Archive for Party Machine Light Up The Night

Froggy Went A-Courtin’

Posted in College Traditions, Let them eat cake!, Party Machine Sports, Weddings!, Weird Things at Parties with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2010 by djscottshirley

When I was asked to MC for the wedding reception of Robyn Hughes to Anthony Butorac, past President of the “HyperFrogs” fan club at Texas Christian University, I knew to expect a fun event. After setting the date and contracting with the Party Machine and their other vendors, Robyn and Anthony were disappointed to learn that their beloved Horned Frogs would be playing football on their wedding day! In fact, kickoff was scheduled for the same time their ceremony was to begin.

The current HyperFrogs leader was among the guests, and was not pleased about missing the game for a wedding. But it was too late to make changes, and this group was not about to punt! To provide some perspective for those unfamiliar with Horned Frog football, TCU had just won a conference championship after the best season since the 1930s last year, so to say that enthusiasm was running high would be an understatement.

Anthony's Groom's Cake featured the most unique mascot in college sports, the TCU Horned Frog.

Their wedding party was comprised of current TCU students and alumni, and so was the guest list. So I tracked the game online and announced real-time scores throughout the evening, starting as photos were being taken of the wedding party, when we learned that TCU was winning, 7-7. During photos the guests enjoyed cocktails on the new terrace of the beautifully remodeled Belltower Chapel in Fort Worth. Using our exclusive Party Machine wireless speaker systems, we were able to “beam” Robyn’s selection of elegant classical music outside during cocktail hour.

TCU students love beer almost as much as Frog football, so each guest table was named after a unique Beer label. Tables were released to pass through the buffet line by their brand of beer. And the guest favors were folding beer can Koozies with Robyn and Anthony’s special emblem, that matched their Gobo design on the floor:

Anthony and Robyn's monogram was projected in the center of the dance floor.

We were so confidant in TCU’s victory that night, we even scheduled a victory cheer on the written Party Machine event timeline for their reception! The University claims to have the oldest cheer in continuous use in all of college football, which the HyperFrogs, alumni, and current students demonstrated, followed by their Alma Mater:

The script was conveniently written on the back of the beer-label table tents, so that all the guests could read along:

Riff, Ram, Bah, Zoo!
Lickety, lickety, zoo, zoo!
Who wah, Wha Who!
Give ’em hell, TCU!

They don’t write ’em like that anymore.

Let Your True Colors Show!

Posted in Cool Lighting, DJ Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2010 by djscottshirley

Some of my favorite modern technology has to be LED lighting, which makes it easy to make lights shine in any color you wish. It is simple to totally transform the look of any room, or even outdoor spaces.

We can “Light The Night” in your favorite color, your school colors, or your wedding colors.

So it was no problem at all when Tara Eckelkamp handed me a ribbon, and asked me to light her ballroom the same color as the ribbon at her wedding to Jeff Hackney.

The ribbon could best be described as a reddish maroon color, rather like a red wine, only a bit redder. (I have always believed that naming paint colors would be the ultimate lazy man’s job.)

The individual LEDs in modern stage lights are red, blue or green, and they combine, exactly the way your color TV screen does, to render any of 16 million different colors.

The intensity of RBG can be adjusted to blend colors, using either a simple fader control, or with sophisticated computer software. Tara’s mother, Sherry dashed into the ballroom to approve the color match. With a single click, it was perfect – just like the ribbon!

Tara Hackney dances with dad Hugo Eckelkamp with the room bathed in lights in her Bridal Color. NOTE: Camera flash makes the colors appear lighter.

The “old school” method was to place a colored gel on a light. But stage lights get hot, and gels can burn and colors fade, not to mention that the gel must be changed to alter the light’s color. And to have lots of colors available meant maintaining a huge inventory of gels.

Plus the old incandescent lights got hot enough to cook on, and consumed lots of power. A separate electrical circuit was required for every 3 or 4 stage lights. This meant extra power supplies (and extra charges) at many venues, while making such lighting impractical or even impossible at others.

A modern LED Par light can generate the same output on 15 watts that required 400 watts on the old school lights. This eliminates complexity, cost, and saves electricity. We even have portable Party Machine power supplies and control receivers, making them wireless!

But it also opens the door to a whole new realm of creativity in decorating with light…and at a lower cost. Because they don’t get hot, they can even be used on ice sculpture!

The possibilities are exciting.

I have seen the light!

Give me a call at 817-294-9539 to discuss decorating with light.

Murphy’s Law Gets a Texas Aggie Whoopin’!

Posted in Professionalism, Texas Aggie Weddings, Weddings! with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2010 by djscottshirley

“It’s a nice day for White Wedding!” – Billy Idol

It was a dark and stormy night – but it didn’t start out that way.

It was a bright sunny day when we left. All was ready as the Party Machine crew headed out for Monica and Rick Anderson’s Texas Aggie wedding. Playlists were saved and backed up on two computers. Scripts for introductions and timelines were printed and copied. Tuxedo pressed, backup sound system, spare computer, backup tux…as always, we were prepared for any contingency. We were ready, come hell or high water.

