Kelly Clarkson Show is wrapped in a dress
Grammy-winning Kelly Clarkson rocked the foundations and redefined daytime TV shows with her award-winning, high-impact “The Kelly Clarkson Show” (TKCS). The hour-long syndicated daytime show produced by NBCUniversal Syndication Studios is an energetic mix of talk, stories, opinions, humor and surprises involving an array of interesting guests, personalities and celebrities. And, and as you would expect from this massively successful singer-songwriter, a healthy explosion of superlative music!
The thrill and pressures of lighting up this dynamic and ever-changing environment recorded on Universal Studios in LA Scene 1, is due to Darren Langer of DCLighting, an also LA-based lighting design and direction practice specializing in in television and multi-camera. environments. Their work includes streaming shows and events, extravagant awards, talk shows, and music projects of all sizes.
Darren relied on several specific Robe products throughout Series 1 and 2 of the Kelly Clarkson Show – Pointes, BMFL Spots and BMFL Blades, PATT 2013, Spiiders and Tetra2s – to ensure that the studios and sets still had fresh air and invigorating for that. truly unique talk show format.
Each show kicks off with a ‘Kellyoke’, a catchy cover selected by fans, specially arranged to fit the 1:30 pm to 1:45 pm time slot by Music Director Jason Halbert, and delivered with Kelly Clarkson dynamic processing.
Ahead of the first series launched in 2019, Darren was interviewed by network executives along with several other lighting designer / director candidates, from whom he was selected.
He was a totally new client, so he was thrilled to secure the position based on DCLighting’s vast and rich creative portfolio of lighting music and talk show projects over the years.
“One of the challenges with this was the truly versatile nature of the lighting required,” Darren explained. It required a good balance of musical performance and expression juxtaposed with the more structured approach of a daytime talk show.
He immediately knew that the lighting design had to be ultra-adaptable, and Robe products immediately entered his thought process.
In addition to his own ideas, Darren drew inspiration from production designer James Pearce Connelly and director Joe Terry, executive producer / showrunner Alex Duda and his production team, MD Jason and the exceptionally talented house band, “My band y’all “.
Together, they all helped set the tone for the show, lively, lively and energized. “These are all great people to work with,” he says, explaining how they’ve developed fluent visual language by working closely together.
“It was the only way to produce a product with the quality and finesse we were looking for”, and it was also not possible without the great support and patience of “Production Manager” Jonna Walsh.
With flexibility at the essence of lighting, Robe products ensured “we had the ability to instantly go from a lively and sharp daytime talk show to a sexy” musical dream “after dark. Says Darren … and toggle instant back at the push of a button!
It also had to create a space where viewers – both live for the debut of the first series – and then onscreen as The Pandemic sent the digital show off – would be continually astonished at the visual transformations and captivated by what could. keep up, keep it fresh and different.
The lighting for Season 1 had eight BMFL Blades Robes and eight Spikes permanently installed, and these have been upped by more Robe specials, depending on the songs and action of the day.
Frequently used aircraft included the 2013 PATT 15 x Spiiders and 24 x Tetra2s, all; supplied, along with the rest of the lighting equipment, by Illumination Dynamics.
Fixture positions constantly varied in the studio, but “these dresses were fundamental to every show,” Darren said, giving them almost endless options to create different looks throughout the season. The goal was to never repeat the same look again!
Darren chose Robe luminaires generally for being “bright, fast, clean, with fantastic color options, great flat beam fields and for their absolute versatility.”
He especially maximized the spikes as they can make both wide and narrow beams and have an endless range of effects in the air and rapid movements perfect for coloring and texturing the ground, as well as for chases and rapid color movements. “We would hang them often and even use them as backlighting on artists to create moody silhouettes and other deceptive gags! “
The Spiiders were another multitasking with many different beam effects and original pixel and graphics effects possible on the LEDs. They were also great floor scrubbers, eye candy fillers, and various shapes.
Two RoboSpot systems were an invaluable asset to the show, both led by Chris Nelson. The remotely controlled BMFL FollowSpots were placed one above the audience and one above the “home base” where Kelly usually sits for interviews, allowing for shots in any part of the city. area that the host or guests would typically browse. The two base stations were located side by side behind the scenes, allowing Chris to easily switch between them as needed.
Darren used Robe products for many years before TKCS. The BMFL has become a workhorse for a series of awards show that they have led with one of Darren’s main mentors, the legendary Allen Branton.
These and all the other lights in the studio were controlled via a grandMA2 console.
The program was full. They recorded at least two shows a day for 30 weeks working three to four days a week, with the lighting system changing weekly and sometimes even every day, disassembling and retooling to get exactly the right fixtures for every time. the specific action.
After the delay, programming was the next most galvanizing task throughout the two series for which Darren had the contribution of a fantastic team during the period including Andrew Law, Brian Larsh, Brandon Dunning, Jeff Handke, Felix Peralta and Tyler Glover.
With the two performances recorded each day along with slots and guest performances, interviews, demos, games and special theme shows, time has “never been on our side,” says Darren, though ” they are all fully adapted to work at lightning speed, meet deadlines and meet the pace of the skills and talent of Kelly and her band, in addition to constantly coming up with ideas for the non-performing segments look exclusive!
The lighting department also controlled a media server which dictated most of the screen content, so with the help of technical manager Eric Feder, they didn’t miss a thing!
For Darren, the most enjoyable aspects of TKCS were working with a truly inspiring host and “so many people with great energy”.
The icing on the cake for Darren and the DCLighting team was to win the 47th Annual Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lighting Direction for the Show in 2020 (for the 2019 broadcast year) and to be nominated again for the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy in the same category for the Year of broadcast 2020.
Additionally, it won the Newscast Broadcast Production Award for “Entertainment Lighting Design” for the 2019 and 2020 broadcast years.
Darren is the first to thank his “amazing” team for their vital contribution to achieving these accolades, including Kirsty Robson, DCLighting vice president of production who handles all logistics, marketing, communications and customer networking. , and gaffer Andy Anderson who installs the different lighting designs every day.
Andrew Gonzales is their proactive technical leader, looking after the lighting system as well as multitasking as the best boy, making sure the chef is happy and handling all rental “specials” on a daily basis! Morgan Evans and the late Carlos Colina were also integral to the writing and visualization portion of the process.
TKCS airs on multiple stations across the United States in 100% of the country and is anchored by the NBCU group of stations. The third season will begin shortly and the NBC-owned television station group just announced that “The Kelly Clarkson Show” will take up the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” timeslot on the ten NBC-owned stations airing both programs once. Ellen completed in 2022.