|Born||July 12, 1928|
Brooklyn, New York
|Died||October 1, 2013 85) (aged|
|Known for||Lighting designer and consultant, television lighting|
Imero (Immie) Fiorentino (July 12, 1928 – October 1, 2013) was an American lighting designer, considered one of the most respected pioneers and leaders in the American entertainment industry.Beginning his career as a lighting designer in the Golden Age of Television, he designed productions for such celebrated series as Omnibus , U.S. Steel Hour , Pulitzer Prize Playhouse and Kraft Television Theatre . Fiorentino's expertise was often called upon by industry professionals throughout the world to consult on the planning and development of major productions, exhibits, museums and architectural projects; from the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention and numerous United States presidential election debates, major concert tours and television specials to the environmental lighting for Epcot’s World Showcase at Walt Disney World. His consulting work on major corporate events with clients included: Anheuser-Busch, Michelin, Electrolux, American Express and Xerox.
A theatre lighting designer works with the director, choreographer, set designer, costume designer, and sound designer to create the lighting, atmosphere, and time of day for the production in response to the text, while keeping in mind issues of visibility, safety, and cost. The LD also works closely with the stage manager or show control programming, if show control systems are used in that production. Outside stage lighting, the job of a Lighting Designer can be much more diverse and they can be found working on rock and pop tours, corporate launches, art installation and on massive celebration spectaculars, for example the Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies.
The first Golden Age of Television is the era of live television production in the United States, roughly from the late 1940s through the late 1950s. According to The Television Industry: A Historical Dictionary, "the Golden Age opened with Kraft Television Theatre on May 7, 1947, and ended with the last live show in the Playhouse 90 series in 1957;" the Golden Age is universally recognized to have ended by 1960, as the television audience and programming had shifted to less critically acclaimed fare, almost all of it taped or filmed.
The Pulitzer Prize Playhouse is an American television anthology drama series which offered adaptations of Pulitzer Prize winning plays, stories and novels. The distinguished journalist Elmer Davis was the host and narrator of this 1950-52 ABC series.
Fiorentino was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Sicilian parents Margaret Viola (a doll dress maker who later worked for a real estate agency) and Dominick Fiorentino (an artist who painted the faces on the Dy-Dee Dolls), who met in New York. As a young boy, he enjoyed trips to Radio City Music Hall with his uncle as he became more and more fascinated with theatre, especially lighting and set design. He turned to books to learn everything he could on the art. In junior high school and later at Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, he joined the stage squad and did the lighting and set design for plays. In high school he was encouraged by a wonderful teacher, Florence Druss, who understood immediately his aptitude for lighting design and encouraged him to pursue it as a career and to go on to college. In his junior year, his life’s plan was mapped out for him and he was accepted to Carnegie Tech, now Carnegie Mellon University. One year before graduating, there was a horrible accident and he lost one eye. He knew his great plans were in shambles because without depth perception, he thought it would be impossible to design lighting. However, his teacher and mentor came to the hospital and told him that no one would know he only had one eye, and he “would still be the best lighting designer ever.” The teacher saw the course the young man needed to be on, and convinced him to continue with his plans. With great sacrifice from his family, Fiorentino attended Carnegie Tech majoring in theatre.
Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, with an estimated 2,648,771 residents in 2017. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has been coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana.
Betsy Wetsy was a "drink-and-wet" doll originally issued by the Ideal Toy Company of New York in 1934. It was one of the most popular dolls of its kind in the Post–World War II baby boom era.
After graduation, his plans to teach and design at Indiana State University the following fall were circumvented by the loss of his father and he undertook the new role as breadwinner for his family. He made the rounds at NBC, DuMont and ABC looking for immediate employment. When interviewed for a position with ABC, Fiorentino admitted he knew nothing about television lighting to which the interviewer replied, “So what? Nobody does.” Television was a new medium in 1950 and everything was a learning curve. Fiorentino recalls, “The man called back later and said, ‘I can hire you as a lighting director for television.’ I said, ‘Who's going to teach me?’ He said, ‘Nobody's going to teach you.’ I said, ‘Well, how will I know if it's right?’ He said, ‘If it looks good, remember how you did it.’ I started the next day.”
