Standards News Headlines
Draft Standards for Chain Hoist Control and Fall Arrest in Public Review
Two draft standards have been added those available for public review on PLASAs' website at http://tsp.plasa.org/tsp/documents/public_review_docs.php. The draft standards are BSR E1.6-4, Portable Control of Fixed-Speed Electric Chain Hoists in the Entertainment Industry, and BSR E1.39, Entertainment Technology – Selection and Use of Personal Fall Arrest Systems on Portable Structures Used in the Entertainment Industry. The draft standards are available for review through July 7; the reviews will be over and the links will disappear on the July 8 "Review End Date."
The two draft standards are relevant to arena rigging. BSR E1.6-4 is for the simple control systems for chain hoists to lift portable trusses and grids. BSR E1.39 is for personal fall arrest systems used by people working on those trusses and grids, and other portable structures (e.g., lighting towers) commonly used for shows.
For more information, please contact Karl Ruling, PLASA's technical standards manager, at
10th May 2013
Backstage Academy Launches a New Visual Production BA
Entertainment industry training centre Backstage Academy has announced a brand new two-year BA Visual Production course, which will launch at its Wakefield facility in January 2014 (subject to validation).
Developed in conjunction with a range of industry partners including d3, Fix8 and XL Video, the course is the first of its kind dedicated to the emerging convergence of visuals and lighting. It’s designed to meet the demand for skilled visual professionals that can take a project through from the concept and design stage to the final application, using the right tools for the job.
Based on a unique workflow developed by d3, the course will teach students the personal skills needed to work successfully in the visual production industry worldwide, equip them with the ability to interpret a client’s creative scope, supply a design response, understand how far technology can be stretched to meet the brief, allocate the technology required to achieve the desired result – whether it’s lighting or video related – and apply this technology to modern show and installation techniques.
The knowledge and skills acquired on the course will be transferable across a range of applications, from music concerts, theatre, broadcast and film to architectural installations, brand activation and other live events.
The course will include a number of certificates accepted worldwide and cover a variety of visual production technologies, including d3, Photoshop, WYSIWYG, 3ds Max, Maya, Final Cut X, After Effects, AutoCAD, Green Hippo and GrandMA, to mention just a few.
Pioneering in its approach to teaching visual production, its links with industry and its fast-track format, the BA course will set a new standard of graduates seeking to enter employment in the world of visual production.
Said director of courses Robin Watkinson: “As we are an industry based organisation, working within the education sector, we are ideally positioned to be able to respond to today’s fast-paced technological world.
“The convergence of lighting and video technology in event applications is seeing a fundamental change in job roles and processes.
“We are able to adapt and update course content as and when the industry evolves, and this will allow us – in association with employers – to provide students with the relevant education that will ultimately give them a better chance of employment.”
The course is currently in development and Robin Watkinson asks industry employers to get in touch if they would like to provide feedback or be involved: firstname.lastname@example.org / +44(0)1977659880.
To register your interest for the course and be notified of announcements, please e-mail course administrator Ria Forsyth at email@example.com
In picture: The Red Hot Chili Peppers played a one-off concert in front of Civic Centre, San Francisco, as part of a Dreamforce Event. Local production specialists Tekamaki chose d3 for its unique mapping capabilities and real-time pre-visualisation features; Show technology professionals from Fix8 used two GrandMA1 consoles and 14 Hippotizer V3 HDs for the visuals for the Mont Blanc Nicolas Rieussec Watch Launch in Shanghai, China.
3rd May 2013
A New Degree of Achievement With Showsec
Fifteen Showsec managers became the first in the UK to receive the new foundation degree in Applied Professional Studies in Crowd Management awarded by the University of Derby Corporate, U.D.C., at the institution’s inaugural degree presentation ceremony, hosted at Pride Park, Derby, April 26th, 2013.
The foundation degree was developed in close partnership by U.D.C. to form part of a clear and unique development path from steward to senior management as part of Showsec’s management development programme, whose manager Keith Hackett states:
“This graduation is a proud moment for the company, it is the fruition of five years investment to create a ground-breaking course and qualification with a content-relevant degree syllabus. We’ve worked with U.D.C. to include innovative processes, such as thought provoking classroom sessions challenging current security and crowd management procedures, and taking input from external industry experts to ensure we are at the cutting edge of thinking relating to the specific skills required by professionals in an evolving live events industry.
“The programme is specifically designed to incorporate blended learning methods, including real time operational learning experiences at major events and festivals, on-the-job mentoring with support from experienced leading experts, and our state of the art E-Learning platform, which now hosts over 75 modules, resulting in an education program which is relevant and progressive.
