Canton’s Clyve provides lighting for Pope Francis visit

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Canton's Scott Clyve poses in front of the 'Pope-mobile.' (Photo courtesy of Scott Clyve)

Canton’s Scott Clyve poses in front of the ‘Pope-mobile.’ (Photo courtesy of Scott Clyve)

Lighting designer and director Scott Clyve has worked with some of the biggest celebrities in the world, including A-listers such as Angelina Jolie and Harrison Ford. Last month, Clyve created the lighting for one of the best known but perhaps most humble personalities of them all, Pope Francis, during his visit to Philadelphia.

ESM Productions hired Clyve about two weeks before the pontiff’s arrival. “I was tasked with a bunch of different lighting, which was cool,” said the Canton resident.

When Pope Francis arrived September 26, one of Clyve’s assignments was to do the lighting for his arrival and departure at the airport. He worked to make the lighting look natural, creating moments that would photograph well.

“He flew in on Saturday and went straight to a Mass,” Clyve said. “I had to light the outdoor area.”

The Mass took place at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. Security for the pope’s visit was so tight that Clyve was given a car with a personal driver so that he could easily arrive at the sites he needed to light. He described members of the Secret Service and various branches of the government, who were in charge of security, as helpful and extremely friendly.

On Saturday afternoon, Pope Francis gave a speech at Independence Hall, and again Clyve provided the lighting. He explained that the preparation for the speech involved the time and efforts of a crew of 140 people who began working at the site on the Monday before the pope arrived. Some crew members worked all week, while others were assigned to shorter shifts.

Clyve did the lighting for the pope's arrival at the airport.

Pope Francis arrives in Philadelphia.

One of the highlights for Clyve was his last assignment for Saturday’s agenda. Pope Francis traveled through the streets of Philadelphia to attend the Festival of Families at 7:30 that evening. The festival was a combination of a prayer vigil and music performances by Andrea Bocelli, Juanes, and Aretha Franklin.

“I got to rummage around in the ‘Pope-mobile’ and check out the lighting,” Clyve said.

He ensured that the lighting inside the vehicle would allow people waiting along the route to easily see Pope Francis.

Clyve has reflected on his time preparing the various sites for the pope’s visit to Philadelphia since returning to Canton.

“At one point, I was 15 feet away from him,” he said. “That happened a few times. What was amazing was what he radiates. It sends goose bumps down your body. You’ve heard all these things about how he’s changing the church. He’s not about pomp and circumstance. It doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic. It’s if you have faith in who you are.”

He added that he feels good about the work he did on a worldwide stage. “I think we should all feel good about Philadelphia and this country,” Clyve said.

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