Professional Lighting & Production - Winter 2022 - Page 22

Brad Schiller on How to Build a Long & Successful Career in Entertainment Lighting

Brad Schiller on How to Build a Long & Successful Career in Entertainment Lighting

Plus , an exclusive excerpt from Living the Lighting Life : A Guide to a Career in Entertainment Lighting
PHOTO : STOKPIC FROM PIXABAY
By Michael Raine

No matter what industry we ’ re talking about , most people ’ s career aspirations centre around two things : fulfillment and sustainability . In an ideal world , we ’ d all have a career that is personally fulfilling ( you enjoy it and don ’ t dread going to work ) and professionally sustainable ( you ’ re not worried about becoming unemployed ). The lighting industry is no different , of course . But the entertainment lighting is certainly unique in countless other aspects . Like few other industries , it really requires equal parts creativity , business acumen , people skills , and technical knowhow . And so , that is why we jumped at the opportunity to speak with Brad

22 | Winter 2022
Schiller and share an excerpt from his recentlypublished book , Living the Lighting Life : A Guide to a Career in Entertainment Lighting .
Currently , in addition to being an author , Schiller works at Harman International where he is the business development manager for the Martin lighting brand . He has more than three decades of experience in the lighting industry , having begun in the ‘ 80s as a technician and programmer . Since then , he has worked on countless shows and for manufacturers like High End Systems and Vari-Lite before joining Martin Professional .
For more about Schiller and his books , go to www . bradschiller . com .
PL & P : In speaking with a lot of LDs over the years , I ’ ve met some who worked their way up and spent years as technicians in shops and on tours . But I ’ ve also met LDs , especially in theatre , who don ’ t have much technical experience and come from a more visual design background . So , what is the typical path that you see for someone aspiring to be a lighting designer in 2022 ?
Brad Schiller : I think many people look to get a lighting design degree . I ’ m not saying that ’ s necessarily the best choice for the path , because there ’ s a lot of lighting designers to compete with out there that also have similar degrees . What I typically see is , from a lighting design degree standpoint , people graduate with more of a design background and not much of the technical skills . It ’ s often said , “ They ’ ve never spun a wrench .”