Indiana State University (ISU) is a public university in Terre Haute, Indiana. It was founded in 1865 and offers over 100 undergraduate majors and more than 75 graduate and professional programs. Indiana State is classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Doctoral/Research University.
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.
The DuMont Television Network was one of the world's pioneer commercial television networks, rivalling NBC and CBS for the distinction of being first overall in the United States. It was owned by DuMont Laboratories, a television equipment and set manufacturer, and began operation on August 15, 1946.
Fiorentino’s lighting career began during the “Golden Age” of television, when his TV credits included Omnibus, U.S. Steel Hour, The Voice of Firestone, Pulitzer Prize Playhouse, and the Bolshoi Ballet’s first televised appearance in the U.S.Broadcasts were still in black and white. There was no videotape or retakes. Everything was done “live.” Early television images required an intense amount of light in order for transmission of an image to appear on the screen and often employed banks of fluorescent lights. Coming from a theatre background, however, Fiorentino stayed away from the fluorescents and selected lighting instruments that would give a more modeled effect. Word got around quickly that his technique was artistic and directors began requesting his services. Fiorentino worked with such directors in those early years of television as Sidney Lumet, John Frankenheimer, Charles Dubin and Alex Segal. Lighting directors that worked on those early television programs invented lighting techniques as they went. For ten years Fiorentino worked as an ABC lighting designer as one of a small circle of lighting pioneers at other networks including Bob Barry and Greg Harney.
The Bolshoi Ballet is an internationally renowned classical ballet company, based at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia. Founded in 1776, the Bolshoi is among the world's oldest ballet companies. It only achieved worldwide acclaim, however, in the early 20th century when Moscow became the capital of Soviet Russia. Along with the Mariinsky Ballet in Saint Petersburg, the Bolshoi is recognised as one of the foremost ballet companies in the world.
Videotape is magnetic tape used for storing video and usually sound in addition. Information stored can be in the form of either an analog signal or digital signal. Videotape is used in both video tape recorders (VTRs) or, more commonly, videocassette recorders (VCRs) and camcorders. Videotapes are also used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram.
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum, in a one-to-many model. Broadcasting began with AM radio, which came into popular use around 1920 with the spread of vacuum tube radio transmitters and receivers. Before this, all forms of electronic communication were one-to-one, with the message intended for a single recipient. The term broadcasting evolved from its use as the agricultural method of sowing seeds in a field by casting them broadly about. It was later adopted for describing the widespread distribution of information by printed materials or by telegraph. Examples applying it to "one-to-many" radio transmissions of an individual station to multiple listeners appeared as early as 1898.
In 1960 Immie left ABC to form Imero Fiorentino Associates (IFA.) As the television industry expanded, Fiorentino foresaw the need of independent production companies producing much of the networks' content and their need for experienced lighting designers. Before long IFA became the go-to company for freelance lighting designers. Lighting designers from various networks came to work at IFA such as Fred McKinnon, George Reisenberger, Ken Palius, Leard Davis, William Knight, William Klages, Greg Brunton, Carl Vitelli, Richard Weiss, Carl Gibson, Stig Edgren, Tony DiGirolamo, Alan Adelman, Robert Dickinson, Vince Cilurzo, Jim Tetlow, Marilyn Lowey, John Conti, Jeff Calderon, and Jeff Engle. Over time the business expanded to provide both lighting and set design, production, staging and technical supervision for television and live events; everything from Broadway productions to political conventions, educational seminars to architectural lighting consultation.
William James Tetlow, is a theatre consultant, television and theatrical lighting designer based in San Diego, California. He has been the recipient of an Emmy Award, won in 1990 for Sesame Street, and two other nominations. He has been referred to as the guru of entertainment systems design for his work on over 55 ships for various brands of the Carnival Corporation cruise ship fleet.
Broadway theatre, also known simply as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.
Architectural lighting design is a field within architecture, interior design and electrical engineering that is concerned with the design of lighting systems, including natural light, electric light, or both, to serve human needs.
Fiorentino actively participated in the artistic as well as company management, leadership and direction and took great pride in helping to guide the many unique projects that came through their doors.
