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Tag Archives: 6.26


Motion Picture Production

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Digital Content Production

Commedia dell’arte Troupe on a Wagon in a Town Square, by Jan Miel, 1640

Education communities are one of the settings for digital media production centers that service massive open online curricula and cultural performance facilities for teaching and entertainment.  On many campuses now, reading rooms and libraries have been replaced with spaces that are dense with electro-technologies that require attention to sound, lighting, heat generation and shock prevention.   

For the people responsible for creating a satisfactory experience for education industry “customers”,  the art of electrical grounding at lower voltages is subtle and often vexing. One would imagine that after more than 100 years of commercial electrical power that the problem of grounding has been solved; but you would be mistaken.  Innovation streams in electro-technology; presenting technicians renewed challenges as these systems — which we broadly call Digital Content Production Facilities — evolve to meet the challenges of merging teaching with entertainment; on-campus or on the internet. There are several consensus and open-source safety standards developers in the space; all of whom claim some part of it.  

Montana State University

Accredited standards developers who claim to set the standard of care for some part of this facility class are as follows::

  • National Fire Protection Association; fire safety

    Article 520 Theaters Audience Areas of Motion Picture and Television Studios, Performance Areas and Similar Locations
    Article 522 Control Systems for Permanent Amusement Attractions
    Article 525 Carnivals, Circuses, Fairs and Similar Events
    Article 530 Motion Picture and Television Studios and Similar Locations

  • International Code Council; means of egress
  • American Society of Heating and Refrigeration Engineers; indoor air quality
  • Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Industrial Applications Society; building premise electrical safety
  • Underwriters Laboratories; audio-visual products and accessories
  • Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers; standards setting for motion imaging
  • Entertainment Services and Technology Association; pulls together all codes and standards to meet the business objectives of the entertainment industry. 
  • International Electrotechnical Commission; TC 108 deals with audio-visual, information and communication technology* 
  • PLASA (Professional Lighting and Sound Association)
  • AVIXA (Formerly INFOComm)

There are other consortia and open source standards in this domain.

Mid-America Technology Center | Wayne, Oklahoma

CLICK HERE for free access to the 2020 National Electrical Code.  During today’s teleconference we drill into the technical specifics on the agenda of NEC CMP 15 which is evaluating public input on NEC Articles 520 through Article 540  which covers all building or that part of a building or structure, indoor or outdoor, designed or used for presentation, dramatic, motion picture projection, or similar purposes and to specific audience seating areas within motion picture or television studios. Public input for these Article 520 through Article 525 begins on Page 117 of this linked document:

2020 NFPA 70_First Revisions Report

Note the concern for event definitions, temporary power cords, specialty connecting devices, arc fault circuit interrupters and grounding. The full report on the CMP-15 committee actions during the October 2018 meetings in San Diego is available in the link below:

2020 NFPA 70 CMP-15 Second Draft Report

These transcripts provide insight into the safety and sustainability concepts in play in the 2020 National Electrical Code; a backward look.   The consultation period for the 2023 NEC is now live.  Public input is due September 10th.

Standards Michigan collaborates closely with IEEE committees that do most of the heavy-lifting for the user-interest in the education industry in the NFPA suite.  While we are happy to drill into the details any day at 11 AM Eastern time more enlightened discussion occurs during collaborations with the IEEE Education & Healthcare Facilities Committee which meets again twice monthly.  Coordination of IEEE and NFPA consensus documents have been permanent items on the standing agenda but we find, on a near-weekly basis, new organizations entering the digital content space.   

University of Southern California | Glory Kaufman School of Dance

Issue: [99-3, 7-6, 12-80, 16-138, 19-154, 20-6]

Category: Electrical, Telecommunications, Fire Protection, Arts & Entertainment Facilities, Lecture Halls

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Jim HarveyRyan LawlessNehad El-Sherif  

LEARN MORE: This occupancy class in the education industry has been growing for the better part of twenty years now.  Links to some examples are listed below:

Mid-America Technology Center

University of Michigan Duderstadt Center Audio Studios

Specs Howard School of Media Arts

Arizona State University School of Media, Arts and Engineering

 * A great deal of equipment installed in this facility class originates in non-US electrical product markets.

Audio Standards

“A Dance to the Music of Time” | Nicolas Poussin (1640)


“The voice of the intellect is a soft one,

but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing.”

— Sigmund Freud


The education industry provides a large market for occupancy classes — athletic stadiums, student assembly spaces, performance theaters, large lecture halls– that depend upon effective audio systems*.   To an unexpected degree the structural engineering, specification of materials and electrical system design and operation is informed by acoustical considerations.  So does the integration of fire safety and mass notification systems into normal state enterprises so it is wise to follow and, ideally, participate in leading practice discovery and promulgation of audio standards.

The Audio Engineering Society — one of the first names in this space — has a due process platform that welcomes public participation.   All of its standards open for public comment completed their revision cycle mid-November as can be seen on its standards development landing page below:

AES Standards Development

Note that AES permits access to those revision even after the comment deadline.  You are encouraged to communicate directly with the Direct communication with the standards staff at Audio Engineering Society International Headquarters, 551 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1225, New York NY 10176,  Tel: +1 212 661 8528

We keep the AES suite on the standing agenda of our periodic Lively Arts teleconference.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting.

This facility class is one of most complex occupancy classes in education facilities industry so we also collaborate with experts active in the IEEE Education & Healthcare Facilities Committee. Much of the AES suite references, and borrows from, International Electrotechnical Commission system integration and interoperability standards.   The IEEE E&H committee meets online again four times monthly in European and American time zones.  The meeting dates are available on the IEEE E&H website

Media production audio visual

Issue: [19-23]

Category: Electrical, Academic,  Athletics, Fire Safety, Public Safety, #SmartCampus

Contact: Mike Anthony, Jim Harvey

*Mass notification systems are governed by NFPA 72 and, while life safety wiring is separate from other wiring, the management of these systems involve coordination between workgroups with different business objectives and training.


Archive / Audio Engineering Society


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