When Kanye West released his fourth solo album, “808’s and Heartbreak,” recently, Scharff Weisberg provided lighting and video support to lighting designer Jonathan Goldstein for the artist’s many media appearances, including a guest shot on “Saturday Night Live.” All of the events took place within a two-day period demonstrating Scharff Weisberg’s ability to respond quickly to venues with very different requirements.
“Kanye and I have have a good relationships with Lorne Michaels and SNL,” comments Goldstein. “For this show they were extremely accommodating, allowing us in for days to set up and prep and also allowing us to create some very unique looks for the show.”
For West’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” Scharff Weisberg provided almost 100 Lighthouse 6B High Resolution LED panels, which displayed video content from Mode Studios and Very Good Touring driven by Hippo and grandMA consoles. “Never before has ‘SNL’ changed the guest stage as much as they did for this event,” reports John Healy who served as Sales/Project Manager for the project. “It was groundbreaking and challenging. But teams from ‘SNL,’ Scharff Weisberg, and Video Walltronics and Design worked through every challenge thrown our way and succeeded in a huge way.”
West also turned in back-to-back appearances on a series of New York-based talk shows: “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Good Morning, America,” and BET’s “106 and Park.” For these guest shots Scharff Weisberg furnished a lighting rig to meet the specifications of designer Goldstein.
“All the shows were planned to have a very similar look,” notes Healy. “We supplied four to six 3.5K Zap Big Lites and eight six-foot LED Colorblaze fixtures for each venue which were incorporated with the house lighting system. The lights were controlled with networked grandMA consoles run by Local One board operators.”
Goldstein adds, “Programmer Sean Cagney was a huge help; he has programmed most of the Kanye stuff for me. Over the last six months he’s been able to develop a good working relationship with us, quickly delivering looks for us to review. This is critical because Kanye and I work on the fly. It's quite fun and challenging.”
For SNL, Melanie Malone is the talent coordinator, Geoff Amoral is the lighting director and Phil Hymes is the lighting designer. Terry Jackson and John Healy were Scharff Weisberg’s project managers for all of West’s 808 and Heartbreak record release appearances.
Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications, firms with extensive histories in the presentation and staging markets, recently announced a co-ownership agreement. While continuing to operate independently the two companies work together strategically to provide clients with state-of-the-art audio, video and lighting equipment and services. With a strong presence on both coasts Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications are able to deliver a large array of cost-effective services on a national level. For more information, call 212-582-2345 or visit our website at www.scharffweisberg.com. For more information on Video Applications, visit www.videoapps.com.
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