Published August 2006

Company’s light work
delights the crowds
Photo courtesy of Nth Degree Creative
Nth Degree Creative created the laser effects for the Broadway musical “Hot Feet,” which features the music of Earth, Wind & Fire. Company founder Jeff Silverman said he used the skills of laser technician Tyler Ledent of Anacortes and programmer Jay Heck of Bellevue for the project.

By Kimberly Hilden
SCBJ Assistant Editor

As a lighting designer with a passion for multimedia productions, Jeff Silverman is in the business of creating “oohs” and “ahs.” Through his company, Nth Degree Creative, he does just that, reaching audiences on a regional, national and international stage.

Nth Degree Creative

Address: 802 Crown Drive, Everett, WA 98203

Phone: 425-258-4861

Web site:

“I just finished the Sasquatch Music Festival at the Gorge in George, projecting laser visual graphics to a rock face 2,000 feet away, with images at times measuring 1,000 feet wide,” Silverman said during a June interview at his Everett home office.

“The concert officials wanted entertainment between the two main acts each night. We used a soundtrack and performed a light show with that. It went well; we got cheers from the crowd, got oohs and ahs. It’s always nice to have happy customers — they tend to come back,” he said, smiling.

In the past year, Nth Degree Creative’s work has appeared at Puget Sound nightclubs, at the kickoff of Xbox 360 at Microsoft’s Millenium Campus and in the musical “Hot Feet” on Broadway.

“We have several laser systems that are part of the show. It was a real privilege and a great honor and has really helped put my company on the map. I’ve already been asked to bid on some rock-and-roll tours,” said Silverman, who has been designing and producing light shows since 1980 and is a former principal of an industry innovator, Laser Fantasy International, now known as LFI International.

Although Silverman has almost a dozen entertainment design specialists he contracts with around the country — in such locations as Las Vegas; Washington, D.C.; New York City; Chicago; and Los Angeles — travel is part and parcel of the job.

It recently took him to Branson, Mo., where he used lasers as an advertising beacon to lure tourists to comedian Yakov Smirnoff’s show, and to Aspen, Colo., where Nth Degree Creative produced a laser light spectacle for a Fourth of July celebration.

And in June, the company began working with an installation artist on “groundbreaking work” with lasers and light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, at a public park in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Silverman said.

It should lead to a wider marketplace for laser displays in the future by laying the groundwork for how laser safety is handled in public displays across the United States, he said.

“My goal is to improve the lot of the industry. ... If it works out, it would allow me to increase my business tenfold,” Silverman said.

Business has been growing during the past year, but it wasn’t too long ago that Nth Degree Creative and the entertainment production industry as a whole hit a rough patch, he said.

“Since early 2001, the industry has taken a massive hit. I went through some lean times and focused on local work, doing more lighting design and less on laser light shows,” Silverman said, attributing those “lean times” to the dot-com bust and ensuing economic downturn.

Nth Degree Creative pulled through by providing lighting design for Seattle nightclubs, regional casinos and architecture firms as well as becoming a dealer for industry equipment. Equipment rentals also helped and now bring in half of the company’s revenues, he said.

The addition of the Everett Events Center and the Lynnwood Convention Center in recent years should prove a new venue for local business, in terms of both equipment rentals and entertainment production, Silverman added.

In the near future, he hopes to move his operations to commercial space.

“I will probably, actually, create a theater with no more than 250 seats to use as demo space and also have revenue opportunities,” he said.

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© 2006 The Daily Herald Co., Everett, WA