In celebration of LDI’s 30th anniversary—1988-2018—Live Design gives a shout out to 30 Under 30: thirty young movers and shakers who are changing paradigms, looking at things from new angles, and rapidly rising to the forefront of their field. From scenic, lighting, projection, and costume designers to technicians and programmers, as well as those who work for manufacturers, production companies, or rental shops, our 30 Under 30 are the harbingers of tomorrow.
This week's 30 Under 30 representative is not a singular visionary, but a whole team of them. earlybird visual offers design support services for live entertainment, and despite the slimness of its website, the company's portfolio is anything but slight. Taylor Swift, P!nk, Adele, Bon Jovi, Britney Spears, and Katy Perry are just a sampling of the big names on their client list. Eric Marchwinski and Kirk J Miller founded earlybird in 2013, and in five years, they've grown their team—all around 30, mind you—to be one of the most highly recommended in the industry.
Here's what Marchwinski and Miller have to say about earlybird's 30 Under 30 honor: "As friends, business partners, and collaborators, we’ve been building earlybird to have longevity beyond either of us. The company’s average age is below 30, and the team of people we surround ourselves with are just as important as either of us. We both greatly enjoy what we do, and in the various roles that we do it. We’re both active entertainment programmers and technical producers in the touring, TV, and live event industry. We’re proud of our team, and we’re grateful for the opportunities that so many who came before us have offered up."
Name: Eric Marchwinski | Kirk J Miller
Age: 29 | 27
City/State: New York, New York | Los Angeles, California
Current Projects: Taylor Swift’s Reputation World Tour; P!nk’s Beautiful Trauma World Tour; Pearl Jam’s 2018 World Tour; Jesus Christ Superstar Live!; iHeartRadio Music Awards
Most Notable Achievements:
EM: associate lighting designer and programmer for Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour, lighting programmer for Pearl Jam’s Let’s Play Two movie.
KJM: touring as screens director for Bon Jovi’s Because We Can World Tour, technical director for Kevin Hart’s What Now movie shot at Lincoln Financial Field.
When We Started/How We Started: Both have been in the industry for about seven years since roughly 2011. We met in college with Eric at Berklee College of Music in Boston and Kirk at Emerson College. We founded earlybird in 2013 as a previz company with just the two of us, and today it is a design support services company with a healthy CV, exciting projects, a small but focused team, and great clients to support. We’ve both been fortunate to be given opportunities that were beyond our reach starting out. Saying yes, working hard, and being open to learning turned those experiences into successful adventures. We started out programming smaller gigs with eager technical prowess. Being willing and hard-working led to bigger gigs, that led to greater responsibilities and trust.
Influences: Baz Halpin, Cory FitzGerald, Patrick Woodroffe, Spike Brant and Justin Collie, Jon Kusner, Jason Badger, Erik Perry, Eric Wade, Bob Morrissey, Patrick Dierson, Felix Peralta, and Allen Branton.
Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard: “Good is great, done is better.”
Best Advice We’ve Ever Heard: “Have an exit plan.”
Favorite Thing About The Production Industry: Ever-changing, always exciting. Walking the line of having confidence in knowledge yet being open to learn.
Favorite Technical Trick: Timecode management, multitrack playback, and multidisciplinary programming.
Interests/Side Gigs: Eric enjoys technical scuba diving and snowboarding. Kirk enjoys skiing, drumming, swimming, and travelling.
Plans For The Future: Work/life balance, more diving and skiing, produce unique shows. Continue to grow earlybird with a focus on high-quality work, collaborative workflow, and providing technical solutions to artistic challenges.
Awards & Honors: Four Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lighting Design/Direction; EM: Adele Live In New York City and The Wiz Live!; KJM: Hairspray Live! and The Wiz Live!
Organizations/Memberships: We are both IATSE ACT members.
Other: Over the last three years, we prototyped and developed a timecode clock and a/b switch. www.nixietc.com
Website: www.earlybirdvisual.com (intentionally slim; we generally keep to ourselves about who we work for and support.)
Check out Live Design/LDI's other 30 Under 30:
- Aron Altmark, Lighting Designer
- Olivia Sebesky, Projection Designer
- Matthew Palumbo, Technical Coordinator
- Bobby L. Grey, Lighting Designer
- Joe McCarthy, Production Manager/FOH Engineer
- Lauren T. Roark, Costume Designer