Honoring Jim Moody

Photo Credit: Steve Crise

Visual Terrain is saddened today by the news of the passing of our co-founder, colleague and friend, James “Jim” Moody.

Jim was the CEO and one of the founding members of Visual Terrain in 2001, along with Jeff Ravitz, Dawn Hollingsworth and Lisa Passamonte Green, when Moody Ravitz Hollingsworth Lighting Design and Passamonte Lighting Design merged. By that time, Jim was already a legend in the lighting business, having been a concert lighting designer for the Hollywood Palladium, lighting acts like Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones, among many, many others.

From there, Jim went on to work on two of the longest-running game shows in history, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, where he worked with legends Alex Trebek, Pat Sajak, and Vanna White. He also spent nine seasons on Entertainment Tonight, and was the resident lighting designer for the El Portal Theatre Center.

When Jim co-founded Visual Terrain, he had already designed lighting for over 300 television programs, 87 theater productions, 45 live to tape concerts, 35 game shows, 60 Spanish language programs, 58 commercials, 24 music videos, 10 film lighting credits, 23 theatre/night club and stage installations, 12 sports events, 40 concert artists’ multiple tours, and 42 live events. He also lit the 113th Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, 2002.

Jim was affiliated with many industry organizations, including the Academy of Television Arts and Science, International Photographers Guild – I.A.T.S.E. Local 600, United States Institute for Theatre Technology, United Scenic Artists, Illuminating Engineering Society, Themed Entertainment Association, and the American Society of Lighting Directors.

A prolific writer, Jim wrote over 60 articles, and several books, including the classic textbook, “Concert Lighting: Techniques, Art and Business.”

Despite his many achievements in lighting, Jim often seemed most proud of his involvement in the United States Coast Guard. He spoke of it, and his love of the sea, often.

Jim left Visual Terrain in 2002, to begin a new chapter in his life: Teaching. He had often been a frequent guest design/lecturer at major universities, including the University of Colorado at Boulder and Penn State University, and was appointed as an adjunct professor at San Diego State University. For his Golden Years, Jim was a professor at Los Angeles Community College for 20 years, where a full generation of college students benefitted from his experience, insight, and wit.

Lisa Passamonte Green says, “Jim was a huge influence in my life. I read ‘Concert Lighting’ when I was getting my theater degree, and I never dreamed I would one day be business partners with the author. Getting to know Jim was an honor, and I was pleased to remain friends with him after he left the company. His stories about his youthful days in the rock and roll concert lighting business were amazing. I spoke with Jim just last year, and he seemed happy and active, so the news of his passing comes as somewhat of a shock. He will be deeply missed.”