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Ever put a baggy in a followspot?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by derekleffew, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    For the entire saga of how I spent my day today, visit

    http://www.derekleffew.com/spotbaggy

    Complete with pictures.

    For those who don't want to click the link, I'll summarize:
    I'd heard tell of Broadway shows using a piece of ZipLoc bag in the spotlight colorframe instead of Rosco or Lee or GAM or Apollo frost; to soften the edge and give that "glowy, highlighty" feeling. I tried it in 2002 and it didn't work. Never one to give up, or learn from one's mistakes, I tried it today and it still didn't work. But, the reason I repeated the test was different fixtures, different venues.

    So I have some other options to try eventually. But all I want is something to take the edge off, but still keep the quality of light distribution. Oh, and to be able to make it come and go at will.
  2. avkid

    avkid Not a New User

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    You don't want to know what I thought when I first read the title of this topic.
  3. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I left the plastic sleeve on a BTL once,...... Once.
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team

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    Can you still smell it?

    Hey Derek what about using some color transparency film. Like for use on overhead projectors?
  5. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Hot boxin' the spot basket...?

    Probably not hot enough in there for that though...
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2007
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Good suggestion, gafftaper. I thought all transparency films were optically clear, i.e. transparent, so I'll investigate that.

    charcoaldabs, the color frames in a Xenon Super Trouper are at the front of the light, approx. 5' from the lamp. No problems with heat. Yes, all the light energy is passing through the filter, but I've never had much problem with that. I have seen Full CTO fade after at least 10 hours of constant use.

    I've hopefully gotten the baggy thing out of my system for good (now that sounded odd!) and want to try the Roscolux I didn't know about, X140 Subtle Hampshire Frost, and GAM10-30.

    I think it's interesting that years ago many New York designers had to have R114 on every ERS, then that wasn't good enough, so R119 became the rage. Now I'm seeing R132 come into fashion. And the next "trend" will likely be R140.

    Lighting people are a fickle, faddish sort, but few like to admit it.

    So much for my thoughts of the day.

    Derek
  7. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I have done it successfully before, both times in Lycian spots. There is a huge thread going on about it over at lightnetwork, take a look their.
  8. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a sticky situation if things get too hot! ;)
    I know on my Lycian 1209's, I have a hard time keeping Roscolux from blowing through! (Not much airflow around the gels on that model.) Would imagine it would work ok on front mounted booms.
  9. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it's know as "FBF", or Freezer Bag Frost.

    Our PM found this somewhere (he's also a USA829 LD) and we place it on one half of the Lycian 1293 Dipstick with Rosco R119 on the other half. It does indeed provide for a more subtle frost then R132 or R119, especially when combined with the image edge adjustment done via the lens.

    There's a new Rosco Hamburg frost called R140 Subtle Hamburg Frost, which is supposed to be half R132. I'm planning on ordering some this week to try.

    SB
  10. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    SteveB -more explanation please. IIRC the "Lycian 1293 Dipstick" looks like a squared off figure 8. So the Freezer Bag goes in the bottom hole, interupting the light beam between the lenses, and why does it matter what goes into the top hole? R119. Or is it just so you can flip the dipstick over quickly for a different effect?

    Is there an absolute brand of Freezer Bag? The "alligator" type? Does it have any texture at all or is it similar to Visqueen or standard polyethylene sheeting. Maybe this is NOT out of my system. I do really want it to work for me.

    Thanks.
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team

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    I've never tried it so I have no idea. But I just have the feeling that the optical tolerances involved in producing transparency film are much lower than gel. Maybe if you put two layers together? A trick I figured out for cheap windows on a set is to use that heat shrink plastic temporary window insulation stuff and spray it with hair spray to frost it just a bit. While that plastic wouldn't last 1 second in a trooper, hair spray on some transparency film might give you the ability to adjust your frost.
  12. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Member

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    I have a feeling that hairspray wis rather flammable.
  13. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Good questions

    The Dipstick is exactly as you described it, a 2ft long by 8" wide piece of sheet metal with 2 - 6" round holes, one on the top, one on the bottom, for gel, gobo's, whatever. It is in a slot between the gel frame box an the itis/shutter/dowser controls. We put our generic/stock frosts in this device so as to not use up a gel frame.

    In general, the FBF is any brand zipper locking (I believe we use Ziploc), cutting the bag into 2 parts, using the side that has no logo. It generally just softens the total beam enough, in a way that the lens adjustment doesn't. Using the lens usually leaves a bit of a brown edge with some ring in the image. Using the lens adjustment with a bit of FBF gets rid of the brown edge, but is not quite as soft as R132, but is somewhat variable towards R132 using the lens.

    We keep R119 in the other hole - the dipstick has no top or bottom, except if you write on it. R119 is different enough to provide a designer with a choice of really soft (R119), sort-of-soft, or very little soft.

    Couldn't say as to texture as I don't pay that much attention as it basically does what we need, for this spot at the throw (120ft.).

    SB
  14. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team

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    Hmm interesting point. Is the hairspray itself flammable after it's dry or is it just the propellant in the can and the atomization effect as it's sprayed that makes the infamous blow torch effect.

    DON'T try it at home kids!!!

    EDIT... Try spraying some hairspray on something non-flammable like a piece of metal, WAIT FOR IT TO DRY, and put a torch to it to see if it burns (outside, on pavement, with fire a extinguisher nearby!!)
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2007
  15. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Member

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    Quick google search came up with this.

    "Both the propellant gas [often propane] and the solvent for the binder [usually
    an alcohol or ether] are highly flammable. When aerosolized by the sprayer, the
    combination is exceptionally incendiary."
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team

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    But once it dries both of those are gone. I think it's quite harmless once dry. I may have to go spray the wife's hair spray on my sidewalk tomorrow and put a torch to it to find out.
  17. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Member

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    If i can muster up some good old fashion hairspray i will do a burn test.

    JH
  18. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team

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    Sounds like a fun one to explain to the neighbors... "Honey... the crazy guy who build all those weird things in his driveway, just sprayed his sidewalk with hairspray 5 minutes ago... now he's trying to light it with a blow torch." Should we call the cops or the mental ward?
  19. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Member

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    That assumes i have a blow torch :)
    Or a driveway for the matter. :D

    Ill do it inside, hows that sound.

    JH
  20. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team

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    Actually I was referring to myself as the crazy guy who builds stuff in his driveway... Over the last 4 years I've built 18 set's in my driveway for the college... flats, platforms, french doors, a Tom Sawyer fence, A brick house, steps small and large.... my neighbors all think I'm nuts. Burning a little hairspray coated pavement will just add to my mystique. I'm SO glad to finally have a theater with a shop.

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