Executive Q&A: Lights, Camera, Action

Executive Q&A
(Image credit: Future)

SCN: How long have you been with Brightline, and what are your responsibilities?

Kathy Katz: As a founding partner, I’ve been on the Brightline since its inception in October 1997. Today, thanks to the growth and talent of our employees, I’m able to focus most of my time on company strategy and messaging.

SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?

KK: My TV and film production background helped to train me for a tireless approach to accomplishing goals. One example: As a young commercial producer with damaged reels of film from a leak in the camera's video assist, I walked from post house to post house in a New York City snowstorm. Each time I was told the film was ruined. Late at night, I arrived at my last option—an edit suite with a DaVinci color corrector.

Providing consistent lighting within conference rooms and remote videoconferences creates virtual equality, where all participants feel valued and engaged.

Hope manifested as the team rebuilt the images pixel by pixel. While they couldn’t rebuild the commercial in full color, they were able to provide “sepia-toned” images that I used to build the commercial for Cadillac. The ad won first place at the local Addy Awards. The judges said that their decision was based on the “creativity and appropriateness of the sepia-toned imagery choice.” Lesson learned. Don’t give up. Find the right help. Realize that mistakes can lead to innovative solutions.

Also, after traveling the world for decades to develop Brightline sales, I’m more enlightened as to the products the market needs and the most efficient paths needed to delivering them. 

SCN: What are some of the common lighting mistakes you find on corporate campuses?

KK: Video lighting principles don’t change, regardless of the venue location. The lighting level requirements and control to produce optimized video are consistent. All-hands training and meeting spaces, for example, need high-quality lighting for proper content retention and engagement. And basic human nature dictates that the better we look on-camera, the more comfortable we’ll be. This directly translates to increased videoconferencing adoption rates that are proportional to the quality of personal imaging.

[SCN Stocking Stuffer: Brightline ZELo]

Professional lighting provides higher color rendering for truer, richer color. Adequate light levels enhance video clarity. Fortunately, good lighting comes in many shapes and sizes, from products that suspend from a grid, to those that recess in a ceiling, to those that mount on a desktop or light stand.

Providing consistent lighting within conference rooms and remote videoconferences creates virtual equality, where all participants feel valued and engaged. Many of today’s lighting products provide variable color temperature, so lighting can be adjusted as environments change due to ambient and outdoor light shifts. 

SCN: How can companies proactively help improve the appearance of remote or at-home workers during videoconferences?

KK: Providing a technology budget to remote workers is gaining popularity. Most remote workers need a monitor, camera, and microphone/headsets (or an all-inclusive video bar), video lighting, an ergonomic chair, desk, and either a physical backdrop or virtual background. Blinds to control daylight entering a room are also advisable. While most companies don’t mandate specific technology within the home AV sphere, doing so could contribute to a consistent company identity that extends to remote workers. 

SCN: Why is LED technology the best choice for corporate video lighting?

KK: Currently LED technology is the safest, most efficient, and best-performing light source available for video. With recent developments, video lighting can now effectively be PoE-controlled, which enhances efficiencies and simplifies installations. 

SCN: What are the short and long-term goals for your company?

KK: Over the last two years, Brightline has focused development on remote desktop lighting (ZELo) and our control app (Brightline Smart), and will continue to respond to its clients’ needs with innovative solutions. Our next product release, the cMe3, addresses the increased need for high-performance, low-profile, huddle room lighting. With the new hybrid work model, the ability to be spontaneous across video through small meeting spaces has become critical to collaboration.

SCN: Where do you see the Pro AV industry heading?

KK: A few years back, everyone was correctly talking sports growth and gaming for the Pro AV industry.

[Proper Lighting Absolutely Matters During Meetings, Videoconferencing and More]

Recently, we’ve experienced exciting developments in the medical and medical home care arenas, where AV technology enables safer environments for independent rehabilitative living. AV will continue to play a critical role in the development of effective AI technologies for everything from entertainment to health care. For Brightline, the advancements in areas of light therapy for Alzheimer’s, SAD, and cell regeneration are vastly rewarding.

More and more services are now being conducted virtually, from medical appointments to job interviews. Each industry currently adopting video is realizing the necessity of investment in Pro AV technology. As to the project facilitation side of the AV business, we anticipate more involvement in software-based specification and design boards.

SCN: What new initiatives are we likely to see from your company?

KK: Brightline recently expanded its own videoconferencing capabilities and streamlined its communications to offer a stronger and more consistent video training program to its partners.

SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer?

KK: If system contractors remember to embrace the “lights, camera, action” adage versus making the common mistake of assuming adequate light is in place, they can enhance the performance of every component in the integrated AV package (and the final video). They will also improve the clients’ adoption rate, while increasing their profitability on every AV project. In addition to hardware and software lighting solutions, Brightline provides lighting direction and commissioning services, both virtually and on site.



Mark J. Pescatore
Content Director

Mark J. Pescatore, Ph.D., is the content director of Systems Contractor News. He has been writing about Pro AV industry for more than 25 years. Previously, he spent more than eight years as the editor of Government Video magazine. During his career, he's produced and hosted two podcasts focused on the professional video marketplace, taught more than a dozen college communication courses, co-authored the book Working with HDV, and co-edited two editions of The Guide to Digital Television.