Showlight 2017 Speaker Info –
Master List

Speaker Name:
Al Gurdon
Title of Paper: Grease Live in L.A. – Combining All The Disciplines
Outline of Paper:
Acclaimed by critics, and winner of four Prime Time Emmy Awards, Grease Live! was a genre-busting three-hour production merging the separate disciplines of filmed drama, theatre and live entertainment, with production numbers that, in the words of one reviewer, were ‘beautifully devised and astonishingly delivered’. Lighting Designer, Al Gurdon, explains his methodology.
Outline of Speaker:
Founder and Creative Director of Incandescent Design, Al Gurdon is the recipient of numerous international lighting awards including three Prime Time Emmys for Outstanding Lighting Design in the past four years, for productions as diverse as the Super Bowl Half Time Show, the Sochi Olympics, and Grease Live. With a background in film and photography, his work is noted for its ability to bring photographic texture and depth, even to stadium scale productions.

Speaker Name:
Aldo Visentin
Title of Paper:
Maestro Bocelli: Different in Light
Outline of Paper:
Concentrating on the specific case of Maestro Andrea Bocelli, Aldo will speak about the interactions between show design and the artist, and the complete responsibility the LD takes for the performer’s image, especially when that performer is blind. He will explore how design approaches vary on tour across special and unique venues worldwide, in a creative job where the only consistency is non-consistency.
Outline of Speaker:
Moved by an ‘instinctive’ passion while student in 1986, Aldo started to work as lighting operator in live music & disco clubs in town. From ’95 to 2000 his job moved abroad especially in London where he gathered his most important experiences in live touring. From 2000 to 2003 he was product and educational manager for Martin Professional Italy, since when he has produced the show-design for major Italian singers including Andrea Bocelli.

Speaker Name:
Amy Mae Smith
Title of Paper:
Sweeney Todd – A Site Specific Experience
Outline of Paper:
A case study of the site specific version of Sweeney Todd the Musical first performed at Harrington’s Pie and Mash shop in Tooting, London. Amy will tell of the challenges and solutions to working in a venue with limited power, height and equipment, and the experience of transferring to Shaftesbury Avenue and New York.
Outline of Speaker:
Amy works as a lighting designer across theatre, dance, site specific and devised performance. She trained at RADA on the postgraduate Stage Electrics and Lighting Design course. Prior to this she gained a degree at the University of Winchester for Stage Management and Performing Arts. She won the 2015 Knight of Illumination Award in the Musicals catergory for Sweeney Todd.

Speaker Name:
Andreas Huber
Title of Paper:
Next Generation Entertainment Light Source Technology
Outline of Paper:
LED light sources deliver a very good performance/cost ratio, but are strongly limited in their luminance, making them preferable for wash and short throw distance applications. Recent developments overcome these limits by using laser-phosphor sources which deliver luminance comparable to discharge lamps, but at higher initial cost. Due to their long life time they yield an attractive TCO in conjunction with unique capabilities such as dimming, fast modulation, and instant-on features.
Outline of Speaker:
Andreas Huber has specialized in several applications in professional lighting fields for more than 25 years. He is a pioneer in high lumen output light sources for discharge lamps as well as novel systems in solid state lighting for entertainment and projection applications. He has spent over two years exploring a revival of laser technology in the entertainment arena and is now focusing on its use in the next generation high end spot lights.

Speaker Name:
Colin Ball
Title of Paper:
Westminster Hall: Can you light history with invisible fittings?
Outline of paper:
Westminster Hall is the most important secular medieval space in Europe which needs to be lit in a manner suitable for international events such as addresses to the Houses of Parliament and Lying in State of Royalty. Colin will show a lighting system that delivers the latest in studio technologies that disappears when you switch it off.
Outline of speaker:
Colin leads the London office of BDP’s award-winning lighting team. From an education in architecture, Colin has worked as a lighting designer for 20 years, joining BDP in 2011.
Colin has developed a series of lectures that look at how light is represented from historical, religious and psychological viewpoints throughout the world. An organiser of a London Light and Film Festival, Colin also delivers talks on parallels of lighting between films, theatre and architecture.

