Join us October 17th for “The Art of Stagecraft”!

Do you ever wonder who designs or creates the sets that bring your favorite plays, TV shows, or feature films to life?

You are invited to find out at Burbank Arts for All Foundation’s next Creative Circles Forum focused on the “Art of Stagecraft” on Wednesday, October 17th at L.A. Castle Studios.

From creating content on 3D Virtual Sets to designing for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, a panel of experts and educators will explore these exciting career pathways. Mix and mingle at the hosted wine and cheese reception following the conversation.

Our panel of experts and educators includes:

  • Jim Bissell, Award Winning Art Director and Production Designer
  • Karen Broderick, Stage Craft Technology Teacher at Burbank High School
  • Lily LaRocco, VP of Technical Services for WB Studio Facilities
  • KayDee Lavorin Friel, Two-Time Emmy Nominated Set Decorator
  • Tim Pipher, Producer & Owner at L.A. Castle Studios

Did you know? BUSD has Career Technical Education (CTE) opportunities in Stagecraft? Click here to learn more!

DATE: Wednesday, October 17, 2018
TIME: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
LOCATION: L.A. Castle Studios (154 S Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502)

Tickets Available at the Door beginning at 6:30pm.

Thanks to the generosity of several anonymous donors, a limited number
of FREE BUSD Student Tickets are available. Contact us for more information!

Tickets Available at the door beginning at 6:30pm.

Meet the Panelists: 

Jim Bissel
Award Winning Art Director and Production Designer
Jim’s career breakout came in 1982 on Steven Spielberg’s enduring classic E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, which earned him a BAFTA nomination for Best Production Design. His collaboration with Spielberg continued through the 80’s on Twilight Zone: The Movie, Always, Harry and the Hendersons and Arachnophobia.

He frequently works with George Clooney, starting with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind in 2001, and Good Night, and Good Luck in 2004. That film earned Bissell an Academy Award nomination, the first of three Art Directors Guild Award nominations and a Satellite Award. Their collaboration continued with Leatherheads, The Monuments Men, and Suburbicon.

The Art Directors Guild also nominated his designs for Zack Snyder’s visionary 300, and the fantasy film Spiderwick Chronicles. In 2015 he was honored by the Guild with their Lifetime Achievement Award. Early in his career, he earned an Emmy Award for his designs for Norman Lear and Alex Haley’s series Palmerstown, U.S.A.

Among the 35 films he has designed are: Ron Shelton’s Tin Cup and Hollywood Homocide, Joe Johnston’s The Rocketeer and Jumanji, John Schlesinger’s The Falcon and the Snowman, and Ridley Scott’s Someone to Watch Over Me. Recent work includes: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and the action thriller Skyscraper. He is currently working with DreamWorks Animation in visual development while teaching at the American Film Institute.

Bissell has served three terms on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is a former Vice-President of the Art Directors Guild. He is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a BFA in Theatre.

KayDee Lavorin Friel
Two-Time Emmy Nominated Set Decorator
KayDee Lavorin is a Set Decorator with 20 years of experience in film and television and in themed entertainment for 10 years before that. She has worked on a wide range of projects, from daytime’s highest-rated show Dr. Phil, The Doctors, and Face the Truth, to daytime dramas All My Children, Days Of Our Lives, and Passions, as well as nighttime shows The Amber Rose Show and Lopez Tonight. Her films include the 2009 Bollywood blockbuster, My Name is Khan.

Working on live to taped shows and daytime dramas has honed her ability to think on her feet, be a proactive problem solver, and, of course, work within limited budgets.

KayDee has earned 2 Emmy Nominations for All My Children and was honored with an Emmy Certificate from lead Decorator Susan Eschelbach for How I Met Your Mother’s “Shelter Island/Not A Father’s Day” Emmy win in 2009.

KayDee studied Set Decoration at the American College for the Applied Arts, graduating Magna Cum Laude and at top of her class with a double major in Scenic Design and Interior Design and minor in Business. She finished her Bachelor program in 2 years.

Born outside Atlantic City NJ, her father’s job transferred them to London. From there, she traveled extensively and caught the travel bug that she has to this day. She has been all over Europe and the US, with trips to Asia and her new passion, the Caribbean.

