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LED + Light Asia 2018: On the Forefront of Tomorrow

Every year lighting professionals from around the world acknowledge Asia’s growing influence in the world of lighting technology and LED in particular. This year 9,000 trade professionals and 250 exhibitors from 15 countries will gather to meet at the LED + Light Asia 2018 5th International LED and Light Technology Show. And while we would put our American made dimmer packs and wireless DMX against that of any technology in the world, we also like to keep a watchful eye on what some of our peers are doing and of course on the trends that effect the industry and could affect your stage production, motion picture or concert. The event will be held from October 2 – 4 in the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore a city that is known for pretty impressive industrial light displays.

 

A Few of this Year’s Exhibitors

 

Bon Wood Co., Ltd: Although this company is not directly involved in the lighting industry, it does have a very definite link to the theatrical world. Since 2007 they have built flooring, handrails and outdoor stages all things theater goers and stage managers would likely come into contact with.
Gabkotech Innovations Pte Ltd: This company develops several technologies related to stage management such as its Inventory Management System, Time Attendance Management System, etc. Moreover, Gabkotech is also involved in design and consultancy.
Pro Audio/Visual & Lighting Integration Association of Singapore: This leader in the audio/visual industry in Asia concerns itself with lighting used by design professionals as Asia itself is slated to become the largest market in the pro-A/V market.

 

Light Basic Studio Pte Ltd: This firm specializes in architectural lighting. Their motto is that they perfect light and space.led

As we said, our interests are always aligned with those who wish to push forward the technological boundaries of our profession. In this way, whether they are rivals or not we can better serve the professionals who rely on us to supply them with well made, state-of-the-art equipment to produce and engineer their shows. That is why we participate in similar events. To us it is about improving as a company and letting people know about the brands we sell and the services we deliver to our customers no matter where they are. Ratpac Dimmers is happy to be a part of all such innovation.

Top Stage Management Apps

Corralling actors, scheduling and keeping track of props, running digital tools such as our dimmer packs and our wireless DMX devices, which use Lumen Radio’s CRMX technology, are all a part of the life a stage manager. These and countless other tasks must be performed and hopefully executed with military style precision in order to have a successful show. To further complicate matters, a different setup is often required with each new production. So, how can stage managers simplify the process without missing critical steps? The same way many of us administer our lives and work – with the use of technology. Here are a few of the top stage management apps.

  • Focuster: As we’ve already said, stage managers have a lot of tasks to perform with every production. This is why it takes a tremendous amount of focus and organization to pull off even the simplest performance. Focuster helps by automatically scheduling your to-do list in your calendar. Moreover, it helps you focus by prioritizing tasks helping you to create a hierarchy of duties.
  • Stage Manager: Stage Manager is a free app that helps you to plan events, concerts and shows from your mobile phone. It is the perfect app for producers.
  • Barbizon’s Electrician’s Handbook: This app, which is available for iOS and Android, is a great reference tool for stage managers who may be a technologically challenged. It gives the user access to every bit of reference material related to wires and cables, lighting fixtures, lamps, color, patterns, pipes, knots, and more.
  • eSET: The world of theater and stage production has a very specific and complicated language all its own. eSET provides the user with a glossary of over 2,000 industry terms covering everything from set dressing to sound effects to lighting, etc. The app is great for newcomers or for pros who want to refresh their memory on some aspect of theater production.
  • Rehearsal 2: This powerful app lets cast and crew organize their scripts for auditions and on set. It has even been used by actors on the sets of such shows as “Heroes” and “CSI.” The app even allows voice performers to audition wherever they are and to email these performances as MP3s.stage manager

We know what you are probably thinking. These apps were not available in the time of Shakespeare. Well, the theater world and the technology that supports it has gotten far more complicated than it was in those days. It is very difficult to keep every aspect of a given play organized in one’s head. These apps can help stage managers perform their duties. We can also help by providing you with state-of-the-art technology and by providing you with Strand Dimmer repair services.

Omni-Directional vs. Directional Antennas: What are the Differences?