Speaker Name:
David Duffy
Title of Paper:
Playing with the edge of the light: Bringing puppetry to life at Little Angel Theatre
Outline of Paper:
A celebration of the process of lighting puppets and creating rich and complex visual theatre in Little Angel’s intimate space. David will take you through some of the challenges he’s solved with a homemade saucepan shadow-light and a window-cleaner’s ladder. Expect black velvet hoods, excerpts from Petrushka and Dogs Don’t Do Ballet. And, of course, some puppets!
Outline of Speaker:
David’s background in lighting dance and theatre for young people fed into his work on over 30 productions at Little Angel Theatre over the last ten years. There is barely a fringe venue, pub theatre, receiving house, scout hall, nursery, school dining hall or opera house his work hasn’t appeared in, and he once covertly paid a reputable lighting hire company a crate of biscuits to wire a possibly not entirely legal UK single phase to Danish three phase adaptor.

Speaker Name:
Declan Randall
Title of Paper:
“A Rose Window By Any Other Name…”
Outline of Paper:
Gothic arches, stained glass windows and tons of nuns with bad habits – couple that with more than 130 moving lights, 32 layers of Catalyst media, 54 fly bars of scenery, moving trucks and a revolve. What could possibly go wrong…? The tale of the production design for SISTER ACT in South Africa.
Outline of Speaker:
Saving his folks from having to support a starving and unemployed actor, Declan decided to study entertainment technology instead, and from the first lighting class has not looked back. With more than 400 designs seen in countries all over the world, 9 nominations and 3 wins of awards for Best Lighting Design, and more than 21 years of professional design practice, Declan has worked in theatre, opera, dance, musicals, film, TV and architecture. Declan currently is a lighting, set and projection designer.

Speaker Name:
Durham Marenghi
Title of Paper:
The Greatest Busk on Earth
Outline of Paper:
Durham describes the process of creating the lighting for the Rio Olympics Closing Ceremony, broadcast to over 3 billion viewers, without the benefit of scenery, performers or a dress rehearsal. A storm on the night also grounded TV helicopters and blew dimmer room walls off the roof of the stadium.
Outline of Speaker:
Durham began his lighting career at the Preston Playhouse which sported twelve Furse spotlights and ten Junior 8 wirewound dimmers which were manipulated by lengths of wood, with notches cut to miss certain sliders and push others to create the lighting states. The theatre was donated a ten-way two-preset electronic Thorn control; unfortunately the masters did not work so the same principle was applied but with miniature balsa versions of the ‘scene sticks’!

Speaker Name:
Frieder Weiss
Title of Paper:
Live Demonstration of an Interactive Video Projection System
Outline of Paper:
Kalypso, a projection system based on infrared camera tracking, has been successfully used in artistic and commercial projects over the world. Frieder Weiss, developer of the system, will demonstrate the system live and feature a number of key projects he has worked on like King Kong Live on Stage and Chunky Move’s Mortal Engine. He will give entertaining insights in the challenges and adventures which came along.
Outline of Speaker:
Frieder Weiss is a Berlin-based video and installation artist and expert for realtime computing and interactive computer systems in performance art. His awarded realtime projection work uses video as a live medium and lighting tool, tightly integrated with set design and choreography.
Frieder has applied his groundbreaking method in various fields between dance, music video ,TV productions, new circus acrobatics, corporate event and opera.

