (the show’s swamp theme is a George & Goldberg creation). WYSIWYG assistance came from Steve Irwin of ESP Studios in Atlanta. Programming help also came from High End Systems' Vickie Claiborne.

High End is on the web at www.highend.com.