F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports
ILDA Meeting and Lase-Off
The official 1998 ILDA business meeting started on Sunday morning when
President Chris Ward delivered the annual 'State of ILDA address'. Most of Chris's address covered financial matters.
ILDA is in good financial condition with it's first small surplus
that has been invested into an emergency fund against the day when
it may be needed.
Chris also indicated that he felt it was time for ILDA to invest in
a part-time web-master so that the ILDA web-site could be updated
more frequently. Chris also discussed the need for increased
professionalism in the industry. The newly created Design and
Production Workshop is designed to meet this need by having top
industry professionals present some of their projects and how they
There was then discussion of whether or not ILDA should join
is a non-profit trade association representing the North American
entertainment technology industry. Members
include dealers, manufacturers, reps, service and production companies,
scenic houses, designers and consultants. One of the functions of ESTA is to
adopt standards for the entertainment industry and ILDA's standards should
be included. During discussion from the floor, the membership reached the
opinion that the board should investigate this further and then report back
to the membership on the costs and obligations involved.
Committee chairs were then called up to present reports on their
committee's activities over the past year. The membership first heard from
Jack Dunn chair of the Planetarium and Science Centre Committee who
indicated that they were still actively seeking out planetariums with laser
show to recruit them as members.
David Lytle, Laserist editor, informed the membership that the quality of
articles printed in the publication had been improved with many longer
pieces on technical issues. He also reported that the 3 regular editions of
The Laserist had been improved with more pages added for additional content
and increased advertising opportunities.
Tim Walsh, Chair of the Awards Committee spoke about the large number of
submissions in this years awards. He reminded members that the sale of
awards tapes not only allows members to see all winning entries (they are
not all displayed at the banquet) but also to help defray the cost of
staging the banquet. Tim announced that at this year's banquet, a records
number of winning entries would be displayed as laser shows with only a few
videos. He thanked Michael Sollinger for the loan of much of the projection
and control equipment, and ABC LaserEvents for their equipment and work in
staging the Lase-off and Awards.
Bill Benner then gave a presentation on the work of the Technical
Committee. Work on the ILDA standards is on-going and a small revision of
the DMX standard is expected shortly so as to add some items brought to the
Technical Committee's attention. Bill also indicated that experts in the
laser industry were now showing more interest in laser display issues.
John Hare, chair of the Ethics Committee, told us that things had been
very quiet in the past year with only two complaints needing resolution. He
advised that this is good as it means that no major ethics problems are
occurring and that he would be happy when he had nothing at all to report.
Greg Makhov, chair of the Safety Committee, reported that ILDA is still
actively participating in the lasers in airspace issue. At a recent course,
participants had included regulators from government agencies outside the
USA. Safety issues surrounding audience scanning are being discussed and are
working towards a consensus on the basics of defining measurements and
The floor was then opened for discussion of these issues and the
presentation of motions from the membership. L. Michael Roberts presented
two motions. The first was designed to limit board members to a
maximum of two 2-year terms in a row (four years maximum service before
taking a break). In his rationale, Michael indicated that the reasoning was
to allow more 'fresh faces' onto the board and to create opportunities for
people to serve in these elected positions. There was a great deal of
discussion about the issue and in the vote the motions were defeated.
Michael then introduced a further motion to amend the ILDA bylaws such that
any changes made to those bylaws by the Board during the year, would have to
be ratified by the membership at the next annual meeting after the change.
There was considerable discussion of this "checks and balances" proposal and
the resolution passed.
The election of Secretary was then brought before the meeting. There was
some discussion of an interpretation of the bylaws that appeared to be a
roadblock to holding the vote. The issue was resolved, with the Board
agreeing that the bylaws needed improvement in the wording on that item.
Page Hare was re-elected by acclamation to continue her good work as
Nominations for Board were then taken from the floor. There were three
positions to be filled due to expiring terms. The Nominees were; Dirk Baur,
Craig Nelson, Michel Wenzel, Chris Ward, Mike Walsh, Alberto Kellner and the
perennial Steve Heminover.
