2016 hit like a stampede of Oompa Loompas. You never could have predicted it and most of us are glad that it’s over, and now you have to laugh at the remarkableness of what you’ve just lived through. Think about it – we’ve seen the Cubs win the World Series, the Olympics successfully held in Brazil, and release of another fantastic Star Wars movie (and the loss of a Star Wars legend).Creative Conners has had an extraordinary year of engineering and building new products and cool scenic projects. If you’ve missed it, here are just a few of the highpoints…
In February we completed our first installation project of the year. Fairhaven Church in Ohio got our first Smart Chain Hoists. We got a chance to get a couple of half-ton Chain Master hoists wired up for Spikemark control, we installed them, and now they get to fly a fancy new LED video wall. It was a good start to an eventful year.
In May we worked with the gang at the Park Avenue Armory for a couple of neat effects to automate a curtain track and open and close a door. Sometime the gags that look so simple need special attention to ensure their reality matches the artist’s vision. Our resident New Yorker, Mike Wade was on hand to make sure everything went smooth. Everyone was happy to see the Trickline got some love for being a simple way to automate a curtain without any fuss or muss.
Meet & Greets
Throughout the year we shared some love with hungry technicians during load-ins and strikes when we arranged for Random Acts of Pizza. Indiana Rep, Pittsburg Public, Edwardsville High, and Long Wharf Theatre all got a bit of cheesy meaty goodness to help fuel their automation/scenic/painting/lighting workdays.
In March we were excited to see so many of our friends at USITT in Salt Lake City and introduce the redesigned Pushstick. There was nothing like catching up with old friends and showing off a significantly improved product to get us hyped up for the rest of the year.
Over the summer we joined our friends on Reddit for an AMA on r/techtheatre. It was a couple of hours of virtual meet & greet. We answered some questions and got some cool feedback on how people want to move their scenery.
In October, LDI meant that we got a chance to play among the lights, lasers, and fog in Vegas. It was more than a tradeshow, it was a coming out party for our new print catalog, the redesigned Revolver, the brand new Stagehand Apprentice, and the Floorpocket. The Floorpocket was developed throughout the hot days of summer and was unlike anything at the show. What made the experience even sweeter was immediately after LDI, the Floorpocket went off to its first rental gig and was an unrivaled success. You’ll hear more on this soon.
We didn’t let up as the year came to an end. In December we release the next major release of Spikemark. We developed the cure to your worst nightmare – what happens if you lose power to your automation gear. How will you get your scenery back in position without the headache of re-homing each piece? Persistent Positioning records your data to your Stagehand once a move is complete. So when the facilities guy shuts off the power by accident, you don’t need to sweat it when power is restored. Spikemark knows where everything is.
Regardless of how 2016 treated you, we hope 2017 is better, bigger, and uses a little bit more automation on stage.
What do we have on the agenda for 2017? Here’s a sneak peek…
- We are prepping a few surprises for USITT in March.
- We’re making it even easier to dip your toe in the automation game.
- If you are you an undergrad or grad student dreaming of moving scenery, we’ve got something special coming your way.