“The course has three strands focusing on developing operational expertise, leadership and achieving high standards of administrative competence. Our clients have benefited from the services of confident, qualified, fully rounded managers with a thirst for success fuelled by the drive for innovation. This is the genesis of the next generation of crowd managers who will shape the future of the industry.”
Showsec managing director Mark Harding was invited to present the Industry Address to the audience, with his speech he stated: “Today is the culmination of individual achievement, company investment and the delivery of commercially relevant education. U.D.C. has been outstanding in meeting our higher education needs and enabled us to fulfil our continued expansion within the industry.”
“These 15 graduates are the first in a stream of operational staff taking this new Foundation Degree, setting a new benchmark for the industry and elevating the strength in depth of our operational team to a new level. Combining personal development with the company’s ambitions has been fundamental to the success of the programme. In keeping with our commitment to continuous product improvement, this autumn we will release the next innovative programme for our more senior managers. Providing these development opportunities for individuals alongside our cohesive approach to improving industry standards can only continue to benefit our clients.”
For details of the next programme and other opportunities visit the Training section of Showsec’s website or call learning and development manager Keith Hackett on 0116 204 3309.
In picture: Richard Elliot, Andrew Edwards, Darren Evans, Lisa Byrom-Papas, Martin Lewis, Thomas Bailey, Simon Battersby, Timothy Chambers, Keith Hackett, Joseph Taylor, Mark Harding, Craig Bennett, Louise Stockden, Bobak Javaheri, Tom Rigby, Sam Hodkin, Tony Hulme.
1st May 2013
Audio Course Providers Collaborate
Alchemea College and Britannia Row Productions Training have announced a new collaboration to deliver live sound training at the highest level. With Alchemea’s facilities located on Britannia Row in Islington (the original HQ for Britannia Row Productions), both parties have enjoyed friendly relations for many years.
As part of this collaboration, Britannia Row Productions Training will deliver training for all students currently enrolled on Alchemea's full time Live Sound course.
Alchemea's marketing and sales director Mike Sinnott says: “Brit Row is a household name in the live sound industry, so we were thrilled to hear that they had developed their own intensive training programme. This collaboration will ensure that our students will continue to receive the highest standard of relevant hands on industry training using the latest cutting edge live sound technology.” Alchemea will continue to focus its expertise in teaching studio-based sound engineering, music and audio post production as well as game sound. Britannia Row Productions Training (BRPT) will specialise exclusively in the delivery of live sound training.
Britannia Row Productions Training managing director Matthias Postel comments: “To meet the growing demand for properly trained live sound technicians students need to train with the very latest sound equipment. By using Britannia Row's extensive resources we ensure that our trainees not only work with the latest technology, but are also taught by the best.”
30th April 2013
Avolites Media and Avolites to present overview of Ai Media Server and Titan 7 at PLASA Focus Leeds
The Avolites Media and Avolites team have announced that Steven Baird Smith will be running a presentation on the multi-award winning Ai Media Server and Titan V7 software at 4:40pm on Tuesday 30 April 2013 at PLASA Focus, Leeds .
The session will provide an overview of the latest features of the Titan V7 and Ai Media Server as part of 'Lighting and Video - the Integration, the Benefits, the Future' presented by Avolites and Avolites Media.
"We will be introducing the latest cool features of the Ai Media System, including 'AUTO MAP', making mapping tourable; 'wow factor' rotational mapping; and our totally unique 'canvas editor' feature, which brings 3D content editing tools into the Ai tool set," says Avolites Media's MD Steve Warren. "We believe that fabulous productions start with the best ingredients and Ai offers the industry's best, most efficient, high resolution codec and Ai's project based workflow is unparalleled!"
"It's an exciting time for lighting," continues Baird Smith. "The development of LED fixtures and video screens, as well as ever more powerful projectors, is changing the way shows look, this in turn is raising expectations. We at Avolites are excited about meeting the control challenges posed by this evolving technology. Come and see how Titan and Ai together can make your ideas a reality."
The presentation is a free to attend session within PLASA's Professional Development Programme, and is in addition to a two-hall exhibition of the latest entertainment technology products at the show, held at the Royal Armouries at Clarence Dock, a short distance from the centre of Leeds.
"Knowledge is a beautiful 'Yin Yang' thing - we show our friends within the lighting community how to incorporate video elements into their productions even more creatively, and newer friends in the video community will enjoy the power and flexibility of Ai," concludes Warren. "And the Yang? In return we receive many new and exciting development ideas for our future direction. It's a great win-win scenario, training and sharing ideas is the way forward..."
