Jeff Ravitz was brought in to design the lighting for the climactic Victory Party scene at the end of the remake of The Manchurian Candidate, directed by Oscar winner, Jonathan Demme.
The producers, and cinematographer, Tak Fujimoto, ASC, were looking for a designer with experience lighting sizeable spectacular events but with an eye for the needs of the camera. Ravitz has spent decades crafting televised and touring arena and stadium shows for some of the world’s biggest concert acts, such as Bruce Springsteen, Shania Twain, and Cher, as well as for traditional studio TV projects.
Another point in his favor was having created the television lighting for the 2000 Reform Party political convention. The Victory Party scene shared many visual elements with a major national convention. The producers wanted a realistic big-scale look with plenty of drama.
The scene, shot in a large New York City hotel ballroom over a five-day period, required over four months of design and planning and five round-the-clock days to set up. Two hundred conventional and automated lighting fixtures were used to cover the 15,000 square foot space.