I've a sad bit of news to pass along and it reaches far beyond the New York City area. For those of us who work in live television, we frequently work in front of mammoth and incredibly precisely designed and mounted video projection systems. These video walls and immense panels become an integral part of our shot composition and we frequently get to make good use of them in our moves. There are but a few very very fine designers and implementers of high end video projection systems.
The leader of that pack has died. His name was Dale Cihi and he died suddenly on Sunday night of as-yet unknown causes.
I've known him since 1986, when I would hike up to Connecticut to pick up BetaCam packages at his rental house. Once that business collapsed, he got into the high-end video IMAG and projection business. His company is called VideoFilm Systems.
He was the go-to for the Republican and Democratic Conventions. For Election Nights. For concerts, for any and all live events. His design work, choices of gear and presentations were remarkable.
He was a kindly fellow, intense and just brilliant. Because he knew the impact that very good projection ( fore and rear ) has on events, he was generous with his skills. He personally drove a truck out to Scranton, PA for two different yearly performances of the Ballet Theater of Scranton. My wife gaffed those jobs, and worked with Dale for many years on gigs. He showed up, mounted the best gear he had, and left- without a penny changing hands. Because he knew it would HELP, and it wasn't always about the paycheck.
He was- when he ran his video rental house- reknown in the New York / Connecticut area as being the biggest fan of both Brother P-Touch labellers AND Velcro of anyone we knew. And- coming from a Steadicam Operator- that was something.
He collumated his own broadcast video lenses. Such was the level of his engineering acumen. ( He was also the ONLY rental engineer I ever met who put Shock Alarms onto the lens, body and deck of a BetaCam. Smart ! )
Dale worked all over North America and into Canada. He may have done overseas work as well, I don't know.
A tip of the rig and a moment of silence for a superb technician and gentle caring human being, gone from our midst and from the countless crews he was a member of.
Miss you, Dale.
Best to all,
Peter Abraham, S.O.C.