Saw a nice show last night(Gordon Lightfoot - folksy singer and 4 piece backup) . Less than dazzled with the visuals - 6 lights with patterened gobos projected on grey curtains. Moving video, or even still images - visualize a starry night sky, a deep forest, a mountain, would have been so much nicer. So that leads to a question - how do you pitch to performers? Who do you pitch? Thanks for thoughts.
There are several ways this happens. It is possible, though difficult, to 'come up' with a new band, be lighting their club gigs, they go big, and off you go too... This is rare, but not unheard of. Chris Corruda, LD for Phish, became big this way I think.
It is not impossible to get gigs with established artists by meeting the band and hitting it off well, either socially, or somehow in context of a gig. For instance, I doubt extremely that Gordon Lightfoot was carrying any production at all... Probably he was using whatever the venue/event provided him, which was most likely 'designed' by the venue's head electrician or a local rental company. Under those cirsumstances, it's possible to meet and make a good impression on an artist, giving them reason to specify you at a later date when circumstances and budget allows. Alot of bands have little say about this though...
The single best way to score design work with established bands is to make contact with, and impress their tour manager. All of the established bands we work with now have happened because the bands Tour Manager or Road Manager ok'd it. Sometimes we come recommended by another designer already on the gig, or some other person associated (a monitor engineer, or a stage manager, or the lighting package vendor), but it seems like almost always the Tour Manager has final say.
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