Lighting designer Colin K. Bills enhances experiences for theatergoers

Posted by Julie McClure on 6/19/12 8:32 AM  |  2 min read time

Since it's not unusual for Washington, DC-based theatrical lighting designer Colin K. Bills to completely change a lighting design at a moment’s notice, he relies on Vectorworks Spotlight software to communicate those changes right away to his electricians.

“The interface between Spotlight and Lightwright allows me to make changes to the plot and paperwork in minutes, and hand new drawings to the electricians right away, so that we can implement new design choices,” says Bills.

This prolific designer’s passion emerged during his college years, as he sought a career path that would blend his love of science with creative thought. Bills found his niche in lighting design. Today, this in-demand and award-winning designer is involved in approximately 18 shows annually, where his signature lighting style incorporates bold tones and textures.

Oedipus el Rey. Photo by Stan Barouh.

Bills credits the Vectorworks Spotlight program for helping him to create spectacular shows and communicating to electricians exactly how he wants a plot hung.

“There’s an art to this in keeping line weights and colors elegant and efficient in their presentation,” he says. “In Spotlight, the use of classes especially allows me to make sure the most important information is the most prominent, with lights and lighting positions with the thickest line weights and in the darkest colors.”

Vectorworks Spotlight also helps Bills realize his visions expeditiously.

“I’ve always loved the Duplicate Array command in Spotlight,” he says. “Because I can duplicate lighting fixtures with a great many attributes over a set distance, it’s an incredible timesaver in generating paperwork, as well as drawing a precise plot. The same holds true for the Number Instruments function. I can simply click on a series of instruments and automatically assign them channels, unit numbers, dimmers, etc. Simple shortcuts like those functions can take hours off my drawing time.”

Oedipus el Rey. Photo by Stan Barouh.

Read more about Bills, who was recently profiled in The Washington Post, here.



Topics: Production & Lighting Design, News

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