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September 2016

TLS Productions, Inc. News & Announcements


Empowering Creativity, And Making It Reality - our mission at TLS Productions, Inc.  We do this by offering a turnkey operation, we provide consultation and all the necessities to design, rig and light exhibits, productions and permanent installations of any size, including state of the art audio and video elements. We offer equipment rentals and sales encompassing most international brands and both electronic and mechanical repairs are done in house.  TLS Productions, Inc. also provides theatrical draperies for rental and sale and can fabricate drapery to meet your specific needs.  If it's lighting, rigging, staging, audio or video related, there are no limits to the products and services that we can provide.

Did you know that TLS Productions, Inc. is an Electronic Theatre Controls Factory Authorized Service Center with ETC Factory Authorized Field Service Providers on staff?  Our ETC Field Service Providers handle a variety of functions – advising contractors on proper methods for installing various products, providing phone tech support, providing onsite tech support when problems arise, updating operating software and doing new system commissioning along with owner training.  And when needed, we can provide loaner equipment or acquire equipment direct from the factory, we can also facilitate factory repairs as needed. 

Keep your ETC equipment operating at peak performance, and contact Michael Kelty, ETC Factory Authorized Service Technician!

TLS Productions, Inc. is also a Columbus McKinnon Authorized Service Center and can provide CM Hoist Service & Certification.  Our mission, along with Columbus McKinnon's mission on this topic, is to improve the quality of hoist service and repair; contact us today to learn more about CM Hoist Service & Certification!



Third Annual Open House & New Product Showcase Recap!


All of us at TLS Productions, Inc. are proud to have hosted our Third Annual Open House & New Product Showcase, which took place on Thursday September 22nd from 11am to 7pm - at our headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Many thanks to the TLS Productions, Inc. staff that dedicated their time and energy to make this year's event a success! 

A round of applause for all of this year's participating vendors, many of them were back for their third year!  Thanks to A.C.T. Lighting, ADJ, Apollo, Avolites,
City Theatrical, Comerica, Elation, EMU ED&T, ETC, GLP, High End Systems, Leprecon, Lex Products, The Light Source, Martin-Harman, Robe, Stagemaker, TMB, Total Structures, Universal Truss, Ushio, and Zylight!

We're also happy to have hosted 2 days of SOLD OUT classes (9/20 & 9/21) which lead up our Open House & New Product Showcase - so another round of applause is in order for A.C.T. Lighting, ETC, and High End Systems for providing cutting edge, hands on training sessions for grandMA2, ETC Ion, and Hog 4!

Congratulations to all of our Open House Prize Winners!  Don Cooker of Dearborn Village Theater, Anthony Petrucci from U of D Mercy, Alex Gay from the University Musical Society, Mark Hammell of Birmingham Public Schools, and Martijn Appelo from UM Musket all won swag bags filled with great items from our Open House vendors as well as items from us at TLS Productions, Inc. 

And... Joshua Brewer of Huron Valley Schools, and Michael Fox from the The River Church won TLS Productions, Inc. certificates to be used toward purchases and rentals! 

Congrats to all of the lucky winners!

Last, but not least, congratulations to Eastern Michigan University's - Entertainment Design & Technology program, winner of the 2016 Open House & New Product Showcase award for BEST IN SHOW!  EMU's ED&T space provided an interactive environment for all attendees, and even face painting for the kids! 
Congrats, EMU ED&T!

Thanks again to everyone involved for making this year's Open House & New Product Showcase a success! 


2016 Parnelli Awards Ballot

Voting Ends On September 30th At 12:00pm (PDT)

Calling ALL PLSN subscribers!  Time is running out!  It's your last chance to vote for the 2016 Parnelli Awards!  Help us become Hometown Hero Lighting Company of the Year!  You'll need your PLSN subscriber number!  Vote NOW at the link below! 

Voting Ends On September 30th At 12:00pm (PDT)

And... MANY thanks to ALL OF YOU for nominating and voting to make us the BEST IN THE MIDWEST for this year's Hometown Hero Awards!  Now you can help us become Hometown Hero Lighting Company of The Year!

Thanks from all of us at TLS Productions, Inc. for your support!


TLS Productions, Inc. - Setting The Stage To Tell Your Story

So, what have we been up to since August's newsletter?  In addition to another successful Open House, we've been hard at work on this year's auto show season!  We recently completed our work for the 2016 Miami International Auto Show, we're hard at work finalizing our part at the 2016 State Fair of Texas, and the auto show season has just begun!

Check out some images from the 2016 Miami International Auto Show below! 
Many thanks to Don Davenport of Mission Detroit Photography for the great shots! 


File > New...

Hello everyone!
Another successful User Group Meeting for the books! 