Speaker Name:

Henk van der Geest
Title of Paper:
Selecting LED for museum lighting
Outline of Paper:
Research on selecting LED for museums delivered a highly technical inventory of specifications, too hard to understand by decisionmakers without technical knowledge and their main focus on energy-savings. Manufacturers produce fixtures with undesireable glare and inferior optical and beamshaping possibilities in the race for pushing lumens. High-end art needs quality lighting. A report from practice.
Outline of Speaker:
Henk van der Geest matured as a lighting designer in the theatre, found exhibition lighting on his path as well as architectural lighting in a wider sense. Without leaving his roots in the theatre, more conceptual work and research in theatrical, architectural and cultural environment entered his vocubalary, while the ban on the incandescents thought him even more about the human relation to light. Some 10 years ago he founded iLo, the Dutch institute of lighting design.

Speaker Name:
Isabel Nielen
Title of Paper:
Laser explorations, extension of the light designer toolkit?
Outline of Paper:
About the implementation of laser light on a not spectacular way. Used for the light design of a concert in an exceptional and inaccessible nature park, no actors were involved only light and landscape. A complete mix of high tech and low tech fixtures and solutions with beautiful poetic outcome.
Outline of Speaker:
From a background in fine arts Isabel Nielen worked for many years as a lighting designer for theatre, dance and opera on inside and outdoor stages, with location theatre as her specialty. Since 2007, her work field extended further to lighting for architecture, museums and public spaces. Last winter her laser-light installation Ana Morphè was selected for the Amsterdam Light Festival by an international jury.

Speaker Name:
James Simpson
Title of Paper:
New Realities in Visualisation at the Royal Opera House
Outline of Paper:
James will be talking about the new technology that is supporting the pre-visualisation process at the ROH. Virtual and Augmented reality are two of many exciting new technologies and processes that will be revolutionising the pre-production process and James hopes to demonstrate to you why it is all so exciting.
Outline of Speaker:
Lighting designer, visualiser, animator, content creator, futurist, technology lover and closet geek, James Simpson, started his career as a lampy in regional theatres before becoming a lighting designer at architectural consultancy, BDP, and then finding his dream job at the ROH as the lighting visualiser. Since completing his Masters in 3D CGI he has a vision for how visualisation (as used in the film and VFX industry) could revolutionise the entertainment industry.

Speaker Name: Kelli Zezulka
Title of Paper:
The Language of Light
Outline of Paper:
Light is an intangible substance that can be difficult to describe. How do lighting designers develop the vocabulary to describe and discuss this ephemeral medium? How do they and their collaborators use language, and how can multiple people with varying reference points come to a consensus on what words mean within the context of a particular production?
Outline of Speaker:
Kelli Zezulka is a PhD researcher in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds in the UK, where she is researching agency within creative teams through the use of language. She is a non-executive director of the Association of Lighting Designers and is editor of its bi-monthly magazine, Focus.

Speaker Name:
Jeff Ravitz
Title of Paper:
Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band: Concert Tour Or Touring TV Special?
Outline of Paper:
The lighting for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s concerts came face-to-face with the worlds of television and cinema when I-Mag video screens were added to the mix in 1999. Suddenly, Bruce was reviewing his nightly shows with a completely new set of standards, and the lighting design became due for an overhaul and radical transformation.
Outline of Speaker:
Jeff Ravitz is an LA-based lighting designer specializing in live entertainment being captured for television, film and webcasts. He has been honoured with a Primetime Emmy Award and nine regional Emmys for a range of programmes that includes concerts, opera, comedy, fashion, symphonies, awards shows, interviews and theatrical presentations. He has been the lighting designer for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for 33 years.

Speaker Name:
Robin Barton
Title of Paper:
That’s Great But Who Will Make It – building an ‘inspired’ idea.
Outline of Paper:
We expect to turn up, turn on and for everything to work together. What happens when you expect that of, what is essentially, a prototype created quickly and to a budget? Make sure you get the most from these creations and smooth the path from concept to delivery.
Outline of Speaker:
Robin Barton has a broad base of experience and is a self-confessed geek. Having worked around the world delivering unusual projects of many kinds – from tiny to enormous – he helps creative and technical teams to deliver their ideas.

