Drew Findley is a featured speaker at the 2012 Projection Master Classes at LDI, October 17 & 18 in Las Vegas.
You’re a projection director, designer, media programmer, screens producer, video programmer—all sorts of titles in your repertoire. What’s your favorite role, and why? Well, currently I would have to say producing and designing screens content, but the reality is I enjoy them all. All the jobs you listed have a significant contribution to the creative direction of any performance. That’s really what I love about doing shows. Whether they are TV shows, concert performances, or corporate events, helping to shape creatively what is presented to the audience is what it’s all about.
You recently worked with designer Brian Stonestreet on the 2012 BET Awards. What were the challenges on that televised production? Brian designed a cool set that was primarily made up of video screens at 65° angles. These screens existed in multiple planes, and some even had video returns than ran up stage and downstage. I was the screens producer for the show, and the challenge we had was to layout the video environment in such a way that we could use the set in unique ways for different performances, at times highlighting the angularity of the set and, at other times, using content to help make it disappear. In the end, I think we were very successful.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever been given? That would have to be from my parents: “Don’t ever be afraid to completely change careers.” Not being afraid to take opportunities when they present themselves—not only is it rewarding, but it makes you a more valuable individual. The more varied your background, the more unique your point of view.
What has been the proudest moment in your career so far? It would be a toss-up between producing screen content for the Jay-Z performance at the 2008 Presidential Inaugural Ball, my first Grammy Awards, and when my parents got see the first and only Broadway show I did, Lestat.
What piece of equipment can you absolutely not do without? If you can count software, I would have to say Adobe After Effects—can’t imagine doing a show without it.