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EP01 – Understanding Production Lighting Design w/ Richard Dunn

In The Production Channel’s first episode, Stephen Bowles of Shoflo and Clem Harrod of CLEMCO.AV, shine the spotlight on lighting design with industry expert, Richard Dunn. Also known to the world as viral video sensation The Lonely Airport Guy, Richard explains how his self-proclaimed “obnoxious dreamer, glass half full” personality helped catapult himself from a college concert lighting technician to designing a diverse portfolio of live events in the U.S. and abroad.

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Richard Dunn is a Canada native, and he always had the desire to work for The Walt Disney Company. Through an unfortunate misunderstanding, he didn’t land his Disney dream job initially, but he turned a negative into a positive and got the chance to meet with the Tech Department supervisor at the Magic Kingdom. “I literally had nothing to lose and said, ‘I’m going to put myself out there.’ That, in a nutshell, is how I ended up as a lighting design professional.” Richard tells Stephen and Clem, “There’s basically three Cs in life that dictate everything–who you are, what you do, and where you’re going.” In this podcast, Richard expands on the three Cs, which are circumstances, choices, consequences. He states, “You only have control over one of those things, and that’s your choices.”

Light design is a very tangible job – “You walk in, you see it, the haze is going, the lights are going, and you can see what I’ve done. You can absorb it.” Richard eventually moved on as a freelance lighting designer, where he creates what a producer or a production company sold to the client, trying to fit everything in the room in a finite amount of time and within a specific budget. When asked about being overwhelmed and coping with those moments where you think “Is this the time we don’t make it?”, often the crew bonds together to solve the challenges, the show goes off without a hitch, and the client is thrilled. He says, “That’s the drug that keeps me coming back.”

Listen in as Stephen, Clem and Richard shed some light on the triumphs of work/life balance, the power of visualization during times of stress, and creatively seizing the day as a lighting designer.