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Focal Press Releases Assistant Lighting Designer’s Toolkit

Jacob Coakley • Industry News • July 14, 2014

The Assistant Lighting Designer’s Toolkit is now available on the PLSN Bookshelf.

The Assistant Lighting Designer’s Toolkit is now available on the PLSN Bookshelf.

Focal Press has released The Assistant Lighting Designer’s Toolkit, by Anne E. McMills. The book covers everything assistant lighting designers need to know—whether they’re aiming to make a career out of being an ALD, or passing through on the way to becoming an LD in their own right. The book covers hard skills (prepping a show for tour and getting paperwork right) and the softer skills (interpersonal skills, restaurant tips) necessary to make a top-notch assistant lighting designer.

How to be a great Assistant Lighting Designer? Thick skins, restaurant tips and meticulous note taking are all on the checklist

What are the dos and don’ts of being a great ALD? What are focus tapes and how do you use them? What should be found in every assistant’s kit? The working day of an assistant lighting designer can be varied and demanding. What better way to outline how to be a great assistant than with Anne E. McMills’ multifarious guide to the profession: The Assistant Lighting Designer’s Toolkit, available now from Focal Press.

Whether choosing assisting as a career, or passing through on the way to becoming a professional lighting designer, advice on being a successful assistant lighting designer is sparse. Anne E. McMills provides the kind of information ALDs need to know before working on their first major show instead of tripping and wading through it on the job. Things like:

  • Success means blending technical and interpersonal skills
  • How to prepare for a show on the road
  • The responsibility of the assistant in the design process
  • Getting the paperwork right!

Intermingled with the nuts and bolts, top professionals provide their tips for being a successful assistant lighting designer, with a host of dos and don’ts and sage advice ranging from getting that all important first job, headset etiquette, global technical terminology, constructing the Assistant’s Kit, crafting a professional resume, marketing yourself and tracking income and write-offs while working as an independent contractor. With top Broadway associates supplying sample paperwork including cue sheets, focus charts, cheat sheets, magic sheets, checklists, shop orders, a cover letter and resume, this is the one-stop shop for breaking into and making a success of the assistant lighting design profession.

Contributing lighting designers and associates include:

Ken Billington, Vivien Leone, Jason Lyons, Richard Pilbrow, Ken Posner, Philip S. Rosenberg, Hugh Vanstone, and Andrew Voller.

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For more information on The Assistant Lighting Designer’s Toolkit, visit:

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