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Brighton Beach Memoirs

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by LightingMinion, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. LightingMinion

    LightingMinion Member

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    Hello!

    My school is doing BBM this fall and I was wondering if anyone has done it, and if they have, do you think that using a fiber optic curtain would be a bit much?? I lean more towards artistic lighting and very colorful bright scenes. Since this play is very realistic, I wondered if a star curtain would be a bit much?
     
  2. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    My college produced it my freshman year and a fiber optic curtain would have been a bit much for our approach. If the concept for your production is more of a cartoony feel then it might work. To hang it and plug it in just because you have it isn't the best idea. For our production we had a 2 story set and a lot of time was spent by everyone to make it look as realistic as possible for a pre 1940s house. Lots of practicals and working outlets.
     
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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  4. LightingMinion

    LightingMinion Member

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    Well, then I suppose a star curtain would not work, our director likes more depressing realistic shows. Hmm... We might have a god light on Eugene each time he speaks to the audience. Do you think the best solution would be to rent moving lights for this??
     
  5. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Probably not. Go watch a rehearsal and count the the number of places Eugene stops and talks, more likely than not it will be five or less which in my mind doesn't justify a moving light. Another issue with using one moving light for this would be that the angle the "god light" hits him at could vary wildly for each position he is in, so using conventionals hung right where you need them lets the lighting look more uniform.
     
  6. LekoBoy

    LekoBoy Active Member

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    Yes. Ten VL1000TS's should do it. Remember it's ALL about the lighting. The playwright and actors don't really matter.
     
  7. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

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    You planning on following him around? If so, if you have the budget to pay a spot op spend it on that instead of renting a moving fixture. Writing the cues to follow somebody around with a moving light is a lot of work and what you get for your trouble is something that looks blatantly mechanical, really inorganic. You have to work out in tech the actor's timing down to the 10th of a second and the SM has to nail it every time. The actor can never diverge from this timing and blocking even a little so it forces the actor to move with the light like a marionette. Moving the actor along a curve is a huge PITA. And, even then, to keep the actor in light you have to make the focus wide enough to give them some margin for error and then you have spill all over the place. Not that it can't be done, I do it fairly frequently but I generally hate the way it looks and I'd really rather just have a human on a light. (I also wish we could always afford a band and never use tracks, but that's another story with the same ending).

    If you're looking to have a single unit that serves as multiple stationary specials, that's different. Depending on your set design a single mover might be fine. Actually, for this purpose, what I'd suggest is a Rosco iCue, a moving mirror head that goes on a Src-4. I have 6 of these, they're my only movers and I love them. They have their limitations and they're not "feature laden" like other wiggle-lights; they're a one trick pony but they do that trick extremely well and the price is right.

    They cost about $600 each, you could probably be well on the way to owning one for the cost of renting a moving fixture for a couple weeks. You need DMX and a scroller power supply.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  8. LightingMinion

    LightingMinion Member

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    We generally rent our lights from Atmosphere lighting. Do you think two studio color 575's or Studio Spot 575's would do it???
     
  9. LekoBoy

    LekoBoy Active Member

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    No. You'd have to have either Showguns or Showpixs.
     
  10. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    So.... there have been a couple of responses, none of them support using moving lights.... so why are you so intent on it?
     
  11. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

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    +1

    I'm gonna' guess there's some insurmountable reason.

    I'm gonna' guess that the real insurmountable reason is an uncontrollable urge to play with gadgets, an urge so powerful that it transcends the actual needs of the show.... :twisted::p;)
     
  12. LightingMinion

    LightingMinion Member

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    Well, I am pretty intent on using them, because our spotlights would have to be spot on when turned on. Also, if we used our SL's we would have to map out exactly where Eugene would be. And on our lightbord (Strand Pallette Classic) I belive we can change things instantly if there is an adjustment. Im having issues though, working with a co-cheif makes things rather difficult in the sense that you have to explain everything. Also, another reason to use moving lights is that our principal really likes to show off our theater, also to try to live up to the past LD's legacy I guess.Eh, its confusing....:neutral:
     
  13. Serendipity

    Serendipity Active Member Premium Member

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    It's good to be curious about the new toys on the market, but keep in mind that it'll be what you do with your lighting fixtures, rather than how many fixtures you can wrangle. You're designing lights for a show, not designing a light show. If you listen to what you think will work with the show, and dedicate yourself to your work you'll surpass any legacy.
    I admit, I don't know the show, but Weebl and Quarterfront sound right.

