23 August 2013

The infinite design diversity of Jeremy Railton and EDC

Railton, right, discusses a project with Chris Stage
I profiled design legend Jeremy Railton and his company Entertainment Design Corp. for InPark Magazine:

...What Railton and his team learned in Asia has brought about a shift in how they approach design for this market, and how they interact with clients. “Very early on, I was given good advice by Hee Teck Tan, CEO at Resorts World Sentosa. He said, ‘Jeremy, forget about all this arty, subtle stuff: Asians like bright and loud.’ It was excellent advice. I’m sort of a loud kind of guy – I always loved rock and roll concerts and variety television. I like the bright and loud and shiny. I do come from central Africa.”

The Chinese respect for maturity has stood Railton in good stead. “I feel I get a lot of respect because of my gray hair; it makes them feel comfortable. I feel like a strong, reassuring hand, the voice of experience. They are nice to Alex and Chris, but I get the attention. In the US it’s the other way! They smile and nod at me, and then talk to [EDC's 'young guns'] Alex [Calle] and Chris [Stage].” ...

Click here to read the complete article

Special effects pioneer Ron Griffin of Attraction Services talks about his work

Judith Rubin: You were on the team that built the gigantic, animatronic owl for the Electric Daisy Carnival, a 3-day music festival held recently in Las Vegas. This was a high-profile success and images of the owl have been all over the media. Tell us about it.  

Ron Griffin: We were approached by Gary Goddard’s entertainment and design company, The Goddard Group, for Insomniac Events to build a 35-foot-tall, 80-foot-wingspan, animated owl for the event, which would see an attendance of over 300,000 over three days.

The creativity of the owl concept and the plan for its use as a key element in the festival were fantastic. The bad news: We would have only six weeks to design (mechanically and electrically), build, test, ship, and install him. We were cautious at first about taking this job – but it was the kind of big challenge that we love to solve. Working with Goddard and Insomniac, we were able to form a plan that we felt would succeed even in the short timeframe allowed.

Six weeks! Our approach had to be simple, yet provide the desired look and animation. It had to use components that we could get quickly and that we knew would work. 

Click here to read the complete interview. 

06 June 2013

David Bowie is opens at the V&A and Sennheiser audio is the co-star

David Bowie is, co-curated by Geoffrey Marsh and Victoria Broackes, opened to the public on March 23, 2013 at the V&A Museum in London. In a blend of attraction design, exhibition design and theater, David Bowie is presents two galleries of memorabilia and costumes from Bowie's substantial personal archives. A Bowie exhibit would neither be complete nor satisfying without music, and state-of-the-art audio technology is integral to the presentation. Most of the displays, videotaped performances and interviews are coupled with zone-specific audio delivered via personal headsets. The headsets come off for a climactic, immersive concert experience in the second gallery. Sound experience by Sennheiser - the TEA member company provided its guidePORT and Auro 3D systems, plus support services.

The 300+ objects on display include Ziggy Stardust bodysuits, set designs created for the Diamond Dogs tour, storyboards, handwritten set lists and lyrics and some of Bowie’s own sketches. Visitors may want to keep an eye out for Brian Eno's “Heroes” synthesizer in the concert area - an artifact Marsh called our attention to. Our own favorite stop was the kaleidoscopic video presentation of “Star Man” - Bowie's breakthrough, 1972 Top of the Pops performance. All in all, the exhibit contains some 4 hours' worth of material, which the average visitor will spend about 90 minutes browsing. David Bowie is will finish its V&A run August 11 and then head to half a dozen additional venues around the world, starting with Sao Paolo.... Click here to read the full article in the May 2013 Lighting&Sound International magazine.

22 April 2013

From the Archives: Judith Rubin's articles on LiveDesignOnline

Articles from 1999-2001 during the period I was "Themed Entertainment Editor" for Entertainment Design magazine, now known as LiveDesignOnline. At the time, I worked with editor David Johnson, who is now the publisher. Some of the projects covered here are now gone entirely and others greatly changed, but it's interesting to see the forerunners of trends and technologies that are fairly common in projects today, and the names of familiar companies and people.  -- J.R.