June 2013

Photos From the 6th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic

The glamorous crowd that gathered this weekend at Liberty State Park to watch the horses and drink Champagne included hostMatthew McConaughey, Ashley Olsen, Carly Cushnie, Rosario Dawson, Dree Hemingway and other camera-ready faces. Guests in the VIP section took shelter from the 90-degree heat under the warm glow of yellow-orange umbrellas, where they sipped the namesake Champagne and nibbled caviar. Cut photographer Dina Litovsky captured some of the golden moments before, during, and after the match. See all the sunglasses, white eyelet, straw hats, and seersucker in the slideshow ahead.

To view slideshow, click here.

April 2013

US Open Ceremony Includes Video Mapped to Tennis Court

The US Open tennis classic hit a grand slam the first night of the tournament with an Opening Night Ceremony that set a new benchmark for kicking off the iconic event.  grandMA2 consoles, Clay Paky Sharpy lighting fixtures and MDG hazers played key roles in the ceremony at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, NY.  All are distributed in North America by A.C.T Lighting.

“The USTA charged its entertainment group with energizing its traditional US Open Opening Night Ceremony, and what fans saw this year was unprecedented, immersive and memorable,” says Christien Methot of design one lighting and production design, who served as the lighting designer.  

“Two years ago Michael Fiur, entertainment director for the USTA, asked me to get involved, in conjunction with Overland Entertainment, in creating an opening ceremony spectacular.  They’ve had singers in the past but always used stadium lights.  We started talking about the creative aspects of the show – using video mapped to the court and lighting played in conjunction with the video to fill out the stadium.  We were going to do it last year, but the hurricane blew in.  We learned a lot in the process to put into practice for this year’s event.”

During the ceremony Jordan Sparks paid tribute to the late Whitney Houston, who performed in the stadium 15 years ago.  Sparks sang “Celebrate,” the hit song from the movie “Sparkle” in which she starred with Houston.  Then, for the first time at the U.S. Open, the center court was turned into a giant video board with images of past champions flashing across the court during a high-energy music and light show.  Sparks returned to the stage for the National Anthem; center court was mapped with red, white and blue flag graphics during her rendition.

“The opening ceremony was short and sweet – 20 minutes,” Methot says.  “After Jordan sang ‘Celebrate’ we launched into Taio Cruz’s ‘Dynamite’ with a lighting and video spectacular.  Then during the National Anthem we had theatrical lighting and an abstracted video American flag on the court.  There was really nice size pyro show, too.  A lot of logistics, a lot of collaboration and back-and-forth to get it all done.”

Methot had a pair of grandMA2 Lights running SMPTE timecode; for “Dynamite” it was synched to timecode with MA’s grandMA 3-D software, which had been used in the pre-viz stage, to sync the space.  Ten MDG Atmosphere hazers came into play, and 40 Clay Paky Sharpys lit up the night.  Glow Design, responsible for the video components, ran eight 22K Barco projectors on Dataton WATCHOUT; they provided Methot’s rig with the SMPTE timecode.

“The grandMA2s, MDGs and Sharpys were all mission critical elements of the show,” says Methot.  “They were rock solid and performed without fail.”

Methot deployed 20 of the Sharpys on the court with the other 20 surrounding the audience on the stadium’s promenade level.  “We used them to create the white stars of the American flag for the National Anthem,” he explains.  “They were also the main performers during the ‘Dynamite’ sequence, synched to the beat and dancing to it as though they were dancers in a nightclub.  We picked the Sharpys because they can be seen for miles, have a really concentrated beam and are really fast so they could keep up with a fast-paced song.  Their compact size also allowed us to put them anywhere.  And they were by far the most reliable of all the fixtures.”

Methot selected the MDG Atmosphere hazers after doing a shootout with several other manufacturers.  “The MDGs had the best delivery of haze for an outdoor situation,” he reports.  “The CO2 helped because it kept the haze a little cooler and made it hang a little longer.  They did a great job.”

He was also pleased that the no-charge grandMA 3-D software was “vital in giving us a couple of days of programming in advance.”

Methot rented the equipment through WorldStage.  “They have a strong relationship with Overland Entertainment and really took care of us,” he says.

Working alongside Methot were programmer Jason Baeri and gaffer Randy Treu.

For full article, click here.


November 2012

Glamour’s Annual Accolades

Jenna Lyons, the president of the fashion brand J. Crew, is a celebrated style icon today. But, as she put it: “I know what it feels like not to be beautiful. I remember that feeling.”

Ms. Lyons was speaking to a room of women who may or may not know what that is like: celebrities, media bigwigs and the editorial assistants in attendance at Glamour magazine’s 2012 Women of the Year Awards, held Monday evening at Carnegie Hall.

Outside the venue women in gowns greeted one another, before some of them took a stroll down the red carpet. Among the boldfaced females being dubbed the Women of the Year by the magazine were actress and pop-star paramour Selena Gomez; photographer and fashion-world power player Annie Leibovitz; and “Girls” creator and cultural maelstrom Lena Dunham.

Vogue editor Anna Wintour presented Ms. Leibovitz with her award. Working with the photographer always involves “the call,” Ms. Wintour said. “It could be a conversation with Annie about what we’re hoping to get with the picture, which will usually end with me having the distinct impression that everything I’ve said has fallen on deaf ears. Sometimes it’s an editor telling me the shoot is going in a somewhat different discussion than we’d discussed. But Annie is an original and determined in pursuit of her vision.”

For full article, click here.

Glamour Women Of The Year Awards Honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Lena Dunham, Zaha Hadid And Others

A female Supreme Court justice, a Disney Channel starlet, the world’s preeminent female architect, five female Olympians and a woman famous for eating cupcakes naked on TV walk into Carnegie Hall. No, that’s not the best and weirdest dream we’ve ever had; it actually happened Monday night at the Glamour Women of the Year 2012 awards. We have the pictures to prove it.