Fiorentino's creativity was evidenced by his participation as leader of the IFA team serving as design and lighting consultants for fourteen Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
He led the team that designed the environmental lighting for the World Showcase Pavilions at Walt Disney World's Epcot in Orlando, Florida; the exhibition lighting and staging of the famous Howard Hughes Flying Boat "Spruce Goose" aircraft in Long Beach, CA.; Neil Diamond international concert tours and television specials for which he received two Emmy Award nominations; he also lit the legendary industrial show extravaganza (the granddaddy of corporate theater), The Milliken Breakfast Show for 21 years.
The Walt Disney World Resort, also called Walt Disney World and Disney World, is an entertainment complex in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in the United States, near the cities Orlando and Kissimmee. Opened on October 1, 1971, the resort is owned and operated by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, a division of The Walt Disney Company. It was first operated by Walt Disney World Company. The property, which covers nearly 25,000 acres, only half of which has been used, comprises four theme parks, two water parks, twenty-seven themed resort hotels, nine non-Disney hotels, several golf courses, a camping resort, and other entertainment venues, including the outdoor shopping center Disney Springs.
Epcot is a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida. It is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company through its Parks, Experiences and Products division. Inspired by an unrealized concept developed by Walt Disney, the park opened on October 1, 1982, as EPCOT Center, and was the second of four theme parks built at Walt Disney World, after the Magic Kingdom. Spanning 305 acres (123 ha), more than twice the size of the Magic Kingdom park, Epcot is dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, namely technological innovation and international culture, and is often referred to as a "permanent world's fair".
Orlando is a city in the U.S. state of Florida and the county seat of Orange County. Located in Central Florida, it is the center of the Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2,509,831, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released in July 2017. These figures make it the 23rd-largest metropolitan area in the United States, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States, and the third-largest metropolitan area in Florida. As of 2015, Orlando had an estimated city-proper population of 280,257, making it the 73rd-largest city in the United States, the fourth-largest city in Florida, and the state's largest inland city.
Fiorentino was also responsible for spearheading IFA's role as designers and consultants for many large television facilities around the country. He headed the IFA team that redesigned the lighting during the 1991 renovation of Madison Square Garden and designed the WaMu Theater housed in the Garden.
Additionally, his credits include: Frank Sinatra - The Main Event, televised live from Madison Square Garden, El Cordobes: The Bullfight of the Century, transmitted live from Spain to 28 countries via satellite, the historic mass audience rock concert event, California Jam and the Broadway show, The Night That Made America Famous . He has served as consultant to every U.S. President since Dwight D. Eisenhower,and to a multitude of major political candidates in television appearances and campaigns, as well as numerous Presidential Debates. He was hired to do the television lighting the day after the first Kennedy-Nixon debate where Nixon looked awful as the bright studio lighting exaggerated his jowls and sunken eyes. He lit the first-ever pictures that were transmitted to outer space and back to Earth via “Telstar 1” in 1962. Fiorentino and William Knight were the lighting designers for the historic Barbra Streisand - A Happening in Central Park, Sept. 16, 1968.
In 1996, Caribiner International acquired IFA and Imero Fiorentino joined the global communications company as Senior Vice President. Caribiner was subsequently acquired by Jack Morton Worldwide where he continued in the same capacity. During the 2000 and 2008 political conventions, Fiorentino was the overall lighting designer for the Fox News coverage. [ citation needed ]In 2002, he entered the latest phase of his career as an independent lighting and production consultant.
Fiorentino was married to Carole Hamer from 1953 to 1963 and they had one daughter, Linda. He married Angela Linsell, an artist, in 1970. His daughter Linda, a minister, is married to Ken Crabbs. They have a son, Christian Imero Fiorentino Crabbs.
He died in New York City on October 1, 2013.
At the time of his death, Fiorentino had been working on his memoir. His wife, Angela, completed it and Let There Be Light, An Illuminating Life, was published in 2017.
David Hersey is a lighting designer who has designed the lighting for over 250 plays, musicals, operas, and ballets. His work has been seen in most corners of the globe and his awards include the Tony Award for Best Lighting Design for Evita, Cats, and Les Misérables, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for Cats, Miss Saigon, and Equus, and the 1996 Laurence Olivier Award for Lighting Design.
William Peter Charles "Willie" Williams is a show director, stage, video and lighting designer for concerts, theatre, and multimedia projects. He is best known for his groundbreaking work with the rock band U2, and is recognised as one of the leading artists in this field.