For more information on the sessions, visit www.plasafocus.com/leeds
19th April 2013
Duran Audio Announce European and US 2013 Training Events
At ProLight + Sound in Frankfurt, Germany, Duran Audio BV announced its schedule for their AXYS Acoustic Modelling & Product Training Events.
Duran Audio offers free training on not only their range of Intellivox products but also on acoustic modelling, basic electro acoustics and system design. This year’s training events will be held at Duran Audio’s R&D centre in Zaltbommel, The Netherlands on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 May and also at InfoComm, Orlando, Florida on Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 June.
Although the courses are primarily targeted for consultants and contractors involved in designing and installing AXYS systems they also offer those people who wish to learn more about acoustic modelling and system design a real insight into the technology of beam steering and beam shaping products and the advantages derived through their use. For more details please email:
19th April 2013
Start the Summer Term with the right Theatrical Training Skills
If you are a technician, teacher or student and interested in obtaining new or improving on your existing skills then the 2013 technical training courses provided by Stage Electrics is ideal for you.
Stage Electrics has been successfully delivering training for a wide range of technical entertainment disciplines nationwide for over 10 years. New courses include "Getting to Grips with Sound"- a one day course aimed at professionals within the education sector providing an understanding of the fundamentals of sound and audio reproduction. In addition training topics include courses and workshops on lighting design, moving lights, pyrotechnic safety awareness and working at height (ladders and tallescopes) and accredited PASMA training.
Bespoke and individually tailored informal courses held at the customers venue, particularly on stage lighting, form an essential part of the company’s annual training programme. These cost effective and efficient training methods have proven successful for customers wanting their new and existing staff to be trained on their in house theatrical and technical equipment.
Geoff Parsons from Oasis Brightstowe - Bristol commenting on the on-site training for four staff at the Academy said: "Superb, clear, concise and focused and the team were able to ask specific questions on this informal training session and received a helpful answer."
For further information have a look on Stage Electrics website www.stage-training.co.uk or email
19th April 2013
Clarity LX Console Training at White Light - April 16 and 17
Fresh off the back of a hugely successful Prolight + Sound show in Frankfurt last week, Richie Mickan, LSC Lighting's technical manager, has bounced over to the UK to offer two days of training on their highly praised and incredibly powerful LX console range.
Powered by Open Clear's Clarity lighting and media control package, the LX hardware integrates seamlessly to give total control over all types of light, video walls and media servers.
The training, being held tomorrow, Tuesday April 16 and Wednesday April 17 at White Light's SW19 office has very limited places so please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
15th April 2013
PLASA and ProSight Specialty Insurance team up to advance entertainment industry safety and deliver technical standards free of charge
ProSight Specialty Insurance, a global specialty insurance carrier in the film and live events industry, has announced that it is partnering with PLASA, the global leader in developing technical standards for the entertainment industries. The organizations have collaborated to advance PLASA’s Technical Standards Program to increase safety throughout entertainment production. Together ProSight and PLASA are ensuring that every professional in the business has access to all PLASA Technical Standards by making them available to anyone free of charge.
Lori Rubinstein, executive director of PLASA, North America said: “Our alliance with ProSight will have a significant impact on the entertainment industry by allowing all those involved in the creation of entertainment events free access to standards that will make their lives safer and easier. We are thrilled that ProSight shares our commitment to making sure that everyone who attends or works on an entertainment event, from a live show to a film shoot, goes home safely at the end of the day. Technical standards protect lives, prevent accidents, save money, solve problems, and encourage creativity.”
“Every day, ProSight’s specialist underwriters work to protect both the professionals who create the entertainment experience as well as the people who enjoy the results of their efforts,” said Kevin Topper, vice president of Entertainment Programs, ProSight Specialty Insurance. “With the leading risk management professionals in the entertainment industry on our team, ProSight is seamlessly aligned with PLASA’s mission to enhance business practices and skills development in our industry.”
ProSight’s leading insurance offering is centered on delivering specialized expertise, paired with a broad array of responsive insurance and risk management products designed to meet the unique needs of film and live events professionals so that they can seamlessly showcase their craft. As part of this new alliance, companies that employ ETCP Certified Technicians earn preferred rates on insurance solutions from ProSight due to the improved risk profile that comes from experience, skill and professionalism.
