CMU School of Drama

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Projection Mapping Revolution

InPark Magazine: The growing power and sophistication of digital projectors, and the software that drives their content, are creating a revolution in projection mapping. Once primarily limited to 2D surfaces, the technology is being employed on widely varying and irregular surfaces ranging from mountains, buildings and scale models of cars to events including live concerts and theatre productions.

Please Remain Seated…

InPark Magazine: For those who have been to a theme park anytime in the last decade, it is impossible not to notice the significant role of audiovisual systems and media. Designers of theme parks and out-of-home attractions are continually pushing the envelope to create memorable experiences and provide options that differentiate an experience from what’s available in the home or elsewhere.

Ellen Page Thinks “Brave” Isn’t the Right Way To Describe Actors Playing LGBTQ+ Roles

The Mary Sue: In a Time magazine interview, Ellen Page shook off the descriptor “brave” when she discussed her upcoming role in Freeheld. “Maybe this is a bad thing to say, but I have a hard time when people call actors brave,” she said. “I don’t really get that, because our job is to read something on a page.”

An Interview with South African director, producer, and educator Lara Bye

HowlRound: Lara Bye is an independent South African theatre director, producer, and educator who works produces work in English and Afrikaans, from Shakespeare to Opera, in both in theatres and outdoor spaces. As a director/dramaturg committed to developing new South African texts, Lara works closely with writers on the production of new South African plays as well as producing international scripts that resonate with South African narratives.

Article: “Cirque du Soleil Owns the Las Vegas Strip”

www.cirquefascination.com: In some ways, Cirque du Soleil and Las Vegas are unlikely dance partners. The Quebec circus sprang from the active imagination of former street performer and fire-breather Guy Laliberté back in the early ’80s, and its selling point in the three decades since has always been its authentic artistic savoir faire.

Surefire 2211X WristLight Review: A Real Headlamp Alternative?

indefinitelywild.gizmodo.com: Last year, Surefire released an innovative new line of “WristLights.” But, at $800, they were way too expensive for most people. This new 2211X costs just $170 and is just as bright. How’s it work?

Rigging Team sponsors the Technical Theatre Awards

LSi Online: Rigging Team are once again supporting the Technical Theatre Awards and for the second year running we are proud sponsors of The "Rigging Team" Award for Outstanding Achievement in Automation.

This award is to highlight an individual within any role of the Automation Department.

Perfecting your design, from scenery to finishing touches

The Stage: You can never overestimate the importance of those engaged in the making, designing and assembling of scenery, sets and props – without them there is no show.

Here is a selection of the services and facilities available in the UK, serving all areas of the entertainment, exhibition and leisure industries.

Color Management: Calibrating Platforms

Signshop:Print shops today have evolved and so has the equipment they use. It’s only logical then that color management has become more important than ever and should be a shop’s top consideration.

“One of the biggest challenges most of these people are faced with when it comes to color management is consistency across printers and consistency across the prints,” says John Fulena, vice president of production printing business group at Ricoh Americas Corporation.

FCC Rules to Protect 600 MHz White Spaces

Stage Directions: For many pro wireless users, the past five years have been a nightmarish roller coaster of uncertainty. It all began with the Federal Communications Commission’s 2008 auction of the 700 MHz band (698 to 806 MHz) from the reallocation of TV channels 52 to 69 and the “white spaces” issue, where available space between frequency bands was made illegal for pro wireless applications after June 12, 2010.

OSHA Penalizes Company in Another Machine Guarding Case Involving Temps

Occupational Health & Safety: OSHA has cited American Air Filter Co. Inc., an air filter manufacturer doing business as AAF International, after inspecting its facility at 2624 Weaver Way in Atlanta, Ga., citing the company for two repeat, two serious, and one other-than-serious violation Aug. 21. The case is another machine guarding case involving an employer that uses temporary workers, according to the agency.

Fire Safety for Welders

Occupational Health & Safety: Welding can be one of the most dangerous industrial professions, but it doesn't have to be. With the right knowledge, policies, and safety equipment, a welder can be well protected from personal injury or property damage.

It's not always easy, but professional welders and those who weld as a hobby should be familiar with the risks they are facing and should take every possible precaution. Below, read more about the fire safety issues associated with welding, as well as some ways to reduce the risk.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Trip to the Hole Saw Factory

Tools of the Trade: Last month I attended Lenox’s 100th anniversary event at the company’s headquarters and factory in East Longmeadow, MA. There was a presentation on the company’s history, demonstrations of new products, and best of all—a tour of the factory.

Construction Workers Are Now Being Monitored By Drones

TIME: Constructions workers building the stadium for the Sacramento Kings in California have a boss watching over them in a very literal way. They are being monitored by drones.

How to Blow Your Boss's Mind

Inc.com: We all want to get ahead. Still, even when it seems you're doing everything right--you're never late to work, rarely take a sick day, and always meet deadlines--promotions can be few and far between.

You're putting the work in, so why aren't you getting rewarded? The answer is simple: You don't get promoted for fulfilling your boss's expectations.

Creative Console Strategies

Pro Sound Web: The first “big” mixing consoles I owned were a 12-channel Kelsey and a 16-channel Yamaha PM1000. The Kelsey saw the most use because the PM1000 weighed in at 110 pounds, and that was without the wooden case I built for it.

Steve Pollock Celebrates 30 Years

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander: Congratulations to Steve Pollock who celebrates 30 years with Auerbach Pollock Friedlander.
Steve has been with the San Francisco office since 1985 and was named Vice President in 1993. He has been responsible for the planning, programming, design and management of hundreds of national and international projects during his tenure.

Designing Versatile Stages

ChurchProduction.com: Versatile stage design is more important to churches than ever before. Contemporary churches change set designs every few weeks. Portable churches require simple, lightweight designs. Many churches offer two different style worship services with a small window of time in between to transition all elements, including the look and feel of the stage. Depending on your situation, the versatility of the stage design may be just as important as the look and feel of it.

Micro-Mark LaserKnife, a Less Expensive Laser Cutter

toolguyd.com: Micro-Mark, a small tool and hobbyist supply specialty retailer, has come out with the LaserKnife, a table-top laser cutter and engraver that can be used on wood, plastic, cloth, foam, cardboard, paper, and other such materials.

The Many, Many Problems With “Follow Your Passion”

99u: A lot of career advice is built around slogans like “follow your heart” or “follow your passion.” A popular YouTube video, “What If Money Was No Object?” narrated by British writer Alan Watts, suggests that unless you ask yourself “What makes you itch?” and pursue the answer, you will “spend your life completely wasting your time.”

New Installation Invades Central London With 100,000 Balloons

Co.Design | business + design: Paris-based artist Charles Pétillon has a reputation for filling abandoned spaces with ethereal balloon formations. For his first installation in a public space and his largest undertaking to date, Heartbeat, he injects London's lively and historic Covent Garden with 100,000 hovering white balloons.

VMAs 2015: What It’s Like Working Backstage

Flavorwire: The MTV VMAs are known for their outrageous moments. Sometimes they’re planned, like the Madonna and Britney Spears kiss that Christina Aguilera never got over, and sometimes they aren’t, like Kanye’s “I’mma let your finish” moment that Taylor Swift will never get over. But some of the most telling moments of the show happen off-camera, where the online streams are off-limits and celebrities get real. The audience never sees them. Although the stories get told within a certain segment of the music industry, the average Joe doesn’t hear a peep about them. But I do.