ILDA then broke with precedent by calling for the balloting immediately
after nominations. In past years, nominations were made on one day, with
elections scheduled for the next or a following day. This practice gave
candidates the opportunity to campaign and to make sure supporters had the
opportunity to vote as members often have other commitments and can't always
be present in every meeting. With this unannounced change in procedure, it
is not at all certain that a quorum was present for the voting.
The new ILDA board consists of Dirk Baur, Chris Ward, Tony Zmorenski, Steve
Heminover and Stephen Harvey who was not present at the meeting despite
being a director.
1998 Board (L to R): Dirk Baur, Chris
Ward, Stephen Harvey, Tony Zmorenski, Steve Heminover
There then followed a call for nominations for President. Chris Ward was
nominated. Dirk Baur was also nominated but declined on the basis that he
felt he should serve on the board for at last a year before running for
President. Chris Ward was re-elected by acclamation to a third term as ILDA
President. The meeting then adjourned downstairs to lunch.
The afternoon was devoted to workshops and seminars and the trade show
was open. The following were available to the membership:
- International Laser Safety Seminar moderated by Tony
Dr. Daniel Clark, Loughborough College, UK; John O'Hagan, National
Radiological Protection Board, UK; Dirk Baur, MediaLas GmbH, Germany;
Dr. Wolfgang Kichner, WKL, Germany; Greg Makhov, ILDA Safety Committee
Chair; and Patrick Murphy, ILDA Airspace Issues co-ordinator. This
proved to be an especially interesting session with an excellent handout
covering tips for safe audience scanning (Click HERE
to read the handout.)
International Laser Safety
After the coffee break:
- The International Safety workshop continued with a focus on test
instruments and methodologies.
Demonstration of testing
- Theory, applications and artistry involved in the use of gratings and
fibre optics in the laser light show industry conducted by Peter Mayer
of Creative Laser Production in Germany.
- Promoting your company in the print media and on the web led by David
Lytle, Editor of the Laserist.
ILDA again departed from tradition and held the Lase-Off on the second
last night. (At first, the Lase-off was held immediately after the the
Awards Banquet. As it grew in popularity and more works were shown from
ADAT, it became a separate event usually held on the last night so members
could relax and party.)
Large, modern busses arrived at the hotel to transport us to Claus!
Hoffddorp about a 30 minute ride away. Claus! is like an adult play-land
with restaurants, video games, a bowling alley and a beautiful two-story
banquet hall where the ILDA events were held. There were two mirrored, fibre-fed
scan heads situated on either side of the stage used for beams; and two
fibre-fed scan heads at the back of the stage that were primarily used for
graphics projected onto a motorised scrim.
Lase-Off graphic and beam show
with colourful tunnels played from the Lasergraph DSP
After a modest buffet featuring some spicy dishes, laserists settled back
while host, L. Michael Roberts from Canada, announced the shows. The
following were presented (the info in brackets indicates the type of show
and the source of playback):
- The ever popular "Spam", which memorialises the 1995 ILDA
meeting in Miami, by Laseronics Northwest of the USA (graphics from ADAT)
- "Defcon/Castles" featuring the spoken word of Athur C. Clarke by
Green Rose Lasers of the USA (graphics from ADAT)
- "Aylnafysh", a driving dance piece by Dave Nash from Canada (Beams
- "Perfect Sense" by William Moore of the USA (graphics from
- "Come on and Ride it" with lots of train graphics from Strictly
F/X in the USA (graphics from ADAT)
- "Carmen" an up tempo rendition of the operatic aria from LOBO in
Germany (beams from ADAT)
- "Air Force" using classically orchestrated military style music
and featuring subtle colour modulation by LaserAnimation of Germany (beams
- "War" a graphics piece from Lightspeed Design in the USA (graphics
- "Sound is Laser" an experimental piece using the signals fed to
the galvos as the soundtrack by Tim Walsh of the USA. This unusual work was
played back both on the screen and the beam heads simultaneously as it looks