Speaker Name:
Luc Peumans
Title of Paper:  
The Importance of Collaboration
Outline of Paper:
The ‘Importance of Collaboration’ will look at the creation of a complete visual show / production environment for the ‘14-18 Musical Spectacular’. It will examine the essence of ‘telling the story’, both with lighting and other mixed media vehicles like moving scenery and projection – a bespoke one off production in a site specific venue. With the core values of performance at the heart of the audience experience, it examines achieving this goal utilizing a combination of elements, fundamental teamwork and inter-disciplinary visual technologies.
Outline of Speaker: 
Luc Peumans is based in Belgium and works internationally as a show designer, imagineer and consultant. He is the founder and creative director of renowned Genk based design practice Painting with Light, and works alongside a highly talented and skilled team. Luc is known for his creativity, flair and innovative approach to all shows and installations, and his work embraces multiple genres, from theatre to television, from concerts, touring and music shows to brand activations, public art and built environments

Speaker Name:
Marco Filibeck
Title of Paper:
In Another Light
Outline of Paper:
From Zeffirelli to Strehelr to La Fura dels Baus, Marco will take us through the evolution of the language of the light in opera.
Outline of Speaker:
Marco Filibeck began his career working on rock concerts. After training as a theatre technician at the Teatro Comunale, Bologna, he went on to work for La Scala, Milan, and in 1996 became their lighting designer. He did shows at major theatres of the world including the Royal Opera House, London. Marco has worked with directors including Franco Zeffirelli, Jürgen Flimm, Damiano Michieletto and La Fura dels Baus. He teaches lighting design at the Brera Academy of Milan and the Politecnico University of Milan.

Speaker Name:
Markus Zeiler
Title of Paper:
ARRI Lighting: The Next Century
Outline of Paper:
There’s no recipe for how to survive a century within the lighting industry. Even knowing ARRI’s history does not help to predict the future in the midst of major technological shifts like the transition towards LED. Nevertheless, insights about historic product developments, initial predictions and major hurdles will be shared.
Outline of Speaker:
Markus Zeiler heads the Business Unit Lighting at ARRI. His task has been to create the right environment for his team to facilitate the volume transition from analogue lighting into the digital world. With a university degree in physics, he initially joined the lighting industry as an LED development engineer. Over the last two decades he has experienced transitions towards LED in the automotive, LCD backlighting, architectural and film/TV fields.

Speaker Name:
Martin Kempton
Title of Paper:
Lighting The Television Situation Comedy
Outline of Paper:
This curious hybrid of theatre and television is still alive and well on British TV. Multicamera sitcoms are recorded in two or three hours in front of a studio audience, using five cameras and four sound booms. Achieving high production values involves combining traditional film, theatre and TV lighting techniques.
Outline of Speaker:
Martin Kempton has been a TV lighting director for 26 years. In that time he has lit a wide range of shows from drama through comedy to entertainment. He has also lit over 100 theatre productions in and around his home town – this experience has often helped him in his TV work. Martin has received a BAFTA Cymru, an RTS award with 5 further nominations, and 6 Knight of Illumination nominations – several for lighting sitcoms.

Speaker Name:
Mikki Kunttu
Title of Paper:
Swan Lake at Royal Danish Ballet
Outline of Paper:
Mikki will present a case study of the design process of the Swan Lake ballet for the Royal Danish Ballet. Taking in the design process for lighting, video and sets, he will deliver a case study of programming and rehearsing the production.
Outline of Speaker:
Mikki has worked in the business for over 25 years, during as lighting, set and screen content designer for opera, ballet, concerts, television and arts.