Guy Builds 3D Printed Resume So Big, He Has to Ship it By Freight

makezine.com: Resumes are typical in that they are a detailed description of past jobs and skills printed out on plain, white stationary. There may even be a CV to go with it, however one talented artist decided to add a bit of flash to his resume that guaranteed it wouldn’t go unnoticed.

What Everyone Does on a Film Set

Filmmaker Magazine: For those new to physical production, here is a list of film set departments, with notes on their staff positions, responsibilities, benefits and attractions.

Friday, August 28, 2015

DeWALT DCF620 - the Top 5 Things You Need to Know

www.toolstop.co.uk: Arguably one of the lightest and most compact collated cordless screw drivers available today, we're going to take a look at the Top 5 Things you need to know about the DCF620 from DeWALT.

No, Duke Freshmen. Boycotting Fun Home Is Not a Push for “Genuine Diversity.”

The Mary Sue: I actually really feel for Brian Grasso on an individual level.

The Duke freshman became the center of a minor controversy recently when he and several other incoming students announced on a closed Facebook page for the Class of 2019 that they would be boycotting Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir, Fun Home. The book was chosen as this year’s “Common Experience” reading; incoming freshman are supposed to spend Orientation Week discussing it in groups.

Now, Grasso has written a piece for The Washington Post entitled “I’m a Duke freshman. Here’s why I refused to read Fun Home.”

August Wilson Center reorganization effort aims to create financial, artistic success

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Maxwell King has an answer for those who question why progress has been slow in bringing the August Wilson Center back from the brink of becoming a hotel: it takes time to get it right.

At a news conference Thursday morning, the president of the Pittsburgh Foundation pointed to two new board members who are successful business leaders, new funding and a spate of programming for the Downtown center as signs it is on track.

Second City Assesses Losses After Fire

The New York Times: A day after a fire ripped through the offices of Second City, the comedy theater and school in Chicago, the theater’s staff members were coming to terms with their loss.

Andrew Alexander, the theater’s chief executive and executive producer, said Thursday that it had been a “rough morning.”

Parts Per Million

Breaking Character: About twenty percent of the Samuel French Collection at Amherst College is comprised of “musical masters” – full scores bound in leather, individual parts for all the instruments, piano and vocal scores. Printed on a variety of types of paper, none of these “masters” are pristine or neat. Instead, as I open each box, I find messy stacks of curling sheets that are littered with notes (actual musical notes of course, along with scribbled annotations from who knows who).

How Lidar is Used in Visual Effects

Tested: Making movies has always been about data capture. When the Lumière brothers first pointed their primitive camera equipment at a steam locomotive in 1895 to record Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat, what were they doing if not capturing data? In the 1927 movie The Jazz Singer – the first full-length feature to use synchronised sound – when Al Jolson informed an eager crowd, "You ain't heard nothing' yet!", what was the Warner Bros. microphone doing? You guessed it: capturing data.

You’re Fired! Knowing When To Call It Quits With Clients

Pro Sound Web: “You’re fired!” A phrase made famous by Donald Trump on the popular TV show The Apprentice, but also one of the more difficult tasks that a business owner has to perform.

One of the popular mantras of today’s business world is effective company culture.

Internet Outcry Over Diversity Leads Manhattan Theater Club to Announce Season Details Early

The New York Times:The outrage began before Manhattan Theater Club had unveiled its full 2015-16 season. Seven of its planned eight plays had been announced, all of them written by white men. The Internet was not amused.

The Big Ministry Inside The Big Shows

Pro Sound Web: Many years ago, we hosted a three day worship arts conference.

Not like the conferences I was paid to do, traveling around the country with large budgets and excessive amounts of gear.

This one confined me to my home church, with no budget and no warehouse full of touring grade audio toys.

Projection mapping goes 3D at Spanish event

InAVate: A Spanish art studio has put a twist on projection mapping and introduced 3D with stunning effect. The project - Diplopia - was played out at the opening ceremony of the International Mapping Festival of Girona 2015 (FIMG), an event celebrating the Spanish city's architecture through technology and art. Onionlabs, the studio behind the project, created the 3D anaglyph mapping piece that used stereoscopic glasses to create the full effect.

Essentials of IMAG Lighting

ChurchProduction.com: With the cost and quality of video projection and camera systems improving steadily over the past several years, image magnification or IMAG is becoming extremely popular in the house of worship world. Thanks to this new technology, more and more worshippers are able to experience services as if they are sitting in the front row regardless of where they are in the church. While IMAG is a welcome advancement in technology, an additional element is needed to complete this package.

The Millennial Paradigm Shift

www.avnetwork.com: According to a recent study by the Bureau of Labor and Employment, millennials make up about 43 percent of the workforce today. Baby boomers take second, with Generation X trailing in third. Generation X never managed to snag the top spot away from the Baby Boomers. So what does this mean for the AV industry? - See more at: http://www.avnetwork.com/entry/the-millennial-paradigm-shift/925#sthash.6ujQeSpP.dpuf

Thursday, August 27, 2015

USA Network Postpones Finale Of 'Mr. Robot' Because Of Violent Scene Similar To Virginia Shooting

ThinkProgress: USA Network has announced that it will delay the finale of its well-received summer hacker drama Mr. Robot due to “a graphic scene similar in nature” to a shooting Wednesday at a Virginia TV station that left three journalists dead, including the shooter. Critics who had seen the episode confirmed that the contents indeed seemed similar to the day’s events.

Here Is Adobe's Attempt to Stop People From Using the Term "Photoshop" All Willy-Nilly

io9.com: Poor Adobe. Along with everyone pre-eulogizing Flash, the only other property of theirs you can name—Photoshop—is in danger. Intellectual property danger.

What Adobe’s been worried about for years is “genericization,” which is when the brand name becomes a synonym for a product. Which is how the Bayer-trademarked “aspirin” took over for the real name for the drug, “acetylsalicylic acid.” In Adobe’s case, they would prefer it if people stopped saying that any altered image was changed via Photoshop.

August Wilson Center board announces two new members, $300,000 in funding and new programming

Pittsburgh Business Times: The governing board of the August Wilson Center this morning announced new board members, new funding and new programming as it works to fully relaunch the cultural institution downtown.

Bad Singing and Fire Eating: Actors on Their ‘Special Skills'

The New York Times: Look past the eyes, hair and height. Keep scanning down, after the college “Hamlet” and the regional “Little Shop of Horrors.” There, at the bottom of almost any actor’s résumé, in small letters, is a list of tricks that reads like an especially manic night at “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Acrobatics, martial arts, hula hoop: just some of the unusual and quirky kinds of expertise found under the category of Special Skills.

Emmys: Production Designers on the Details That Bring 'Game of Thrones,' 'Gotham' and Other Nominees to Life

Hollywood Reporter: From the Penguin's bathtub to the White House windows, these folks labored to discover, or re-create, whatever props or sets the script called for — including finding a stand-in for the fictional city of Braavos and turning back the clock on New York City by a full 100 years.