great in either mode (beams and graphics from ADAT)
- "Monster Mash" by the team from Laser Fantasy in the USA. This
module won First in the annual Pangolin Prize competition (graphics from
- "Vivaldi" a beam piece set to classical music by Laser
Entertainment of Italy (beams from ADAT)
- "Hope" by Rob De Addizo of the USA (beams from Pangolin)
- "James Bond" set to music from the movie by Jaye Neal of the USA
(Beams from Pangolin)
- "The Clapton Affair" with music by Eric Clapton from Muler
Planetarium in the USA (graphics from ADAT)
- "Chinese New Year" featuring lots of Asian graphics by Claude
Lifante of France (graphics from Pangolin)
- "Fun Factory" set to up-tempo dance music by Laser Image of
Holland (beams from ADAT)
- "Little Britain" a graphic piece with stunning beam effects and
orchestral soundtrack from LaserAnimation in Germany (beams and graphics
- The finale was "Yamaha" a corporate production that began with
graphics, then the screen rolled up for spectacular beam effects - created
by our hosts ABC LaserEvents in Holland (beams and graphics from Pangolin).
ABC LaserEvents show at Claus! Hoffddorp-
image courtesy of ABC
Scanning at ILDA
Audience scanning is legal in The Netherlands and we were all
looking forward to seeing the laser shows presented in the
European manner. A rumor circulated during the Captain Kok dinner
cruse that the beam shows would use reduced power levels. There
was much politicking to lobby for having the shows presented by
our hosts in the European manner.
The morning after the cruise, Greg Makhov made a statement to the
membership that audience scanning would be used at the ILDA events
and that non-scanned seating would be available for those who
wanted it. During the International Laser Safety Seminar, there
was much general discussion of audience scanning and the
appropriate power levels to be used.
Newly elected Board member, Dirk Baur, brokered a compromise where
Dr. Wolfgang Kichner and John O'Hagan agreed to measure the
audience scanning power levels. It was further agreed that our
hosts would have the final say in accordance with local
regulations and practices, the measurements were to be made for
informational purposes to determine exposure levels.
The first few beam pieces presented looked adequate but were not
that exciting. The output power of the laser had been set to 3
watts (before losses in the PCAOM and the fibres). Our hosts made
an effort to extinguish all possible lights in the room so as to
improve viewing. Interestingly, USA made beam shows looked good as
the effects were often fans of beams and static beam effects
projected above the horizon with no audience scanning.
International shows that used lots of sheets, fans and tunnels for
audience scanning did not fare as well.
After the break, an announcement was made to blow out the candles
on the tables (a light source that had been overlooked) and the
laser power was upped. This made a dramatic improvement in the
quality of the audience scanning but it is not known if the
scanning exceeded the MPE.
During the final module,"Yamaha" by ABC LaserEvents, the
audience was enveloped in colourful tunnels of light that
virtually made the venue disappear.
The event was somewhat more rushed than most would have wanted and not
all submissions could be played. This was due to time constraints as we had
to be back at the hotel by midnight to avoid overtime charges on the buses.
The event finished at 23:05 giving us plenty of time to get our coats and
get to the buses.
In order to present as many pictures as possible, we have broken
this special report down into a number of pages to speed access:
SPECIAL REPORT -
Introduction and Background
6 Nov - PUG MEETING
7 Nov - ATW (Advanced
7 Nov - Canal ride and Dinner
(NOTE: Large page long download time)
8 Nov - Meeting, Seminars and
9 Nov - Seminars and Awards
ILDA Trade Show - A
(NOTE: Large page long download time)
ILDA Trade Show - B
(NOTE: Large page long download time)
Candid Camera (NOTE:
Large page long download time)
Essay: Sex and Drugs in Amsterdam
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responsible for the technical accuracy of the information
provided. We provide this information as a service to
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