LD Peggy Eisenhauer is one of the most popular speakers at the Broadway Lighting Master Classes each year. And it’s no secret why. She has been design partners with the illustrious Jules Fisher for the past 25 years, and her BLMC session is a meticulous exploration of their method to breaking down musical cueing into rhythmic sequences. By using examples from their hit films and specially filmed visual demonstrations, Eisenhauer will describe the themes chosen specifically for each musical genre, as well as present a dissection of rhythmic themes common to many types of contemporary music. Live Design caught up with her for a moment to see what’s up:
What are your current or most recent projects?
Burlesque feature film; A Free Man of Color by John Guare, directed by George C. Wolfe at Lincoln Center Theatre; Let Me Down Easy written and performed by Anna Devere Smith, Second Stage, national tour, and filmed for great performances. New Play, Afraid of the Dark written by Dan Dietz, to be directed by Will Freers
How do you approach a project in terms of musical cueing, what is your initial process?
Listen to the music and music of the genre(s). Break down the rhythm and melodic themes. Create an outline of these elements.
In a film like Burlesque, how did you and Jules collaborate with the cinematographer... what was the goal of the lighting for the musical scenes?
As in every film, our goal is to seamlessly blend the film lighting with the "show" lighting to give the look of one hand, one vision. We use both theatrical lighting and film lighting in each filmed moment to create this blend.
Do you approach cueing differently for a film than a musical on stage?
Everything is slightly different. In film, everything needs to be created and polished to "opening night" integrity very fast, but only small chunks at a time, in theatre you can take many passes to get to that level but you have to do it all at once.