12 Broadway Choreographers All Actors Should Know

Backstage: Do you know the choreographers behind your favorite Broadway shows? From the early days of the Great White Way to the greatest hits of the past ten years, here are 12 legendary choreographers who have (literally) given shape to Broadway as we know it.

An Amazing Ferrofluid Display Brings Nike's New Sneakers To Life

gizmodo.com: So far, the most practical use man has found for ferrofluid—the mesmerizing black goo that reacts to magnets in cool ways—is as gorgeous eye candy. And that’s totally OK, because how else would have Nike realized this slick animated display for its new Kevin Durant sneakers?

Ben Brantley on London Theater, Where Characters Drink to Dull the Pain of Life

The New York Times: Wine is very much on the menu at the Almeida Theater in Islington these days. It is served, of course, at the bar that adjoins the theater. But more important, wine is being extolled as absolutely essential to our daily diet on the Almeida stage, where a riveting production of Euripides’ “Bakkhai” is hypnotizing packed houses.

West Coast IATSE 3-Year Producer Deal Ratified

Variety: The West Coast members of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Employees — Hollywood’s key below-the-line union — have ratified a three-year successor deal to the union’s master contract with producers.

The deal covers 13 local unions representing over 43,000 IATSE members. Negotiators reached the tentative agreement in April with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which serves as the negotiating arm for Hollywood producers.

High Resolution Systems Introduces Browser-Based Video Wall Controller

Live Design Briefing Room press release archives: High Resolution Systems unveiled its Video Wall Controller, offering video wall control and layout building as a software upgrade for the HRS Enterprise-10ss control system. Enterprise is the facility management suite from HRS and part of the HRS Integration Platform connecting technology, people and systems.

New Era in Partnerships

www.cmu.edu: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the fastest growing global IT and consulting company with offices in more than 46 countries and clients in every major industry, has donated $35 million to Carnegie Mellon University to fully fund a new facility and support students through CMU's Presidential Scholarships and Fellowships program.

FCC Clears the Way for Wireless Mics

ChurchProduction.com: Earlier this Summer, the FCC released a long document titled an Order on Reconsideration, providing details and decisions on various aspects of the upcoming Incentive Auction that will basically clear television broadcasters from the 600 MHz UHF band and then offer that spectrum for sale to telecommunications and broadband services. This auction is likely to begin sometime in 2016.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Enter Dremel's Maker-in-Residence Contest

Tested: Do you have any projects you want to share? Dremel is launching a "Maker-in-Residence" program to celebrate the work of makers around America. As part of a contest, Dremel is picking five people to win a suite of tools and collaborate with the company to promote makers' projects and provide feedback about its line of products. Applying for the program looks easy: just a few short essays about what kind of things you make and two project photos as an example of your work. The prize package looks pretty good, too: Dremel hand tools, its new 3D printer, and an HP Sprout computer.

Don't Use Sarcasm In Conversation Until You Trust Each Other

LifeHacker: Sarcasm’s a great way to diffuse a negative emotion, but it’s easy to go overboard. The Wall Street Journal suggests you stick to only using sarcasm when you’re close with someone to avoid potential confusion.

It’s probably a little obvious that you should only use sarcasm when you’re comfortable with a person, but the real point here is sarcasm’s best kept for personal relationships because it’s generally an expression that helps you bond with people. The Wall Street Journal explains:

This Pop-Up Record Store Just Sells Noise

TheCreatorsProject: Jeff Thompson is an artist whose works deal in randomization and extremes. Computers on Law & Order was a project, commissioned by new media incubator Rhizome, where Thompson went through 456 episodes of the famous TV series to create a digital and physical archive of the 11,000 instances where computers were shown, a reflection on binge-watching culture and the oddities inherent in TV props. Every Possible Photograph, a slightly more ambitious project, consists of custom software designed by Thompson that will, over the course of approximately 46,138,562,195,008,110,600,774,753,760,087,749,172,181,189,607,929,628,058,548,517,099,604,563,033,706,075 years, produce every possible digital image within a certain color gamut. At this point, the project is a grand two years in, and still going strong.

A Chicken Sandwich Cannot be Copyrighted, Court Rules

ArsTechnica: There are many things you can copyright, but a chicken sandwich is not one of them, a US appeals court panel ruled Friday.

Because of the ruling, a former employee of a fried chicken franchise is not entitled to a percentage of the profits from a sandwich he "authored," wrote Chief Judge Jeffrey Howard in the decision of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The plaintiff, Norberto Colón Lorenzana, had filed a complaint seeking "All the earnings produced by his creation"—an amount not less than $10 million.

Upside Down Tool Usage

PopularWoodWorking: We have these adages in the woodworking world: Hand-tool woodworkers prefer taking the tool to the wood, power-tool users prefer taking the wood to the tool; Westerners operate on the push, Easterners on the pull. I’m here to say we need an adage for a technique I’ve been finding extremely useful. Let’s call it the Australian way: Using tools upside down.

These past weeks I’ve been making lots of small parts in batches – the kinds of things that if, using tools the “proper” hand-tool way (clamping them up so we can securely take the tool to the wood), would have taken an inordinate amount of time. But because of an upside-down technique I was able to batch them out quickly, with greater control and more accuracy. It also showed me another reason why I so love my low-angle jack plane.

Lamp Theatre Project Puts the Spotlight on Downtown Irwin

Triblive: A decade after it closed its doors as a movie house, the historic Lamp Theatre in Irwin will return to life in an expanded role, hosting live events as well as films.

Three special events in the next two weeks will open the theater to the public for the first time as a live venue. The performances will include a comedy duo, a Beatles tribute band and a country music concert.

The three events are intended to raise funds in advance of the official grand opening, tentatively scheduled for the fall.

MultiFab mixes and matches up to 10 different materials in a single 3D print job

Gizmag: 3D printers may have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, but most are one trick ponies in that their computer-controlled syringes extrude only one material at a time to build up an object. It's a process that's slow, imprecise, and often requires items to be printed in separate pieces and then assembled. MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab's (CSAIL) MutliFab printer takes 3D printing technology a step further by combining 3D optical scanning with the ability to print using 10 different materials on the same job.

West Coast IATSE Ratifies 3-Year Deal With Producers

Variety: The West Coast members of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Employees — Hollywood’s key below-the-line union — have ratified a three-year successor deal to the union’s master contract with producers.

The deal covers 13 local unions representing over 43,000 IATSE members. Negotiators reached the tentative agreement in April with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which serves as the negotiating arm for Hollywood producers.

The union disclosed no numeric details of the successor deal, which is retroactive to July 31, other than saying it provides annual wage and pension increases; no cuts or increased costs to the participants of the health plan; and “substantial improvements” in working conditions for new media productions.

Alison Bechdel Would Like You to Call It the “Bechdel-Wallace Test,” ThankYouVeryMuch

TheMarySue: While it’s no secret that the Bechdel Test has its roots in several places, its being featured in Alison Bechdel’s 1985 comics classic, Dykes to Watch Out For, cemented it as being associated with Bechdel. Well now, she’d like to change that.

For those of you who’ve been sleeping under a rock, the Bechdel Test is when a feminist piece of media must 1) have at least two women in it, who 2) talk to each other, about 3) something other than a man. This criteria appeared in Dykes to Watch Out For, because of a conversation that Bechdel had with a friend, Liz Wallace, who mentioned those rules to her when Bechdel was looking for ideas for her comic. (PS, the rules also have roots in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own where she writes, “All these relationships between women, I thought, rapidly recalling the splendid gallery of fictitious women, are too simple.” And that those relationships are generally “in their relation to men.”)

