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May 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 us today!

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!



Save The Date!

Third Annual Open House & New Product Showcase!

Thursday September 22nd, 2016!  11am - 7pm!

TLS Productions, Inc. is proud to announce our Third Annual Open House & New Product Showcase, Thursday September 22nd, 2016 from 11am to 7pm - at our headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Join us for a great day of lighting, rigging, A/V, and special effects product demonstrations from some of the biggest names in the industry, such as A.C.T. Lighting, ADJ, Apollo, Avolites, City Theatrical, Elation, ETC, GLP, Leprecon, The Light Source, Stagemaker, Ushio, Zylight, AND THE LIST CONTINUES TO GROW!

Mark your calendar for what is sure to be a spectacular event, free of charge!  Meet our staff!  Tour our facilities!  Enjoy complimentary food and beverages, prizes, entertainment, and much, much more!

We're also excited to announce that we'll be offering several training courses on Tuesday & Wednesday - 9/20 & 9/21!  Cutting edge, hands on sessions from ETC, grandMA2, AND MORE!



TLS Productions, Inc. Will Be Closed Monday May 30th, 2016 In Observance Of Memorial Day

TLS Productions, Inc. will resume normal business hours, Tuesday May 31st, 2016 9am - 5pm EDT


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

So, what have we been up to since April's newsletter?  We're proud to have provided lighting programming services, working alongside Tall City Stage & Cinema Services, and i4D Events, for the National Rifle Association's Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.  Check out a few images below...

We also had the pleasure of providing lighting, rigging, and custom drape for the 31st Annual JDRF Promise Ball in Detroit - working alongside Show Ready Technologies
Check out a few images below...


Announcing the Official Ann Arbor Vectorworks User Group
Group Leader – Dustin Miller

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.
Look out for meeting dates and information in upcoming TLSP Newsletters!
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

From The Desk Of Design Services - May 2016

Contributed by Doyle Martin, VP of Show Services | Director of Design Services
Let's Talk Lighting Consoles
I am writing this while programming a show for the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.  It's nice to have the opportunity to be out of the office and actually work on a show for a change.  I've had a couple of conversations onsite with various stagehands and other lighting folks about what my preferred lighting console is.  As we are creeping so very close to the due date for my newsletter article, I thought this would make an excellent topic to share with you, fine people.
On this particular show, I happen to be using a Road Hog 4.  This is what I would consider a pretty typical little corporate ballroom show.  I've got a stage wash, 3 logo gobos, 6 Vipers for effects and cyc looks, and 6 LED strip lights to provide color on the cyc.  It's starting to seem like this show is going to have somewhere in the vicinity of 35 cues, as well as a couple of handles for lecterns, stage wash, and backlights.  The Road Hog 4 is an entirely acceptable console for this show and is doing a fine job for me. 
With that out of the way, here are my thoughts on the lighting consoles on the market today.  I'm sure this is going to disappoint some folks, but I don't currently have a "favorite" right now.  I prefer either a grandMA2 or Hog 4 product,  but this has more to do with my personal comfort level with the programming hardware and nomenclature than any feeling that one manufacturer's product is better than another.  The best console is always the one that the programmer is most familiar and most comfortable with using. 
Allow me to wax nostalgic for a moment.  Personally,  I miss the grandMA hardware.  I liked the console layout, and I always felt like it did a good job of being small enough to keep the lighting FOH to a reasonable size while being big enough to provide ample faders and buttons for most shows.  But alas, as with our beloved Whole Hog II, the industry has moved on.  Currently, I find it to be a pretty even toss-up between MA2 and Hog 4.  I give a slight edge to the Hog 4 software, but I also think much of that stems from having spent a very long time with the Hog 2 console during my early years of moving light programming.  It is just comfortable for me.  I also spent lots of time on the Animator consoles, although I do not have the same warm and fuzzy feelings about the Animator line.
ETC consoles are still reliable platforms that always deserve consideration.  I must admit that they lost me in the early 90s when they insisted on clinging to a syntax, and cue structure that just didn't work well as moving lights became more and more prevalent.  I am aware that in the intervening years, ETC has done a much better job, and their consoles are still workhorses that deserve a good hard look.  I certainly know some LDs and programmers who do fantastic work on the ETC consoles, granted most are in the theatre end of the business.  Having said that, they are not on my short list when more than a couple of moving lights are involved.
Much like Hog consoles, Avolites will always have a special place in my mind.  I don't think anyone who ever ran a big show standing behind a QM500 will ever forget the feeling.  And so many rock shows from clubs to sheds have the Rolaque to thank for their high energy, crowd pleasing shows.  The new Avolites software and hardware platforms look fascinating to me.  I haven't had the opportunity to spend much time with them yet, but what I have seen leads me to believe that they will be a solid console choice for many years to come.
Honorable mentions go to the Martin M line of consoles and the MA dot consoles.  Honestly, I have no experience with the Martin consoles past the MAXXYZ.  I liked the software then, but the hardware left me wanting.  I hear good things about the current Martin consoles but haven't been around them enough to form an opinion.  The Dot line from MA are very functional consoles, although I question the proprietary operating system separate from - yet similar to - MA2.  I personally don't know that there is a great market for this type of entry level console, but the market will prove that out one way or another soon enough. 
Well, this reflects my current thinking on lighting consoles.  I know there are many I didn't take the space to mention.  Jands, Chamsys, Hedge Hog, and numerous others certainly have their pluses and minuses.  Please don't take my lack of mention for these consoles as an indication of their lacking quality or worthiness.  It is worth stating again that the best console you can have is the one you are most knowledgeable about and comfortable with.  If that happens to be an MA Scan Commander (from some 20 years ago), then make it sing, and bless your little heart.

