Happy New Year! In 2007, we continue to look at promising young professionals in the fields of lighting, set, projection, and video content design and programming. We started last month and will continue to showcase these talents in the next few issues.
Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Position/title: Freelance set designer
Current project(s): The Life of Galileo, Wilma Theatre, Philadelphia; Carmina Burana, Pennsylvania Ballet; Home, The Actors Company Theatre, Beckett Theatre
Most notable achievements: Winner of 2005 Barrymore Award for Outrage (Wilma Theatre)
When I started in this industry: 1998, film; 2000, theatre
How I got into this industry: It became clear to me that the job of set designer was the confluence of all my interests — namely architecture, painting/sculpture/photography, literature, music, and a heightened sense of storytelling.
Influences: Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space; The Brothers Quay; William Kentridge; Edvard Munch; industrial and vernacular architecture; Coop Himmelblau; Robert Wilson; George Tsypin
Worst advice I've ever heard: If people are looking at that seam/scuff mark/wrinkle, then the show's not very good.
Best advice I've ever heard: If people are looking at that seam/scuff mark/wrinkle, then the show's not very good.
My favorite thing about the production industry: The ubiquitous challenge of using materials outside of their usual applications to execute the design and the humorous exchanges with salesmen and vendors who ask, “Well, what are you using it for?” — a constant reminder that we are working in the world of fiction.
Favorite design/programming/technical trick: Homosote looks just like poured concrete.
Plans for the future: To work internationally, design and build a house.
Other interests/side gigs: Stop-motion animation, playing music (guitar/violin)
Awards, honors: Semifinalist for 2003 Ring Award competition for Opera Design (Wagner Forum — Graz, Austria); Recipient of 2005 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Set Design (Philadelphia Theatre Alliance); Nominee for 2005 Innovative Theatre Awards — Set Design (New York).
Residence: Foothill Ranch, CA
Position/title: Designer and programmer
Employers: Event Design Services, LLC and The Walt Disney Company
Current project(s): Deal or No Deal, programmer
Most notable achievements: Finding a career that I love and enjoy doing day in and day out.
Notable gigs: Lighting designer for Chapman University Gala Dinner (2002 to 2006), University of Irvine Medal Gala (2005), and Global Hawk Rollout 2002 and 2006; programmer on Flavor Flav Reunion, I've Got A Secret, America's Most Talent Kids, Disney's GTTS Gala Dinner, LA's Country Bash; media server programmer for Inland Invasion Festival, Not So Silent Night Festival, and Wango Tango Festival; lighting director for Reventon Super Estrella and Coachella Music Festival 2006; club lighting director for Element, The Lobby, and Privilege (all in Hollywood).
How I got into this industry: I started out as a stage manager with a non-profit Latino Theatre Company. I grew to become their resident lighting designer and technical director. I started freelancing a lot during that time, making great contacts in the industry. I was getting tired of not having anything stable, so a buddy asked me if I was interested in coming to work at Disneyland. That was six years ago. At Disney, I programmed, designed, was a master electrician, and a crew chief. I am still currently employed by Disney as a part-time employee.
After six years, I got an itch to do some more design work, so I decided to put myself out there and start freelancing. I owe a lot of my career to a couple of people: Michael Nevitt of Martin Professional for putting the Maxxyz in my hands about four-and-a-half years ago and teaming me up with Michael Veerkamp, LD of Deal Or No Deal; I've been programming for Veerkamp for the last three-and-a-half years; Matthias Hinrichs (aka ”Hans'', the nickname that was giving to him while we were programming Deal Or No Deal; mine is ”Franz''). No matter what time of day it is, he's always ready to help me out if I'm having any issue. And all the crew over at Cinelease, who are always ready to help with pulling a show rental together in a matter of hours.
Influences: Steven Cohen, Roy Bennett, and the guys over at ArtFag.
Worst advice I've ever heard: Just let them figure it out; we get paid by the hour!
Best advice I've ever heard: Treat everyone as if they were the producers!
My favorite thing about the production industry: You get to play with some cool toys and make the impossible a reality.
Favorite design/programming/technical trick: Just have fun and make everyone laugh around you.
Plans for the future: Get out on the road and close the gap between lighting and video.
Other interests/side gigs: Traveling
Organizations, memberships: IATSE 504, Actors Equity