Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) rubbed elbows with TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in lighting the TIME 100 gala for the high-profile movers and shakers at Time Warner Center‘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 “influence” — were Elizabeth Edwards, “Ugly Betty” start America Ferrera, Virgin founder Richard Branson, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, Harvard University‘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 at hand without being distracted by hundreds of media handlers and the major star power of the event‘s honorees. “You have to treat the gala like any other important job and let the high-profile aspect take care of itself,” he observes.
UVLD lit several different areas beginning with the guests‘ arrival in the lobby and positioning by an 80-foot 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 evening‘s after-party in the Allen Room‘s three-story atrium, Cangemi took advantage of the venue‘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 guests‘ 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 N‘Dour.
“It‘s thrilling to look up from the console and realize you‘re surrounded by a star-studded audience,” notes Cohen. “However, ultimately you can‘t get distracted by notoriety; it would be embarrassing to make a mistake because you‘re wondering if that guy who looks like Henry Kissinger is really Henry Kissinger.”
“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 Center‘s house lighting department, acted as UVLD‘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.
Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) creates lighting designs for corporate theater, live entertainment, themed environments, trade shows and special events. UVLD is a partnership of 10 designers working in all aspects of lighting design; their work has been seen on stages and screens nationwide and around the world. Clients include IBM, Mitsubishi, Honda, Kia, Mercedes, Volvo, Volkswagen, John Deere, Microsoft, Cartier, Victoria‘s Secret, FedEx, Avon and Audi.