One of the disadvantages of technology is that it sometimes makes certain choices more difficult even while hardware like our Cintenna portable DMX wireless system is itself relatively easy to use. For example, once you have installed one of our wireless, Omni-directional DMX units into the DMX input of your lighting device, you may still have to decide which kind of antenna is best for you – directional or Omni-directional. Here are some differences between the two kinds of antenna.

Omni-Directional vs. Directional Antennas

Omni-directional antennas, as the name suggests, radiate and receive energy equally well in all directions. Think of this kind of antenna as working like a lamp. The light from a lamp radiates outward in all directions. However, this 360 degree transmission is not always either required or desirable for light engineers. Sometimes a technician may desire that the available energy radiated by an antenna be pinpointed in a particular direction. In this case, a directional antenna would be more suitable. Directional antennas allow RF energy to be focused in a particular direction. This would be desirable, for example, if a technician needed the transmission to be focused in areas such as hallways, long corridors, isle structures with spaces in between, etc.

The Pros and Cons of Each

No technology solution is ever perfect nor is technology always one size fits all. Both kinds of antennas have their advantages and disadvantages and it is up to the light technician to figure which is more appropriate for his or her needs. Since directional antenna need to face particular areas in which coverage is needed it can sometimes lead to mounting challenges. Moreover, directional antennas have less angular coverage by their very nature than Omni-directional antennas. The advantage they have over Omni-directional antennas is that they are usually more powerful. On the other hand, there are Omni-directional antennas. The advantages to them are that they are generally easier to install and they do not face the mounting challenges that directional antennas do plus they cover a broader area. One disadvantage is that they generally have less range than directional antennas do. In either case, it takes a careful assessment of exactly what is needed for your production to determine which is the most suitable. We can help you fulfill those needs with our Strand dimmers and our Strand dimmer repair service as well as our DMX devices. We can also help you lower production cost with our equipment rentals.  cintenna

Stage/Theater Safety Tips

It was more than 34 years ago that the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, was the victim of one of the most calamitous events ever to befall an entertainer on stage. For those of you too young to remember, Jackson was filming a Pepsi commercial onstage when some of the pyrotechnics near him ignited his hair. Jackson was rushed immediately to the hospital where part of his treatment necessitated that he use prescription painkillers. The pop star would eventually become addicted to these painkillers. In 2009 he died from an overdose of painkillers. The point is, although most people see the stage as a place of enjoyment, it can be a dangerous place as well. Here are some general safety guidelines for those of you in the production end of the theater.

  • Dimmer rooms and boards: Only qualified and trained employers should operate and maintain dimmers and light boards. Follow all instructions in any manual you receive with our equipment. Also, as a practice never store flammable or combustible equipment near dimmers, dimmer packs or other lighting equipment. Finally, be sure to keep open containers of liquid away from all electronics.
  • Cables: In some respects cables are going the way of the dinosaur in our business. However, they are still useful in some instances. Where they do exist, make sure your technicians handle them with care. Use best practices such as: Never wrap cables around support beams or catwalk quad-rails, provide sufficient slack for tethered equipment that may need to be moved, etc.
  • Safety equipment: Wear special work clothes when necessary. For example, hard hats should be worn when handling lighting equipment that is being rigged overhead. Also, make sure that workers wear knee pads, non-skids shoes, etc, when moving heavy equipment or when bending.
  • Ladders: Never move ladders when people are actually working on them. Moreover, be sure that all ladders are constructed of electrically non-conductive materials. Finally, be sure that there is no horseplay near or on ladders. stage
  • Pyrotechnics: Make sure that all fireworks meet state requirements and that only trained personnel handle such items. Also, make sure that you follow all fire codes. Finally, be sure that you have a diagram showing where each device is located, its fallout radius, when it is to be fired, etc.

Finally, the theater should be a place of wonder, entertainment and enlightenment. It should never be a place where workers, theater goers or actors have to worry about their safety. By following these rules, and others, you can make it a fun place for everyone.

