While standing in the lobby, if you were to look up, you would catch lighting director/programmer Karen Cooper of Cooper Productions in her perch opposite the main entrance. Cooper was brought in by Freeman Audio Visual to produce an excitement-inspiring display for a convention full of people who make them for a living—not too much pressure.
“I lost sleep about it,” Cooper says with a grin. “There’s a ton of pressure in this industry, but I had to get rid of that feeling of being bothered by it because I’ve got a job to do.”
In addition to performing for her peers, Cooper also had to contend with a wide-open space with skylights that constantly changed the amount of light. “First thing in the morning, on opening, the light was extremely bright. We have InfoComm’s gobo, and you wanted it to be able to be seen, so we brought in the PRG Bad Boy moving lights, which have a really great projection and are very bright. It was a little more difficult when we had all the streamers coming out at the ribbon cutting. I fully opened the zoom on the Bad Boys and took the gobo out to cover the entire area, but the difference was minimal compared to the sunlight.”
The festive vibe in the lobby presented by the lights and music is appreciated by all those who congregate there for quick meals or meetings prior to hitting the show floor or in between sessions, but the scene almost played out differently. “Originally the lighting control was going to be in the small room behind the deejay,” says Cooper. “I was going to program a few looks for the show and leave it, but I knew it would look a lot better if I was out here reacting to what was happening—if the music gets faster, let’s do this—and so on. I pitched it, and Freeman bought it.”
Despite the sleepless nights, Cooper is having a great time at this gig. “I’m just very thankful for the opportunity to be here,” she says. “This is really awesome, and I’ve had a fun time.”