Dunaway Designs and Green Hippo Hippotizer V3 HDs: Bermuda Music Festival 2008



Dunaway Designs is the culmination of numerous years dedicated to training and working as a lighting and visual designer. Adam harnesses a tenacious desire to imagine, design, create, and explore new product developments and methods that continue to merge lighting, video, and projection technologies into streamlined scenographic spectacles that offer limitless visual possibilities, increased audience excitement, and reduced production costs.

With work projects that span television, corporate events, and live entertainment touring, Adam regularly receives invitations to work in collaboration with many leading design professionals, event companies, and large scale entertainment projects spanning the globe. Dunaway Designs is associated with many leading LD's such as Joe West, Warren Flynn, Daunte Kenner, Tupac Martir, John Marovich, Jens Hillenkotter, Matt Prentice, Nathan Davis, Steve Beckenroot, and Rich Lochlin respectively naming a few.

Since starting Dunaway Designs in 2001 Adam has trained numerous lighting professionals who now regularly use digital lighting solutions, expanding their capabilities to meet a quickly growing demand. Some of the first media server savvy jobs on Broadway, the West End, musical artist tours, broadcast television studios, and themed installations being offered were filled by Adam or some of the many designers and programmers he has trained, coached, collaborated, and/or introduced to digital lighting design.

" Please explore my name or company on the internet and visit our articles page with links to articles I've written or that have been written about my work. I will be happy to provide numerous references on demand alongside my portfolio covering over 25 years of my work in the entertainment industry. "

  Dunaway Designs and Green Hippo Hippotizer V3 HDs: Bermuda Music Festival 2009  


Dunaway Designs / Digital Stage Chicago became a early Green Hippo system dealer, owner and operator mainly because very few rental shops in the US had them at the time - let alone for the "balls to the wall" system designs the company imagined and pioneered into reality for our own shows. While there are now a growing number of media server platforms and rental providers available, our reputation for understanding how media servers are integrated into a variety of applications, and providing unbeatable knowledge and support for these systems has years in the making.

Digital Stage Chicago is our studio and proving ground where we explore, fabricate, and prepare for installation proven media server video racks integrated with the latest lighting, video, and show control equipment. We work closely with leading manufacturers to test and improve new products primarily for our own shows. Our growing staff of associate partners is comprised of seasoned designers, programmers, and technicians in the US, Europe, and most recently Mexico.

Today's advanced media servers are responsible for driving huge visual elements on productions, yet unlike a single PAR or moving light, a media server cannot arrive dead at load in, or worse fail during the show being noticed by all. Yet surprisingly some choose a media server based on the lowest price and expect it to run without issue. More often than not what they get is a system that will crash and lock up frequently requiring precious time (and luck) to nurse back to health - or worse be Dead-On-Arrival (DOA) and not even boot up. Many soon learn systems provided in such poor condition are backed with equally poor support. The owners are clueless of the machine's hardware configuration, software and driver versions, when or if the error logs were checked, or if the system restore archive exists, has been updated, or tested. In a nutshell, experiencing this first hand on our own shows is what led us to purchasing our initial media servers.



Rock Solid Media Servers require more prep time and test equipment than many shops can spare in hours or have in knowledged capability within their labor ranks. The absolute least required for media server prep is to restore backups for all drives and confirm the system's applications start without issue.  Many just roll the dice - if it worked before without complaint - arrived back with nothing rattling inside - powers and boots up - the machine is probably okay to send out  again. Right? Wrong!

" My Hippos have driven some huge shows in extreme conditions on multi-month world wide tours -  rarely having problems - and have NEVER shown up onsite DOA. Machines are always shipped in shock-proof equipment racks and cases with a critical component spare parts kit. We quality check the hell out of our media servers before they go out and when they come back home - they are thoroughly inspected for damage and high wear components are replaced regularly. All drives including media are formatted and restored from virus free backups. Any software or driver updates needed are performed followed by a fresh backup. Most importantly the capabilities of each machine - including all input devices - must pass a minimum 24hr performance soak testing before shipping out."

"  Failure is not an option on my shows and this is why I invested in owning top of the line media servers. I cautiously began offering these to LD's and rental houses that understand the stability of a media server depends not only on proper care and maintenance but also operation and integration knowledge. We are not "account executives", "sales associates", or "service technicians" we are designers and programmers neck deep in shows just like you so when called with video system questions or help with  a programming challenge we actually know what you are talking about. We ask detailed questions about the complete video system to ensure the onsite user has a good understanding of the media server and its planned use. We will not rent our systems to just any strange ranger. My goal is not to offer the lowest price - it is to offer the highest value."

"  I personally guarantee you won't find a better system than my Green Hippo media servers - even from my oldest system - just ask around - or check out our online reputation. Our media servers are almost always commented for being not only in top condition but for running faster and more smoothly than many other rental systems others have encountered prior to seeking us out. We may be Small in Size - but are Big in Stability, and Support."