In attendance we had Spotlight Users, a small business Architect, and a special guest - Jeremy Bond, with a world premiere demonstration of his Virtual Reality integration with the HTC Vive system.  We dove into all of the new features of Vectorworks 2017, and tried to apply them all to our respective industries.  The Virtual Realty tool really intrigued us all with it’s ability to jump into and immerse yourself in a working project.
Mr. Bond, a Game Design & Development Lecturer at Michigan State University, brought his HTC Vive Virtual Reality system to the meeting and showed us all how far VR can go with Vectorworks projects.


All in all, the meeting was great, and our attendees can’t wait for the next one!
Sign up here to receive updates on events and happenings with the Ann Arbor Vectorworks User Group!
See you next time!

Find and Modify...


"Is there an easy way to backup my project automatically while I work, rather than remembering to save periodically?"


Yes, and it’s cooked right into Vectorworks.  Navigate to Vectorworks Preferences and then to the Autosave tab.  Here you’ll find different settings and methods to autosave your document.  You can either backup your project to a separate file so you only save over your original document manually, or save over your original document to avoid any confusion.  You can also customize where your backup is saved as well as how many backups you would like to keep on your drive before it deletes older copies.  Hope this helps!


"Could you go over the different snapping tools available in the Snapping Palette? I keep just arbitrarily turning them on to see what they do, but it’s hard to tell with some of them."


So I guess the easiest way to answer this is with pictures…  The grid of toggle buttons is pictured below, and described as follows:

The First Row…
The Second Row…
Vectorworks has a nice video breaking down the various toggles here.  Also, double clicking on any of the toggle buttons opens up the settings screen for each of the different snapping modes.


This month we have a nice overview of Vectorworks new Cable Tools in Spotlight.  You can now add in Feeder, Multi Cable, Power and Data Jumpers to your drawing.  Learn how to also export Cable lists including twofers and other adapters to speed up your cable engineering!
Click here!

Save and Commit...

Please feel free to jump onto the Contact page on my blog and send over your questions for next month's column, comments on this month's column, and any and all follows ups on my tutorials and answers.  And... the first two individuals to submit questions to the "Find and Modify" section of my blog will receive a Vectorworks Virtual Reality Cardboard Headset!  Submit your questions here!

Design & Conquer My Friends,


Vectorworks User Groups are an important part of the Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. community.  They provide a forum in which Vectorworks users can learn about the software, share knowledge, experiences and advice, ask questions, and network with their peers.  The User Group will meet on a regular basis, a minimum of four times per year, once per quarter.
Join today!  Membership is FREE and provides:
  • Vectorworks software tips, tricks, and techniques
  • Networking opportunities with local designers
  • Support from Nemetschek Vectorworks
  • 10% discounts off Vectorworks software
Please enter your email at the link below to signup for updates and information:
Ann Arbor Vectorworks User Group

Once you're all signed up, fill out the form at the link below to give us a bit more information about how you use Vectorworks, and what you want to gain from the Ann Arbor Vectorworks User Group.

Membership Confirmation Form


TLS Productions, Inc. & Entertainment Design and Technology at Eastern Michigan University
Contributed by John Charles, Technical Director, Eastern Michigan University Theatre

The Entertainment Design & Technology program at EMU is proud to announce that Sera Shearer is this year’s very deserving recipient of the John Briggs Endowed Scholarship in Entertainment Design & Technology.  Sera is an excellent student who maintains high academic standards and has done an amazing job in every production role she has taken on, from set crew to assistant scenic designer.  Her design and execution of the carved panels on the piano for The Piano Lesson last season were an example of her creative excellence.  Congratulations, Sera!  And thank you to TLS Productions, Inc. for establishing this scholarship for the ED&T program at EMU.
We also want to thank TLSP for giving us the opportunity to participate in their Third Annual Open House and New Product Showcase.  We had a great time meeting and talking with folks who are interested in our ED&T program, and showing off some of the work our student designers have contributed to recent productions.  We look forward to being a part of next year’s open house as well!
Our production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is shaping up to be a visually stunning experience you won’t want to miss.  Projection designer Christine Franzen is developing some images and content that will help put audiences inside the psyches of these complex and intense characters.

For tickets and more information on Eastern Michigan University Theatre’s upcoming season, please go to:

John Charles - Eastern Michigan University Theatre
Technical Director


TLS Productions, Inc. has partnered with Eastern Michigan University to create the John Briggs Endowed Scholarship for EMU's Entertainment & Design Technology program.  This scholarship creates a legacy at Eastern Michigan University by honoring John Briggs for his devoted service to the entertainment industry and the field of theatre technology. 