15 Student Oscar Winners Announced for 2015

Variety: Fifteen students have been voted winners of the 42nd Student Academy Awards by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy received a record number of entries this year — 1,686 films from 282 domestic and 93 international colleges and universities — that were voted on by a record number of Academy members. Past Student Academy Award winners have gone on to receive 47 Oscar nominations and have won or shared eight awards.

Students who won will arrive in Los Angeles for a week of industry activities that will culminate in the awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17.

Monday, August 24, 2015

This Student Convinced Merriam-Webster to Use an Inclusive Definition for ‘Nude’

ColorLines: From pantyhose to crayons, the word “nude” is often used to describe a hue synonymous with “flesh-colored.” But people of color have long lamented that that flesh most closely resembles a white person’s skin. Thanks to a sophomore at Ithaca College who identifies himself as simply Luis, nude now carries a more inclusive definition.

Last month, he launched the #NudeAwakening campaign on DoSomething.org, which called for dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster to update their definition of nude, which read, in part: “having the color of a white person’s skin.”

TSA At The Movies: Theater Chain Looks To Bring Security Theater To The Movie Theater

TechDirt: Thanks to a string of theater-related tragedies, going to the theater is about to become as enjoyable as going to the airport.
Following two recent deadly incidents at movie theatres in the US, the Regal Entertainment Group – the nation’s largest movie theater chain – this week added a bag and purse check policy as a security measure in some of the 569 theaters it operates. 

“Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America. Regal Entertainment Group wants our customers and staff to feel comfortable and safe when visiting or working in our theatres,” the chain said in a statement.
This may sound like a harmless bit of "doing something" in response to a few tragic incidents, but there's nothing really harmless about it. 

Working Over 40 Hours a Week Makes You Less Productive, Not More

LifeHacker: Sometimes you have to crunch and work overtime. While that can give you a productivity boost and help you get needed things done, in the long term—past four weeks—long work weeks actually make us accomplish less.

The graph above is from Daniel Cook’s Rules of Productivity presentation posted on his Lostgarden blog. It shows how working 60 hours a week leads to a productivity deficit or slump—one which you’ll have to recover from. He writes:

Hands-On: Amprobe Current Clamp Meters

ToolGuyD: Amprobe, a Fluke company, has come out with some new current clamp meters. They sent over 3 of the new models for our evaluation, and although I haven’t yet used them for a good project (although one might be coming up soon), I was able to do some bench testing.

Current clamps wrap around single wires (wires, not cables) to provide a non-destructive way of measuring current flow. They can also measure the current draw of plugged-in devices if you use a line splitter between the device and an outlet.

U.K. Production Incentive Increased to 25% for All Movies

Variety: Enhancements to the U.K.’s Film Tax Relief, which were announced earlier this year, have been approved by the European Union, which allows them to pass into law. The changes mean that all British movies can receive a rebate of 25%.

Following the changes, British films of all budget levels can apply for the 25% tax break. Previously, only the first £20 million ($31.4 million) on big-budget films would qualify for the higher rate, with the remaining expenditure earning 20%. The new rate will apply to all features in production on or after April 1, 2015.

A star is reborn: Renovated Lamp Theatre reopens next week

Post-Gazette: The doors of the landmark Lamp Theatre in Irwin will reopen Thursday.

A comedy revue at 7 p.m. will be the first act of the renovated theater, which closed in January 2005.

Borough Councilman John Cassandro, who is also a Relight the Lamp volunteer,  said Adam Schreck of Second City Productions and Ryan Ben of The Annoyance will perform. Both comedians are from Chicago.

The opening follows months of renovations by local volunteers, as well as work by previous owners, including the Westmoreland Cultural Trust. Irwin now owns the theater.

Princeton Review ranks CMU No. 1 theater school

Post-Gazette: The Princeton Review has named Carnegie Mellon University the nation’s top college theater program in a poll of 136,000 students at 380 top colleges.

Carnegie Mellon ranked high in categories including best alumni network and campus and educational experiences.The website (princetonreview.com) says on its CMU page:  “The school’s motto — ‘My heart is in the work’ — rings true for all.”

5 Common Types of Locking Knives Explained

EveryDayCarry: If you’ve ever shopped around for a pocket knife for everyday carry, you’d know there’s a staggering amount of options to choose from. Trying to make sense of the many types of knives and their subtle differences can get overwhelming. Of the many factors to consider when choosing something as personal as a knife, its locking mechanism is one of the most important. You should know what type of lock, if any, you should have depending on your needs and preferences before investing in a quality knife.

In this guide, we’ll show you some of the most common types of locking mechanisms you’d find in a desirable EDC knife. You’ll discover the advantages of having a knife that locks, which type is best suited for your EDC, how they work, and knives to consider if the locking type isn’t an option where you live.

Five Interview Myths: Debunked

FastCompany: There’s conventional wisdom surrounding best practices for job interviews, and there is practical, real-world advice. You’ve likely heard all manner of tips, from "dress for the job you want" to "never negotiate an offer during the interview."

Fortunately, we tapped the experts to tease apart the truth from the tired chestnuts. Here’s what we found out.

Ken Howard Re-Elected SAG-AFTRA President

Variety: Ken Howard has been re-elected as SAG-AFTRA president for a two-year term following a spirited challenge by Patricia Richardson with 53.7% of the vote to Richardson’s 46.3%.

But Howard’s running mate, Jenny O’Hara, was defeated by stunt performer Jane Austin for the secretary-treasurer slot as Austin won with 52.7%. Current secretary-treasurer Amy Aquino, who had Howard’s running mate in three previous elections, opted not to seek re-election to the post.

The secrets of Daredevil’s seamless effects

FXGuide: When audiences binged-watched the first series of Netflix’s Daredevil earlier this year, they quickly praised the Marvel show’s darker comic book feel populated with several hard-hitting raw fight sequences. Adding to that visceral style were the visual effects enhancements by Shade, with the ninth episode of the series (‘Speak of the Devil’) has been recognized with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Visual Effects In A Supporting Role. We asked Shade visual effects supervisor Bryan Godwin about the work.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What Color is a Mirror?

IO9: Popular answers to this question included “silver,” “white,” “whatever color it’s reflecting,” and “no color at all.” But most mirrors are actually very faintly green. Yes, green.

I love this question, because it reveals how a little bit of knowledge can, paradoxically, muddy our understanding of the world. What do I mean by that?

Consider that many people are at least somewhat familiar with how humans perceive color: The electromagnetic spectrum comprises a range of wavelengths that are visible and invisible to the human eye. The visible portion of the spectrum spans wavelengths from around 400 nm to 700 nm, with colors like violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red mapping to that spectrum in order of increasing wavelength:

10 Ways To Be Magnetic At Any Networking Event

LifeHack: Do you struggle to network? Networking events can seem scary and intimidating to many people, but these events can be hugely beneficial to your career or your life in general. If you want to become a better networker, check out these 10 ways to become magnetic at any networking event.

