Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) rubbed elbows with TIME's 100 Most Influential People in the lighting the TIME 100 gala for the high-profile movers and shakers at Time Warner Centerâ€™s Jazz at Lincoln Center overlooking Columbus Circle and Central Park. The show was produced by Jeremy Driesen, president of New York-based Ray Bloch Productions (RBP).
The TIME 100 list stretches across five categories: leaders and revolutionaries; builders and titans; scientists and thinkers; heroes and pioneers; and artists and entertainers. Among the honorees in attendance--those endowed with the intangible quality of â€śinfluenceâ€ť--were Elizabeth Edwards, â€śUgly Bettyâ€ť star America Ferrera, Virgin founder Richard Branson, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, Harvard Universityâ€™s first female president Drew Gilpin Faust, New England Patriots' coach Bill Belichick, actor Michael J. Fox, stem-cell research pioneer Douglas Melton, and subway hero Wesley Autrey, Jr., who saved a man from an oncoming train.
UVLD lighting designer Greg Cohen was tasked with concentrating on the job without being distracted by hundreds of media handlers and the major star power of the eventâ€™s honorees. â€śYou have to treat the gala like any other important job and let the high-profile aspect take care of itself,â€ť he observes.
UVLD lit several different areas beginning with the guestsâ€™ arrival in the lobby and positioning by an 80â€™ step-and-repeat for interviews and photo ops. Lighting designer Robert Cangemi was faced with the challenge of accommodating the needs of the network video crews as well as the demands of the still photographers. For the pre-event cocktail party and the eveningâ€™s after-party in the Allen Roomâ€™s three-story atrium, Cangemi took advantage of the venueâ€™s house lighting system, refocusing fixtures as needed. He also added specific downlighting for a glittering Cartier display.
Dinner was punctuated by a series of guestsâ€™ toasts from several designated spots in the room which Cohen lit with the house system. UVLD was also charged with illuminating dinner speakers and performances by honoree John Mayer and Senegalese singer Youssou Nâ€™Dour.
â€śItâ€™s thrilling to look up from the console and realize youâ€™re surrounded by a star-studded audience,â€ť notes Cohen. â€śHowever, ultimately you canâ€™t get distracted by notoriety; it would be embarrassing to make a mistake because youâ€™re wondering if that guy who looks like Henry Kissinger is really Henry Kissinger.â€ť
"The lighting at The TIME 100 was just gorgeous. It may not be the kind of thing that the guests specifically point to, but they do feel that the room is somehow elegant and beautiful," comments RBP's Jeremy Driesen.
Philip Hirsch, head of Jazz at Lincoln Centerâ€™s house lighting department, acted as UVLDâ€™s production electrician for the gala. Equipment was provided by 4 Wall Entertainment. Karen McGetrick was the producer for RBP. Peter Emminger of Yellow Light Live was the technical director.