You are working on the lighting programming for the trans-Atlantic transfer of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to Broadway. Are there any significant differences or challenges you've had to face in the new rig? Has technology or equipment changed significantly from when the show first opened in London to its Broadway debut?
It's always interesting to see, even in the short period of time between the original production and a Broadway debut, what progress there has been in the lighting industry. It's up to the lighting designer, Mark Henderson, to choose whether it's to our advantage to change units or to upgrade. This is, however, limited by cost implications. The only product we are using that was not available when we opened in London is the [VARI*LITE] VL2500™. These are going to replace the VL2202s™ originally used in London. Henderson, in his design for Broadway, has upgraded some of the units and changed some fixtures to ones that are more readily available in America. This presents me with the task, before arriving in Broadway, to “clone” the replacement fixtures into the existing show file to ensure that as much information as possible is updated, such as color, template, and beam, along with grouping and preset focuses, giving us a very good starting point. This, unfortunately, is a very time consuming process.
What is the best career advice you've ever been given?
To stop being a touring electrician and go freelance. This gave me the opportunity to work on loads of different projects and to start programming more shows.
What idea did you have that looked good on paper but not in reality?
Renumbering channel numbers on a plan for a new transfer and to remove all the point cues from the show file. You land up with a jumbled mess that is difficult to reference to any fixed point.
What has been your proudest moment in your career?
Being involved with the Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies in Manchester. Making a whole stadium change color live on world television is a bit of a buzz.
What inspires you in your creative goals?
A good lighting designer. Having worked with some of the best there are in the theatre industry, their power of creativity and collaboration makes you want to produce as much outstanding work as you can.