As the designer of VideoDust, it is always beneficial to collate information on how the software is needed and used on different shows. So when our touring colleague, Stuart Merser of Visavis Video (pictured in the left), asked if I was available to tour with Josh Groban in the States for a couple of weeks, I had a chat with my business partner Phil Woodhead and we recognised it was a perfect chance for me to check up on how our software VideoDust performs in a live, touring environment.

During the past few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to experience tours that have allowed me to delve a little deeper; develop and implement changes to the software to make VideoDust more effective in the live environment.

Whether that is working with media server companies to integrate VideoDust into their software or working with video and lighting directors to help speed up their workflow.

Although I enjoy the touring side of things, both Phil and I have cut back on touring to concentrate fully on VideoDust, it’s taken a long time to get to this level but seeing VideoDust being used on many different productions really makes it worthwhile.

With Josh we are using VideoDust very subtly so it doesn’t overpower or take away from the camera shots Stuart Merser is using.

It’s one of those things, some productions want VideoDust to create mind-blowing effects that are a visual feast for the eyes. For example, the effects produced for the Stone Roses, and then some need the software to subtly enhance the graphics as we did with Production Designer, Cate Carter, for Elbow. With VideoDust it is possible to do both with ease.

We have our new twin input/output version available which allows production designers to have one effect on the stage LED screen creating real-time content from the camera pictures and then manipulating the IMAG screens with different effects.

This would not have been possible without the knowledge I gained from being on tour and chatting with different designers.

As with the media server side of things, we have been working with Richard Bleasdale from Catalyst and also Matt Corke from PRG M-Box to bring VideoDust into their software with more and more control from the lighting desk.

This has only come about due to the chance to speak and work with different media server operators and lighting directors, as their input is invaluable for us as a company.

Of course being an American it is always nice to get back to the States and see some of my family again, although my two brothers are actually in the UK at the moment while I’m over here [in the UK]. I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles when you have your own business.

We are actively taking VideoDust into different markets and we have a great colleague called Matt Walden from Houston who is our man on the ground over in the States and it’s been a pleasure to recently work with the award-winning theatre designer, Nina Dunn.

Nina has been using VideoDust on theatre shows including the award-winning The Assassination of Katie Hopkins.

So, VideoDust looks healthy for the future, we have some very exciting plans for next year allowing us to reach more and more designers and as always there are new effects coming online all the time.

I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed soon though…