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1989 ILDA Awards

Presented at the 1989 ILDA meeting in Seattle, Washington
Hosted by Laser Fantasy Productions [now LFI International]

From The Laserist magazine, Spring/Summer 1990 issue

More than 100 entries, representing the works of 12 companies all produced between September 1, 1988 and September 1, 1989, vied for 31 awards in 12 categories, in the second annual ILDA Awards for Outstanding Laser Display.

The formal awards presentation, held at the Mayflower Hotel in Seattle, was highlighted by the newly instituted Career Achievement Award. The award went to an individual whom ILDA members felt had made significant career contributions to the industry. Ivan Dryer of Laser Images, Inc., Los Angeles, was the resounding choice of his peers for his nearly two decades of laser involvement. Steve Heminover, master of ceremonies, presented a beautiful, self-illuminating trophy designed by Aron Bacs, to Dryer. Dryer, who was visibly moved by the award, stated, "If it is so that (Laser Images') work has influenced and perhaps inspired others, we are most grateful to have had that opportunity."

The judging, coordinated by Andrea Cummings of Image Engineering, represented a cross section of the entertainment industry:

  • Susan McIntosh, president of Envision Corporation, represented corporate theater. Her background is in script writing, visual composition, production and staging.
  • Judson Rosebush, of Rosebush Visions Corp., New York, is an expert in commercial applications of computer graphics.
  • Richard Dyer, a music critic for the Boston Globe, was chosen as a "professional" audience member in the entertainment industry.
  • Steve Benton, of MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, a holographic guru and renowned laser pro, rounded out the team.

"Whether our jurors are in the industry or not, it is ultimately to our advantage to use the contest to promote lasers as an established, competitive alternative to any visual media, for any use. We can use jurors as our eyes -- to help us understand how we appear in the wider world of entertainment media," explained Cummings.

Over the last couple of years, as we have viewed each other's work, there has been a progression in terms of quality and content. This improvement seems to have been inspired by the process of having colleagues view and critique each other's work. As one laserist noted, "our peers are more critical than our clients."



Graphic Design: Static

1st:   "Untitled #1", Laser Images
2nd:  "Phantom Line", Mundo Audiovisual

Graphic Design: Animation

1st:   "Amaterasu", Laser Media
2nd:  "Marquee Fly In", Laser Media
3rd:   "Carburetors in Space", Audio Visual Imagineering
Honorable Mention:  "Eagle", Mundo Audiovisual
Honorable Mention:  "Eagle - Pitney Bowes Metamorphosis", Laser Media

Graphic Design: Showpiece

1st:   "Waveforms", Science Faction
2nd:  "Working Together", Image Engineering
3rd:   "Scoutin' USA", Audio Visual Imagineering
Honorable Mention:  "At the Zoo", Laser Images

Abstract Design: Static

Winner:   "A.V. Communications", Audio Visual Imagineering

Abstract Design: Showpiece

Winner:  "Paris Nocturne", Audio Visual Imagineering

Graphic and Abstract: Showpiece

1st:   "Unforgettable Fire", Laser Fantasy
2nd:  "Grey Matter", Laser Images


1st:   "Lasers at Noguchi's Tower of Light", Science Faction
2nd:  "Philadelphia Freedom Festival", Image Engineering

Entertainment: Laser Only

1st (tie):   "American Vacation", Image Engineering
1st (tie):   "The Drinking Scene", Laser Fantasy
2nd:  "Neil Diamond Concert Opening", Laser Media

Entertainment: Lasers Plus Performers or Media

1st:   "Shah Safari", Laser Fantasy
2nd:  "Electric Youth", Laser Media

Advertisement/Corporate Theatre

1st:   "MCI Logo", Audio Visual Imagineering
2nd:  "ACG 'Partnership with Vision' ", Image Engineering
3rd:   "Let Your Fingers Do the Talking", Science Faction
Honorable Mention:  "Christina Perfume", Laser City Studios



New Technology

1st:  "Old Paint Theme", Image Engineering
2nd:  "Laser-DAT", Laser Fantasy
3rd:   "Edge Detection", Audio Visual Imagineering


1st (tie):   "Fountains", Laser Media
1st (tie):   "Picasso", Mundo Audiovisual



Ivan Dryer
Founder of Laser Images Inc., inventor of Laserium  planetarium shows, and the father of the laser show industry

The name "Laserium" is synonymous with laser shows. Ivan Dryer is the man behind Laserium -- the man who brought laser shows to mass audiences.

Dryer was a filmmaker in the early 1970s. On one project, he worked with Dr. Elsa Garmire, a Cal Tech physicist interested in laser light art. (She had previously worked with other artists on special event laser shows.) The resulting film, Laser Image, did not have the pure colors and shimmer of laser light.

So Dryer had the idea of bringing the Cal Tech laser to Los Angeles' Griffith Observatory. He, Garmire and Dale Pelton formed Laser Images, Inc. to create planetarium laser shows.

The rest is history. The first Laserium show opened to the public on November 19, 1973. It was the first on-going laser show (not part of a special or one-time event), and it spawned an industry. Dryer's Laserium shows went on to be played in 46 cities worldwide, and were viewed by over 20 million people. Other companies sprang up to do planetarium shows, and laser imagery then spread to other venues such as concerts and corporate shows.

Laserium was the longest running theatrical attraction in the history of Los Angeles. It continued until the Griffith closed for remodeling on January 5, 2002 -- a remarkable 28-year run.

Dryer is universally recognized as the father of the laser show industry. His selection by ILDA as recipient of the first Career Achievement Award underscores his unique place in the history of laser displays.

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