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Craft & Cocktails: Mike Berger of Innovative Intensity

Welcome to Craft & Cocktails!

Every week we get the opportunity to sit down with someone in our industry who is... quite frankly crushing it. We have convinced them to first talk a little about themselves and tell us how they got wrapped up in this crazy world of ours. Then we dive into some of their recent projects and they let us pick their brains for a while. Before they leave we will toss them some questions you have asked us online! There are no rules…. except one: BYOB.

Meet Chris Werner, our host.

Simply put: Chris is a stud. He is like the Jamie Foxx of the production sector. He works on television, movies, performances, raps — oh wait. That is the real Jamie Foxx. 😂 But actually, Chris has probably been involved in more. His global career has involved design work for live and televised entertainment, permanent and installation architecture, worldwide EXPOs and international cruise lines. You name it, he has had his fingers in it.

Meet Mike Berger, this week's guest.

Most know Mike’s career consists of almost everything you have ever seen on television. What most don’t know, however, is that off-screen he stays incredibly busy mounting massive live productions. His award-winning design for Tony Robbin's birthday is a great example of that, as is his work on Supernatural Magic. Speaking of magic, Mike agreed to show us a little behind the curtain and we weren’t going to say no.

Part One

First item on the agenda: "What are you drinking?" Next, get to know how Mike got started. He reflects on the benefits of studying lighting theatre in college and how he transitioned into lighting for television. We slipped in a quick case study of the Boston Pops Spectacular, NBD! Grab your cocktail and let's go.

For More info on USITT click here.

For More info on CMU click here.

For Mike's full previz video click here.

PDFS of the Lighting Plot for the Boston Pops Spectacular

Show Gallery for the Boston Pops Spectacular

For More info on the Boston Pops Spectacular click here.

Part Two

Case study time and this is heavy hitter stuff. ENCORE on Disney + is the musical theatre reality show we all needed and Mike is at the center of it. He breaks down lighting the show and lighting the action while making it all work for the camera. Finally we get into what you've been waiting for: America's Got Talent. Mike breaks down the show and designing an act look.

For more information about Full Flood, Inc. click here.

For Mike's full previz video click here.

PDFS of the Lighting Plot from AGT & Encore

Show Gallery from AGT & Encore

For More info on ENCORE now streaming on Disney + click here.

For More info on Americas Got Talent click here.

Part Three

Q&A with Mike Berger.

Questions from us, questions from Chris, and questions submitted by you.

For Mike's full previz video click here.

To find Color & LIght: Navigating Color Mixing in the Midst of an LED Revolution, A Handbook for Lighting Designers By: Clifton Taylor click here.

To find Concert Lighting: The Road, The Craft, The Industry By: Seth Jackson click here.

To learn more about Lighting & Sound America click here.


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