David Niles (director)

David Niles is a director, director of photography and designer. He was one of the first to pioneer the commercial applications of High Definition television. He is cofounder of Colossalvision, a production and post-production facility.

From 1972 through 1987, Niles operated abroad in Paris, France where he founded and designed his production facilities Captain Video and VOIR. While in France, he earned the prestigious “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” for creating the on-air look of all three French television networks.

In 1987, Niles returned to New York and started 1125 Productions, a then state-of-the-art HDTV television production facility utilizing Sony HDVS equipment. The company acquired the lease to The Ed Sullivan Theater in 1990 and combined their HDTV studio with the landmarked theater to house the Broadway show “Dreamtime (musical)” in 1992. The studio was used during the day to shoot HDTV productions with Aerosmith and Crosby, Stills & Nash for MTV Unplugged, and Tony Bennett, Mick Jagger, and Jackie Mason. Niles also directed for “Jackie Mason: Brand New” on Broadway at The Neil Simon Theater.

“Dreamtime (musical)” was created by niles based on an original story by Marc Cerrone. Niles also directed and wrote the book for the musical. Eddie Bracken, Sonia Jones, and Steve Overland starred in the show which also features Camille Donatacci, Deirdre Imus, Bonnie Comley & Stephanie Daniels. The show, billed as “A New Broadway Musical Experience” combined giant screen images in high definition with live actors, music and laser lighting effects. The audience members were videotaped upon their entrance and became part of the show’s finale thanks to the high tech, quick video editing equipment incorporated into the theater.

During “Dreamtime’s” successful Broadway run at The Ed Sullivan Theater, Consolidated Properties, Inc sold the theater and the office space above to CBS to serve as the new home for the David Letterman Show. CBS needed the theater right away and struck a deal to move 1125 Productions and “Dreamtime (musical) out of the theater. The show was given four weeks to vacate the theater and relocate. Due to the cost of moving the Broadway show and the lack of another comparable Broadway theater the show closed permanently. Niles returned to Broadway to direct for Jackie Mason: Brand New. The sale of the building and quick vacancy earned Brian Ezraty, the prestigious Henry Hart Rice Achievement Award for the Most Ingenious Deal of the Year for 1993.

In 1995 Niles teamed up with Scott Worthington and shortly thereafter formed Colossalvision. The team produced another multimedia extravaganza called “Show Me New York” in 1996. The show, hosted by Jerry Orbach combined HDTV on a 40-foot (12 m) wide screen with a lightshow and fireworks.

In 1998, Niles consulted and directed the redesigning of Madison Square Garden studio into HDTV production facilities and has begun design for HDTV facilities for Radio City Music Hall.

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    The kind uncles and aunts of the race are more esteemed than its true spiritual fathers and mothers.
    —Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)