Who Lights Our World: Paul Collison
We are asking lighting experts around the world, in the “Who Lights Our World” series, some key questions about their job. Here is Paul Collison based in Sydney, Australia.
1. What lighting console do you prefer working with?
2. What do you always have with you at your console?
Notepad and Pencil. Laptop. My own comms headset.
3. Mac or PC?
Mac, though Apple seem to be a doing a great job of shedding their most ardent fans with sky high pricing and machines that lack the power of their PC counterparts…
4. What may be surprising that you don’t use?
Google. I despise Google Docs, Drive, Calendar, Mail, home etc etc. It’s the work of the DEVIL. The Devil…
5. Coffee or Tea?
Double Shot Cap, Small. Tea is for the English…
6. What is your favorite genre of entertainment to work in?
One thing I really love about being a lighting designer in this region, is our ability to genre hop. In any one year, I can light an opera, corporate events or an awards show. My main focus is multi-camera broadcast, but my preference is really just to work with good people and enjoy the journey of a good project.
7. What is your favorite color combination and why?
Anything with Congo Blue, Because any colour goes with Congo Blue…except on camera…
8. Who is an lighting designer that you admire and respect?
Bob Dickinson. He’s done it all. Has an amazing eye. Surrounds himself with great people and has built a very successful business. He’s also a gentleman.
9. What are the top 5 skill sets that a Lighting Designer/Technician should have?
Patience, Good Communication Skills, Patience, Attention to Detail, Patience.
10. What is the best type of client/boss/director?
One who gives you goal posts but doesn’t micromanage. Anyone who will work collaboratively and be open to alternate ideas and discussion.
11. Do you prefer a window or aisle seat?
Window. Never Aisle.
11. What advice do you have for those who want to become a lighting designer or a lighting technician?
Like most professions, there are no shortcuts. Watch shows (live and TV). Even if it’s not your type of performance, take an opportunity to see something new. Try new things, even if you think it might not work. Convention has its place, but rules were meant to be broken.
Be humble and listen, but take charge and be decisive when its time.
The best advice I was ever given was from my Father “You can learn just as much, if not more, from watching someone do something badly, as you can from watching someone do well.”
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