Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by fatherpierce, Feb 10, 2010.
What gels would you guys usually use for a general backlight? WHat about when lighting specials?
Just a forewarning, you may get a lot of harsh response about designing based on the needs of a specific show from some members here on cb. I would agree, that sometimes a special needs to be in a certain color or even have a certain pattern (gobo) based on the need of a production. It also depends on what you want out of a special. Are you putting it up in a rep plot for assemblies and podiums? Or are you using it to isolate an actor? It also depends if you want to color correct the fixture if you just want it white. I often find myself using L202 or L281 in my Altmans for general purpose specials.
As far as backlight is concerned, I would say its where I take the most liberty with choosing colors. Since (hopefully) you can already see the actors face, its easier to get creative with backlight as it will still make actors 3-dimensional from the audience; however, add color if that's what the show requires. In other cases, you may just want to create a third dimension for the playing area. In this case, if you only have one fixture to work with per area, I would say a neutral lavender or pink, (again, show depending), however if you have more than one system of backlight I would say its fairly common place to allow for a warm and cool system of backlight.
Intesting, I was always taught that on single instrument backlight systems the light should be a cool not warm. Don't know who is correct, simply what I was taught.
I'll be honest I never had anyone teach me what to do for backlight... as I've learned most of what I do from...well---doing.
I've just found that with pinks and lavenders you can often accomplish both a warm and cool effect based on the saturation. I also think it depends on what the design calls for.
There's no such thing as "correct." It's art after all.
For things like dance and musical theater, I like saturated colors in backlight (especially blue like L119 if I only get one color and have enough wattage for it to show up) because I like to try to keep the floor from getting too bright. I will also try to do a top or high side with an unsaturated color (like R53, 54 or 55) with a breakup gobo to make highlights on people (the gobo makes the floor look good, too).
If you want things brighter, like for classical music something like R64 might be a nice backlight color, and R53 in top specials.
I agree there is no defined correct way. You need to do what works for the production, I should have said on the whole I taught to use a cool. Cool covers a wide spectrum of colors.
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