Last week I had a chance to chat with Geoff Hanson for this feature article in the Telluride Daily Planet published Thursday, August 25, 2016. Here is a short excerpt and link! Hope you enjoy it!
I spoke to Greg by phone and this is how he described the Pretty Lights moniker. “The Pretty Lights project started really small in 2006 with college parties and small bars. The biggest misconception is that Pretty Lights is named after the stage show. Pretty Lights is Derek’s concept of observing the beauty in life, noticing the little things. His idea was much grander and the stage show just sort of followed suit as his popularity grew.”
Ellis’ official title is lighting designer but his responsibilities are more far-reaching than the title suggests. He is responsible for everything that is visual in the show, from stage design to video, lasers to set pieces. Since the show is sound and lights, a Pretty Lights show is essentially a collaboration between Smith and Ellis. After seven years, the two have gotten to a point where they work together intuitively. “I know what he’s looking for,” Smith said. “There isn’t as much direct communication between us any more. There’s just a grander understanding of what’s expected.”