Automation (Scenic)

[photo above: The Lord of the Rings, Theatre Royal Drury Lane]

Scenic automation is at the forefront of the largest most complex productions in the world, ensuring that the most mind-numbingly complex sequences of scene changes can happen at the touch of a button right in front of the audiences’ eyes.

Relevant pages at Theatrecrafts.com

Automation Credits

Random Glossary Entry

SAFETY EDGE
A safety sensor on the edge of a piece of automated scenery (usually a moving platform) that the automation system uses to detect something or someone out of place and take appropriate action.

A selection of notable shows and designers / suppliers

Safety

Modern automation systems have a high degree of safety systems built-in.The automation operator has easy access to an E-Stop (emergency stop) button, enabling the system to stop moving in the event of a problem. There are also E-Stop buttons in locations where problems might occur, such as in the theatre basement where an actor may get onto a platform lift, or at high level if performer flying is used. The automation operator has a number of closed-circuit TV monitors to enable her/him to see all parts of the system.

This video shows a ‘safe edge’ on a lift for a production of The Bodyguard. As soon as something gets in the way of the scissor lift, it stops moving instantly, preventing what could be a serious injury.

Books

2018
2009
2008
2008
2007

External Links

Companies

Broadweigh Portable wireless load monitoring [UK]
PRG Scenic Rigging & Automation [USA]
Unusual Rigging Rigging, suspension and automation [London, UK]

Flying

Fisher Technical Services 3D Flying [USA]

Jobs

Automation London Theatre Automation & Motion Control jobs [London, UK]

Makers

Weld-Fab Stage Engineering Ltd Revolves, Scissor Lifts, Scenic Engineering [UK]

Manufacturers

AVW Controls Impressario System [London, UK]
Bosch Rexroth Stage Technology [Germany]
Creative Conners Inc.
Delstar Engineering [UK]
Kinesys Motion control
Q Motion Stage engineering and automation
Silicon Theatre Scenery Scenic automation and performer flying [The Netherlands]
Stage Machines LLC
Stage One Scenic Automation Projects [UK]
Stage Technologies Includes many examples of their projects
Tait Scenic Rigging & Automation
VisualAct Technology & Engineering for the entertainment industry [Sweden]

Software

Spikemark Scenic Automation & Visualisation