A number of recent Kanye West events required the precision lighting design of Starlight Visual's Jonathan Goldstein and the unique services and inventory offered by Scharff Weisberg. The two collaborated on projects including two high profile parties, the artist's appearance on Saturday Night live and a number of North American concerts. Highlighting the equipment package was Barco LED, and the highly powerful yet compact LittleBig 3.5, which Scharff Weisberg is among the few companies to offer.
Goldstein first turned to Scharff Weisberg to outfit Wests stellar album release party (at New World Stages in New York this past August), which played host to music industry moguls, record label executives and the press. Kanye wants things to look good, remarks Goldstein, who was excited about using the LittleBig 3.5 units for the event.
Scharff Weisberg orchestrated and supplied equipment for the entire job. When Kanye saw the LittleBigs," recalls Goldstein, "something clicked for him. Hed walked in and said 'What are those?' He loved them." The party also sported a Hippotizer, a Barco 10' x 9 iLite wall and a compliment of color blazes and VL 2500's. The lighting system was orchestrated from a grandMA lighting console.
For the next event, West's appearance on Saturday Night Live, Goldstein requested that Scharff Weisberg bring in LittleBig 3.5's yet again. According to Goldstein, it was very atypical for an "outsider" to bring lights into SNL, but Kanye was "very adamant about having them," he says. "He's a very visual person. And the way the light works with the camera lens is very cool. Scharff Weisberg has been a huge help in supplying the fixtures, hardware and software needed for these 'Kanye' events."
Goldstein adds: "The LittleBigs really looked great on TV. I had wanted them to blow the camera out. A lot of TV shows won't let me do that SNL let us do it, let us keep the lights at full percentage."
Scharff Weisberg also supplied Goldstein lighting for a Kanye-performance-clad GQ 50th anniversary party. The event was produced by JKLD but Goldstein did the lighting for the concert portion of the event. For several additional Kanye West concerts in the U.S. (i.e. Nashville, Philadelphia) and Canada (i.e. Vancouver, Winnepeg), Scharff Weisberg will be supplying the LittleBigs to bring about the look and feel that Wests shows now call for.
Goldstein concludes: In terms of service and equipment, Scharff Weisberg is the greatest company in New York. I design with Vari-Lite equipment, and Scharff Weisberg is always up on their gear.
They always have the latest on all ends audio, video and lighting." He speaks of his longstanding relationship with John Healy: "I've known John for years, and we've worked together for a long time.
They're always on top of things and the shop is so well-maintained. All of my master electricians," he says, "love prepping at Scharff Weisberg. It's like a vacation for them over there."
"The LittleBig 3.5 is the perfect size for these types of shows," comments Scharff Weisberg Lighting's Vice President, Chris McMeen." It doesn't over power the performers while providing the great beam effect of a Xenon. They also feature six scroller effects."
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