Something a tad different.

by on Sep.03, 2012, under Uncategorized

This weeks post is starting with a bang, quite literately. Or is it a boom?

Starting things with a bang. The pyrotechnic device shown is used to create a waterfall effect. A number of such device was used at the opening ceremony's of the Olympic games .

This weeks post is a little bit more wordy then weeks of the past, due to making up for missing a week and providing a glimpse into what the author gets up to, as well as how last weeks adventures relate to what I do at the lab and a bit of a geek out. Last weeks post was missed due to being in London, Ontario, volunteering at the annual CITT trade show and conference.  CITT stands for the Canadian Institute of Theatre Technology, its primary purpose is to link industry and individuals together so that effective communication can happen, as well as create closer ties to those within the theatre community to industry.

CITT does this via workshops, classes, tours, certification, open forums, AGM, and providing a venue annually that moves across the country so that over time each province will host the event. Last year CITT annual conference was in Victoria, BC. This year it was in London, Ont. Next year it will be in Calgary Alberta. With that said, I care to get to my point that the theatre industry is full of creative individuals. Not only artistic but electronic and electrically savvy who are alternative thinkers.

I am a theatrical technician, an artisan, an artist, a geek, as well as have been known for being a muse, and a bit nerdy.   Some are surprised that an individual so heavily in the arts would be so interested in hacking, and making. But in reality these things go hand in hand. Many effects and sets that support a theatrical production take months and if there are special allowances years to design or gain the skills to be able to effectively execute safely and realistically.

Woosh, goes the pyrotechnic demonstration, during a Canadian government run Pyrotechnics course. In this demo we learned how effects are measured and differ between each manufactures.

Theatre can often be slow to adopt new technologies, or make giant leaps into untested and unfamiliar ones. LED lighting is an example of this, and when implemented the colour not being as true as the colour created using tungsten based lighting with colour medium, in combination with photometric data to create “Natural” look. This boils down to how the light source reacts to dimming compared to how LED fixtures are a more linear slope.  A visual demonstration and practical workshop was presented at CITT this year upon this topic featuring multiple current lighting fixtures, such as the Source 4 LED fixture,  used in conjunction with tungstan based lighting fixtures.                                                                                       Other practical workshops at CITT may be more familiar such as;  How to solder, or  a Arduino workshop, that hack lab hosts on a regular basis.  The use of Arduino within theatre and the development of it by theatrical artists is an encouraging and practical advancement.

Eric running a recent Arduino workshop at the Hack Lab.









The Grand Theatre in London Ontario was kind enough to tell those on the tour about how this functional set-piece was created. This was once a golf-cart.

Guys @ The Stratford festival showing off a piece they hacked together. This boat was once a wheel chair.

Scenic Automation work Bench @ The Stratford Festival.

The Stratford Festivals new CNC mill.









The Stratford Festivals vacuum form mold.






Mini set, also know as conceptual scale working model for the production of the Hobbit at the Grand Theatre London Ontario.









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