Scott Pask is an American scenic designer. He has worked primarily on stage productions in the United States, on Broadway and Off-Broadway, and in regional theatre, as well as in the United Kingdom. He won the Tony Award for his work on The Pillowman, The Coast of Utopia and The Book of Mormon.
Stanley Russell McCandless is considered to be the father of modern lighting design. He paved the way for future lighting designers by playing a role in all aspects of theatrical lighting, from the engineering of lighting instruments to consultant work, and designing realized theatrical productions.
Howell Binkley is a professional lighting designer in New York City. He received the Tony Award for Best Lighting Design in a Musical for Jersey Boys in 2006, and again in 2016 for Hamilton.
Kevin Adams is an American theatrical lighting designer. He has earned four Tony Awards for lighting design.
Luc Lafortune is a Canadian lighting designer for the entertainment industry as well as one of the original designers of the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil.
The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) is a membership organization which aims to advance the skills and knowledge of theatre, entertainment and performing arts professionals involved in the areas of design, production and technology, and to generally promote their interests. To this end, the USITT mounts conferences and exhibitions, promulgates awards and publications, and supports research. USITT is a non-profit organization which has its headquarters in Syracuse, New York.
Roger Morgan is a pioneer in the world of theatre design consulting. He became interested in theatre architecture while a student at Carnegie Mellon University, and worked as an assistant to the scenic designer Jo Mielziner who became the primary influence on his career. He is the Tony Award-winning lighting designer of over 200 plays on and off Broadway and in resident theatres. He founded Sachs Morgan Studio in 1976 to provide comprehensive theatre planning and design services to the performing arts community.
Richard Pilbrow is an internationally renowned stage lighting designer, author, theatre design consultant, and theatrical producer, film producer and television producer. He was the first British lighting designer to light a Broadway musical on the Broadway stage with the musical Zorba.
Rick Fisher is an American lighting designer, known for his work with Stephen Daldry on Billy Elliot the Musical and An Inspector Calls. He is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and attended Dickinson College, but has been based in the UK for the last 30 years.
Leland H. "Lee" Watson (1926 – December 8, 1989)7 was a Broadway and television lighting designer and theatre educator.5 His 1990 bio states that he worked "extensively in nearly all fields of lighting design."6
George Charles Izenour, MPhys, AIEEE was an author, educator, designer and leading innovator in the field of theatrical design and technology. Best known for creating one of the first electronic theatre lighting dimming system, over the course of his career he invented and developed multiple technologies at the core of modern theatrical productions.
Kevin Dreyer is an American lighting designer of dance, theatre, opera and film, Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Notre Dame and resident Lighting Designer for the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival. Dreyer is also a dance lighting reconstructor for the works of Gerald Arpino, Moses Pendleton and Kurt Jooss.
Paul Gregory is an American lighting designer. He is the president and founder of Focus Lighting, a New York City-based architectural lighting design firm.
Robert Dickinson is a television lighting designer. His career, spanning decades, has focussed on awards shows, music shows, game shows, talk shows, and special events, which make up his over 1500 on screen television credits. In 1990 Dickinson founded Full Flood, Inc., a consortium of lighting designers and directors of photography for the multi-camera television industry. Dickinson has been involved with many high-profile shows, including the Academy Awards, multiple Super Bowl Halftime Shows, multiple Olympic Opening Ceremonies, the 2010 Shanghai Expo, among others.
Live Design is a monthly digital trade magazine, owned by Penton, that covers the latest projects and gear in live entertainment, including theatre, film, concerts, opera, ballet, architainment, and more. It originated as Lighting Dimensions, which combined with Theatre Crafts. Until December 2013, it was a print magazine, but has since converted to a free app with monthly issues for Apple and Android devices. Live Design is geared towards aspiring and established designers in the disciplines of lighting, audio, projection, and scenery. The magazine also manages its own website. Live Design is affiliated with the LDI trade show, and hosts the Live Design Master Classes and Envision Symposium.
Wendall Keehn Harrington is an American theatrical projection designer and head of projection design at Yale School of Drama, sometimes referred to as 'The Queen of Projections’. She has been considered the nation's leading projection designer for more than three decades.
Daniel Flannery is an American artist, creative producer, theatre director, scenographer, film/television director, director of photography and lighting designer.