Cotton Eye Joe by Christopher Short
The ILDA Awards are the laser display industry's equivalent of Hollywood's Oscars. Each year, they honor companies and individuals from around the world for their achievements. These awards were bestowed at the 2014 ILDA Conference:
• The Artistic Awards cover virtually all aspects of modern laser displays, from the creation of individual laser graphics to the production of huge outdoor shows.
• The Technical Awards, named for pioneering laserist Fred Fenning, honor technological achievements that advance the industry.
• The Career Achievement Award is ILDA's highest honor, given for work spanning many years in the area of show quality, innovation, and industry service.
2014 entries and judging
For 2014, ILDA received 204 artistic and technical entries from a record 38 different Member companies. Most of the artistic entries were judged June 27-28 2014 in Las Vegas by a three-member panel that met for two days of review and voting. Photography entries were judged by ILDA Members voting online, June 24-July 8 2014. Laser Jockey entries were viewed and judged by attendees at the Lase-Off during the ILDA Conference on November 18 2014. Fenning technical entries were judged via online discussion of a three-member panel in June 2014.
Booklet with details
For more details on the winners, download the 2014 ILDA Awards booklet (PDF format). The booklet lists all winners and includes a photo from each winning artwork, plus credits and a description of the work.
1st: "Exorcist", LOBO (pictured above)
2nd: "Blue", Felyx Kain
3rd: "Dreamlight", Tobias Gebuhr
1st: "Mind Games", Dynamic Lasers (pictured above)
2nd: "Inferno", LOBO
3rd: "Arrived in Flames", Dynamic Lasers
Honorable Mention: "Rush Hour", MediaLas GmbH
1st: "Crack of Doom", Orion-Art Multimedia (pictured above), view on YouTube
2nd: "U Make the Difference!", LOBO
3rd: "The Fairy Adventures", Orion-Art Multimedia
Honorable Mention: "Alice in Wonderland", Lasermaster LLC
1st: "Monkeyhands Strange 11", Christopher Short (pictured above)
2nd: "Cotton Eye Joe", Christopher Short (video excerpt at top of this page)
3rd: "Geronimo", Christopher Short
1st: "The Space Scout Journey", Orion-Art Multimedia (pictured above)
2nd: "Vicious Rage", LOBO
3rd: "Baar-Openair", Lightline Lasertechnik GmbH
1st: "Dark Side of the Moon", Copernicus Science Center (Heavens of Copernicus Planetarium) (pictured above)
2nd: "Lichtmond Relasered", Planetarium Hamburg
3rd: "Tabaluga und die Zeichen der Zeit", Planetarium Hamburg
1st: Not awarded
2nd: "Sun City Music Festival", Laser Spectacles, Inc. (pictured above)
3rd: "Ping Pong", Dynamic Lasers
Honorable Mention: "Ghostland Observatory at Winter on the Rocks", Lightwave International
Honorable Mention: "Electric Music Festival 2013", Visual Sensation Laser Shows & Technologies
1st: "Porsche", Lightline Lasertechnik GmbH (pictured above)
2nd: "New Year in LG World", Orion-Art Multimedia
3rd: "The Siemens History", Orion-Art Multimedia
1st: "Prolight & Sound 2014", KVANT Ltd. (pictured above)
2nd: "Shakira Live at Bryant Park NYC", Lightwave International
3rd: "Biffy Clyro", ER Productions
1st: "Royal Variety Performance", ER Productions (pictured above)
2nd: "America's Got Talent", Image Engineering
3rd: "Totenhosen", Lightline Lasertechnik GmbH
1st: "Thomas Puskailer", KVANT Ltd (pictured above)
2nd: "Pitbull - Dr Pepper", LaserNet
3rd: "Oblivion", Lightwave International
1st: "The Chapters of Glorious History", Orion-Art Multimedia (pictured above)
2nd: "New Year's Eve 2013 - Rome", KVANT Ltd.
3rd: "The Siberian Alfa Bank Show", Orion-Art Multimedia
Honorable Mention: "Fuel and Energy Sector", Lasermaster LLC
1st: "Vltava Lives", KVANT Ltd. (pictured above)
2nd: "The Love Butterfly", Orion-Art Multimedia
3rd: "The BankOlympic Games", Orion-Art Multimedia
1st: "FLUIDIC - Sculpture in Motion", LaserAnimation SOLLINGER (pictured above)
2nd: "LAARIS - Laser Atmospheric Augmented Reality Interactive System", Laserman Theo Dari
3rd: "Unipol", ER Productions
Winners selected by ILDA Members viewing photos online and voting via email
1st: "Rome", KVANT Ltd.
2nd: "Don't Let Go", KVANT Ltd.