Speaker Name:
Paul Russell
Title of Paper:
“How far that little candle throws its beams!” (Merchant of Venice, Act V. Sc 1)
Outline of Paper:
How to light theatre productions in the 21st century with only candles. The Sam Wanamaker Theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe in London is the only purpose built candlelit theatre operating in the world today. Learn about the trials and tribulations of using wax and tapers in a wooden venue.
Outline of Speaker:
Paul is a production/project manager and lighting designer. For the past 20 years he worked in the UK and abroad. From 2004 – 2007 he was project manager on the rebuilding of The Young Vic Theatre in London. From 2012 – 2014 he project managed the building of The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe, which included the research and implementation of candles as the main form of illumination in the wooden venue.

Speaker Name:
Phil Méheux BSC
Title of Paper:
Film Lighting for Night Exteriors
Outline of Paper:
Phil’s paper will demonstrate the differences and issues between lighting for live show events and lighting exteriors or studio interiors for cinematography to give the illusion of reality, particularly in relation to large scale actions scenes at night.
Outline of Speaker:
Phil Méheux BSC is an award-winning cinematographer with a long career including more that 40 feature films. He is best known for two seminal James Bond films – Goldeneye and Casino Royale – the latter winning him the British Society of Cinematographers Best Cinematography Award and a BAFTA nomination. In 2014, the American Society of Cinematographers awarded him their International Award. He is a board member and past president of the BSC.

Speaker Name:
Philip Norfolk
Title of Paper:
Photons And Why We Should Love Them!
Outline of Paper:
The Photon – the very stuff of Light. We rely on them for every picture we paint for an audience. Join the crazy ride of discovery for these elusive little things. From Epicurus to Einstein, the H bomb to Halogen, relativity, sub-atomic physics, quantum mechanics and a dustbin full of sun, all in 20 minutes!
Outline of Speaker:
Philip Norfolk has worked in the entertainment lighting industry for over 30 years. Failed followspot operator and hopeless designer, he has provided technical solutions for a wide range of clients and events. After some years at Lighting Technology in London, he has worked at Martin Professional and PRG Vari*Lite, and is now a director at Ambersphere Solutions. A keen explorer of the technology that makes our industry work, Philip also cycles, practices traditional karate, takes photographs using film, enjoys fine wine and owns an old Alfa Romeo. He drinks tea.

Speaker Name:
Rob Halliday
Title of Paper:
Warm Velvety Darkness To Spinning Dichroic Discs: Reflections On Making Tree Of Codes
Outline of Paper:
“Just occasionally, you work on a show where you come out truly buzzing – thrilled, amazed, surprised, delighted by the work not that you have done, but that you have all done together. Those shows fuel you up and keep you going. You don’t want them to ever end. Tree of Codes, at the 2015 Manchester International Festival, was one of those shows.”
The show brought together director/choreographer Wayne McGregor, composer JamieXX and visual artist Olafur Eliasson, who created a remarkable world interplaying tilting and angled mirrors and rotating dichroic circles. Working out how to use light to tie this world and the dynamics of the dancers together was a fascinating trip into the minds of remarkable arists. Lighting designer Rob Halliday will share some of the things he learnt on that trip and talk about the ‘extraordinary new ballet – fecund with human creativity’ that resulted.
Outline of Speaker:
Rob Halliday started lighting at school and then with the National Youth Theatre nearly three decades ago. He hasn’t stopped since. He lights shows. He works with other designers to re-create or program the lighting for their shows. He writes about lighting. He works to preserve old lighting equipment. And he talks about lighting, at drama schools, at the National Museum for Computing, at PLASA, at LDI, and at Showlight 2009.

Speaker Name:
Roger Simonsz
Title of Paper:
It’s my light! Yes, but it’s my lens…
Outline of Paper:
An exploration of the crucial Director / Director of Photography relationship with specific reference to the hit BBC series “Death In Paradise”. Roger Simonsz and Sue Gibson BSC brought two episodes to the screen, both experienced DoP’s, but one of whom has since begun directing. Was it lightmeters at dawn, or rosy sunsets?
Outline of Speaker:
Roger Simonsz started his career in the electrics departments of various UK theatres before going freelance as a lighting designer. Having always wanted to work in film he re-started as a camera trainee and worked his way to DoP. Eventually he returned to his first love of directing and has directed various series for various countries in various languages. He has won a Knight of Illumination Award and is very proud to be a member of the BSC.

