Music and Lyrics

Michael Stiller Design was tapped to help Castle Rock Pictures and the producers of Music & Lyrics (starring Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant) create a full-on, pop-concert stage set for the movie’s penultimate scene. We provided a suite of design, visualization, and programming services, and specified a lighting rig with over two hundred and fifty automated fixtures. The control system was fully integrated with the production, with over one hundred cues fired by time code to ensure a frame-accurate rendering of the design with each take. The result: a dynamic light show which was the scenic climax of the movie.

Sensing Change

Sensing Change, a collaboration between ESI Design and lighting designer Michael Stiller, Founding Partner at upLIGHT, is a peaceful and reflective experience in the middle of Chicago’s concrete jungle that draws inspiration from the natural world. A virtual Living Wall, the illuminated trellis creates animations influenced by local weather-data.  Wind speed acts as a disruptive layer superimposed over the base states that include: Cloudy, Sunny, and Precipitation. By combining line-of-sight and reflected lighting effects, the sculpture alternately reads as a single or multilayered surface, creating a complex and organic experience.

85 Broad Street

The site of 85 Broad Street–a property in the middle of the first paved street in Manhattan–embodies the evolution of New York.  And this centuries-old story served as inspiration for a unique public space experience that included lighting design by Michael Stiller, Founding Partner at upLIGHT.  The design team developed an iconic media architecture and visual narrative that traces the city’s journey from the colonial era to the 21st century.  The question always on the designers’ minds: “How do you transform a 1980s corporate lobby for the 21st century when it has a landmark protected 400-year-old street running through it?”


A mashup of classic rock and classical music, Rocktopia is a touring theatrical extravaganza that has played on national television and Broadway. With lighting, media, and production design by Michael Stiller, the show has enchanted a multitude of audiences across the United States.

Lincoln Awards

When our friends at MBM Entertainment were producing the First Annual Lincoln Awards, a nationally broadcast concert for veterans and the military family, they selected MSD to provide a full suite of production design services.

We created a scenic design that included six rolling colonnades–a la the Lincoln Memorial–that could be reconfigured in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall to provide different backgrounds for the various presenters, comedians, and musical guests. And of course, lighting and programming suitable for an eight-camera television shoot. The result was an uplifting and entertaining event for all.

The Microtropolis

The best creative briefs don’t always come on schedule, and when we got a call asking us to light a 40,000 square foot activation for Microsoft in fewer than 6 weeks, the MSD team flew into action. We delivered plans and specifications for a lighting rig that included 125 automated LED fixtures synchronized with interactive video and a 36 inch LED “sun” that tracked over a scale model of Manhattan. Onsite direction and programming brought this experience to life. As always, we were only a small part of a larger team, which in this case included Creative Direction from Mother Industries and custom video, motion control, and lighting elements from Moment Factory.