The purpose of this competition is to find the best live laser jockey at the ILDA Cloud Conference.
Entrants must be current ILDA Members who are registered for the Full Stream ILDA Cloud Conference.
During the LJ competition, each Laser Jockey entrant will perform for a maximum of three (3) minutes, to music provided by ILDA. This will be music "with a beat" such as techno. The music will be selected from more obscure or lesser-known songs.
The entrant will not know the music selection in advance. It will be sent as an MP3 file approximately three minutes before the entrant is scheduled to perform. The entrant will stream both the music audio and video of the laser performance.
Performances will be anonymous, so voters do not know who any of the contestants are.
All persons on the stream are eligible to vote. You should have a way to take notes on each performance, either paper or on-screen note-taking.
After each performance, note a single numeric score from 0 (very poor) to 5 (best). It is up to you as to what this score represents: artistry, creativity, musicality, overall impact, etc.
After the performances are completed, you will go to an online survey or ballot form. You'll fill in your score for each person.
We tabulate the results by totaling the points for each performance. The entrants with the top three point totals are awarded First, Second and Third Place.
In case of a tie, higher placement will be given to the tied person who used fewer total laser projectors. If there is still a tie, a coin will be flipped to determine placement. This is because the trophies are already manufactured prior to the Conference. The only engraving is for First, Second and Third Place so we cannot engrave for a tie.
You will broadcast live video from your laser studio. The laser setup must have at least one graphics screen plus two beam projectors (usually one on each side of the screen). The maximum setup is two graphics projectors and seven beam projectors. No video or visualizers may be used.
Below shows the setup used in 2018, which had nine RGB laser beam projectors, seven for beams and two for graphics. You do not have to use this many, you can use a different arrangement if you like, and you do not have to have as large a room
There will be no effects allowed, other than X-Y scanner-produced beams/atmospherics and graphics. This means no DMX- or MIDI-controlled lumia, gratings, Beam Brush or other effects.
The reason is to keep the competition focused on the LJ's talent, not his or her equipment.
You may use any type of laser controller or computer software that you wish.
You will not know what music will be used until about 3 minutes before your performance is scheduled, when we will send you an MP3 music file. You must download the file and play to that music.
You may not review the music before, except to ensure that the file plays and the volume is suitable. This tests your ability to jam live.
The music will have a beat, such as techno. It will be selected from more obscure or lesser-known songs.
You may feed the audio signal into your laser equipment, to use it as a modulation source.
For your video you may use one or more cameras. The content must show the laser beams/atmospherics and graphics only — not the performer or the control equipment.
The camera shots must be locked down. No panning, dollying, zooming or other movement during a shot.
No rolling shutter as an effect (see the last paragraph below)
If you wish, others can assist with the video by making sure the feed is running, doing live switching etc. But no special effects — just cuts. That's because the video is for documentation, not to show off video production skills.
As it gets closer to the LJ rehearsal date, we will let you know about the video format and technical requirements.
Make your background as dark as possible. Have few or no extraneous elements such as indicator lights, room furniture, etc. You may want to use black cloth to cover equipment.
The more the lasers can appear out of darkness, the more impressive this will be to the audience.
Watch out for rolling shutter. This is where a laser fan or cone that the eye sees as unbroken, appears to have curved dark lines. These are distracting. You may NOT use rolling shutter as an effect; for example, to synchronize your scan rate with the video shutter to make patterns. We're looking for lasers as the eye would see them, live.
The audience must not know who you are. Be sure that you do not appear in the video feed, even from a side or back view. We do NOT want to see the LJ, we want to see the beams.
Do not use any laser graphics such as a company logo that might identify you. You may also need to remove any posters, logos, awards, etc. in the area that might give away your identity.
If there are brand names on the projectors, cover them up. This is not an ad for equipment.
We realize that some persons may recognize your laser style. That can't be helped and is OK. But any other clues that may give away who you are, or identify your company, are not allowed.
There can be no other person assisting the LJ contestant with the laser equipment, software or performance. We are looking to judge his or her skill at performing live to previously-unheard music.
As stated above, there can be one or more persons assisting with the video.
You must attend a mandatory test/rehearsal before the Conference begins. This is to assure that you can broadcast etc. — to iron out any problems. It also assures us that you are serious, and that if we ask you to show up at a specified time, you are able to do so.
We will let you know more about scheduling your test/rehearsal time. We'll have some slots approximately 1-2 weeks before the Conference, and you can pick times that work for you. It probably won't take more than 1/2 hour.
But you must do a test/rehearsal. If you do not show up at your agreed-upon rehearsal time, or if there are technical issues which cannot be resolved, you will be disqualified; no exceptions.
Alternates 13-15 should also sign up for a test/rehearsal slot. That way, if up to three of the original 12 LJ entrants cannot perform or is disqualified, you can step right in.
Entrants must be current ILDA Members. There is a maximum of twelve entrants.
If more than 12 persons sign up, we will select entrants based on the date when they paid for their Full Stream conference registration.
Numbers 13 and above will be put on a list of alternates. They may be called upon if someone in 1-12 drops out or is disqualified, so they should follow the same procedures — even doing the test/rehearsal — as the initial 12 entrants.
Any entrant status shall be determined by the Executive Director based on his or her registration records.
To enter, click the button below to go to the ILDA event registration page.
As stated above, entrants must be current ILDA Members, and must have already paid their registration for the Full Stream of the 2020 ILDA Cloud Conference.
There is no cost to enter.
The order of the entrants' performance shall be determined by the Laser Jockey director, based on any technical considerations, and then by randomization within technical consideration groups.
For example, if three entrants are streaming on the same platform, these three should be grouped together for convenience in doing the video switching. The position of the three in the overall order would then be randomized.
There is a time limit of two minutes between entrants. Once one entrant has finished, the next entrant has up to two minutes to get their laser and video stream ready.
If they cannot do this within the two minutes, they will not be allowed to begin and they will be disqualified.
If there is a delay due to ILDA's fault, the ILDA-induced delay is not counted against the entrant.
In case of any problems, ILDA has the final say over whether an entrant will be able to perform, or any other issues. While ILDA will make its best efforts to accommodate all entrants, ILDA will not be responsible if there are technical, safety or other problems impeding or preventing a performance.
Entrants should note that the Laser Jockey competition is an informal event, primarily for fun and social interaction (notwithstanding the fact that winners also receive official ILDA Award trophies).
This is an Awards vote, not an ILDA business vote as described in the Bylaws. This means each person on the stream counts as a single voter. They may only vote one time.
The scores that voters give to the competitors are NOT multiplied by their ILDA membership category number of votes.
First, Second and Third Place trophies have been manufactured prior to the ILDA Conference. For this reason, the trophies do have the winners' names engraved.
The Laser Jockey winners' names will be listed at our website and in the final ILDA Awards Booklet PDF along with other ILDA Artistic Award winners.
The Laser Jockey award counts as a standard ILDA Artistic Award for purposes of counting how many ILDA Awards a person has won.
It is an individual award, given to the Laser Jockey and not to a company. However, a company that is counting how many ILDA Awards it has received may include LJ awards if the winner is a current employee of that company.
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Photo: Kyle Garner and Tim Walsh at the 2014 Laser Jockey competition; photo by Patrick Murphy, ILDA