About Us

The idea came out of the desire to have a comfortable place to use emerging technologies to previsualize lighting prior to being in the venue. Tom Thompson had been using previs software, carrying around his system in a flight case and setting up wherever it was convenient. He knew there was a market for a studio where designers could get away from the distractions, the interruptions, and the lack of concentration that occurs when working in a chaotic environment.


Prelite's mission is to provide a studio atmosphere where previsualization and creativity can take place in an environment that is dedicated to the unfettered creation process of your show.


The idea of this idyllic place for creation continued when in June of 2001, Prelite opened a sister studio in New York City. Prelite NY was created by Kim Grethen and Rodd McLaughlin. Similar to Tom 's experience, Rodd had also been carrying around a previs system in a suitcase to shows, knowing all along that a studio was the way to truly provide this service.


In an ongoing effort to improve their services, Prelite introduced “Prelite Onsite” in 2003.  It became evident that there is much time wasted by programmers and designers while waiting for the lighting rig and scenery to be constructed.  “Why not package our systems to create an ‘on site studio’, so the show can begin to be programmed on day 1?”  Suddenly the wasted time became creative time, and the shows started to become better and better; programmers were not asked to work ridiculous hours just to “have a show in the desk”, keeping their time on site within budget.


For our clients who prefer the environment and amenities of our studio, the location remains in Novato, CA – equidistant from San Francisco, Napa Valley, and Stinson Beach.  Prelite continues to be involved in a wide variety of projects with tremendous success. Our clients have been able to provide significantly higher quality shows than was previously possible due to time constraints and have shown their clients that previsualization is not only an important tool - it's a necessary tool.