5 Reasons Why Nice Leaders Run A More Productive Team

LifeHack: We are all familiar with leaders who rule with an iron fist: those iconic CEOs with temperaments resembling a thunderstorm. Think of the stereotypical magnate, and the Donald Trumps of the world.

The truth, however, for those of us that have worked for this kind of boss before is that working in an environment with this kind of leader can be far more stressful than productive.

Are Student Loan Forgiveness Programs Just A Free Pass For Grad Students With More Than $100K In Debt?

Consumerist: Just two years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimated that nearly 33 million american workers eligible for student loan forgiveness weren’t taking advantage of the programs. Times have certainly changed, as the federal government earlier this year revealed that these program were now so popular they cost nearly $22 billion more than they anticipated. But it doesn’t appear the increase in use for such plans is by those who might benefit the most.

Box Office App Set To Transform the Event Industry by Boosting Last-Minute Sales

EventIndustryNews: The lives of event organisers across the UK will be made easier as of this month thanks to a new box office app that allows users to maximise on-the-door ticket sales.

Skiddle’s newly launched RapidScan application is the UK’s first completely mobile box office solution for events. The Electronic Point of Sale (EPoS) app allows promoters to sell countless tickets on the door with ease, in a fast, reliable and secure way.

If Your Job Interview Is Going Too Smoothly, You Probably Won't Get the Job

LifeHacker: A common complaint among job seekers: It felt like you nailed the interview, but weeks later you still haven’t heard from the company. Subtle signs during the interview could tip you off that the hiring manager has already decided you’re not the right fit, such as when you’re only asked simple questions.

Inside Banksy's Dismaland

BoingBoing: Banksy installed a massive pisstake of Disneyland, called Dismaland, that includes his art and other, at a former swimming pool compound in Weston-super-Mare, England. More images below. Juxtapoz has an exclusive interview with Banksy in their new issue.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Music Festivals Generating Buzz

YourPerformancePartners: his coming weekend will see U.S. music festivals in Colorado, California and Oregon, according to Music Festival Junkies, a website tracking festivals in North America and three other continents. (If you’ll be in Belgium and like alternative music, don’t miss Pukkelpop 2015.) The number of music festivals keeps growing; the industry is making headlines for its popularity and transformational impact on the live music industry. Sampling from recent news coverage, plus offering our own background, we’ll offer three perspectives on music festivals: for promoters, fans and production staff.


Light Opera Works Production of SOUTH PACIFIC Creates A Perfect Storm

ShowBizChicago: We all know that the weather in Chicago has been unpredictable, unseasonal and, at times, deadly. We have had storms that destroy. In Evanston at Cahn Auditorium the cast and crew of the current Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “South Pacific” they have created their own storm – and it is a perfect storm.

Light Opera Works first presented this magnificent R&H show in 2006 with Larry Adams starring as Emile de Becque and he was fine as was the entire production. In revisiting this show 9 years later LOW made the wise choice to bring him back. The only difference 9 years later is that he has ripened and is at that perfect time to fully realize this role. To say he is magnificent would be an understatement.

Carnegie Mellon theater handed top honors by Princeton Review

TribLive: Carnegie Mellon University was chosen as the school with the best college theater by the Princeton Review, which collected reviews from 136,000 students at top colleges. Students were asked to rate their schools on dozens of topics and report on their campus experiences.
The Princeton Review publishes an annual guide that ranks 380 U.S. colleges on topics from career services and financial aid to campus food and on-campus quality of life.

Simple Sugru Hack Puts Light on Your Safety Glasses

MakeZine: You’d be amazed at how much better your projects turn out when you can actually see what you’re doing. The trouble is, flashlights are easy to misplace and they’re difficult to hold onto when your hands are occupied with a project. To solve the problem, we’re going to hack your safety glasses with some useful, rotating, detachable LED lights.

MFA: More Fine Associations

CulturalWeekly: Recently, I spent a week at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier as part of a writers’ conference. It was the first time I was exposed to the workshop style that defines the American MFA. There have been articles upon articles written about this phenomenon, and they have, for the most part focused on the aesthetic question of whether the MFA produces good work. Occasionally this has been framed around liberal individuals instead – good writers not good work. But for the most part, people have attended less to the peripheral offerings that the MFA encourages or, to put it somewhat differently, its social relations.

Windy City Midwifery: Birthing the New Musical in Chicago

HowlRound: Chicago’s vibrant musical theatre community champions the newborn, including those examined in publically mounted readings, economical storefront productions, and full-out, well-resourced and talent-driven creations in Chicago’s big houses. A new mover and shaker on the scene is FWD Theatre Project. Shaped by a veritable brain trust of performers, directors, choreographers, and award-winning songwriters, FWD supports weeklong workshops between writers, first-tier performers, and their team, culminating in a semi-staged concert reading. The Chicago Musical Theatre Festival (CMTF) may be in its infancy, but its second summer season burgeoned in offerings and audience attendance. Chicago’s larger AEA theatres have always been ready for the challenge of new works, but now the dinner theatres in Chicago’s suburbs, the last bastions of Supper Club-style entertainment, are jumping into the ring.

Pittsburgh ranked No. 1 city to live in Northeast by Money magazine

Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh’s transformation into a high-tech hub has catapulted the former rust-belt city to the No. 1 spot as best urban area to live in the Northeast by Money magazine.

The magazine includes the steel city among five “urban gems” across the country that offer an “abundance of amenities at livable prices.”

The cities were selected from more than 60 large cities with populations of more than 300,000.

The top cities were chosen based on their robust job market, affordable housing, and ­factors such as accessibility to health care, culture, and open space. The magazine editors also gave extra points to places with low crime and strong public schools.

Cancellation of Play About Islamic State Recruits Prompts Concern in London

NYTimes: LONDON — In a letter published in The Times of London, prominent theater figures and other artists expressed concern that the National Youth Theater had been pressured to cancel a new play, “Homegrown,” about young Islamic State recruits.

The play, an immersive production created by the director Nadia Latif and the playwright Omar El-Khairy, was inspired by the story of Khadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum, three East London teenagers who left seemingly normal lives to join the Islamic State earlier this year.

In Empty Spaces

2AMTheatre: Here in Charlotte, NC we are in the midst of a real estate boom. One might more accurately put it this way: land owners and developers in Charlotte are in the midst of a real estate boom. Please don’t read any snark into this. I’m a booster. As far as I’m concerned this means a lot of very cool things for Charlotte.  We’re growing into a proper mid-sized city and that means more audience. It also means we finally have good ramen.

Can Playing Video Games Be Your Full-Time Job?

PopSci: Over the past several years, the video gaming industry has evolved from a play-to-win sport to something more like the music industry, with fans paying to be entertained live by performers they love.
For those who make a living from gaming, Twitch—one of the major hosts for console and PC streamers around the world—is the main place to be these days. With half a dozen ways to gain revenue, it can be the most profitable channel, if you’re willing to work hard and play smart. But does it bring in enough cash flow for it to be a full-time job? With that in mind, we turned to two Twitch streamers who follow two different approaches to earning a living in the streaming business. We asked them how exactly they make their money, and why they ended up on Twitch.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Turns Out A $70,000 Salary Doesn't Always Buy Happiness

FastCompany: Back in April, Seattle credit card processing company Gravity Payments announced it would raise the minimum wage for its 120-person staff to $70,000. For CEO Dan Price, the bump up from the average $48,000 salary was an attempt to ensure the happiness of his employees, based on a Princeton study that measured the dollar figure that triggered contentment among 450,000 U.S. residents.

