31 Days Of Plots: Lee Rose—Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve

Live Design's fifth annual 31 Days Of Plots features one production per day during the month of December 2022, highlighting a different lighting design, from across theatre, concert tours, corporate events, live for broadcast, and more, as we wind down 2022 and head toward the new year.

Today ends this year's 31 Days Of Plots as we slide into 2023 with lighting designer Lee Rose, who has once again illuminated segments of the rockin'est New Year's Eve event on the planet. Here's his story:

"I got the call for my 38th year on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2023 with Ryan Seacrest back in early June, several months earlier than the usual late August call. Our production executive told me that Disney had requested that ABC shoot part of the NYRE show at the Disneyland resort in Anaheim. I guess since Disney owns ABC they have some say in things like this. We did our first scout the next week and looked at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks for possible locations.

The Dick Clark Productions people picked Snow White's Castle at Disneyland and the World Of Color Fountain at Disney California Adventure as their choice of locations. There was some reticence on the Disney production side about getting "approval" to put up a stage and lights in front of that fountain/projection show for several days. That process took several weeks before the resort management declined to approve it. We scouted again and came up with an alternate location at the World of Color show and also looked at a location at the main intersection of Cars Land. After weeks more of back and forth with "Disney Resort Leadership" we ended up unable to get permission to shoot at the World Of Color show and we started planning for two nights at Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland, with three artists doing two songs each, and one night at the main intersection in Cars Land, with three artists doing two songs each. Our production team had talked about doing one of the three artists in front of Flo's V8 Cafe, just to break it up a bit.

Disney NYE 1

After some more weeks of approval requests we were told that any stage at the Cars Land main intersection would have to be rolling as it would have to set and strike each day for both guest experience and fire lane restrictions. It was settled that we would shoot all three artists in front of Flo's V8 Cafe.

Disney NYE 2

As fixtures would have to be left out overnight and during the day an IP rated fixture were a must. In doing some preliminary research I saw the new Martin Mac Aura Xip fixture was being released. After seeing the fixture at the Martin Road Show, and going over the spec's with Brad Schiller, it appeared as if this was the perfect fixture to accommodate both the IP rating and a very strict structural engineering approval process we had to submit to with the city of Anaheim. At only about 20lbs per fixture this light weight ip rated was light was perfect. In addition, I was really excited about the Aura's "Filament" effects. It looked like, and turned out to be, a great fixture for fast programming of great "eye candy" effects on camera. Additionally Tony Ward (both my chief lighting tech and PRG account exec), informed me that PRG had taken delivery of the new Vari-Lite VL3600 ip rated fixture. Also that they had started converting some for Ground Control follow spot use.

The design concept was to "somewhat" follow the vertical truss design of the studio portion on NYRE so I designed a rig of vertical trusses but spread out so as not to detract from our Disney backgrounds. Trusses were toned but with only small groupings of fixtures on top to minimize the visual blockage of backgrounds. Solaris flares were added to the verticals for additional camera flash and strobing. As space onstage was at a premium, we used Claypaky Mythos 2 for floor lights knowing they would not take up too much space and we could cover these easily for daytime. As we got deeper into the prep and design certain Disney requirements started to effect the design parameters. Disneyland closes at midnight but guests can remain on Main Street until 1:00am. We were unable to start work in Disneyland until all guests were clear of the castle, usually 12:30-1:00am. The stage and vertical trusses needed to be dressed for the daytime "guest experience" and that process took some time as we had to be clear of the park before the opening at 7:00am. We were unable to put most of the lighting trusses I spec'd up until the day we were supposed to program Cars Land so as not to block access to Flo's. This required rethinking the back light positions. We started with a request to move these fixtures to the ledge at the front of Flo's.  We were given permission for two fixtures there so I designed some rolling truss carts to hold the additional fixtures.

The extremely tight overnight schedule did not leave sufficient time for full onsite programming so we set up to do three days of PreViz at PRG. Cameron Pieratt, my assistant LD, had built a previz system using Depence² software from Syncronorm.

All this was in addition to doing two days of shooting in the studio with our normal set/lighting package.That portion loaded in on Halloween. We then did 10 days in a row, finished that with three days of Pre-Viz, then did seven over-nights at Disney. I'm really getting too old (and too grumpy) to do 20 days in a row. 😀."


Dick Clarke's Rockin' Eve


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New Year's Rockin' Eve


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Castle Plot


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NYRE Disney Staff:

  • Lighting Designer: Lee Rose
  • Assistant Lighting Designer: Cameron Pieratt
  • Lighting Director (Programmer): Pete Radice
  • Chief Lighting Tech / PRG Rep: Tony Ward
  • Senior Tech PRG: Steve Oleniczak
  • Asst CLT: Jason Seagrove

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