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Automated Lighitng Technician

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by LightinGal, Jan 22, 2005.

  1. LightinGal

    LightinGal Member

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    I had an epiphany today. (well over time really)
    I realized that i really want to be an automated lighting lighting programmer/technician.
    I dont know a lot about the field though.
    what does it take to become one?
    what colleges are good for it?
    What kind of degree do i need?
    And what kind of stuff should I be doing now to prepare?

    any thoughts would help marvelously!
     
  2. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    Read manuals for intels. Moving-Lights.com May be a useful source.
     
  3. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Experience, Experience, Experience.

    I hate to "ship" this one out, but it's the truth. With his knowledge and experience he knows how this industry works better than anyone else here (well at least IMO). There was another post that he had that I can't find in the searches. It was from a while ago, almost a year ago someone cited they were a young hs lighting tech looking for work trying to break into the industry. Ship had a phenominal response that was very informal and true. If someone could post a link to that, that'd be great. Sorry to put you on the spot, ship.
     
  4. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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  5. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest getting the yellow pages, especially if you have a separate business to business book, and start calling. Also, google lighting, rental, production, etc. and anything else you can think of. Even tent rental companies need people. The first step is to get your foot in the door ANYWHERE to learn. You may even have to do stuff for below minimum wage in order to get that first job. And a lot of it will be weekend only. And put up with a lot of crap. And deal with people who think they know stuff, but really don't.
     
  6. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest getting the offline version of some differnt boards and playing around with them with there 3d counterpart Like grand ma pc and grand ma 3d (free) hog II pc and one of the visuleizers that go with ect.
     
  7. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Learning the pc versions isn't a bad idea. Although I'd also suggest that if you can find a touch screen monitor, get one (although they can run $500+ very easily). The reason being that a lot of the buttons on those consoles aren't replicated on the standard computer keyboard (such as the @, the Set, the Group, etc. buttons on Hog. And since those buttons get used a lot during programming, you'll find that trying to use the mouse and work with the pc really sucks.

    You might also look at the better (imo because they are windows based) dmx software such as Martin LightJockey, Elation Compuware, Sunlite DMX, etc. Since they were designed straight to a windows environment they are more user friendly than the Hog and MA (again, IMO) which are transplants from the original consoles.

    There's also a classified section at prosoundweb but it's currently undergoing maintenance and has been for a couple weeks.
     
  8. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    Ive been using the offline versiond to get the syntechs down. like for patching on a hog. But I can see where you are coming from, you show up on site and you know what you want, you just can't find it.
     
  9. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Try to get in touch with a community theatre if there is one near you. Most don't have the resources for automated lighting, but may come with people who can help you get connections.
     
  10. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    syntax?
     
  11. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    Yea thats what I ment, each board has its own way of doing things. So learning what format or syntax to enter them in is helpful. For example naming something with a hog is set ma its keyboard to undo something in ma is opps but in hog its undo.
     
  12. SuperCow

    SuperCow Active Member

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    Basically, syntax is the order you punch things in to the board. For example, some boards respond to this:

    [Channel] [34] [@] [25] [Enter]

    While some respond to this:

    [34] [Channel] [25] [Level] [Enter]

    This is the syntax of the board. The one on top is a verbose syntax, in that you hit the bootons in the way that you would say it. The one on the bootom is just plain wierd, but I've come across board that work that way.
     
  13. LightinGal

    LightinGal Member

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    What kind of degree would i need to do this?


    And as for experience, I do work in a few theatres, they are not big, but im learning a lot.

    i think im going to sit down and read a few manuals. definitely.

    thanks everyone!
     
  14. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    Maybe look into a degree in business.
     
  15. TechWench

    TechWench Member

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    Wouldnt lightingal want to get a degree in lighting design with maybe a concentration in automated lighting?

    how would a degree in buisness help with that?

    maybe im wrong here.
    correct me if i am.
     
  16. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    And some respond to both. :D
     
  17. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Business degrees may or may not be useful (I don't have one so I can't say) but they may lend more credibility to someone. That is, if they know what they're doing. Anyone who claims to have skills they actually don't won't last long, no matter what kind of degree they have.
     
  18. RonaldBeal

    RonaldBeal Active Member

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    The reality is there are two ways to get a job as a lighting tech/programmer in the professionjal world; Luck and hard work. I've never counted on luck.
    If your goal is broadway and "traditional" theater then a degree in theater/technical theater comes in handy. If your goal is lighting for music events a degree dosn't help much, although Full Sail does have a decent placement program. Ultimatly you'll need to start working for a lighting company (or production company) in the market you want to end up in. You may have to apply several times before you get hired (persistance pays.) You will start at the bottom and if you do well and work hard, you'll move up.
    Hope this helps and good luck
     

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