At the time, the move prompted praise for more equitable salaries (the CEO took a pay cut to enable the change), as well as concerns that productivity would plummet along with employees’ willingness to strive for the next level.

Adam Savage Geeks Out Over New Mobile Tool Caddy

MakeZine: In this Tested video podcast, Adam Savage talks to Will Smith about his latest mobile tool caddy project and his concept of “First Order Retrieveabilty.” Wha? Basically, it’s Adam’s shop layout philosophy of minimizing the need to go through things to get to other things–the things you need! I.e., as many tools as possible should be visible, mobile, and accessible to you wherever you work (not on shelves, in boxes, etc.). Or put into a bumper sticker slogan: “Drawers are where tools go to die.” The working title for the project was the “F*** Drawers Initiative.”
HowlRound: Indy Convergence. The organization has an intriguing name, but at first glance it may not seem to represent the event, residency, and/or arts accelerator it hosts. When family, friends, and co-workers asked me for a description of the two convergences I attended this spring, I struggled to find a phrase to explain what inspired my social media postings about doing aikido and American kenpo in morning movement rehearsal, attending workshops on paper folding and graphic musical notation, dressing up in ribbons for a project investigating “parade,” performing on the roof of a five-story building in downtown Indianapolis, and staying up all night to write radio scripts for site-specific performance and dialogue for a puppet show. - See more at: http://howlround.com/it-s-not-a-performance#sthash.9jFCeldW.dpuf

Fascinating video of graphic design process in the pre-Photoshop Mad Men era

BoingBoing: Designer Sean Adams takes us through the creation of a full-page color magazine advertisement as it was done in the Mad Men era.

The first issues of the bOING bOING zine (late 1980s) were produced with a combo of crude desktop publishing and analog paste-up, so a lot of this looks familiar. I miss this hands-on process - the tools, rubber cement, rubylith, French rules, colored pencils, Letraset, type guides, and physicality are very appealing. Yet I'm also glad I have digital tools at my disposal.

Brilliant Bar Gets You Drunk With an Alcoholic Cloud

Wired: A FUNNY THING happens when you inhale alcohol: You get drunk. Depending how much alcohol is in the vapor and how much vapor is in the air, the rate at which a pleasant buzz creeps over you can be much faster or much slower than throwing back three shots of tequila.

But let’s say you find yourself in a room that happens to be filled with a sweet mist that smells like a delicious gin and tonic that’s mixed at a ratio of 1 part alcohol to 3 parts tonic. How long until you’re feeling it?

Dear Evan Hansen, now at Arena Stage, is heading to New York

DCTheatreScene: In Spring, 2016, another musical first debuted at Arena Stage will open in New York. It was just announced that Dear Evan Hansen will be produced at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theatre (305 West 43rd Street).

With music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dogfight, A Christmas Story), book by Steven Levenson (Showtime’s Masters of Sex), the new musical will continue under the direction of three-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal, Grey Gardens, If/Then). Exact dates and cast to be announced.

Build Your Own Motion Control, Time-Lapse Photography Rig

Lifehacker: Time lapse photography is great, and it’s certainly something we’ve seen DIY solutions for before. Over on Make, they show off another way to do it, using an Arduino.

The project requires a variety of skills, including building the chassis for the camera as well as programming the Arduino itself. In the end, you’ll have a system where the Arduino automatically pans the camera during the time lapse while your camera does the actual shots. If you do a lot of time lapse photography, the pan adds a lot to your shots, even if it does take a bit of work to get it up and running.

17 Free Online Learning Sites that Provide High Quality Opportunities

Lifehack: One thing that you should never stop doing is learning, even if you are no longer in school. With the Internet, our opportunities to learn have never been so great, and there is no excuse for you to not be learning at least one new thing every day. Check out these 17 awesome free online learning sites.

Increased security at ‘Straight Outta Compton’ is racist

NewPittsburghA biopic film about N.W.A. has led to increased security at theaters, and many believe the action is not only unnecessary but racist.
#StraightOuttaCompton is currently trending on Twitter with many movie goers buzzing that the film did live up to the hype. The biopic about the legendary hip-hop  group N.W.A., reported $55.1 million on opening night according to Deadline. It is also trending with movie goers commenting on the security present at the movie theaters showing the film.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Brighten up AutoCAD with a Lighter Color Scheme

TheCADGeek: Customizability has long been among AutoCAD’s core strengths. Even as changes are made to the program it’s typically always possible to tailor the interface to your liking. One recent change that some users love, and others could do without is the graphite interface. Those who enjoy the graphite interface cite the reduced eye strain, whereas others seem to prefer the contrast of the former (lighter) interface.
Whilst I don’t have a strong preference either way, I have found the light interface to work a little better for me when presenting to an audience with a projector. Given the number of presentations I do for my job at CADD Microsystems, it likely goes without saying I typically change the AutoCAD interface to its former – lighter interface. Watch the video above to learn how to make this change on your own system.

Physical Production Chiefs Face the Heat From Studios in Choosing Locations

Variety: One of the crucial decisions in how to keep a film on budget and on schedule is where to shoot it. Creatives can crave a look that only one location can deliver, while the money people may be salivating for incentives offered elsewhere.

Typically the studio’s physical production chief helps choose locations 12-18 months before shooting. “We’re always looking for stability, wherever we go,” says Disney’s Philip Steuer, referring to steady tax incentives, experienced crews and well-maintained facilities. Sometimes, though, especially on smaller films, all that flies out the window in favor of creative considerations. Steuer set up production for director Mira Nair’s upcoming Lupita Nyong’o starrer “Queen of Katwe” in Uganda, which has almost no infrastructure for Hollywood-style film production. Nair preferred the Ugandan exteriors for creative reasons, and the rest of the film was shot in South Africa, where there’s a tax incentive.

How Trigger Warnings Make College Students Helpless, Humorless, and Stupid

Reason: Picture a conference that exists for the following purpose: to give student-leaders of various colleges the opportunity to preview stand-up acts and decide which comedians they would like to invite to their campuses. No, you are not picturing some imaginary hell. You are picturing a very real event: the annual convention of the National Association for Campus Activities.

This convention takes center-stage in a riveting, recent article by The Atlantic’s Caitlin Flanagan, who explains why students’ excessive deference to political correctness obligates comedians to self-censor if they want to play the lucrative college circuit. A snapshot:

Use an Old Sneaker to Extend the Life of Your Sandpaper

LifeHacker: Sandpaper isn’t cheap. Here’s a way to prolong its use as well as recycle your worn out shoes.

Sandpaper can get gunked up after just a few passes of wood, rendering it ineffective. Serious woodworkers invest in abrasive cleaning sticks to clean dirty belt, disc, and orbit sanders. But, if you don’t have one handy, you can use the sole of an old sneaker to clean your sanders.

With the sander running, gently rub your shoe’s rubber sole against the sandpaper in a sweeping motion. One or two passes will have your sandpaper looking almost new again. Check out the video to see the trick in action.

