Avolite’s girl power, Annalisa Terranova

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Italian Annalisa Terranova is one of the few females in the world who provides media server technical support. She joined Avolites Ai in January 2015. On a visit to DWR Distribution in South Africa, she obliged and shared a bit about herself.

Annalisa first moved from Sicily to London four years ago. After attending a stimulating trade show, Annalisa wrote to Avolite’s Steve Warren saying she was interested to learn more about Media Servers. Steve is notorious for giving people a go, with some amazing results, and this was no different. “I came in for training and I spent some time gaining knowledge on the server,” Annalisa recalls. Soon after, she worked as a freelancer for Avolites and officially joined the company earlier this year.

“Avolites is exciting, I’m loving it here,” said Annalisa. “It’s a privilege to work with the team. They are always working on pushing the boundaries and discovering what is possible with the technology available nowadays. The environment is very nice; it feels like family, and you get the opportunity to work on big video projects.”

Using Ai technology, Annalisa worked with The Script where she provided product support during the rehearsals. At Glastonbury Festival 2015, she was an operator for the band Years in Years and also helped on The Temple stage.

“When I’m not on site I take care of the technical support together with the other support engineer Arran Rothwell Eyre. We do this by phone or email and sometimes it involves remote access into the servers.”

It is rare to find women in this field. “Sometimes I get the feeling that people aren’t used to seeing girls doing media,” she says. There are many female lighting designers, but with video I haven’t met that many. “When I was in Singapore for the National Day Parade’s rehearsals we had a good number of women in the control room. Perhaps now that most universities offer visual production courses the future generation will see more women opting for this career.”

Growing up in Sicily, life was a lot slower. “Life is different and the way Italians approach life is completely different,” she says. “There is less stress, less running around, it’s really relaxed. It’s a very warm place as well.”

Annalisa spent her childhood and teenage years on the beach, swimming, good food… that’s what you do there.

With a love to draw, it was natural for her to choose Fine Arts at the Art School where she did Architectural Drawing as her main subject at high school. “After that I went to the Academy of Fine Arts where I completed a degree in Stage Design.”

Life was ideal, but Annalisa wanted more, and an environment where she could apply her knowledge. She was accepted to Central Saint Martins in London where she completed a Master Degree in Performance Design and Practice.

“At the university I did a lot of work with dance and interactive video projections, at the time I was using patching systems like Isadora and Quartz Composer. This background facilitated learning a system like Ai because those programs have similar aspects.”

Personal

When travelling for work, Annalisa tries to explore. “Otherwise when I’m in London, I read and spend a lot of time on my computer learning softwares. I go to expeditions, gigs or theatres if I can. I like Classical music. I try to do as much as I can because living in London there is so much and you don’t have enough time to see it all.”

She is close to her family, and there are constant phone calls and photos exchanges as she shares what she does with them, with visits to Sicily every few months.

Annalisa loves the drive and being in an environment that creates things that didn’t exist before. “I love watching technology evolve. I think it’s amazing to work with equipment that gets better and better. You can do bigger resolutions, bigger shows – it’s exciting.”