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 during the 2023 ILDA Conference in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, hosted by Emerald Owl Productions with additional production by LaserNet of Miami.
• 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.
We will be adding more material to this page in late September 2023. For now, the 2023 Awards Booklet contains names and descriptions of all of the winners.
This notice will be removed when this page is completed.
Brad Billet, Rad Drobny, Michael Dunn, Dizzy Edlinger, Olga Eser, Derek Garbos, Terrence Green, Tim Hallmark, Christine Jenkin, David Kumpula, John Laughlin, Theo Petrides, Leon Ren, Michael Roberts, Karl Rothweiler, Merlin Schaadt, Cory Simpson, Nick Squire, Alexander Timofeev, Markus Voggenberger, Jonas von Stockhausen, and Sean Zhang.
Derek Garbos, Horacio Pugliese, Timothy Walsh
Daniel Briggs, Tim Hallmark and Horacio Pugliese
For detailed information about the two 2023 CAA recipients, including their acceptance speeches, see the webpage ILDA Career Achievement Award recipients and scroll down to the 2023 entries.
In 2023, ILDA received 119 artistic video entries and 25 photography entries from 33 different Member companies. There were seven general and four IDN Fenning Technical Award entries from 10 different ILDA Members. There were five Career Achievement Award nominees voted on by Members (top vote-getter was Roberta McHatton), plus on September 13 2023 the ILDA Board also voted a 2023 CAA award for Walt Meador.
• The artistic entries were judged in June 2023 by an online panel of 22 judges (listed earlier on this webpage). Each category had three judges assigned. This was done to ensure judges did not evaluate any category where they had entries, and to spread out the workload of viewing so many entries.
• Laser Photography and Career Achievement Award entries were judged by ILDA Members voting online, June 5-20, 2023.
• Fenning technical entries were judged via online discussion of two three-member panels (listed earlier on this webpage). The general judges voted July 8, 2023 and the IDN judges voted July 12.
• Laser Jockey entries were viewed and judged online by attendees during the ILDA Conference in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina on September 18, 2023.
The 2023 artistic judges viewed the entries in their assigned categories via a secure, private video link. They rated each entry on a 1-5 scale according to four factors: Technical Competency, Artistic Competency, Quality and Variety of Laser Effects, and Visuals Following Music (sync). The scores were added up.
The highest scoring entry in a category won First Place, the second-highest won Second Place, and the third-highest won Third Place. In case of a tie, judges were asked to review the tied entries and express their preference. The entry with more judges' preferences won the higher placement.
Artistic awards results
For the artistic awards (including Laser Photography but not including Laser Jockey), in 2022 there were 47 winning entries, from 22 different ILDA Members. This means that two-thirds of Members who submitted for an artistic award won First, Second or Third Place.
Below is some information about the entries' scores. This may be of interest to persons who submitted in 2023, as well as those submitting for future Awards:
• The "Results for all entrants" spreadsheet lists all of the 2023 artistic Award entries, and the scores they received from the judges. (For this public version, the show names and entrant names have been removed.) The most important column is "AVG. SCORE". This has been color coded, so that green means an entry received an above-average score in its category, yellow indicates an average score, and orange & red indicates a below-average score. The Average Score is used to determine the First, Second and Third Place winners.
• All Members who entered the 2023 Awards were emailed their row numbers and entry names. Here is an example, using made-up information. They can match this information with the row numbers in the anonymous "Results for all entrants" spreadsheet, so the Member can know how his or her entries did, relative to others in the same category. If the judges made notes on the entry, those notes are included.
• The Laser Photography category was voted on by Members making a preference ranking of all entrants. Fifty-six Members voted. A vote for a person's 1st favorite gained 25 "points" since there were 25 entries. A vote as 2nd favorite gained 24 points, a 3rd favorite gained 23 points, a 4th favorite gained 22 points, etc. The entry with the highest point total received First Place; the entry with the second-highest point total received Second Place, etc. The scores are shown below. Only the names of the First, Second and Third Place winners have been publicly released; the other entries remain anonymous.
Laser Jockey competition scoring
The Laser Jockey competition was voted by persons attending the ILDA Conference in Atlantic Beach NC on September 18, 2023. Each of the four contestants played live to a randomly selected piece of music. The Laser Jockey contestants, and the voting audience were live in the Conference laser theater..
All attendees in the room, except for the contestants, were given a ballot. The contestants played in a random order and were unknown to the other attendee voters, who gave each performance a score from 0 to 10.
There were 34 ballots received. Scoring was done by adding up the score that each contestant received from the voters. The contestant with the highest number of points received First Place. The First Place winner, Tim Walsh of Laser Spectacles, won with 271 total points. Second Place went to Darius Sakalas of LaserNet with 222 points. Third Place went to Matthias Frank of the University of Bonn with 204 points.
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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