Milwaukee M18 Cordless Planer

ToolGuyD: At Milwaukee’s recent 2015 new tool media event (check out all of our coverage here), there were so many new products on display that they couldn’t fit all of the demos in the convention center. This new M18 planer, and the new M12 right angle impact driver, were demoed outside near the lunch tables.

I’ve used powered hand planers before, but not extensively. Keep that in mind as you go through the post.

Milwaukee says that their new cordless planer (model 2623-21, 2623-20) offers unmatched power and depth control, which are some serious claims. It’s got a 3-1/4″ width capacity, max rabbet depth of 27/64″ (0.421″), and 2-blade design.

Choosing The Default, Even If It Makes You Miserable

InsideTheArts: As part of our effort to upgrade the look and design of our website we have been checking the accuracy of our area restaurants and bars list, verifying which offer discounts to patrons. In an attempt to strengthen our relationship with them, we have been making them aware of the general audiences we expect to attend each event.

For example, we talk about our season opener being something of a date night type show while others are more family oriented. We suggest if they want to put together any sort of fixed menu of selections that are easy to prepare and get audiences to the theater on time, we will be happy to make a notation on our website listing or social media account.

Monday, August 10, 2015

21 Ways to Make the Most of Your Internship

CollegeCandy: Too often we hear unsuccessful intern stories, whether it’s because the position wasn’t taken seriously by the intern, or because they weren’t given the opportunity to learn hands on. Instead, they were too busy running around the city blocks looking for this hole-in-the-wall restaurant that their mentor sent them off to to pick up some lunch.

Because internships are supposed to be your stepping stone into a career, don’t let this happen to you. Take full advantage of interning at a reputable company that will appreciate your help as an intern.

Here are 21 ways to make the most of your internship:

'Kinky Boots' star Billy Porter set for new Broadway show with all-star cast

Post-Gazette: Billy Porter made it official Sunday: He will leave "Kinky Boots" next year and join fellow Tony Award winners Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell in the Broadway production "Shuffle Along, or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Follows."

The “Kinky Boots” star, who plays inspirational drag queen Lola in his award-winning role, finishes his weeklong Pittsburgh appearance with the national tour today before heading back to the New York company.

The twisted history of the Happy Birthday song

BoingBoing: Mildred and Patty Hill rank among the most interesting progressive thinkers in the 19th century, and yet they are popularly remembered only for a copyright debate. Why is a song they didn't precisely write still a corporate moneyspinner, at least 122 years after they published a similar ditty?

The Hills wrote and published "Good Morning To All," which morphed into a more popular rendition: "Happy Birthday To You." A lawsuit filed in 2013 by a documentary filmmaker, Jennifer Nelson, who was working on a movie about the song's history, sought to get a court to determine that the copyright to the song asserted by its current owners, Warner/Chappell, expired in the 1920s, if it ever properly existed.

DIY Tool Storage Stands, Racks, and Holders?

ToolGuyD: I just watched an interesting Tested video, where they take a thorough look at Adam Savage’s (from MythBusters) homemade tool storage stands. He emptied out a stack of ball bearing storage chests and loaded the tools into his tool stand. I enjoyed the video, but can’t help wondering whether I should build something similar, perhaps with spare 80/20 aluminum t-slot extrusions I have around, or if I should stick with tool drawers.

The Stage World of The Wild West (And How It’s Ready to Ride Again)

SamuelFrench: When I began pursuing the idea of putting the story on stage I thought only about London and a British audience. That American audiences will be watching a Western play writing by an English writer makes me feel like I’ve cheated – I’ve never been to the Wild West. Other than a few days in Missouri, I’ve never been to America. In person that is; for in stories, films, television, and music, I’ve spent nearly every waking moment of the last four years living right at the heart of the Great American West.

Before I discovered the story of Liberty Valance I knew I wanted to create a Western for stage and no matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find anything of the sort, other than the big musicals like Calamity Jane or Oklahoma. I wanted to create the world I’d come to love on the screen, a gritty, painful existence in which people fought against poverty, against the elements, and against each other. What makes this period so exciting is that this struggle sits against the constant backdrop of hope.

“Hamilton” Makes Musical History

ClydeFitchReport: There’s absolutely no reason to put a fine point on it: Hamilton — brilliantly adapted by Lin-Manuel Miranda from Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography, Alexander Hamilton, and brilliantly directed by Thomas Kail and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler — joins the ranks of great American musicals.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Dirty Rigger designs SlimFits for female riggers

ZioGiorgio: Driven by a global social media campaign, female riggers from around the world recently took part in an open discussion to design and brand a new range of Dirty Rigger gloves which would be created from the ground up for women.

“Asking ‘What do women want?’ was key to the success,” said Dirty Rigger designer Jess Morris. “It had been apparent for a while that the colour pink was by many deemed as stereotypical or even sexist, especially in such a male dominated industry. Another common issue of the traditionally bright ladies rigger gloves was their indiscreet nature, often standing out when working backstage where the idea is, of course, to be as unseen as possible during a performance. These issues meant many women were resorting to wearing men’s gloves, often too long and too wide in the finger even in smaller sizes. These areas were all something we needed to address.

I Do Community Theatre

HowlRound: Hi. My name is Eli Keel. I do community theatre.

I grew up in a theatre family. My earliest memories are of falling asleep curled up in a theatre seat, listening to my mom, the director, give notes after a run.

My parents worked in a string of academic and community based theatres throughout my childhood—the Gingerbread Playhouse, Coffee High school's tiny drama program, Paducah Community College, the Youth Performing Arts School, and dozens of other companies and schools.

Bookish Business Card Designs

FlavorWire: Happy Book Lovers’ Day, lit fiends! If you’re looking for an excuse to blow off your responsibilities, this is it. While you’re getting lost in a good book — preferably in bed — keep the bookish theme of your day going by browsing a few business card designs inspired by, well, books. We like to think that book nerds are more clever than the average human. So, get creative with your schmoozing, and try one of these literary designs for yourself.

PLASA Show takes seminar content to new dimension

ZioGiorgio: With Phase 3 of its seminar sessions finalised, PLASA Show reveals content that is both informative and a little out of the ordinary. From audio as art and colour changing lights, to safety – both electrical and aural – and the importance of apprenticeships, PLASA continues to cover key issues for the entertainment technology industry.

“It’s art, not plant hire.” These words from Tony Andrews, founder of loudspeaker manufacturer Funktion One, will ring true with sound designers and engineers around the world. Having spent his life exploring the higher possibilities in audio, Tony is well placed to discuss his statement further in the ‘audio moment’, the chosen subject for his Audio and Consciousness session at this year’s PLASA Show, where he will doubtless take an audio path less travelled while considering the difference between hearing and listening.

Television Critics Association gives 'The Chair' top honors

Post-Gazette: BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- The Television Critics Association announced its 2015 TCA Awards winners tonight, which included shot-in-Pittsburgh docu-series "The Chair," which took home the award for best reality show.

The series, filmed locally in 2014, followed the production of two films -- “Hollidaysburg” and “Not Cool” -- based on the same original story about college students returning home at Thanksgiving. Viewers got to vote on which film should win a $250,000 prize, giving the award to director Shane Dawson’s “Not Cool” despite “The Chair” executive producer and Greentree native Zachary Quinto disavowing the movie, which he said he found offensive.