Secrets Every Stage Manager Should Know

Stage managers are a lot like orchestra conductors. Each must strive to make sure that the vast array of components that they work with flow together. Further, they must do so in a manner that is outwardly imperceptible to their audiences but that make a huge difference in the overall productions. In other words, stage management is no easy task. It takes education, skill and experience to pull off this coordination of many separate pieces to form a whole unit. It’s a challenge, but here are a few tips to make it easier

  • Set hard deadlines: Otherwise you may end up falling short on the debut night. Set expectations of stage and crew and make sure that everyone knows what is expected of them and that they fall in line with the dates you set up.
  • Listen: Make sure to listen to what everyone directly associated with the production is saying. This includes actors, playwrights, costume designers and of course light and sound engineers.
  • Don’t ignore the tech: Find out early if there are any technical issues that may become a problem later. Know what you will need and what the budget calls for in terms of sound and lighting equipment. Finally, make sure that you develop cues for sound and light engineers and that they know what they are. Have rehearsals to practice communicating those cues.
  • Know the tech: Closely related to the above tip, all stage managers should know something about how to operate the tech behind their productions. This will help you to be able to communicate more effectively with the experts in those roles.
  • Be a people person: Managing a stage production involves communicating with a lot of people who each have a different skills set. Be sure to be respectful of everyone involved in the production. This will help the play come off better and it will also help your career.stage manager

In short, the job of a stage manager is difficult but can be immensely satisfying. Successful stage managers are individuals who care deeply about their job and can view the production from the eyes of the public. They strive to make everyone work together as a whole and above all they remember to have fun. At Ratpac Dimmers we also enjoy our work with professional in the lighting business. We have Strand dimmer repair and dimmer rental services that help stage managers excel in their profession.

Tips and Tricks for Filming at Night

Nighttime shoots can pose special challenges for movie makers. Lighting directors and cinematographers require the use of powerful lights (and generators) to illuminate certain scenes but they never want to lose the atmospherics that only nighttime can create. It takes experience to be able to strike this balance. As you struggle with this dilemma, here are some tips from the experts on how to shoot effective nighttime scenes.

  • Shoot at a wide angle: A wider iris lets more light come into the camera. This helps capture the details of the scene you are filming. When objects and people are seen clearly during an otherwise dark night scene it can be far more impactful to the viewer.
  • Use Snow: If you are on a low budget try using snow as a natural reflector for the light. Of course, man-made reflectors are more effective for this purpose, but the virtue of snow is that it is free.

·         Wet the ground: Wet pavement is another natural reflector that can provide a moderate level of illumination. Additionally, using streetlights, neon signs, etc. can add to the         ambiance of certain scenes.

  • Shoot at dusk or twilight: Dusk and dawn can create excellent low light conditions that are soft and natural but that still allow viewers to see what is happening.
  • Use reflectors and white cards: White cards and reflectors can not only help to illuminate your production, they can also help bring out certain colors in your scene. They create a soft, warm feeling that is less harsh than direct lights.
  • Stick with a manual focus: Do not rely on auto-focus too much when filming night scenes. Doing so will cause the camera to switch back and forth between objects.
  • Highlight only a few small areas: Rather than trying to illuminate every object and person in a scene, focus instead on certain items in a shot.
  • Do a test before the actual shoot: Finally, don’t leave it to chance that all your brilliant strategies will work exactly the way they should. Test different scenes with different light setups. Keep testing as long as it takes to achieve the ideal shots.lighting at night

To summarize, use every resource at your disposal when shooting nights scenes and realize that they are different than shooting in the daytime or when shooting indoors. Also, know that night scenes can be more expensive since they require special equipment and take extra steps. One way to save is by using a dimmer rental from our site. We have wireless DMX also that will make your production come off the way you desire.

