The judging is carried out by three panels of industry experts.

Live for Broadcast Judges

Jeff Ravitz

(Live for Broadcast Chair) Lighting Designer

Award-winning lighting designer Jeff Ravitz has worked with Bruce Springsteen for a number of years, and is esteemed for transforming live entertainment performances into broadcast ready television shows. Audiences will also have seen Jeff’s work on comedy specials for Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle and Jim Gaffigan, and as well as concert and opera broadcasts, game shows and interview programs. Jeff was lighting consultant for the 2010 Olympics Medal Ceremonies, and for 3D concert films for Dave Matthews, Lollapalooza festival and Canadian pop-star, Justin Bieber. A popular lecturer, Jeff has delivered talks throughout the world. He was the host and creative consultant of the Live Design Magazine ‘TV and Concert Master Classes’ on lighting design.

“Lighting is the defining element of the visible, visual experience for the live audience that sees the show in the performance venue, and it follows that it would be the same for the viewers seeing the show on a screen.  Lighting reveals what and how the stage action and environment should be seen.  It is part of the visual counterpart to the script, lyrics or choreography.

The screen-viewing audience finds themselves as close as “nose-to-nose” with the performance.  This introduces a myriad of additional elements, and it creates decisions to be made – detail is suddenly magnified into visibility.  Each angle and nuance of color and beam quality becomes meaningful.
Video design takes its place somewhere between lighting, scenery, the performers themselves, and as its own independent being.  It can enhance, detract or distract.  It can complement or thwart.  Our judging panel will be closely watching this powerful element to determine which is the best of the best.”

Tara Denise

Lighting Director/Production Designer
Tara Denise is an eight-time Emmy Award winner:  six for Lighting Direction and two for Production Design.  She’s been nominated for an Emmy an astounding 16 times. She grew up in Chicago and trained, first in local store-front theaters and then graduated to such world-renowned venues as The Goodman and Steppenwolf.  With tenacity, a quick ability to learn, and dependability, she honed her craft first as an electrician, master electrician, stage hand, and sometimes even audio tech.This hands-on experience, plus her studies in Chicago, Rhode Island, and London, culminated in a call from “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” It is here at the legendary program, which changed television and the world…Tara became a visionary.
Tara was soon promoted to the coveted role of Production Designer for “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” With this role, Tara oversaw domestic and international remote shoots from the Sydney Opera House to Radio City Music Hall to Oprah’s yearly, exclusive “After the Oscars” episodes in the Kodak Theater. She has worked with a number of famous faces, from Barbra Streisand to Lady Gaga; Madonna to The Black Eyed Peas; Meryl Streep to Tom Cruise; Bono to Usher. After 22 years, as the Oprah show came to an end, Tara was chosen to move on to Oprah’s burgeoning network: “OWN.”  She continued her role as Production Designer overseeing all tech aspects for “The Rosie Show”, “Oprah’s Lifeclass”, “Herlarious” with Wanda Sykes , “Oprah Prime”, “Oprah’s Next Chapter”, the multiple Emmy-winning “Super Soul Sunday” and various pilots: “Iyanla Fix My Life”, “Dr. Laura Berman”, “Friday’s Live” and “The Kirstie Alley Show”.
Working as a freelance lighting director/production designer for Oprah and for the OWN network, she recently designed the Super Soul Sunday show with Michelle Obama as the Lighting Director.
“For me as a production designer, lighting is the essential element to completing my work. I have created many sets that are completely white and grey and have no life until we light them. This gives producers many choices and gives the set’s longevity.  As a lighting director, lighting can create a mood, create a setting or time, make someone look their best, it can tell you where to look or draw your attention to a detail that we want you to see. Painting with light is my favourite paintbrush.”
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Bill Klages

Lighting Designer
Bill’s credits provide a history of broadcast network television. In recognition of his career accomplishments including wining seven Primetime Emmy Awards and 21 nominations, he was inducted into the TV Academy’s Hall of Fame in 2012. He is the only lighting designer to receive this honor. Bill Klages has been associated with some of  the most outstanding productions in  television history. After establishing his reputation at NBC with the dramatic series Playwrights ’56, Klages lighted landmark shows of early television starring entertainment legends Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Ernie Kovacs and Perry Como. In the many decades that followed, Klages lighted an array of acclaimed entertainment specials and award shows including The Kraft Music Hall, My Name Is Barbra, Night of 100 Stars, Sills and Burnett at the Met, Baryshnikov by Tharp, The Tony Awards, The Emmy Awards, The Kennedy Center Honors, Country Music Awards, Sweeney Todd, The Grammy Awards and many others. Klages has provided lighting facility design for numerous studios and venues including the 16,000-seat Lakewood Church in Houston. He has also conducted seminars throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

