Cats

NABster07

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Location
Maine
Hey everyone-
Our theater is currently working on the production Cats. Now if you are fimiliar with this production there are quite a few special effects. We have figured all of them out except one, the electrocution scene. If you arent familiar with the play, one of the cats goes up, grabs two wires, and touches them or something, and the whole stage goes dark, then there are these blue type almost neon lights above him. We are a high school theater, so we cant use flash pots or any of that, but we strive to create as close to the actual production as possible. So even if you have an idea that might be expensive, I want to hear it.
Thanks-
 

egorleski

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2006
Location
Chicagoland
I haven't ever seen the production... so im kindah going out on a limb as to what exactly your looking for. It would probably help if u described it in more detail. From the sounds of it my suggestion would be to use the thin battery powered rope light. This seems like a good option because you could easily put it on the front of some luan painted black so that its not visible and tie it down with fishing line in the pattern you want (lightningesk) and then most of the control boxes allow you to flash them or you could do it manualy. Mix with some other lighting and youve got yourself a nice effect.
 

erosing

The Royal Renaissance Man
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Location
Wisconsin
My highschool did it last year, and we're supposed to take it to festival level this year for a reunion(sorry had to plug for it). But anyways, we left out that part, just found that it wasn't possible to do and have it look good at a reasonable price.
 

egorleski

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2006
Location
Chicagoland
you said you cannot do flashpots... so im not sure if maybe a flashpot would get the desired effect. if you think it would then i would refer you to the topic something like explosians minus the explosian... yea i stink but u get the idea. basicaly it covers the idea of using compressed air or co2 or nitrogen to get a similar effect.
 

SHARYNF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
My suggestion would be to get a large uv light like the UV Cannon of American dj type and use slow in the dark paint. The biggest problem you will run into is that the uv light needs to warm up , so you usually need to have some one up in the fly area with a cover over the light to remove it when you need the effect. You can also use a quick stobe to get the flash.

Sharyn
 

danl

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Location
west virginia
we used a product called "live wire" which has a strobe effect and is battery opperated... we connected it to two loose car battery chargers and put the battery pack on one of the handles where the actor could control the on/off switch with his thumb... he drew the chargers apart, turned on the strobing live wire, and at the moment they touched he switched it off, a flashpot above him was fired, and there was blackout... it was great!!!
go here for info on the live wire:
http://www.livewireent.com/
 

kovacika

Active Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
The UV light and paint combined with a medium/varying speed strobe could probably work.
 

jonhirsh

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Location
Toronto, Ontario and Valencia, California
Why are you trying to copy John Napier and David Herseyl.
Be original. It seems a waste of time and energy just to carbon copy the show. If that’s what your audience wanted they could go see the touring show, or even buy the DVD.
The show does not need to even remotely reference the way it was originally done. Use your imagination.
This statement is not just for you but is for allot of designs / posts I have seen lately. Your post just was the final straw on the camels back for me.
If you want to call your self a "Designer" you must DESIGN
JH
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
Why are you trying to copy John Napier and David Herseyl.
Be original. It seems a waste of time and energy just to carbon copy the show. If that’s what your audience wanted they could go see the touring show, or even buy the DVD.
The show does not need to even remotely reference the way it was originally done. Use your imagination.
This statement is not just for you but is for allot of designs / posts I have seen lately. Your post just was the final straw on the camels back for me.
If you want to call your self a "Designer" you must DESIGN
JH
Dude! I thought the designer was just the guy that copied the ground plan from the back of the script and handed it to the carps.

Seriously, It's a very hard road to walk now days. I blame it mostly on Pop Culture. Everybody wants to see what they did in the movie, or they want the music to sound just like it did on the album, forget the fact that it is impossible to sing like that while break dancing.
Next thing, Hey folks look at the date on the original post Sept 11, 2006,
today is November 30th, if this show isn't in Production by now then I'm realitivly certain that it's past the design stage. If they don't know what to do by now...... I think that effect will be cut. :cool:
 

NABster07

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Location
Maine
Well this thread doesn't mean anything anymore since our production ended 2 weeks ago. And just so that you know I did not copy the movie on the special effects. Originally I was thinking it would be cool to do that, but I ended up using a puff of smoke with a strobe above him in a black out. It looked very cool. And I completely agree with you that if you are a designer, you need to design, but when going about designing in high school, I have found that there is a lot of pressure on you to copy what you've seen in the movies or on broadway. And John, refering back to the photos post where you commented on the set, that was not my design, and I completely agree with you that it was not a very origional set. But thats what the set designer wanted, and what the director wanted. I only designed the lights. And no, the lighting was not the same as what david hersey did. Different colors, different technique, different lighting.
-Nick
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
:) Hmm well i still feel my snapping at the world was justified.

JH
Snapping at the world is ok. You just have to be careful 'cause when it bites back it hurts.
I think Nabster reinforced my point about the pressures to recreate , especially in high school. Personally I don't expect to see a lot of original designs in high school. I expect to see well copied / emulated adaptations of other peoples sets and designs. The main reason being that, these are highschool kids we're talking about. Where are they supposed to have learned ? Now I know a lot of youngster that THINK they know everything about design, but they just don't have enough expirience to actually call themselves designers. Composers, poets, designers, all learn their trade, by copying , or at least emulating somone elses work, it's an incredibly important stage of learning.
 

jonhirsh

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Location
Toronto, Ontario and Valencia, California
I have no problem taking it.

My problem is not with you personally it is with an issue that I see prevalent, I see it prevalent in more then just high school theatre; I find it in professional and college as well.

It is not a question of learning; the problem is that it is a complete disregard for intellectual property. As artists intellectual property is all we have.

If you wish to have your art respected then you must respect others.

I feel that high school shows are a place to learn and experiment, but learning is only possible when trying new things. Otherwise you are not learning just copying.

If you want to copy other people’s work do a paper project.
 

SHARYNF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
I would have to disagree expecially at the high school level. In many artistic learning situations, especially in the visual arts, copying is a very useful learning experience. There is the artstic design aspect of a work but there also is the craft tech side. I certainly think at the professional level it is totally unacceptable but in a learning situation it is a very useful way to learn how to actually do something

Sharyn
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
Thats what paper projects are for... These help with the craft side of design. They never are realized though.
We can agree to disagree, that's the great thing about this place. To your argument however I would have to say your missing the point the educational system, or at least part of it. What is put on stage is not just for the benefit of the stagecraft kids, you also need to provide a set that will work for the dancers, actors, performance artists, whomever your providing a set for. For most schools that means copying somebodies work. As to paper projects, I once had a resume' pass my desk all the expirience was "paper projects" or "studies" these are great but they are no substitute for even copying and then following a set through to completion. If you copy a floorplan, you still have to to working drawings, and the engineering to get a set realized, and that is where the learning comes in. The process of figuring out how something was originally built is a HUGE part of the learning curve any future designer or Technical director needs to learn.
I do however agree that there is way too much copying going on in other places where it shouldn't.