  Dunaway Designs and Green Hippo Hippotizer V3 HDs: Jamie Foxx US Tour  


Adam grew up working on theatrical productions in the small town of Crossville, TN, where he was fortunate to have found a creative outlet with the Cumberland County Playhouse. After apprenticing at "The Playhouse" for many years on over 40 dramatic and musical productions, he left the small town finding his next gig at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. While in Knoxville, Adam worked professionally as Lighting Director for Oak Ridge Civic Ballet, First Light Dance Theatre, and a few other local theatre and ballet companies until completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1995.

Not one to settle down, Adam's next pursuit was a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. This provided a wonderful opportunity for him to teach abroad at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London, England. Adam spent 2 years of his graduate studies working and training at Mountview, completing his MFA degree in 1998.

After graduate school Adam joined the ranks of Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc. in Middleton, WI.  This was another splendid opportunity which allowed him to meet many professionals in the industry and learn about large lighting and show control installation systems. However, after a couple years Adam was ready to move toward the challenges of industrial production design and coordination in the city of Chicago where he joined Images in Illuminations and Plexus Productions to work with Joe West .

Adam worked with "Images" over the next four years, learning more than could be imagined from Joe, who inspired him to go it alone in summer of 2001 and incorporate Dunaway Designs. In 2005 he and Joe West formed Digital Stage Chicago building a studio where each invested into current technologies to become bulletproof at using them on productions and tour designs setting new standards pushing each others design and imaginative capabilities.

Having worked with PANI an PIGI projectors on many corporate events, Adam was introduced to media servers in early 2001 when given a Catalyst (v1.1) system to demo becoming instantly aware of the possible advantages and future growth digital lighting would bring to lighting. Adam's first use of Catalyst combined with Orbital Mirror Head attachment for Barco R18 projectors was for his design on the 2002 Stanley Cup Games for the Carolina Hurricanes - arguably this products first televised use. The Program Director for the Hurricanes wanted PIGI projectors however the budget could not afford them alongside the priority for indoor/outdoor lighting and pyrotechnics.

The Catalysts and Barcos were less than 1/4 the cost of PIGIs - of course at 1/4 the brightness. However, this was all that was needed since the Catalyst's planned use was for a dramatic opening which started with a complete blackout of the stadium lighting. Followed by Catalysts ballying Cup Trophys around the ice then right into a season highlight video as the team skated out onto the ice - spotlights ballyed the audience while stadium lights warmed back up for the game.

Adam was soon providing Catalyst design, programming, and system support to the greater Chicagoland area for Broadway in Chicago shows such as "Wicked",  Harpo Studios "Oprah", becoming Intelligent Lighting Creations media server guru of choice. This followed with a desire to demo and work with  newly emerging media servers and digital lighting products as they came out alongside gaining a solid understanding of video systems, projectors, and LED display products.

If a media server product came into Chicago - Adam was one of the first designers called to come take a look and/or keep it for awhile with follow up. His regular work on designs using numerous DL3, Axon, Arkaos, M-Box, Maxxedia, and of course Green Hippo - most often in concert to one another - continues to deliver exciting spectacles. Adam became one of the first designers in the US to adopt Green Hippo's Hippotizer media servers - and without doubt was the first designer in Chicago doing such beginning with Harpo Studios V2 Hippo installation and operator training. This project later led to overseeing the V2 Hippo installation for the "Today Show" in New York. In seemingly little time Adam mastered the V2 Hippo and was being called for installation consultation, training, emergency repair, and support for Green Hippo's US distributor TMB. Other media servers reached a plateau that Green Hippo keeps expanding beyond the ordinary as it does even to this day.

Dunaway Designs / Digital Stage Chicago purchased Hippo V3 HD and Stage systems when the product was released and now owns numerous Green Hippo V3 HD media server systems in addition to Axons, Catalyst, and Arkaos. Expanding to control systems we now carry PRG/Chamsys MagicQ100, Barco High End Wholehog III, and MA Lighting GrandMA consoles. In addition to owning media servers and control equipment for his shows Adam also has an expanding array of video equipment and continues to explore and train on almost every variety of digital lighting product that is available at our studio warehouse Digital Stage Chicago located at 2900 Lively Blvd, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007.

Adam continues to live and work in both Chicago and Tennessee since they both have so much to offer. Fortunate to have the support of his partner in life Karen, friends, and family Adam continues to let his imagination guide him. "There are so many people I owe my eternal gratitude to. And naturally, if you have read all this, that would also include you. "

  Dunaway Designs and Green Hippo Hippotizer V3 HDs: Bermuda Music Festival 2010


“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”   Albert Einstein


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