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The Case Of The Missing Lancelots

Everytime I write a story with a large gear list, I try as hard as possible to get all the information correct. It's not always as easy as it seems— and the opening ceremonies for the Olympics in Beijing is a perfect example. Since the lighting designer and rental company folks over there speak only Chinese, and I admit to being deficient in that department, my contact on-site was Australian LD Paul Collison, who was in charge of the control system and broadcast lighting. On a very early gear list he sent me in July, there were eight Robert Juliat Lancelot follow spots listed. But lo and behold, on the final list there were only followspots by Ushio and Kupo. What happened to the Lancelots? Did they miss their plane from Paris? In any case, I didn't really think anything more about it until Fred Lindauer, the American rep for Juliat, called to say he heard I was writing a story about the ceremonies for the September issue of Live Design and did I know.... Well, I had to tell him what I did know, which was that his followspots were not on the final gear list. A quick Skype call to Paul in Beijing revealed that the Lancelots were indeed in the vicinity but had not been brought to the Bird's Nest to be used for the opening. He thought perhaps they were consided too expensive for the four-month period that the gear was left outdoors in the stadium leading up to the event. In any case, some behind the scenes negotiations must have gone on as the Lancelots appeared as eight valiant knights in the Bird's Nest just in time for the closing ceremonies, and had their pictures taken for posterity. Not that I want to say this it due to the power of the press, but hey, why not?

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