Little did we know we would experience both.

Halfway there it started getting dark. The temperature dropped 10 degrees, a welcome blessing in August, but then it started raining sideways. No problem, we had checked out the Waxahachie Civic Center, and knew they had a nice indoor loading dock.

When we arrived at the ballroom, three sad-looking people were waiting. They asked if we brought a wedding cake with us. Seemed like a rather odd question.

“No, we’re the entertainment. We brought sound and lighting equipment,” was my quick answer. Then they told me they were from the bakery, and the wedding cake had just fallen on the floor and collapsed. Total destruction. They were not happy.

Murphy’s Law, strike one.

With three hours until guests arrive, there was plenty of time to get another cake. But I had to ask, “How did this happen?”

The baker answered, “While the power was off, after the lightning struck.”

Some storm! Murphy’s Law was attacking with full force.

During set up it got steadily warmer. By the time we finished setting up a large sound system, satellite speakers and two lighting towers, we were dripping sweat. After toweling off and changing into formalwear, the manager informed us that the air conditioning was out from the lightning strike – but they were working on it.

A team of experts on Golden Overtime were working to get the place cool again.

Ol’ Murphy was working overtime today!

Then we waited. And waited. Forty-five minutes after time for the reception, and still nobody had arrived.

After an hour, the catering crew covered the food on the buffet. We began to wonder what else could go wrong.

The first guest to arrive told us the ceremony started late, because the priest was late! Then the service ran overtime, and so did the picture taking.

The caterers un-covered the food as the guests poured in from the storm, and the temperature continued to climb. The manager opened all the doors to the building to get a little breeze blowing, but that just increased the humidity. People were sweating buckets. The buffet line looked like sharks in a feeding frenzy.

At 9:30 p.m., there was still no wedding party, but the building manager shared the good news that the Air Conditioning was fixed. Hooray! Then came the bad news that we only had the ballroom until 11:00, not midnight as originally planned.

The manager informed us we had to quit an hour earlier than originally planned, even though the reception started late.

We had a big agenda, and only an hour and a half for the whole event!

Not only that, but by now all the food was gone – the buffet had been picked clean.

I welcomed the guests and announced the good news that we would be cool soon. This got a big cheer from the sweaty, starving guests.

We finally got the wedding party assembled at 9:45 for the Grand Entrance. Rick and Monica went straight to their first dance, a choreographed routine that brought down the house with cheers, applause and laughter. Thanks to Scott Schuster of One on One Productions for this clip:

That got the party started, and I got the dance floor packed right away, and kept the energy level high with icebreakers and hot dance tunes. Soon the guests forgot that all the food was gone and the air conditioning was out when they arrived.

In the end, great entertainment and laughter saved the day.

Murphy’s Law is no match for the Party Machine and a bunch of Texas Aggies!

My Big Fun Jewish Wedding

Posted in Jewish Funnies, Weddings! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2010 by djscottshirley

We recently had the opportunity to provide entertainment for a great fun wedding for Isaac and Adriana Watemberg. The Party Machine provided Ceremony Sound, Multimedia Entertainment for the reception, colorful Up-Lighting, Dance Lighting, Videography, and Your Name In Lights. It was an amazing event, that we nicknamed “My Big Fun Jewish Wedding.”

DJ Scott with Isaac and Adriana Watemberg

The ceremony was held outdoors at the Four Seasons Resort in Irving. It was a traditional Jewish ceremony under a chuppah with two Rabbis and a Cantor, and Adriana entered and circled the groom seven times. Later they shared wine and Isaac stomped the wineglass.

The guests then moved indoors for a cocktail hour in the lobby, where a string ensemble played classical music. There were guests in attendance from 17 different countries and five continents!

The guests proceeded into a Ballroom bathed in colored light, with the dance floor in the center beneath a canopy. Isaac and Adriana had their names projected on the wall above their cake table. It was breathtaking!

I welcomed the guests and introduced the Wedding Party, and implored the guests to make a “joyful noise” as Isaac and Adriana made their Grand Entrance. They responded with enthusiasm, and the newlyweds moved straight in to their First Dance.

The Rabbi then gave the blessing over the chollah (bread) and the staff began serving. During dinner the guests viewed an animated photo montage, followed by highlights of the ceremony, and the first dance, that was almost like seeing an instant replay. Since part of this had just happened, it was impressive – a big thanks to Keith Mathis for his outstanding on-site video editing. Nobody does it better!

Next we played the Newlywed Game, then kicked off the dancing with a traditional Hora. Check out this video clip, courtesy of Brandon Steward, who was running our lighting systems that night:

During the Newlywed Game, Isaac learned that his wife was peaking at his answers as our Wedding Party Live cameras were showing the game on the Big Screen, giving Adriana an advantage. When I showed Isaac that his new bride could see his answers, we all had a good laugh.

All manner of dancing and silliness ensued, and a grand time was had by all.

Mazel Tov! I look forward to many more Big Fun Jewish Weddings.