Until next month, I leave you with the timeless wisdom of one Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”        

Doyle Martin
VP of Show Services | Director of Design Services

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

Opening night for Eastern Michigan University's production of The Last Five Years is fast approaching, and Dustin Miller and Bobby Glowacki of TLS Productions, Inc. are busy supervising student crews - working to fully realize their projection and lighting designs for the production.  They have come up with some great concepts and ideas for the production, and it should be an amazing show.  Check out a few images below...

Dustin’s projection design will be enhanced by some beautiful photography and effects contributed by student assistant designer, Haley Jugowicz, and Bobby’s lighting design will be supported by another generous equipment loan from TLSP, once again giving our ED&T students opportunities to learn about current lighting technology.
This is a show you won’t want to miss.

The Last Five Years opens June 3rd and runs through June 12th.

For tickets go to or call (734) 487-2282.


We're looking forward to networking with the industry’s leading healthcare exhibit marketers, medical association meeting and exhibition directors, designers, creative marketing and convention services companies at ‪#HCEAConnect !!!

To learn more, visit

Follow Emily On Instagram!  Pin Us On Pinterest!

We're always doing our best to keep people up to date with who we are and what we do via our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Vimeo pages, and now we are pleased to announce that we're on Instagram and Pinterest!

On our Pinterest page, you'll be able to check out our past and present work, previous TLSP newsletters, and much more!
With our Instagram account, we're letting you see the world of TLS Productions, Inc. through the eyes of our very own, Emily Ann Jugowicz-Miller!  Follow emily_tlsp on Instagram as she travels to site surveys, events, or just "one of those days" at the office!

Emily is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds a BS in Entertainment, Design, and Technology as well as Arts Management with a focus in Stage Management. While enrolled at EMU, she had the pleasure of working with a few professional theatre companies, including: Performance Network, Mosaic Youth Theatre, BlackBag Productions, Threefold Productions, Waterworks Theatre, and Warren Civic Theatre. She describes herself as a go-getter who loves spreadsheets, sticky notes, and kittens.

So, follow Emily on Instagram!  And pin us on Pinterest!

For the upcoming month of June, be sure to contact our Sales and Rentals Team for great deals from the industry's leading manufacturers.  And check out more great deals on our sale and rental items, as well as great prices on used equipment for sale from our rental stock, at the links below:

TLS Productions, Inc. Sales NEW

TLS Productions, Inc. Sales USED

TLS Productions, Inc. RENTAL

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! 

And Don't Forget To Save The Date!

Third Annual Open House & New Product Showcase!

Thursday September 22nd, 2016!  11am - 7pm!

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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Follow Emily On Instagram
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Watch What We Can Do For You!


Watch What TLS Productions, Inc. & Grande Gesture Can Do For You!

ETC Source Four LED
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Dance Floors
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Shure Audio Products
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Platinum SBX
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ETC ION Control
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Dance Floor Tape
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Need New Lamps?
We've Got You Covered!
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ETC Source Four LED
CYC - Sales & Rentals
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Roscolux Gel Sheets
Great Prices!
Gaff Tape
Bulk Savings!
Place Your Order!
BMFL Blade
Call For Pricing

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Our mailing address is:
TLS Productions, Inc.
78 Jackson Plaza
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103

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