Christie Lites – one of the largest, busiest and most well-respected lighting production and rental operations in North America – has made a major commitment to Kinesys automation, with the purchase of Elevation Liftket 500Kg chain hoists as their flagship automation products going forward – both 200V and 400V systems – for North America and Europe.
The initial investment has also included Kinesys LibraCELL load monitoring and Mentor 4 E-Stop aggregators to provide a full Kinesys safety architecture as well as the powerful and flexible Kinesys Vector control.
This will be available to clients worldwide throughout all of Christie’s 13 shops.
The move coincides with the appointment of Mark ‘The Drifter’ Desloges to head up Christie’s new Automated Motion Control & Rigging division, established to co-ordinate this specialist area of technical production.
CEO, Huntly Christie commented “Drifter … I can’t think of a better person to head up this whole complicated mess! We searched long and far to find the right candidate and ended up recruiting him in a Halifax bar. Canada’s east coast produces hardworking, weatherworn, tough f***kers and Mark is no exception. What some Canadians lack in brains they more than make up for in work ethic. We are thrilled to have him on our team!”
Christie Lites is known for setting industry trends; however, this commitment was very much client and design led, combined with an eye for the future.
Christie has been following the Kinesys brand for some time, and the North American kit follows an initial purchase by Christie UK earlier in the year. This newest stock is already designated to be used on several high-profile world tours which will be starting in 2019.
Drifter’s serendipitous appointment brings a vast amount of Kinesys experience into the equation. His successful and substantial career as a production rigger and touring technician includes running his own company offering Kinesys products across North America.
He’s worked hands-on as both an automation operator and a system owner, using anything from a single hoist for tiny corporate events, to massive systems of 100+ intelligent hoists on major tours with critical lifts and flying artists.
Immediately prior to this exciting new appointment, he was working for some time as a Christie project manager for Kinesys related shows.
Drifter has long been a fan of Kinesys. Having been the person in charge of assembling the systems and pressing the ‘go’ button in front of tens of thousands of people, he has “great confidence in what can be accomplished using this innovative brand. I know when I send out Kinesys kit, that it will survive the rigors of the road, be highly reliable and dependable and, above all, a safe and rock-solid option”.
In his opinion, “Kinesys is a world class manufacturer providing levels of service and excellence unmatched in our industry”.
Another major consideration for Huntly Christie and the team when choosing Kinesys was that it fits the Christie Lites desire for modularity.
The components are relatively straightforward and break down into easy-to-process sections explained Drifter. “An automated chain hoist is a very tangible item for a production to understand, and this helps us to provide efficient and cost-effective automation solutions”.
Consistency is one of Christie’s core values – offering the same outstanding service and quality control company and territory-wide, wherever the gear is supplied.
Drifter observes that the trend for automation and its integration into show and event designs as a visual concept – along with lighting, video, scenic and SFX – is becoming ever more popular as the kit becomes more affordable and accessible. “Gone are the days when it’s a custom piece of rigging. What we can now offer is a safe, affordable off-the-shelf motion element, in a practical, accessible and usable package” he confirms.
Extensive specialist Kinesys training will be implemented for all Christie crew working on the systems.
Drifter will be based in Toronto, Canada, and will spend his time between Christie’s facility there and, primarily, their Orlando hub, the home of Christie Lites Enterprises and where much of the Kinesys kit will be stationed when not on the road.
David Bond of Kinesys USA commented, “Huntly Christie is very discerning when it comes to choosing the brands and product types his company carries. We are very proud to be his chosen automation manufacturer and envisage a prosperous relationship with his company. Drifter’s energy and experience, along with the Christie Lites sales team, will help drive our products to the current Christie Lites market and beyond, further increasing our presence in both the North American and European regions.”