Benefits of LED Lighting for Industrial Usage

In 1962, the scientist Nick Holonyak, Jr., created the first practical visible light-emitting diode. Since then it has grown in popularity and has many industrial applications in the entertainment industry. What is it about LED that makes it so attractive to lighting directors and business owners? Well, LEDs are more durable, reliable, and do not need much maintenance unlike other lighting technologies. There are many other advantages to using LEDs that only someone who is far behind the technology would miss. Here are a few.

  • LED is more energy efficient: Some studies show that LEDs use 40% to 70% less electricity than traditional incandescent, fluorescent and halogen lights. Moreover, LED fixtures can be aimed at specific a direction which is helpful when being used in theatrical lighting.
  • LED lights require less maintenance: The servicing of fluorescent or HID lights and the servicing of magnetic ballasts can be quite expensive. In contrast, because LEDs use electronic drivers they allow manufacturers the opportunity to integrate into this technology with features such as sensing, instant on/off functions, etc. Our Strand Dimmers also work well with this technology.
  • No IR or UV Emissions: We all know that incandescent lamps emit a great deal of heat. Well, that is not the only thing they emit. They also emit IR and UV rays. In contrast, LEDs do not. They emit no heat and are more reliable than fluorescent and incandescent light.
  • LEDs are more durability: LED systems are tougher than other lighting solutions. This is because they don’t have filaments or glass enclosures which make them less susceptible to breakage. This also makes them perfect for use in outdoor lighting applications.
  • LEDs are more cost effective: Lighting costs can be a huge part of any theatrical production. LEDs provide a great ROI for your production since they are more efficient and durable. These features save managers money. Another way lighting designers can save money is by using dimmer rental for our products.led lighting

In short, many industries including the entertainment industry have long seen the advantages to LEDs over incandescent, fluorescent and halogen solutions. These technologies still have their use and our equipment can work with a variety of technologies, but more and more people are turning away from these lighting solutions in favor of LEDs.

5 Horror Movies with Excellent Cinematography

More than nearly any other film genre, lighting is a crucial aid in creating mood in horror movies. Often, light is used in close- up shots to heighten emotions, show the possible importance of objects or people and to create an atmosphere of fear or impending doom. An excellent example of this is the famous poster for William Friedkin’s The Exorcist. This iconic poster shows the image of a priest standing before the home he is about to enter illuminated by light shining from a window. Cinematographer Owen Roizman knew a great deal about light as it relates to the horror genre and expertly demonstrates this knowledge in this classic movie. What are other movies in this genre that make excellent use of lighting? Here are a few of our choices.

  • The Phantom Carriage (dir. Victor Sjöström, 1921): Even without the aid of modern technologies like wireless DMX, this Swedish movie directly influenced the Seventh Seal and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. This movie creates the illusion of wandering ghosts by using superimposition and doubled exposures long before CGI was invented.
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (dir. Robert Wiene, 1920): A German Expressionist classic, Dr. Caligari adeptly uses light to illuminate twisted cityscapes, spiraling streets, and nightmarish forms.
  • Nosferatu (dir. F.W. Murnau, 1922): This groundbreaking horror film was made in the silent era and has built a cult following. The film utilizes natural lighting to illustrate the case, landscape and other objects. Cinematographer Fritz Arno Wagner also used stop-motion photography and other techniques to create the feeling of dread.
  • Psycho (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1960): The famous shower scene featuring Janet Leigh is said to have required 78 camera setups and seven days to film. The film’s cinematographer – John L. Russell – used fast motion and reverse shots to simulate the knife piercing Leigh’s abdomen.pscyho
  • The Shining (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1980): Cinematographer John Alcott used low-angle points of view to emphasize the main character’s feelings of isolation and paranoia. He also borrowed from the aforementioned The Phantom Carriage.

There are many other excellent examples of how cinematographers must adapt according to the genre in which they are working. Horror is among the most emotive of all genres. Today, cinematographers and theater lighting directors have at their disposal sophisticated technologies such as Strand dimmers to help them. However, the goal remains the same – to engage the viewer using lighting techniques that also propel the story and the characters.

