Computers in Entertainment - talk by Rob Halliday

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Computers in Entertainment

Rob Halliday

Thursday 12 March 2015 7.30pm
Ticket includes free short museum tour at 6pm followed by refreshments and finger food at 7pm courtesy of SNP Productions Ltd.

Tickets

Entertainment lighting for theatre, television, concerts and spectaculars has long adopted and then pushed the boundaries of other technologies for its own purposes.

From the late 1950s, lighting started embracing computer technology for the advantages it brought - particularly instant storage and recall of lighting states. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the technology as implemented by pioneering engineers at Strand and their rival, Thorn, and a few other pioneers around the world managed to stay just ahead of the very particular demands of lighting professionals as lighting rigs grew more complex and shows more demanding with the advent of colour television studios, rock shows, the arrival of the National Theatre in London and, beyond that, with the rise to prominence of moving lights and enormous arrays of LED lighting fixtures.

In this talk, Rob Halliday will look at how computers moved into entertainment lighting, from pioneering systems such as Strand's IDM up to the remarkable Lightboard created for the National Theatre, which still has some tricks that the current generation of PC-based control systems in use today can't replicate. The common link across all of these systems: lighting's critical need for things to happen right now, right on the beat of the music or the snap of an actor's fingers, not a few moments later when the computer decides it's ready.

Rob Halliday is a lighting designer and lighting programmer in theatre and live events with more than 20 years' experience. He is an expert in the development of the use of computers in the theatre, a field in which Britain led the world from the late 1960s until the mid 1980s. Rob writes a regular column, Classic Gear, in Lighting & Sound International.

Tickets

Next up

The Imitation Archive: Field Recording in the Digital Age

Matt Parker

Thursday 16 April 2015 7.30pm

The first rule of listening according to the pioneering soundscape composer R Murray Shafer is “if you can't hear it, be suspicious”. Sound recordist and composer Matt Parker will discuss the process and techniques of high fidelity digital field recording and will explain how sound can help us understand our evolving cultural landscape.

Matt's talk will include live demonstrations and a premiere of some of his recently produced compositions made from recordings taken at The National Computing Museum. See The Imitation Archive for more details.

You can find out more and listen to some of Matt's previous work here

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