“It is my opinion that the lighting designer of a television production is successful when his contribution is the catalyst in the coordination of allied production disciplines. The visual result comes together into a single entity where the individual contributions of each creative field are completely realized. This would include scenic design, photography, costuming, and video elements as well as staging and actors’ performance. The final visual result is obtained while maintaining technical boundaries of the reproduction system.”

Tiffany Spicer Keys

Lighting Director/Programmer

In making the transition from lighting for live entertainment to television broadcast, Tiffany has established herself as a valuable lighting director and programmer. Emerging from an unconventional background from theatre and dance to theme parks to concerts, festivals and music tours, Tiffany has developed a unique set of skills and views that she draws upon to give her a fresh outlook on television lighting.

From black box theatre to major network award shows, Tiffany is fortunate to have worked with some of the industry’s most awarded and admired designers. Tiffany is truly thankful and humbled to be a part of Knight of Illumination Awards this year.

“Lighting for broadcast is the delicate balance of complementing and highlighting the presentation of emotion, excitement, and drama through the choreography of light.”

Lauren Quinn

Television Director

Lauren Quinn has been directing live events, television concerts, specials, and studio shows for over eight years. Lauren began her television career at VH1 in the concert and live event team in 2001. Years later she began directing at VH1 on the reboot of “Storytellers” in 2011. As a director, she’s worked with some of the biggest names in music and pop culture including Chance the Rapper, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Florence + The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Mary J. Blige, and many more. Other notable shows Lauren has directed include VH1 Trailblazer Honors, BET Social Awards, multiple Ink Masters Season Finales for the Paramount Network, New Now Next awards for Logo, the Housewives of Atlanta reunion. She’s a consummate professional and has well over 15 years of experience managing both live event and studio production crews. Lauren received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Rutgers University and resides in Hoboken, NJ.

“As a television director, I enjoy working closely with my LD.  We work together to create moments of drama, excitement, sadness.  So many different emotions and moods can be created through lighting on set.  A set without lights is only half finished.”

David Waldman

Cinematographer & Associate Professor, Cal State Long Beach
As a cinematographer, David Waldman has enjoyed success in a wide variety of presentation media including television commercials (spots aired during the Super Bowl, Grammys, and Academy Awards), feature length documentary (segment cinematographer on the Emmy Award winning Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project for director John Landis), feature films (MGM’s Beach Kings, and additional photography on the MGM films Max, and Hot Tub Time Machine II), and is the cinematographer and visual consultant behind the award winning and wildly successful TEDTalks, for whom he has traveled around the world since 2008.  In addition to his work as a cinematographer, David collaborates with others as a camera operator.  His television credits include episodes of Entourage, Big Love, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Veep, and the feature length documentary It Might Get Loud for Academy Award winning director Davis Guggenheim and cinematographer Guillermo Navarro, ASC.
David has been teaching cinematography for 15 years, and is currently an Associate Professor and the Cinematography Track Head in the Department of Film and Electronic Arts at Cal State Long Beach.  Prior to teaching at Cal State, he received tenure from UNLV where he taught cinematography and visual storytelling for six years, and prior to that he was an adjunct lecturer at the Brooks Institute of Photography, USC, and Chapman, and is a regular guest lecturer at his alma mater, The American Film Institute.
In narrative work, I find lighting to be the subtle and magical place in which we are able to help a director reveal emotional subtext and character without necessarily calling attention to what we are doing. In live broadcast, I feel strongly that at least part of the job is the same—lighting design, in addition to revealing the details of the set, should help to transport the audience into the emotional space which the director, production designer, lighting designer, and director of photography wish to place them. What we leave out can and should be as important as what we include. Creating compelling visual storytelling in any medium isn’t simply a case of flexing and including every trick and tool in our arsenal, but rather a disciplined approach which requires mastery of countless technical, emotional, and aesthetic elements.