MI:5 Director Talks the Politics of Rebecca Ferguson’s Shoes

TheMarySue: Rebecca Ferguson totally steals the MI:5 show. She’s the Furiosa of the IMF, a believable badass with agency and way more personality than Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt (she also looks like Mariska Hargitay had a baby with the sun, which is obviously besides the point, but holy smokes).

Oddly, one of the simple touches in MI:5 that made Ferguson’s character (Ilsa Faust) believable despite some moments of objectification, was the many scenes in which she either wears flats or removes her heels before/during accomplishing feats of extraordinary daredevilry. It’s a mundane act, so it didn’t occur to me that, in the context of this summer’s blockbusters, a female character removing her heels has become a fraught gesture.

Friday, August 07, 2015

A Light Show Folds In on an Origami Projection Screen

TheCreatorsProject: By applying the rigid principles of origami folding to projection mapping, Vietnamese-American new media designer Steven T. Wong has constructed a new kind of screen in the form of a geometric kinetic sculpture. Known as Memesis, Wong's project utilizes a system of pulleys that shift flat white panels in and out, bending them in tandem with the motion graphics being projected onto the folding screen.

Wong believes his work challenges the notion that screens are passive, static surfaces. In the sculpture’s video documentation (below), Wong explains, “Here, the surfaces dance too, in tandem with the lights, casting their own shadows —both real and virtual—while influencing how the lights cast upon them move too.” The patterns and folding mechanics of the piece are, according to Wong, based on a parametric pattern of Miura-ori and 'V' pleat cell units, folding techniques, and crease patterns that give this sculpture its shape. As evidenced below, these patterns and shapes are revealed through moving panels, and controlled by a small network of nylon strings and suspended counterweights that fold the panels and push them back into place. Check out Memesis below:

Software company Autodesk is launching its own game engine

TheVerge: If you play video games, you've probably seen the effects of Autodesk's work. Autodesk owns the Maya and 3ds Max modeling software, the Scaleform rendering engine, and a variety of animation and texture-making tools. But the meat of the game will (usually) be made in an engine like Unity or Unreal, both of which have spent years courting developers with low prices and approachable tools. On August 19th, though, they'll see a new competitor: Autodesk's own engine, called Stingray.

Stingray was first announced in March, but it's technically existed for several years as an engine called Bitsquid, which Autodesk acquired in 2014. Bitsquid is behind, among a handful of other games, chaotic cooperative shooter Helldivers. The core of Bitsquid, says Autodesk's head of games Frank Delise, isn't changing much. But among other things, it's using a different interface and is more tightly integrated with the rest of Autodesk's design tools. "We really liked that the engine was separated from the user interface, so we can make very user-specific versions of the technology," says Delise. It's hard to tell exactly how good Stingray games will look — the major test for any engine — but the screenshots don't look too bad.

A&E notebook: Children's Theater Series lineup announced

TribLive: Junie B., The Big Bad Wolf, and a runaway bunny will be among the kid lit celebrities making appearances in the Pittsburgh area as part of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's 2015-2016 Citizens Bank Children's Theater Series.
Now in its 46th season, the series presents live professional theater performances of six familiar tales aimed at audiences ages 3 and up.


Canadian Filmmaker Fears for Creative Freedom Under the TPP

EFF: Most people's experience with copyright begins and ends with the FBI warnings that play before movies on a DVD. But for those who make a living from creative work, copyright is an everyday reality. It's both a mechanism to help a creator get paid, and a framework that allows them to include the creativity of others within their own work.


In the digital age, being creative is increasingly an act of copying—whether that is sampling music, quoting an article in an online publication, or including a photo or moving image in a YouTube video.

Broadway Review: ‘Hamilton’

Variety: “Hamilton” was a sensation in a 299-seat house at the Public Theater, where the blazing inventiveness of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical tribute to one of our illustrious Founding Fathers played right into the downtown vibe. But this innovative show is shaping up to be just as much of a phenomenon uptown, playing in a Broadway house with four times the seating capacity, and to a more traditional but no less enthusiastic audience.  That universal appeal to crossover audiences is one unmistakable sign of a groundbreaking show.

Celebrated Actor Comes Home to Star in 'Kinky Boots'

PittsburghMagazine: The national tour for “Kinky Boots” makes a stop this week at the Pittsburgh CLO, and Pittsburgh native Billy Porter says he wouldn’t have missed reprising his leading role here for anything. “[Pittsburgh] will always be the love of my life,” he says. “I’m so grateful to have been able to grow up there and for my childhood there and my training and all of the angels that were present for me in very, very difficult times.” Porter, a graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA high school and Carnegie Mellon University, won a Tony Award in 2013 for his portrayal of drag queen Lola. In the show, Lola befriends the downtrodden owner of a shoe factory and convinces him to revive his business by creating women’s shoes for men. “Kinky Boots” also won the Tony for best musical.

Keep Your Friends Close And Your Tools Closer With This Pegboard On Rollers

HackaDay: There’s nothing that adds more time to building or repairing something than having to walk back and forth to grab the right tool for the job. “Wait, was that a 15/16 inch socket I needed?  Nope it’s a 3/4 inch!  Rats!”

[Brad Justinen] shares his solution to the problem in this very simple, but well documented tutorial on Instructables. He welded up a metal A-frame, then simply added pegboard to the sides and casters to the bottom. Our first thought was if something like this could be made out of lumber for a bit more of a DIY approach, but if you’ve ever moved a tool box full of tools, you know how their weight really adds up fast. So perhaps it might be best to bribe your welder-owning friend with a 12 pack of his or her favorite adult beverage.

Women in Hollywood Are Still Few and Far Between

Jezebel: Hollywood’s still into women in front of the camera, just not behind the lens or of color—but we knew that, right? Ava Duvernay, Kathryn Bigelow, Gina Prince-Bythewood can’t be the only women through the gate guys!

USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism released their annual report parsing Hollywood’s representation by the numbers and concluded that, despite the strides of films like Selma made by women, 2014 was pretty great for dudes—like always.

Here are the report’s takeaways: 

- Only 30.2 percent of 30,285 speaking characters were females in the 700 most popular film from 2007 to 2014. 

Monday, August 03, 2015

A technician on tour: his suitcase and his tools

ZioGiorgio: Today we would like to give our readers a little bit of light but useful reading for this summer, which despite everything that is happening, seems to be picking up a little, sparking the enthusiasm of tour lovers: real convoys that often become little families, living together day after day and which, for many, become unforgettable experiences of professional exchange and growth.

And who better than ZioGiorgio, always on the lookout for ways of making your lives easier with useful advice, can give you some tips on how to organize the long trips?

Study: Yes, Student Loans Are Making College More Expensive

Reason: Long have liberals vowed to make higher education more affordable by offering ever more generous loan subsidies, and long have conservatives and libertarians argued that federal aid merely gives colleges license to drive up the price. A study by the New York Federal Reserve offers some new evidence that the latter group is correct. According to the study’s authors:

IATSE Launches Safety Hotline

TheatreSafetyBlog: The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) recently launched its safety hotline so members can report hazards on the job.

When an IATSE member calls the toll free number 844-IA AWARE, (844-422-9273), the caller can either leave a message for or talk to a safety representative who will help handle the issue. Sometimes the safety representative will contact the IATSE Local’s representative and assist them with the issue, or call the employer directly.