The evening, hosted by Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive, kicked off with Katie Couric and Andy Cohen playing a game of “Celebrity” on stage. Then Arianna snuck up behind Cohen when he couldn’t name her. Then Newark mayor and #Sandy Twitter hero Cory Booker came on to recognize the female nurses, Coast Guard members and other women who played a huge role in rescue and relief efforts after the hurricane. And that was before anyone accepted an award.

Over the course of the ceremony, Glamour presented Women of the Year awards toJenna Lyons president and executive creative director of J.Crew; iconic photographer Annie Leibovitz; architect Zaha Hadid, the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, her field’s highest honor; sexual abuse survivor and activist Erin Merryn; Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, whose documentary on acid violence against women in Pakistan has helped bring perpetrators to justice and won the 2012 Oscar for Best Documentary Film; Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; mother-daughter humanitarians Ethel and Rory Kennedy; “Girls” creator and star Lena Dunham; actress Selena Gomez, of “Wizards of Waverly Place” fame and five of thewomen who brought home gold from the London Olympics: gymnast Gabby Douglas, swimmer Missy Franklin, track and field star Allyson Felix, judo queen Kayla Harrison and soccer player Carli Lloyd.

The acceptance speeches featured many highlights — Merryn’s impassioned call for sexual assault education in schools, Obaid-Chinoy’s tribute to the women in her documentary — but the first of our two favorite moments came when Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who noted that “the judiciary is not a profession that ranks very high among the glamorously attired,” told the crowd how proud she was, as the second women appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, to be the first Supreme Court justice ever named a Glamour Woman of the Year.

For full article, click here.

August 2012

Jordin Sparks stole the show during opening ceremonies at the 2012 US Open

Jordin Sparks made quite an impression on Monday, August 27 as she belted out the National Anthem during the opening ceremonies at the US Open in New York. She is known for her strong vocals ever since her “American Idol” days, and she certainly used them to sing her heart out to celebrate the occasion. The 22-year-old also sang one of the tunes off of the soundtrack from her new movie, “Sparkle,” which she starred in with the late Whitney Houston. The packed out crowd loved her and her music.

Sparks was easy on the eyes in a curve-hugging white crochet dress that showed off her trim figure. With her 50 lbs. weight loss recently, she looked amazing. She admitted that she lost the weight after working out and eating a healthy diet at her own pace she had set for herself. She is hotter than ever in both her singing and new acting career. The young singer was certainly excited right before the event as she tweeted, “Are you watching the #USOpen?? I’m going to sing Celebrate & the anthem! Tune into ESPN2!”

New Yorkers sure know how to put on a show. Along with Ms. Sparks, there were lots of fireworks, a light show, and even a giant video slide show that featured images of past US Open champions. It was a perfect time to celebrate the sport of tennis.

For full article, click here.

Jordin Sparks rocks U.S. Open in white dress

Style star o’ the day: Jordin Sparks.

Fireworks exploded Monday night as the American Idol alum sang the national anthem at the opening ceremony for the 2012 U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens.

Sparks, 22, showed her curves in a (tennis) white bandage dress that is earning her raves.

Other celebs on hand for the opening included Stanley Tucci and his new wife, Felicity Blunt, and Alec Baldwin and his new wife, Hilaria Thomas.

For full article, click here.

June 2012

Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic 2012 At Liberty State Park Hosted By Clive Owen

Keeping it classy and popping the bubbly over the weekend was actor Clive Owen, who hosted the 2012 Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic at Liberty State Park where Zoe Saldana, Jason Wu, and Minka Kelly were just a few of the big names who turned up for the preppy affair.

Owen, who is in New York filming “Blood Ties” with the lovely Mila Kunis, said he was happy to take a break for the polo event, “I had a day off and I’m really excited. I’ve never been to a polo match but I have some friends who play. For some reason, I’ve always been working when I’ve been invited.”

Also in attendance on Saturday was stylist Rachel Zoe who made it a family affair with her husband and their adorable son Skyler.

As for the main event, team Black Watch came out on top with Argentinian Nacho Figueras claiming MVP for the day.

For full article, click here.

November 2011

All Together, ‘Brava!’

Among the women who were honored at Glamour’s annual Women of the Year awards on Monday night, Jennifer Lopez made the most memorable entrance, twice.

For the ceremony, at Carnegie Hall, she wore a pale beaded Versace gown covered with leather petals that had a slit running up her left thigh, and then, for a dinner at the Museum of Modern Art, she wore a short black cocktail dress with lace insets by Valentino. And, by the time dessert was served, her hair had gone from long and loose to pulled back in a tight bun.

“Oh, that was more of a red-carpet dress,” Ms. Lopez said of her quick change. “I thought this was better to sit in.”

Smart move. There was a lot of sitting to be done. The ceremony itself lasted more than two hours, with about a dozen awards given to women who have little more in common than that they deserve to win awards. In the pages of the December issue of Glamour, you can find tributes to fashion plates like Ms. Lopez and Tory Burch, as well as fashion civilians like Laura Bush and her daughters; Chelsea Handler; Cindy Sherman; and Esraa Abdel Fattah of Egypt, whose Facebook postings helped ignite the mass protests in Tahrir Square in Cairo. As touching as the night was, it was also, at times, pretty funny.

Addressing their mother, Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, in proper jewel-toned dresses, described some articles from a recent issue of Glamour, like ones that illustrated how you can turn a scarf into a tube-top, or generally drive your man wild. Ms. Bush Hager noted that a survey showed that 7 of 10 women have tried to give their men makeovers.

“I try,” said the former first lady.

For full article, click here.