The innovative new cable and satellite tv network, current tv, is headed by former Vice President Al Gore and managed by young, experienced, and enthusiastic producers. David Neuman, President of Programming, is a Lautner fan, having lived in the Sheats apartments when he was going to school. The experience left an impression that he could not shake, and when presented with the challenge of creating a completely new type of studio for the network, he looked toward Lautner’s “chemosphere”.
After many meetings with foundation board members Chris Carr, Frank Escher, and Duncan Nicholson, the network and foundation agreed on the terms of a contract for the use of the chemosphere design as a studio space. In return for a yearly fee to the foundation, the network gained the rights to use the plans to build a studio modeled after this famous residence.
Foundation board members felt that the design would not be compromised by this unique use if it were re-created as an exact duplicate. Thus Carr, Nicholson and Escher oversaw the set onstruction, to assure that the representation was worthy of the name. The majority of the set is constructed of authentic materials. One exception is the floor – the original material, slate, could not be used because it would not form a smooth surface for camera dollies. Amazingly, the set was constructed in just over two weeks!
Other terms of the agreement include the mentioning of the set and its architect on air from time to time and the foundation’s right to use the space for occasional functions when it is not needed by the network.
The relationship between the two entities is called a “partnership” by current tv (see http://www.current.tv/partners/), but it isn’t a legal partnership, simply a friendly arrangement that works for us both.
|Is it real? Lighting of the photographic screen in the background can be varied to simulate different times of day.
Advisors and other foundation supporters enjoy a meal overlooking Burbank…
But wait…it isn’t Burbank. It’s a large curved screen. The photographs used to create this screen were taken from close to the actual chemosphere.
Eric Lloyd Wright talks with Karol Lautner Peterson while Ramone Munoz and Steve Zeitzew converse in the background.