Lighting the way to make dreams come true – Pedro Marcé Socias
CAST believes it is important for students to develop an array of specialized skills throughout their education to make them ready for “the real world’ of lighting and design. Looking for inspiring stories to share, we came across Pedro Marcé Socias from Spain.
A quick read of his LinkedIn profile doesn’t seem to do Pedro justice.
“Enthusiastic, graduated Lighting Design student keen to develop a career in the lighting industry by expanding knowledge and gaining ‘hands on’ experience of cutting-edge technologies.”
University of South Wales (2014 – 2017)
BSc (Hons) Lighting Design and Technology (IET accredited)
If you delve a little further, you might be blown away to note that Pedro bought the GrandMA2 and self-taught himself to use it.
Pedro also has programmed for many years and has been involved in events and installations like:
- Asian Paralympic Games Closing Cerem. (Jakarta 2018) – LD: Durham Marenghi
- Swimwear Fashion Week. (Gran Canaria 2019) – LD: Iñaki Irastorza
- Classical Spectacular 30th Anniversary. (London 2019) – LD: Durham Marenghi
- Casino Odiseo (Murcia 2020) – Plenitud
And, as a huge bonus, at a young age, Pedro is comfortable working events that involve timecode programming with pyrotechnics.
Many aspiring lighting designers and programmers would love to have a resume like Pedro does. It didn’t come over night and it didn’t come easy. What we learned is that Pedro set his sights on his goal, right from the beginning, and relentlessly went after it – the Classical Spectacular and didn’t give up until he reached it.
We caught up with Pedro to ask him a few questions to inspire and motivate other young lighting designers along their path. Pedro is an example of putting your money where your mouth is, going after a dream that others may find impossible and reaping the rewards of his tenacity.
How long have you been using wysiwyg?
“Before starting University, I hadn’t really used wysiwyg much.. In classes equipped with a full suite of wysiwyg workstations with different lighting consoles, this is where we would program lighting shows.
The experience I gained while working with wysiwyg while I was in school carries a lot of weight and value in my current life. It’s been an incredibly important too for me along the way and has allowed me to get to where I am now.”
What is the most enjoyable thing about your job?
“The part I love best about my job is creating all the projects in 3D using wysiwyg. I start by building the venue in CAD and include all the decorations and details and then finish off by adding the lights. When I see that the design looks the same as it does in my renders, that feeling is just amazing! It is rewarding to show a render to a client and hear them say, “Wow!”.”
What was your favourite job to date and why? What made it special?
“My favourite job to date was the Classical Spectacular. This has been my favourite show since my first lecture in University. My lecturer showed us photos of various lighting designs to show us that there are more to show than simply, “Rock & Roll”.
When I saw the photo for Classical Spectacular, I said to myself, “I want to work there!”. I started looking for more information about the show, I bought a ticket and hopped on a train to London to go straight to the source and meet Durham Marenghi. I have assisted in all seasons of Classical Spectacular since that day and this was my goal from the beginning.
In November 2017, Durham allowed me to sit at the desk and operate the show! It went well, to say the least and I have been operating the show since then.
That is why it’s my favourite job. Because it really is a dream come true for me.”
How did it start?
“It all started by sending a few renders to Durham Marenghi for a project he was working on. The rest, they say is history.
Now, we work on designs for his clients by creating 3D models of the venues and rendering videos for the clients, so they can see their ideas come to life and how the final product will look.”
What is your greatest accomplishment?
“Truth be told, I am still in the early stages of my career. Always learning and making my fair share of mistakes.
Of course, the Classical Spectacular is my greatest accomplishment with Durham, but I’ve learned to embrace and enjoy the smaller productions I work on too, enjoying every minute of my job.
Durham has given me a platform to exercise my skills. I must keep improving and impressing him and great things will be on the horizon!”
What is the hardest thing about being in lighting?
“It isn’t always easy being creative. You must stand out as a designer and trying to be unique is often a challenge. It is important to add the human touch, it’s what makes a show special, in terms of lighting and creativity is something that can’t be taught. The technical side of the job can be learned, it can be taught with training courses and showcases. But creativity doesn’t come in the same package. Creativity comes from one’s imagination and “out of the box” thinking.
I’m not saying technology isn’t important for a designer. Knowing your tools, and knowing them well, can help with creativity and unearthing the depths of one’s imagination. wysiwyg is a great tool for that! I always use it for my designs and to fire up my imagination because I am free to try new things that I couldn’t try in a live environment, due to time restraints and just in case it doesn’t look the best it can.”
Do you have advice for students in lighting and design now?
“The one thing that is important to note is that you don’t become a lighting designer overnight. It doesn’t happen when you are handed your diploma. My mentor, Durham, can be quoted as saying that being a lighting designer isn’t a badge you wear on your sleeve but rather, a badge you wear on your heart from hard work, gaining experience and showing dedication.
Sure, I got my diploma but working side by side with Durham on a day to day basis, the knowledge I am gathering is limitless. The hands-on experience is priceless. Students learn a lot in school, but the real experience comes in time, on the job.”
What is one motivational saying that keeps you going?
“Tim Routledge said in a speech once that when an audience leaves a show, they will remember the music, and you may hear them whistling the songs as they leave the building. People can whistle along to tunes but they can’t whistle along with the lights. So, if you want the audience to remember the light show, it better be spectacular!
This what I always keep in mind, each new show I work on.
It is one thing to interview and put the spotlight on the pioneers and veterans of lighting design, but it is also important to showcase the new generation, the students that are working hard to make their dreams a reality in an ever-changing entertainment landscape.”
Big thank you to Pedro for taking the time to chat with us and answer some questions we had. We, here at CAST, wish you continued success and joy in your field. For those students out there who want to apply for the wysiwyg Student Edition https://cast-soft.com/educational-program/ and for more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Photo #1:
Symphonic Queen – BMMA: Pedro Marcé Socias – Lighting Designer & Programmer
- Photo #2:
Festival Sons de Nit: Pedro Marcé Socias – Lighting Designer & Programmer
- Photo #3:
Sant Antoni Sa Pobla – Nit Bruixa: Pedro Marcé Socias – Lighting Designer & Programmer, Tomàs Ramis – Fireworks Designer
- Photo #4:
Gran Canaria Moda Cálida Swimwear Fashion Week: Iñaki Irastorza – Lighting Designer, Óscar Jiménez – Lighting Director, Pedro Marcé Socias – Lighting Programmer
- Photo #5:
Classical Spectacular: Durham Marenghi – Lighting Designer, Pedro Marcé Socias – Lighting Programmer
Photo © Paul Sanders
More About CAST Group of Companies Inc.
Established in 1994, Toronto Canadian-based software and hardware developer, CAST Software is a member of the CAST Group of Companies Inc. CAST Software serves its core markets in entertainment production, special events and meetings.
CAST’s award-winning flagship software products are wysiwyg – lighting design and previsualization suite, and Vivien – Event Designer and the new real-time tracking technology, BlackTrax.
All products are designed and created in-house and supported by an established global distribution and re-seller network.