PLASA and ProSight will utilize print and digital advertising campaigns, social media channels and a dedicated co-branded website plasa.prosightspecialty.com to advance the alliance. The co-branded website is a resource for entertainment technology professionals interested in industry insights and skills development. It features fresh content from ProSight and PLASA, benefits of PLASA membership and updates on Technical Standards and Certification, as well as additional information about ProSight’s many insurance solutions for the film and live events industries.
15th April 2013
Gearhouse Training Academy Renamed
Seldom will you find an opportunity that is so geared towards the Technical Supply industry, so involved with what is happening on the events scene right now and such a fun way of learning that you simply have to sign on, if Technical Production is your passion.
An annual internship is run in each of the Gearhouse Group’s Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban branches. This is an 11 month course aimed at equipping industry entrants with a solid foundation across all disciplines, to the standard required for first-class service. Individuals showing great potential in the first year also stand the chance of being selected to study a second year and specialise further in one discipline.
The Academy has been in operation for eight years now and has recently been renamed in honour of late Gearhouse director, Kentse Mpahlwa. According to joint managing director, Ofer Lapid it was a particularly appropriate tribute. "We wanted to create a permanent reminder within Gearhouse of his contribution to the live events industry and his passion for the education and upliftment of underprivileged youth in South Africa. Going forward, therefore, our Training School will be known as The Kentse Mpahlwa Gearhouse Academy. In this way, we hope to ensure that his vision is remembered and his aims furthered in the Live Events Industry."
Adopting a proactive training policy, the Gearhouse Group is more than aware of the importance of highly trained staff, regarding them as Gearhouse’s ‘best asset’. "We need to make sure that they are equipped to provide creative solutions as well as utilise the equipment to their best advantage," says joint managing director, Ofer Lapid.
The company encourages open lines of communication and most technicians have been exposed to the international way of working through direct training, skills transfer on international tours to South Africa or by working abroad alongside international crews.
Lapid also recognises that the attractive prospect of working at some of the country’s most anticipated events helps to draw in skilled individuals. "Our staff has the opportunity to work with world-class equipment and on the country's top events (like the 2010 FIFA World Cup). This attracts a very high level of technician and we have many of the country's experts in their fields working with us, but we are very concerned about the lack of specific technical training for inexperienced industry aspirants."
The first industry accredited Learnership was created by Gearhouse in association with MAPPP SETA in 2006, incorporating the expertise of the in-house staff in the generation of the course material and onsite training. This has evolved into a one year full-time in-house programme that enables learners to major in six fields, each of which has both Theory and Practical components: Lighting, Sound, Audio-Visual, Rigging, Structures and Power. Full event technical production involves all of these disciplines and through this programme, learners gain a good foundation in all fields.
Training is given by the highly-skilled employees of Gearhouse SA and a Workshop Rotation component ensures hands-on experience on a practical level across the board. How far the students progress is entirely up to them and the amount of effort they put into it.
The programme is ‘learner centred’ in the sense that learners complete the programme at their own pace – with the proviso that all modules need to be complete by the end of the year. Graduates receive a Certificate in Live Event Technical Production that is recognised throughout the industry.
The Internship program runs from 8 am to 5 pm daily (Monday to Friday) from the beginning of February to the end of December. Learners become part of the Gearhouse staff body, earning a weekly stipend as well as overtime when they are sent out on events. They are also provided with all the necessary training material, safety boots, hardhat, gloves etc. to complete their tasks safely.
Two months are spent in the Training Centre and the following six months in workshop rotation, focusing on a subject per month. After that learners spend the remaining time specialising in their field of choice. Sorry...no holidays, this is the not-so-glamorous side of eventing!
Assessment is continuous and runs throughout the year. A final exam is set for end November, part of which requires the group to work as a team to set-up and run a full stage for group assessment.
Applicants must have Matric with Maths and Science. With the free-of-charge course drawing interest from over 300 applicants, a thorough screening process determines who the 45 successful applicants will be each year.
The training methodology used is ‘Criterion Based Modular Training’ (CBMT) a well-recognised ‘Learner Centred’ training approach developed for Apprenticeship Training. The system encourages the learner to manage their own learning. The training methodology also ensures that the learner attains a 100% pass mark for all Criterion Tests before being allowed to move on to the next level.
The knowledge and skills being assessed are those that Gearhouse believes MUST be mastered in order to qualify. With a core safety element embedded in every module, the Internship goes a long way to entrenching the Gearhouse ethos of "safety first". Without these fundamentals, no-one is allowed to operate as part of the technical team.
photo Kaelo Engage
photo Kaelo Engage