Speaker Name:
Simon Corder
Title of Paper:
Night Safari in Singapore Revisited
Outline of Paper:
Summoned to Singapore to review his original 1994 design, Simon will describe revisiting an old and celebrated lighting design at the world’s first Night Zoo. A mixture of nostalgia, old technology, new technology, twenty years growth of a tropical forest, tigers and elephants…
Outline of Speaker:
Simon’s first job when he left school in 1978 was as a circus ring-boy. He soon became involved in fringe touring, learned lighting design ‘on the job’, moving through theatre and dance inexorably towards grand opera. He has embraced scenography and maintained his interests in light art and photography. Alongside all this, he claims to be the world expert zoo lighting designer.

The Programmers Panel
A panel of three lighting programmers will explore the changing role they fill and how they fit within the lighting structure. We will look at how this vital role varies in different genres of lighting, how we got to where we are, and where we think things will go in the future.

Stuart Porter
Stuart began his career as a Technician at the Theatre Royal Windsor after completing the ABTT Theatre Electrics course. For the past 30 years, he has worked extensively throughout the Industry, as a Lighting Designer, Associate Lighting Designer and Lighting Programmer. He is best known for working professionally in Commercial Theatre. Stuart is proud to be a Board Member of the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD).

Brad Schiller
Brad Schiller can often be found eating sushi and/or chocolate at many fine dining locations. He is also a professional automated lighting programmer, product/business manager, and author. With nearly thirty years’ industry experience in the lighting industry, he has been involved with a multitude of productions worldwide. Brad is the author of The Automated Lighting Programmer’s Handbook and is employed as a business development manager for Martin Professional.

Ross Williams
After leaving full-time employment in the West End, Ross has worked as a freelance lighting programmer and designer since 1995. Although somewhat specialising in broadcast, over this period his work has spanned theatre, concert touring, television, live events and film, and he has been fortunate enough to work alongside some of the world’s top lighting designers, lighting directors and directors of photography. He has a keen interest in the technologies used within our industry, and enjoys beta testing new products under development.

Bernie Davis (Panel Chair)
Bernie has worked as a TV Lighting Designer for thirty years now, working on a wide range of productions from concerts to national events and from drama to light entertainment. He specialises in adapting stage lighting to work for camera to provide for the current trend towards cinema broadcast of stage productions. Bernie is a past chairman of the Society of Television Lighting and Design.

Speaker Name:
Vinicio Chelli
Title of Paper:
Lights On – where the old school meets the future
Outline of Paper:
The speech will be a short walk through my experience from the end of the 70’s until now, because it is exactly in front of the door of the 80’s that the conception of lighting fixtures for theatre started to change their structure and needs. Thanks to my experience I had the chance to experiment, create and discover day by day new needs and new solutions. It is amazing how fast we run and how much everything is different now. But we must not forget that like every big change or invention it all started from a small factory and a bunch of crazy men.
Outline of Speaker:
Vinicio Cheli studied set and light designing at the Academy di Belle Arts in Florence. Between 1974 and 1989 he worked at the Maggio Musicale Florentino festival and the Piccolo Teatro of Milan, where he became the lighting assistant for Giorgio Strehler, before assuming responsibility for entire productions. Since 1995 he has lit opera productions  from Mozart to Verdi, with directors such as Werner Herzog, Franco Zefferelli, and Andrei Konschalovsky, and from venues as diverse as Paris, Prague, Muscat, Tokyo and New York. He has lectured in theatre lighting at the Nuova Accademia d’Bel le Art and at the Professional School of La Scala.