Max Lippman is a senior at Burbank High. He designed the spectacular lighting for Light Up the World, taking advantage of a lighting system normally seen only in studios that are hosting American Idol or Dancing With the Stars. Oh, and Max also operates the light board for this complex system.
So how does a high school student get to do something that a college senior (and many fledgling professionals) would envy? A big part of the answer is the willingness of Burbank’s media companies like PRG Lighting to lend their equipment and give apprenticeship training to willing students.
Harrison Lippman (with lighting credits that include Life of Pi, American Idol and an upcoming television called Sing your face Off) explains that he and Light Up the World Director Brett Carroll go back a long way. “Brett and I worked in summer theatre back in ’04. Brett was saying to me that I should do a show at Burbank High”. Harrison did the BHS Christmas Concert later that year. The partnership has continued.
Max’s oldest brother Harrison Lippman had been operating the lighting board several years before. Harrison’s credits already include Life of Pi, American Idol and an upcoming television show on ABC called Sing your face Off. Other BHS lighting alumni have leapt ahead to junior or senior level lighting work in college, or get immediately snapped up by employers.
“It’s still a craft,” remarks Harrison Lippman. “You reach journey-level status by doing it.”
That learn-by-doing philosophy also informs Burbank High’s sound production. Faculty member Jose Vasquez mentors budding sound engineers on the sophisticated equipment donated by Hollywood Sound Systems. “High school students interested in media production have unique opportunities here in Burbank.”
One reason is the kind of community support from organizations like the Burbank Arts For All Foundation (BAFA), which is enabling the schools to purchase the lighting and sound equipment.