    Do you own what you're suggesting here, or will it be rental? How big is your budget?
     
  14. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

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    Generally the way this works is that you attend a run-through and take notes. At focus you rough focus the lights and put down spikes. This gets you within a foot or two. In tech, if the director wants the actor to be off your spike you move the spike and take a note. After rehearsal you retouch the focus on any units that you moved the spikes for.

    Easy for me to say, I have 6 iCues, and I use them to accomplish exactly what it sounds like you're trying to do. But that said, just because an actor is going to multiple spikes, that's not a compelling reason to use movers in and of itself. Part of why I have them is as a compromise, I'm working in 3/4 round and for a lot of moments, esp. in musicals, isolating down to one special leaves a lot of the audience seeing what amounts to sidelight. Start doing the math, you run out of instruments really fast. But that's a discussion for another thread.

    And in the end, though I use the iCues I have as described, for really tight moments I very often end up hanging a special.

    Living up to a past LD's legacy isn't the point. Showing off your facility isn't the point. Telling the story is the point. The BB's are memory plays, not fantasies - and for them, IMHO, simple goes a long way.

    Being an LD does demand that you be proficient with various gear, but design really transcends the equipment. Just because you can address the DMX channels for and focus an Intellabeam®, that doesn't make you a good designer. Makes you a good electrician, but not a good designer. Design is about the getting a show to look right.

    Not trying to throw cold water on your ideas and goals, not one little bit. It's no skin off my nose how you get your show lit - and you're there, I'm not, how can I know what the best solution is, right? But since the topic was here, and since I'm putzing around waiting for this rental to get done with so I can get back to work on teching this show we're opening tomorrow.... Well, hope I'm at least providing a morsel of food for thought....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2008
  15. Serendipity

    Serendipity Active Member Premium Member

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    I recommend communicating what the spike means to either an actor or a director. I had an actor cross to the complete opposite side of the stage when he was supposed to be in a very, very tight special without any warning. Luckily, I managed to sneak something in and the special out but... :neutral:

    I agree. I also wasn't trying to "throw cold water" but in my opinion (it is my opinion, you put the thread here for my opinion! :twisted: Muahahahaaa--Sorry.) you should think about designing, not competing. Otherwise your lights will not have the same connection they should, and let's face it, how many times have you seen moving lights chase through colors, ballyhoo, and sting the audience? I'm sure you're creative--you wouldn't be in theater otherwise--so take a step back and assess the show.
    And, quarterfront's "simple" doesn't necessarily mean boring. Some of my favorite designs I've seen were just clean and beautiful. :]
     
  16. LightingMinion

    LightingMinion Member

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    I understand all of your opinions and they all make sense.
    Thank you for all of the imput. This is really going to help me when we get closer to the show.
    :):):):):)
     
  17. LightingMinion

    LightingMinion Member

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    Well, we don't own any moving lights, but we have around 16 scrollers and a budget that generally gets us 6 moving lights (around 600$ for rental each).
    So, yes it would be rental.
     
  18. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

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    So you have $3600/show to throw around on rentals?

    If I had that kind of money I'd be spending it on toys I could keep.... :!:
     
  19. LightingMinion

    LightingMinion Member

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    I agree, but most of our money comes from the booster club and what we can get from shows. So, its not always for sure that we will have that amount of cash. The TD and Director are also hesitant I think to try to purchase moving lights. Could be because our theater is only 2 years old.:?:
     
  20. Serendipity

    Serendipity Active Member Premium Member

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    If it's two years old you shouldn't need to upgrade, however if you need to it puts you in a much easier position to accept new technology. I know some theaters which probably couldn't safely hang an intelligent fixture, much less give it any sort of cable it'd respond to.

    However, you should start saving the extra budget from shows if you do have that large of a budget and a modern theater. My last show I designed had a $75 LX budget, but I still found enough left over to order some sheets of gel (in colors we didn't have in inventory yet) to build for future shows. If you have the money to spend, and you don't necessarily need to use it all on renting for one show, contemplate what quarterfront suggested.
     

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