WorldStage Lights Up SNL Anniversary

WorldStage Lights Up SNL Anniversary
  • The “Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special” celebrated four decades of a New York City institution. WorldStage, an almost equally long-lived New York institution, offered its congratulations and technical support to its long-time customer by providing U3 LED videowalls and various lighting fixtures for the red carpet event and the “SNL” studio.

A projection of the SNL logo on the Rockefeller Center.
“When ‘SNL’ began it was revolutionary, and the production pioneered some of the most sophisticated audio and lighting techniques to support a live telecast,” said WorldStage president Josh Weisberg. “The way they handled audio and the band, the way they worked with guests – it was all different from any other show. Back in early eighties, when we were called Scharff Communications, our audio rental department provided the latest digital audio gear – this was when a 24-track machine weighed 300 lbs – and the latest wireless microphones. The technology has changed but the progressive spirit of the show has not, which is wonderful.”

With a 36-year history of supporting “SNL,” “It was great to be there with them to mark their 40th anniversary,” Weisberg said. For the 60-minute “SNL 40th Red Carpet Live” show, hosted by Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Carson Daly, and Al Roker from Rockefeller Plaza, WorldStage provided two U3 3.75mm videowalls plus lighting for the host positions. WorldStage recently made a big investment in U3 display technology, purchasing more than 700 tiles for its inventory.

Gray Matter Visual was tasked with designing and coordinating the red carpet and décor lighting. “WorldStage provided us with an all-LED solution for the red carpet along with additional fixtures for decor lighting,” said designer Brendan Gray. “The project came together quickly, and Drew DeCorleto and the rest of the WorldStage team provided great support as always. Their familiarity with NBC and the venue was also an asset.”

Lighting designer Alan Adelman said WorldStage also helped with some exterior venue lighting. “We were asked to light the exterior of 30 Rockefeller Center on Friday for a set up on Saturday. WorldStage provided gear, labor, custom gobos and 200 amps of power and coordinated with NBC for access to the building across the way.”

In the “SNL” studio, WorldStage furnished Clay Paky Alpha Profile 800 ST, Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20s, Martin MAC Aura, GLP Impression X4, and Rosco Miro Cube 4c lighting fixtures for both music stages. WorldStage also supplied video for Paul McCartney’s set. Geoff Amoral and Rick McGuiness were the lighting directors.

Jake DeGroot was Gray Matter Visual’s onsite lighting director for the red carpet. At WorldStage, Tom Thayer was gaffer and Andrew Dickey best boy. J. Wiese was the onsite senior project manager. Derek Abbot was the offsite project manager.