Live Design profiled Thinkwellian Colbert Davis in their “Young Designer to Watch” series.
Residence: Los Angeles
Employer: Thinkwell Group
Current project(s): I’m part of the team working on a large-scale circus spectacular in Asia.
Most notable achievements: We recently worked on the audio systems and content on a nighttime spectacular and a parade at Universal Orlando. I think the project brings a lot of energy into the park on daily basis. Also with Thinkwell, I have worked on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter, and programmed portions of the audio system for Cirque du Soleil production IRIS.
When I started in this industry: “This industry” is hard to define, but like many sound folks, I first got paid to move a fader in high school.
How I got into this industry: I moved from the regional theatre/performance arts presntation world into large-scale themed entertainment a few year after grad school when Vikram Kirby and Francois Bergeron needed someone to “man the fort” in Burbank when they were off in Tokyo working on Zed.
Influences: Nearly everyone who knows more than me or has been at this longer than me. I’ll appropriate and riff on any approach that seems like it may have an application.
Worst advice I’ve ever heard: Even bad advice at some point becomes useful, right at point in the process where you realize why it is bad advice.
Best advice I’ve ever heard: Darron West and Vinnie Olivieri, both of whom I assisted at ATL, demonstrated the indispensable value of the sound designer being in rehearsal as much as possible.
My favorite thing about the production industry: When the show starts, and you are along for the same ride as the audience.
Favorite design/programming/technical trick: A narrow, low stereo upstage source to keep the audience’s attention on the stage.
Plans for the future: Certainly more shows.
Other interests/side gigs: I do get to go back to the theatre when my schedule allows for it. I recently designed a Janie Gieser/Eric Ehn collaboration Clouded Sulphur (Death Is A Knot Undone).