Gregory Cohen, lighting designer at UVLD, was intrigued by the uniqueness of the event: “This is, on every scale, an important show: the foundation is waging a war against a deadly disease that effects, in some way, nearly everyone on the planet. It was critical that we were able to maintain the high production standards called for by Ray Bloch, while also heading their unambiguous commitment to saying within the budget.”
That the event was held within a theater added its own challenges. Lighting positions were, as always, dictated by the architecture of the room and therefore the design needed to accept the distinctiveness of the venue. Clark Zampella, technical director for Ray Bloch, integrated the overall needs of the productions with the requirements of the space. “Clark did a great site survey,” noted Cohen, “and then continued to be a conduit between the design team and the venue. By the time we got onsite, there were no surprises – which on a show is almost a surprise in and of itself.”
The planning, lead by Ray Bloch principal Jeremy Driesen and executive producer Karen McGetrick, called for a load in followed by ample rehearsal for both the executive speakers as well as cancer survivors. When Senator McCain agreed to appear at the conference, an additional day was added to the schedule to allow for a Thursday night opening, a full day earlier than scheduled. It was to the credit of the venue's flexibility and the team's ability to roll with the punches, as everyone was able to adjust their schedules and change their flights. “There, if nothing else, an availability advantage do doing a show in the middle of the summer at a university which is not in session,” notes Cohen.
Ray Bloch's Jeremy Driesen notes, “Greg Cohen did a fantastic job, as always. He struck the right balance of having an exciting, dynamic lighting design but without making the show look glitzy or over-produced.”
The set was designed by Dan Hicks of Onset Design, with Sal Restuccia serving as production electrician. 4 Wall Lighting provided the lighting equipment and the console was a grandMA.
Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) creates lighting designs for corporate theater, live entertainment, themed environments, trade shows and special events. UVLD is a partnership of 10 designers working in all aspects of lighting design; their work has been seen on stages and screens nationwide and around the world. Clients include IBM, Mitsubishi, Honda, Kia, Mercedes, Volvo, Volkswagen, John Deere, Microsoft, Cartier, Victoria's Secret, FedEx, Avon and Audi.