KayDee lives in Burbank with her prop master husband and their two fur babies. She loves to cook, swim, and – of course – she still loves to travel.

Lily LaRocco
VP of Technical Services for WB Studio Facilities

Lily LaRocco is a native Southern Californian born in Glendale, where she attended local schools.  Growing up next door to Hollywood.. it’s no surprise Lily was attracted to the film and TV industry.

She began her professional career working as a receptionist for Keylite, a lighting and grip rental company.  She quickly advanced to the billing and operations. The industry took notice and Lily was offered a sales position by Matthews Studio Equipment Inc. a company considered to be the leader in the industry.

After 5 year run, Lily left Matthews and joined Filmtrucks, where she was introduced to an inventory tracking system HITS, one of the first in the industry. This experience proved to be instrumental in her role at Warner Bros. Studios where she has been employed since 1994.

Warner Bros. was interested in using a computer-based inventory tracking system and HITS made the connection….and she had become an expert.  It was important to understand the production side of the business, so she started taking rigging calls and got the 30 days required to join I.A.T.S.E. Local 728 as part of the rigging crew on television shows like ER and The West Wing. It wasn’t long before the Set Lighting department asked her to join the department and begin the task of barcoding their massive inventory which quickly led to taking over inventory control. Warner Bros. Set Lighting doubled its business in one year simply by properly tracking equipment.

In 1999, she became the first female department head of a major studio.

Through the years, she kept growing and taking on new initiatives and worked with hundreds of productions, most currently shows like Big Bang Theory, Lucifier, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Shameless.  She and her team were the first to come out with the LED Spacelight within the industry.  She is known as a leader in new and modern technologies and works together with industry manufacturers to develop new products.  She is also a member of the AICP.

In 2017, she was promoted to Vice President, Technical Services, which oversees not only the Set Lighting department, but Grip and Special Effects departments as well.  There have been many career lessons and highlights . . . the greatest being the industry relationships formed and how they foster change and innovation.

Lily still lives in her native town of Glendale with her husband Steve, her daughter Abby and son Eli along with their 3 dogs.  You can find them boating and fishing whenever time permits.

Karen Broderick
Stage Craft Technology Teacher at Burbank High School

Karen Broderick trained as a theatrical designer at Agnes Scott College and Northwestern University and spent a decade in Atlanta, GA doing set and costume designs for 3 different professional theaters as well as drafting and painting on productions at the largest theaters in town. Freelance work in art departments of films coming through Atlanta prompted a move over to film and eventually film editing which then brought her out to California. After working as an Assistant Editor on a number of films, then getting married to a cameraman and having 2 children, Karen found herself back in the theater supporting student productions and the Fine Arts all over BUSD. Now in her 2nd year of running the CTE Stage Tech class for Burbank High School, she actually secretly celebrates her 12th year of producing and designing performances on the BHS stage. She is happy to be employed by the District in Career Tech Ed, growing the program to provide a more robust set building and costume component in addition to the already strong lighting, sound and stage management focuses at BHS.

Tim Pipher
Producer & Owner at L.A. Castle Studios

Tim’s career shifted from the financial industry to television when he founded a small independent television station in Fort Myers, Florida to promote his investment business in 1989.

Upon realizing he enjoyed show business more than the investment business, Tim added a second small TV station by founding and running WHHI-TV on Hilton Head Island, SC, until both stations were sold in 2001.

In 2008, the show business bug emerged again and Tim founded Southeastern Studios in Vero Beach, Florida, employing one of the first 3D HD virtual studio systems open to the public in America. In 2012, the studio moved to its current location in Burbank, and renamed itself L.A. Castle Studios, specializing in the production of television host wraps, talk, and news programs for various networks and entertainment companies, including Disney, Universal, Amazon, and many others.

Early in 2018, the studio acquired and/or patented technology that would allow it to facilitate the production of narrative programming, including scenes from anywhere in the universe, (past, present, or future) by tethering the Unreal Video Game Engine with cinema cameras and lenses, creating remarkable creative opportunities while saving producers substantial financial resources.

Tim has a bachelors degree in business administration with a minor in economics from Bethel University in Indiana, and an MBA with a specialization in financial investments from the University of South Carolina.

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