Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve

February 04, 2004

For the last 20 years Dick Clark Productions has called on Design Partners’ Lighting Designer Lee Rose to light every one of his annual New Year’s shows.

This year’s show, shot at CBS Studio Center in Studio City California, had a whole new look for both the set and lighting. Production Designer Bruce Ryan and Art Director Eric Larson put together a two level set featuring five video projection screens and automated lighting effects including MAC 2000 Profile and Wash luminaires, as well as lots of back light able scenery.

To accommodate the producer´s request for an updated look, Lee decided he would need an arsenal of new lighting and video equipment. Martin Phillips, who worked as Lee’s lighting director for the video system, and whose lighting design credits include Bush and Duran Duran, had programmed automated lighting on previous New Year’s Rockin Eve and other projects. Together Lee and Martin spent several days developing concepts and gathering source material for the 21 musical performances and the remainder of the segments in the show, including the New Year’s countdown and celebration. The team worked together with assistant lighting director Jason Ip.

Workhorse MAC 2000 Profile and MAC 2000 Wash
The conventional and automated lighting package included 44 MAC 2000 Profile equipped with Lee’s own custom gobos and 30 MAC 2000 Wash units. Programming the automated lighting was lighting director Warwick Price who previously worked with Lee on the Yanni Tribute project from the Taj Mahal and Forbidden City and is the lighting designer for Luthor Vandros.  

”The MACs were really the workhorses of the show,” commented Lee. ”They provided all the stage wash and effects and were located on the circle trusses and above the video screens on both A and B stages. We also had some of them floor-positioned for camera shots. With Ray Whitton’s help out at the Martin LA office, we got together some customized gobos for the Profiles. We used them for beam-oriented areas of the set, for effects on the floor and mid-air beam effects.

”The lights held up great. The Wash has a nice flood and is almost too bright. We used them on last year’s show onto a silver keyboard and had to keep toning them down. They’re very punchy. And the Profiles just work forever.”

Additional lighting
Also used were LED fixtures for up lighting from under the Plexiglas floors on the 2 performance stages, as well as LED tubes as accent pieces on side scenery walls and along the front edge of the bar area platform. Also in the package were other automated lights used as focusable key lights for the backing performers on the performance stages, as well as fill lights for the host´s dialogue pieces. These fixtures, as well as all the conventional lighting, were programmed by lighting director Paul Lennon. Paul has worked with Lee for over 10 years and also programmed the conventional lighting on the Yanni: Tribute project and many previous New Year’s Rockin Eve shows.

Lee decided that as 90% of the lighting system was comprised of arc source fixtures, he would color balance the cameras to 4500 Kelvin. This mid-point between tungsten and the 5500 Kelvin of the automated lighting would give him the best rendition of the colors that were used in the automated lighting. Lee also knew that it would produce a very warm effect to the tungsten practical in the set including the cove lighting and the chandeliers.

Lee, who on a daily basis works the lighting for the Larry King show, is currently working on a number of other projects including the Writer’s Guild Awards and West Wing, as well as filling in for other Design Partners LDs on various other projects.

Performing on this year´s show were Jessica Simpson, Nick Lechay, Jason Mraz, 3 Doors Down, Rascal Flatts, Jagged Edge, Bow Wow, Donna Summer and Hall & Oates.

Production Credits
Producer:  Larry Klein
Director:  Barry Glazer
Exec. In Charge of Production:  Bob Bardo
Lighting Designer:  Lee Rose
Lighting Director (video):  Martin Phillips
Lighting Director (automated):  Warwick Price
Lighting Director:  Paul Lennon
Asst. Lighting Director:  Jason Ip
Production Designer:  Bruce Ryan
Art Director:  Eric Larson              


Fourth Phase Burbank: Tony Ward
VLPS, Los Angeles:  Susan Tesh
CBS Studio Center:  Rob Archer