"There is something more to lighting design, the more too it, of course, is enhancement and making the image more interesting-looking and certainly making it consistent with the material that you're presenting."
About This Interview
William Klages was interviewed for four-and-a-half hours in Los Angeles, CA. Klages describes at length the craft of lighting for television, from his first interest in pursuing the field, to the challenges involved in the lighting of various types of programs. He talks about his early years learning to use light in the relatively new medium of television, and touches on the companies that supplied the equipment in those days. He recounts his entrance into the business as a video maintenance engineer at NBC, working on such shows as Robert Montgomery Presents, and details the anthology series Playwrights '56, his first job as a lighting director. Klages recalls his significant contributions to The Perry Como Show (and Como's later Kraft Music Hall ) and outlines several examples of lighting setups on this variety series. He discusses the many specials on which he served as lighting director, including Merman on Broadway (Ethel Merman), Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, and Sills and Burnett at the Met (Beverly Sills and Carol Burnett), as well as specials he did featuring Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand, Dorothy Hamill, and Olivia Newton-John. Additionally, he speaks of working on such varied programs as the Ali vs. Frazier title fight to the series Hullabaloo and Faerie Tale Theatre. Henry Colman conducted the interview on February 12, 2001.