Jim’s On the Way Home from NAB 2010

I am sitting in the Vegas airport waiting for my flight to board, thinking of all the absolutely awesome times I had over the last 72 hours.  The NAB Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center was a HIT for me – lots of people, lots of interviews, and tons of fun.  A word to the wise though – Phil’s Steakhouse at Treasure Island gave me food poisoning, so I spent Monday afternoon and night holed up in my room puking my guts out.

<start Google Sarcasm tracking>Thanks a lot for the day of vomit, Phil’s Steakhouse.</sarcasm>

Tuesday was an unbelievable day – not only did I get to interview two of my favorite lighting designers (Jefferson Waful from Umphrey’s McGee and TJ Gerckens from – well, everywhere), but I also got to talk to Jeff Ravitz, John Gates, Jon Griffin from Saddleback Church, and many other great pros.  A major thanks to Tom Stanziano and Phil Buchsbaum from SeaChanger/Ocean Thin Films for flying me out and allowing me to have outstanding conversations with outstanding people on film.  What an amazing few days.  Amazing.

Videos coming soon – stay tuned!

Looking Glass Theatre Company Extends Arabian Nights – Again!

Looking Glass Theatre Company in Chicago, IL has just extended the run of The Arabian Nights, directed by Mary Zimmerman.  This show is getting a heck of a lot of great reviews – Mary Zimmerman is a pretty amazing director, and the lighting designer for the show is TJ Gerckens, the managing director at the Contemporary Theatre Company in Columbus, OH.  If you’re in or around Chicago, you should most definitey try to get tickets for the show.  I’m a huge fan of TJ’s work – his Metamorphoses lighting with the huge pool gave some of the coolest looks my eyes have ever seen.  TJ sees light and lighting like a man born for the purpose – I always wonder what the color of the sky in his world is.

Check out some images, and go see the show!

arabian nights looking glass

arabian nights looking glass

arabian nights looking glass

Blackbird by David Harrower – My Month in Columbus


The show I just spent three weeks lighting is now open.  Contemporary American Theatre Company in Columbus, OH (affectionately known as CATCO) has produced and opened David Harrower’s Blackbird – directed by Geoff Nelson, lighting design by me (Jim Hutchison), scenic design by Jessica Secrest, costume design by Kristine Kearney, and sound Design by Nitz Brown.  Jonathon Putnam and Anna Paniccia are Ray and Una, and the chemistry is – well, go see the show if you can.  If you don’t know the script, it’s deep.

Michael Grossberg of the Columbus Dispatch wrote a review of the show, and actually mentioned me, which he never used to do when I lived in Columbus and worked around town:

What ultimately happens on Jessica Trent-Secrest’s convincingly cluttered set under Jim Hutchison’s fluorescent office lighting shouldn’t be fully revealed (in print or in after-show conversation) except to note that the questions asked and parried raise deeper questions within the characters and observers.

I had a hell of a good time lighting this show.  I don’t want to say too much about the design or the story yet – but yes, I did use some 40W fluorescent fixtures in the design of the show, hanging down at thirteen feet in all their bright fluorescent glory.

Thanks to TJ Gerckens, Keya Myers-Alkire (best ME ever), Jennifer Kramer, Whitney Thiessen, Cheryl Rouseau, and all of the CATCO staff.  You guys make a lighting designer feel right at home.

If you’re within travel distance of Columbus or you find yourself in Columbus between June 3 and June 21, 2009, get a ticket to see Blackbird.