3rd: "Warrior of Light", LOBO
Honorable Mention: "Dragon Encounter", LOBO
Performed live, and judged by attendees, at the ILDA Conference's Lase-Off, November 18 2014 in Las Vegas.
1st: Tim Walsh, Laser Spectacles Inc.
2nd: Derek Garbos, LaserTech Canada
3rd: Nicolas Squire, LaserTech Canada
Richard Gonsalves, ILDA Individual Member
Richard Gonsalves, ILDA Individual Member
Markus Steblei, ILDA Individual Member
Joe Suehle, Image Engineering
1st: "Compact 506 optical scanner", Pangolin Laser Systems (pictured above)
The ScannerMAX Compact 506 is a small, low-inertia galvanometer-based optical scanner capable of driving 3mm aperture mirrors at lightshow scanning speeds in excess of 50K (nearly 5kHz small signal bandwidth and 150 microsecond small steps) with no distortion, as well as being capable of driving mirrors up to 1 inch diameter. The small size, high performance, and yet low cost of the Compact 506 have made it an instant favorite among lightshow and industrial clients alike.
2nd: "Saturn 1 optical scanner and Mach DSP servo driver", Pangolin Laser Systems
The Saturn 1 is a small galvanometer-based optical scanner offering what we believe is the highest speed available to laserists today. We have publicly demonstrated ILDA 90K at the recent Prolight & Sound tradeshow in Frankfurt Germany, and in the lab and at Photonics West, we have achieved projections with up to ILDA 120K.
3rd: "Laser Ski Jumping Tracker", MediaLas Electronics GmbH
A fully automated laser projection system, to display the ski jumper´s "best-to-beat" mark during jumping and landing directly on the landing slope.
Honorable Mention: "StageFeed ISP and StageMate ISP", DexLogic, Dirk Apitz
Pocket-size converters that replace the ILDA ISP-DB25 and ISP-DMX cables through standard Ethernet components and Internet Protocol (IP) topology to benefit from isolation, lossless range extension, existing network installations and bandwidth/throughput.
Tim graduated with a degree in Music Composition from the University of North Texas, and has always incorporated dance, film, and video into his compositions. While an undergraduate, he got his start in lasers in 1977, as a planetarium laserist for Laser Creations, Inc. in Texas. He also co-founded Brave Combo, a Grammy-winning band still going today. In 1985, Tim formed Laser Spectacles, Inc.. Since then he has performed and installed laser shows world-wide, from churches to raves, corporate meetings to outdoor festivals.
Tim approaches laser shows as an artist, passionate about getting the right look and achieving his unique vision. To reach his goals, he began designing and building his own laser projection equipment. He envisions the ideal show as "Laser Synaesthesia" -- seeing exactly what one is hearing; to accomplish this, he uses the same audio signal to control both the loudspeakers and the laser scanners. Tim is a professional musician and composes "Laser Synaesthesia" pieces to accompany his performances on saxophone, clarinet, Irish pipes and accordion.
Tim and Laser Spectacles have won over 28 awards, beginning with the first ILDA Awards in 1988 and continuing with First Place Awards in both 2011 and 2012 -- the only 1988 recipient still winning today. Other notable honors include "Best Laser Show" at LDI and a First Place International Festivals and Events Association award for "Best New Event.” Laser Spectacles was one of the first two companies to receive the designation "ILDA Accredited Professional Lasershow Company" in 2010.
Tim is a Founding Member of ILDA, and has been one of the most active Members through the decades. He documented ILDA’s first meeting at Lake Tahoe in 1986 with a diary and audio recording -- still available online at ILDA’s website -- and served on the first Publicity Committee. He has written many articles for "The Laserist" magazine. Tim was Chair of the Awards Committee from 1993-2000 and from 2006 to the present. He was instrumental in presenting live laser shows at the annual ILDA Awards Banquet; prior to his tenure, only videos were shown. As Awards Committee Chair, Tim oversees the Awards Categories, plans the lasers at the Banquet and organizes the judging of both the Artistic and Technical Awards.
Tim joined the ILDA Board in 2006, and served as ILDA President from 2006-2011. Tim and his wife Helen hosted the very successful 2012 ILDA Conference in San Antonio, Texas, and he did this as one of the few sole-proprietor companies to have run an ILDA Conference. In 2013, Tim received the ILDA Outstanding Service Recognition Award, for his long and distinguished service to the association.
About ILDA, Tim says: "I am thankful to have been a part of ILDA from the start; ILDA's network of support and inspiration aids me in accomplishing my goals. I feel part of a world-wide family of laserists."