5 Theater Lighting Mistakes to Avoid

Every lighting designer aspires to provide excellent lighting for the theater going public. The degree to which they accomplish this varies based on experience and education. However, the wise lighting designer knows that learning to do so is a never-ending journey. After all, one should always strive for perfection even if he/she knows that it can never be reached. He or she also knows that poor lighting can ruin an otherwise wonderful production. Here are 5 common mistakes made by rookie lighting designers.

  • Writing too many light cues: Too many light cues can cause the theatergoer to become distracted and thus diverted away from the main story. Be selective in how often you choose to use light as a cue to characters, settings, etc. Use only enough lighting cues that are necessary to tell the story.
  • Eyesore color flashes: Along with too many light cues are inappropriately intense light bursts. The audience can become overwhelmed by bright lights stabbing at them intermittently. This too can not only be a distraction, it can also be painful for theater patrons to endure.
  • Exceeding Your Limitations: Be sure to know what your limitations are in terms of time, budget, equipment and labor. This will give you a better chance of being able to meet the needs of the production.
  • Bad budgeting: Lighting designers who underestimate their budget can negatively affect the overall stage production. When it comes to producing perfect lighting for your event, you should budget everything as carefully as possible. Moreover, once your budget has been determined you should buy or rent the best equipment available. Our Strand dimmer packs can be rented or purchased. Moreover, we also provide Strand dimmer repair.lighting
  • Using Over-Saturated Colors: The proper use of color is critical to stage lighting. However, over-saturating the audience with too much color can cause the actor’s features to become difficult to distinguish.

Finally, it all comes down to careful preparation. Moreover, if you are a rookie use the skills you have been taught but also be open to suggestions by people who have been in the business for some time. By keeping errors to a minimum, you will increase the enjoyment of the theater going public and at the same time experience a sense of professional satisfaction.

Cine Gear Expo 2018: Moving Technology Forward

In order for technology to move forward in our field it takes an army of professionals in many areas to meet at times in order to exchange ideas. Opportunities like this may seem to the public as a chance to simply sell product but for us they mean a lot more. Technology drives the lighting industry and events like Cine Gear Expo 2018 are necessary so that we too can meet and discuss trends and innovations with our peers. That is why we support this year’s expo and are proud to be one of its many exhibitors. This year’s Cine Gear Expo will be held from May 31 – June 3, 2018 amidst some of the most important and innovative companies and leaders in the fields of Digital Media, Film, Entertainment, Post Production, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Government and Military, Sports and Live Events

Exhibition Details

  • 300 exhibits of new products and services
  • 30+ free complimentary seminars including several master classes
  • 16,000 professionals from more than 60 countries
  • Location: The Studios at Paramount, Hollywood, CA 90038

The Exhibitors

 

As we said we will be among some of the leading innovators in our field bringing with us our tech such as our dimmers. (We also do Strand dimmer repair.) Some of the other exhibitors in attendance will be:

 

  • Ratpac Dimmers: Leaders in the manufacture and rental of lighting products such as the PDB 6 Socapex, the 24K single channel dimmer and other devices that make wireless control of lighting hardware easier and more seamless. This year we will be focusing on our 12×200 reverse phase dimmer created to control LED Tubes with a smooth dim curve down to 1% as well as the integration of our products with mobile devices.2018-05-07_1425
  • AbelCine: A company that provides products and services that are used in the broadcast and new media industries.
  • Zhengzhou Generalink Lighting Equipment Co., Ltd: G&L Lighting manufactures LED lighting for broadcasting, filmmaking, photography, video and studio fields. They have been around since 2010 and their products are used in Europe, America and Southeast Asia.
  • Sony: The Sony Corporation is known throughout the world for its products and properties. It will exhibit its digital motion picture cameras, R7 portable memory recorder capturing 4K at 120fps and other innovative entertainment products.
  • Panasonic Cinema: This leading supplier of 4k cinematography gear will display products such as its 4K VariCam PURE with Codex VRAW 2.0 Recorder and well as its LUMIX GH5.

 

To receive alerts about the exposition follow this link. See you there.