Last Thursday, President Obama was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, reading some bad tweets about himself and chatting with the talk show host. So what does it take to light the President?
"I didn't do much differently from what I normally do,” says lighting designer Christian Hibbard. “I did make some slight adjustments to levels because of his skin tones, but that's about it. We didn't rehearse with him. He got there camera-ready, and we did mean tweets with him. That took about ten minutes. He nailed it on the first take. We then started the show, did the monologue, and after that, he came out for his segments. He left immediately afterwards. I would say he was there for maybe an hour,” Hibbard relates.
"He did have his own lighting person. She was very nice, and asked me about color temp and levels. Took a look and signed off on it. The Secret Service just wants to see every light work and know what the lights do when he is on the floor. We showed them, and they were fine with it. From a non-lighting standpoint, the Secret Service does not do a huge amount. Yes, we have snipers. Everyone on the show also had to leave the building for two hours, so that they could bring in dogs to check for bombs—So as a designer, you definitely have to plan accordingly for getting everything done ahead of time, so that everyone can sign off for that two hour break. The Secret Service put up blast shields in a few places and had his escape route planned out. And I'm sure there were a ton of other things that I don't know about. They were nice, but you do it their way, and there are no questions about it."
Watch Obama on the show: