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2016 Hit Like a Stampede of Oompa Lompas

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2016 Hit Like a Stampede of Oompa Lompas

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…

Custom Projects

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.

New Software

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.

What’s Next

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.

See you @ LDI 2016

 

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It’s that time of year…

The leaves are changing color, the school year is in full swing, and entertainment techs are heading to Las Vegas. LDI is around the corner and we are prepping to go. Come and check us out.

We’re at booth 1259

Look for the orange truss – you can’t miss it.

We’re looking forward to catching up with some old friends, meeting new ones, and showing off some new gear. You can register for a free exhibit hall pass by following the link below.

Click below to get a free exhibit hall pass on us.

LDI Badge

Come for the automation stay for the light show.

 

 

Meet Our Team: Mike Wade

About a month ago we added Mike Wade to our staff at Creative Conners. Mike is our new Director of Technical Services. That means he will focus on technical support, custom project engineering, and user education.  When you’ve got a question about how to get your gear up and running or you are stumped trying to sort out a tricky bit of Spikemark programming – Mike is the guy to call. On top of that, Mike will be joining Gareth as the co-host of the Circuit and Gear podcast.

Mike’s history with Creative Conners goes back to being our guinea pig to test the original Stagehand prototype. He is an expert in dealing with all aspects of theatrical productions – so take advantage of him joining the team.

Mike most recently served as the production manager at the Atlantic Theatre in New York. He brings years of experience working with commercial scene shops, corporate events and several off-Broadway and regional theatres (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Roundabout Theatre, Daedalus Design and Production, is a brief rundown of his pedigree).

Mike_bio2Because he is based in New York City, Mike serves as our liaison to our Broadway and other New York customers. He’s available for on-site consultations and oversees many of our custom installations. He has already overseen the successful installation of automated variable speed chain hoists for Fairhaven Church in Ohio.

He is available by phone at 401-289-2942 or by e-mail at mike@creativeconnesr.com. Give’em a shout when you find yourself in a automation pickle and need some help.


Circuit and Gear Ep 12 – Catching up with Mike Wade

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We’re back! Mike Wade, Production Manager for the Atlantic Theater, joins Gareth to discuss the Pushstick v2 and the automation used on These Paper Bullets.

Check out the latest episode!

Come work in scenic automation

As you may have noticed, we are incredibly busy churning out some of the most-loved automation gear in the business. It’s great to be popular, but if you love automation, we could really use your help! Come be a part of the biggest little automation company, in the biggest little state in the union.

Creative Conners is actively seeking automation junkies for the following positions:

Machinist/Metal Fabricator

  • Manual milling and turning
  • CNC machining
  • Welding
  • Machine assembly

Electrical/Electronics Fabricator

  • Control panel assembly and wiring
  • PCB assembly and soldering
  • Cable assembly and soldering
  • Troubleshooting with ‘scope and meter

Programmer

  • Embedded systems programming in C/C++
  • Windows programming in .Net (C# or VB.net)
  • Web development in Python
  • iOS programming
  • Some PLC programming is handy

Please send us your resume or contact us for more information at: careers@CreativeConners.com.

Spikemark 3.3 is released!

Position Scale Dialog

The new Position Scale dialog

Spikemark 3.3 has been released!  Download and upgrade your automation at your earliest opportunity.  What’s new?  Check out the release notes for the details, but the big highlights are:

  • A new Position Scale dialog box has been introduced to make it super-easy to calibrate position scale of any machine in your production.  All the bits that you need are now in one handy dialog box to streamline the process.
  • Bug fixes!  A couple of nasty bugs have been squashed.
  • Soft Stop display in the cue grid has been refined to make the display more logical and easier to comprehend in a flash.

It’s free, it’s awesome, go grab your copy!

Circuit and Gear Podcast – Episode 7

Royal and Gareth chat about the load-in of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  Trucking, installation, and a couple of Spikemark bugs discussed.  Download and listen…

Episodes 4 and 5 of Circuit and Gear

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If you haven’t already subscribed to our scenic automation podcast, Circuit and Gear check out the latest two episodes:

Episode 4

This week, Royal and Gareth talk about using the d3 projection software with Spikemark on a recent corporate event. Then the guys dive into a conversation about the design process at Creative Conners and the CAD tools we prefer.

Episode 5

In this week’s episode, Royal and Gareth discuss some feedback on CAD tools from last week’s show and then finish the CAD chat with a look at EDA tools for circuit design. Next up, they chat about the shop test of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang rig heading out to Colorado. Finally, they wrap up with a quick look at the new Mitsubishi A800 VFD.

Circuit and Gear Podcast – Episode 3

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Royal and Gareth revisit NORD gearmotors and discuss the advantages and disadvantages compared to SEW. Next up, they discuss different uses for the Stagehand FX. And then they finish with some advice for stage technicians that want to learn a little more about programming.

Check it out!

Circuit and Gear Podcast – Episode 2 is ready

Episode 2 of Circuit and Gear, our scenic automation podcast, is ready for download! Grab a cup of coffee, strap on the headphones, and take a listen!

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