Six questions with Rodger Pugh, owner of Secret Agent Productions in Scottsdale, Arizona.
1. How did you get into this field?
While I was a performer in the late 90s around the southwest Michigan local music scene, I had a friend who had just bought new “scanners,” which were the coolest light I had seen at the time. This friend taught me how to put it all together and how to run the console. I nagged my roommate who was working for a stagehand company for a job, got it, and a few hundred gigs later, a major move: he I am. Those first scanners opened the door to a career that I’m proud and honored to have.
2. What do you think is the next big thing in the lighting industry?
I’d like to see where LED technologies are heading. As pixel mapping, video and lighting controls merge and become more user friendly, I see more dynamic light shows and designs that move visually not physically. Plus, an obvious shift toward green productions should encourage LED tech growth.
3. Do you have a favorite fixture (and why)?
That’s a hard call. Out of LED lights, it’s the COLORado Batten 72 Tour. I personally road tested these; they are tough and have a great output. I also like the Vari-Lite VL2000 Spot moving light and the MAC 2000 family. I have grown to like the CHAUVET Intimidator family of LED moving heads – small but will surprise you.
4. What has been your favorite design/project?
Honestly, I have enjoyed any of the concert or touring acts that I’ve designed or worked with – yes all of them. Music and lights work like peanut butter and jelly: they are good by themselves, but are even better when combined. As long as I get to design for music acts, I’ll be a happy man. Willie Nelson was pretty cool though!
5. What was the biggest unforeseen obstacle that you’ve faced in one of your designs, and how did you overcome it?
Every design or show will have unforeseen obstacles. In fact, there’s a saying, “it’s not a gig till something goes wrong.” Recently it’s been software-related obstacles from my rendering software. It’s hard for me to gauge what challenge was the “biggest,” but with a good support crew almost all obstacles can be overcome.
6. Complete this thought: A show without light is like …
… paying for a high-definition DVD then watching it on an old black-and-white 19-inch CRT TV.