When Pacific Coast Entertainment (PCE) provided lighting designer Jean-Yves Tessier with 12 of their GLP impression X4 LED fixtures to light the 3-D Theatricals’ stage production of EL Doctorow’s classic book Ragtime at the Plummer Auditorium in nearby Fullerton, Los Angeles it marked the latest stage in a long journey for the two companies.
GLP US Inc. themselves are based to the north of the city while PCE are in the desirable southern LA suburb of Huntington Beach in a city that is a hotbed for the international lighting industry.
PCE has taken full advantage. Established by John Koukios and Ryan Steidinger as a ‘small garage business’ back in 2000, today it operates from a 30,000 sq. ft. facility, with a full time staff of 20 people, and an inventory of cutting edge audio-visual tools as well as lighting.
“Since we function as a rental and production house as well as our sales and installs, we have found being the single source solution to our customers has been a winning model,” states Ryan Steidinger. “We look at three key components whenever we purchase new gear; customer needs, designer requirements and producers’ budgets. GLP offers a number of great products that give us the bang for our buck.”
This satisfies a wide work roster — ranging from corporate, music events, theatrical productions, touring, churches, theme parks, and schools. “As an example, on a recent weekend we undertook lighting design and install of a custom RGB LED 30’ Christmas tree, built scenic sets for a theme park, handled all the production for a Kenny Loggins concert, and serviced three corporate meetings across the US. Staying diverse keeps us agile and helps maintain a continuous business flow regardless of seasonal change.”
PCE were first introduced to GLP through their relationship with Elation, the original distributors in the US. They opened their own account by investing in their own impression 120RZ Zoom — which they used for many years before upgrading their inventory exclusively to the impression X4.
“We used the RZ120 for years, simply because we couldn’t find another LED wash unit with as much output for that price. We are always looking at ‘features per dollar’ and if I can bring my clients a unit they can rent at reasonable level and pay back our investment quickly then it’s a win win. Not all the manufacturers have that in mind when they release new units. We can’t always win on our service, price, or toys in the tool box — it’s all about finding a good balance.”
The policy is for continual reinvestment and PCE’s short-term plan is to double their impression X4 stock-holding to satisfy customer demands.
And aside from the reliability and popularity of the fixtures themselves Ryan Steidinger and John Koukios gain extra assurance from the support they now receive from the very top. “Mark [Ravenhill] has taken extremely good care of us. He is dedicated to the line and his customers and the fact that I receive personal service from the president himself is more then I get from ANY other company. It means a lot to know they care about me and my business.”
Ragtime is a classic example of the trust that exists between vendor and creative director, as Ryan explains. Jean-Yves Tessier was originally seeking the old impression 90s. “Then we got him into the X4 and it has become his new favorite toy to use. He loves the upgraded zoom, the improved color mixing, and speed of the units.”
The LD is eager to back this up. “I love the X4 … it provides so much more versatility over the 120RZ. They bring a new level of LED color mixing to my designs and allow me the flexibility to get more units for the same money over competitors’ fixtures. The dimming curve, saturated colors, and zoom make it a great unit for theatrical productions.”
As a consequence, he says he will be using them on most of his future designs. He has specified them for the national tour of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical — headed for an east coast tour this December.
Although PCE have only had their X4 fixtures for a short time they have already had them out on a number of other shows including Knotts Berry Farm’s Halloween Haunt, Performance Riverside’s show of Legally Blonde, CSULB Annual Gala … and various rentals.
Wrapping up the added value these GLP lights bring to the company, Ryan Steidinger says, “The impression X4 gives us a great blend of features vs rental cost. Having a quality LED wash fixture will allow us to continue to grow our rental and production market while being able to maintain the business profitability.”