This scholarship honors the passion, dedication, and commitment to the field of theatrical technology by Eastern Michigan University Alumnus - John Briggs.  Over the years, John Briggs and TLS Productions, Inc. have generously given their time and equipment to assure EMU Theatre productions are of the highest quality, while using the most cutting-edge technology.  EMU students appreciate the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art technology that prepares them for their professional careers in technical theatre.  The scholarship is awarded annually to an Eastern Michigan University student majoring in Entertainment Design & Technology.

To donate to this scholarship in John's honor, you may do so by downloading the scholarship brochure, available here - or by calling the Eastern Michigan University Foundation at 734-484-1322 - and of course, you can contact us for further information on the scholarship and learn how to donate.

From The Desk Of Design Services - September 2016

Contributed by Doyle Martin, VP of Show Services | Director of Design Services

I had the pleasure of spending last week at our corporate headquarters in Ann Arbor as we prepared and executed our annual open house.  During this time, it occurred to me that I spend quite a bit of time writing articles about technology and how to effectively design and deploy it, and what the role of a production services company is; but I do not think I spend near enough time talking about the heart and soul of our business, our people.  It is easy for me (among others) to get caught up in the “big picture” as we try to create a newer, more modern company with both a different business model and a more inclusive, forward-looking company culture.  All of this is vital to our continued growth and success, but the entire time I spent watching our staff prepare for the open house I was reminded of the people that don’t often get the positive press, but that matter the most.

I want to start with a huge thank you to our Accounting and Purchasing folks.  We demand so much from them, day in and day out, yet seldom do we think to let them know how much we appreciate their dedication and hard work.  In the most “real” of ways, without their diligence, experience and expertise, nothing that any of the rest of us do would be possible.  So, to Eric Topliss, Aaron Kashmer and Li Liu – thank you for all you do!

Our shop staff is always hard at work, doing all the dirty jobs that have to be done so that we look good to our clients.  Shop Manager Adam Weakley and Assistant Shop Manager Drew Gansen, keep things moving and keep all of our shop staff on task.  From checking the gear in and out from rentals and events to transforming our warehouse into a finished exhibit space for our open house, they are the pillars that support everything the company is able to do.  Without these guys and gals, we are nothing.  So to all the shop staff, both full and part-time, thank you for making us look so good, so often, and so selflessly.

I am also both proud and humbled to have the opportunity to work closely with our in-house production staff; Production Manager and Lighting Designer Bobby Glowacki along with AV & Lighting Technician and CAD Operator Dustin Miller.  These two gentlemen share the burden of being the resident full-time production personnel at our Ann Arbor headquarters.  They both work tirelessly to make sure that the projects and shows we have on the books have the design, drafting, engineering, and preshow attention to detail that they deserve.  These guys are consistently working on improving their training and skill sets and have proven again and again that they are willing to take on any challenge and not only succeed but excel.  I spoke above about working to shift our company culture; I want these gentlemen to know that they are a huge part of this.  Bobby and Dustin, thank you for bringing your ideas and perspectives to us, along with your skills and training.  Although I am sure it does not always feel like it, your enthusiasm, hard work, and creative abilities are greatly valued and appreciated.

To our unsung sales superhero, Emily Ann Jugowicz-Miller, who handles all the Midwest sales for the company yet also finds time to help others in the sales department with their projects, all the while contributing to organizing things around HQ, as well as taking on many “special projects”– such as playing event planner for our open house; it was a pleasure to watch you in action.  Thank you, Emily, for consistently doing everything that is asked of you and so much more.

Moreover, to the assiduous individual who not only brought you the open house but also brings you this newsletter and all the other marketing blasts you receive from us, thank you so much, Carl Kedzierski.  You have helped to bring our industry name recognition from near non-existence to being part of the national industry conversation in an amazingly short time.  Thank you for your effort, creativity, and perseverance when it comes to building a marketing department from nothing.  You have done an exemplary job, and I thank you.

In closing, I know that many of you who read this are used to dealing with all the folks on your show sites – all of whom are the best of the best and strive to give you the very best service and technical expertise available in our industry.  However, it is the folks mentioned in this email whom few outside of our company ever get to see in action- and who so rarely hear the positive feedback we get on the job site - which makes the difference.  It is this dedicated and talented group of people that allow us to continue to offer our customers the kind of world-class productions they have come to expect.  I thank them all for their tireless efforts and their consistently positive attitudes.   

Doyle Martin - TLS Productions, Inc.
VP of Show Services | Director of Design Services


Be sure to contact our Sales and Rentals Team for great deals from the industry's leading manufacturers, and to find out what TLS Productions, Inc. & Design Services can do for you, contact us at any of the options below - and watch for more BIG news and BIG announcements from us during the weeks and months ahead! 

TLS Productions, Inc.
78 Jackson Plaza
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

(855) 515-TLSP (8577) Toll Free
(810) 220-TLSP (8577) Office
(810) 229-8292  Fax

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TLS Productions, Inc.
78 Jackson Plaza
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103

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