Childrens Show

Dani

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Nov 19, 2005
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Pennsylvania
I have an interesting question, and as a warning I cringe when I see what I have to work with on this one but anywho, for my undergrad internship I am the drama director/choreographer/stage manager/designer/ everything except music director for this childrens show

Its a short half an hour show that takes place in the jungle, yay to 30 children dancing around on stage (not)

anywho I have 8 pretty much stationary pars to work with, and I need to figure out what to do with eight lights for this show and thats all I get, i know the parents arent going to notice a thing but I need something that isn't going to make me cringe everytime I have to sit through this.

Any suggestions with gel colors? or anything else?
 

gafftaper

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Is there a way you can embrace the crappy lighting and do something with costuming the kids in glow stick jewelery, flashlights, battery candles, etc. Then use some deep saturated colors in your 8 existing lights. Make the lack of light an advantage and use the kids to become the real source of light. It might not work at all for your show but it's a thought.

I've also done some gorilla theater lighting using things like those metal clip on shop lamps you find at Home depot for $7 or using the big 500 watt contractor style halogen floor lamps. You can gel both of these units. If you use the big halogens only use colors with high transmission rates and you need to pounce them a lot to let the heat out. There are a lot of interesting light sources at Home Depot if you are desperate enough.
 

Pie4Weebl

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If it were me and I only had 8 pars I would probably just try to get one wash out of it, maybe a warm pinkish color for frontlight and a light blue top light.
 

cutlunch

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Sorry I don't have the numbers but the only swatch book to hand is a Clive James.

I would try something different such as a lime green and a pale lavender. The lime green will give a greenish/yellow jungle look. The lavender will give some skin tone. They should mix well together.
 

highschooltech

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Orange, CA
I don't know the size of the stage but i have several suggestions. Every year my church does a festival with several side stages. Each stage had four lights, one with a red, another with a blue, another with skintone, and finaly one with nothing. The fixtures should be able to create a mellow wash on the stage. Im sorry i can give numbers our media guy a our church doesn't believe in writing things down.
Another idea would to be go with a white wash from the from the front with some of the lights and use some for down light. Again it depends on the stage that is going to be used.
Finally, i like what gafftaper came up with. I mean it is suposed to be a dark forest right?
 

Flyboy

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Mar 14, 2006
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Chicago, IL
The only thing I can really say is: "No matter what happens, don't worry about it." Although I do believe in being as artistic as possible whenever we can, what you said is true: it's a kids' show, and the parents aren't going to care. I had to do a high school production last fall with nothing but a handful of short-range lekos, four 6" fresnels, three 14" scoops, and hanging positions which allowed only a 15 degree throw angle...and the director wanted full stage isolation (a total of nine separate areas. I did what I could, but when it comes down to it, their parents will just be happy that they made it on stage.

By the way, I will definitely third gafftaper's idea.
 

gafftaper

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Although I do believe in being as artistic as possible whenever we can, what you said is true: it's a kids' show, and the parents aren't going to care.
This brings up an important point. The one complaint you will get from the parrents is if it's too dark for them to see their little angel's face. Turning my back on my original wacky idea that everyone else seems to like... It might be worth it to just go with a really standard mix like R06 and R60 or R33 and R60. Nothing fancy, you'll just get nice even bright light.
 

Logos

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Rockhampton Queensland, Australia
I've never tried this with Pars but with Fresnels I've cut strips or shapes of two or more colours and made up a pattern of colours. It's worked for me for light through stained glass windows ets. Put a couple of your Par's into a Green and Gold mixed split and use the rest in a nice pink. I won't confuse you with numbers because they would be Lee not Roscoe. You can use the two in the split as a jungly effect and make sure the angels faces are visible with the other Pars. Good Luck
I am not talking about simple triangular splits. It can be a pain to make them up but it's fun to see what you can do with them.
 

soundlight

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I think that the split idea is a good one, it'll really add to the "jungle" atmosphere, and can be done with gel and regular scotch tape. We've used this for flame gels, and if you used a green and gold like Logos said, it'd work great. Just make sure that you have another good, solid, warm color (the pink) to bring out faces and set so that the parents can see their kids.
 

gafftaper

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I love using split gels. I recommend using the kind of scotch tape that is completely clear when on the roll and has a plastic feel to it and not the kind that is a little opaque and has a more papery feel to it. I find it easier to work with the gel.
 

soundlight

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Also, when you're doing the split gels, you can take two gels of the two colors that you're going to use, and place them on top of eachother, and cut them up together. Then, you take half of the pieces of one color (selected from all over the cut) and half from the other and tape them together. This helps when matching up pieces. And then you have another set of pieces ready to make a second split gel.
 
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drawstuf99

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Feb 5, 2006
Splitting gel is a great trick and does some really cool things - especially combined with gobos. It can almost create that glass gobo look w/ just a standard steel gobo. Of course, you aren't using gobos so no point in discussing them.

One thing that I've noticed and one of the lighting designers I've worked with and who has helped me have noticed is any sort children's show use something close to Pink & Blue as a basic wash. The reason being is amber tends to burn video and photos more than pink/blue does. Those standard run of the mill family camcorders often go nuts with amber and blue (just their nature) but the pink and blue works well. Just think of your audience. They won't notice this small favor, but when you have tons of parents with their cameras and video cameras going at once, I'd sure hate to have them go home only to see that their child's face is a white dot as apposed to what you actually saw during the performance. Most parents don't know how to set their cameras past the factory preset in order for colors, white balance..etc. to be picked up easier. The pink/blue may stray from your typical "forest look" a little, but really, are the parents going to notice? Even if not pink/blue, try something like lavender or something, just not with lots of orange tint for a front wash.

Do some stuff from the extreme side/front angles and side angles, maybe even top or back with the foresty stuff. I've heard parents in various children's theatre shows I've designed for - and these are more well put together ones with kids auditioning...etc. more complex - that gobos and changes in patterns/colors drives them sort of nuts. For what ever reason, it seems to distract from their view of their children or make them look different if shot from the front - no matter how amazing it looks, it always comes down to seeing their face (which yes, is annoying).

Just my 2 cents. Good luck with your show! Make the kids look good then and for those memories to come and you'll be a hero.
 

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