At the 2014 ILDA Conference in Las Vegas, Tim Walsh receives his Career Achievement Award medal from 2012 winner Tom Harman. Additional photos of Tim are on the 2014 Conference Awards Banquet page.
Below is the speech given by Tim Walsh at the ILDA Awards Banquet and Presentation, November 19 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Tonight I will not speak about lasers; we all share the wonder and appreciation of working with laser light. Rather, I will speak of our organization, the International Laser Display Association, and my experience of it.
Yes, I was at the original Lake Tahoe meeting in 1986, and took part in the founding of ILDA. I even thought to turn on a tape recorder for the hour long session in which the structure of ILDA was decided - you can find this recording on the ILDA web site and listen to it if you wish; it is amazing how quickly ILDA came together.
But the turning point in my relationship with ILDA took place in 1993 when the ILDA President, Steve Heminover, and the ILDA Board send out a questionnaire to all members. The final question was very simple, something like this: "What can you do to help ILDA?"
At the time, the main problem for ILDA members was that we spent too much time watching videos at the ILDA Awards and Conference, and we needed to see shows in laser. To answer the question, I decided to apply myself to solving this problem. I called up John Goss, the current Awards Committee Chairman, and informed him that I wanted to join the Awards Committee, and that bringing lasers to the ILDA Awards would be my goal. He gladly accepted.
In 1993 I arranged for a truckload of equipment to appear at the ILDA Conference in Orlando. We just projected two channels of graphics onto a big rear screen, and it was a step in the right direction. This was an important time for our industry - Cambridge 6800 scanners were being accepted as the new scanner standard, and so were PCAOMs. Argon and Krypton lasers were now combined into one tube - the long awaited "white light" laser now existed. ILDA's use of ADAT tapes was just beginning. At this conference, John Goss stepped down, and I became Awards Committee Chairman.
Well, this decision to help ILDA made a big difference in my life! Now I was helping to organize the Awards, contacting leading laserists and companies all over the world via phone and fax, and trying to arrange their award winning performances at the annual ILDA Conference.
I will never forget the first time that we had a "smoke and mirrors" show at the ILDA Awards - it was 1994 in Lincoln, Nebraska - the winning entry in the category that we now know as "Beam and Screen Show" was by Laser Promotions from the Netherlands. Ton Timmerman brought over a special fiber projector head, and his scrim; we added 24 mirrors, and he performed his winning entry "Vogue" by Madonna - I still feel goosebumps thinking about it. And then I carried out my racks of mirrors and diffraction gratings and performed my MIDI-triggered show "Drumbeams" for the LaseOff.
Overall, my experience of ILDA has been a wonderful enrichment of my life. I have a worldwide network of laser colleagues that I can call upon for assistance and support at any time. I am proud to receive this award, and thank you all for your support of ILDA and my efforts on its behalf, this means so much to me. Think about answering the question yourself - "What can I do to help ILDA?" Your life may change just as mine did!
And finally, I thank my wife, Helen, who has supported me throughout the years of long nights that it takes to be a successful laserist. Without her by my side, this all would not have been possible.
Thank you all very much.
ILDA requires its Members to perform safe and legal laser shows, and to acknowledge basic principles of laser show safety.
Beginning with the 2014 Awards, all entrants submitting videos have explicitly certified that their laser effects depicted met safety standards, as well as all applicable laser safety laws and regulations (including laws for audience scanning) in the location where the show was performed.
• Entries filmed in a studio, with no audience, can use any power and can scan anywhere, even if the original show was intended for an audience.
• However, if the video depicts an audience watching the laser show, or has lasers near performers, then the show must be safe for the audience and performers, and must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Documentation must be provided to ILDA about the show’s irradiance at the point of closest audience access, and any other safety measures that were implemented.
• The above documentation is also required if an entry depicts beams in an area where an audience might be, such as an empty tradeshow floor or an empty auditorium. This is because a video of unsafe beams in an audience area gives an impression that the same show would be run with an audience present.
Since 2014, ILDA has reviewed every entry for any potential safety issues.
ILDA has the right to remove or disqualify an entry if, in our sole opinion, 1) the show violates or appears to violate safety standards, laws and/or regulations, and/or 2) the show does not have sufficient documentation of safety and legal compliance.
Note that despite ILDA’s review process, ILDA cannot absolutely certify that an Awards entry is safe and legal. This is ultimately the responsibility of the entrant.
IMPORTANT: If you have a laser or a laser projector, do NOT attempt to perform the type of audience-scanning effects seen in ILDA Award-winning videos 1) without qualified expert safety planning and supervision and 2) without prior written permission from appropriate authorities. These authorities may include federal, state and local laser safety regulators, venue operators, and insurance companies.
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Tim Walsh medal acceptance: Patrick Murphy, ILDA