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Christmas Carol

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Foxinabox10, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. Foxinabox10

    Foxinabox10 Active Member

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    Well, we're starting our preperations for our fall play a bit early this year, but we're doing A Christmas Carol. I know a lot of people think the play is overdone, but it's not up to me, so I just want to make it the best that we can. For this year I am the president and technical director and lighting designer and light board operator for our theatre company, so I have a lot of work to do, but a lot of influence too.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for the show...something they've done? something they've seen? something they've thought of?...anything. Any pictures are also helpful. Any help would be appreciated. We are renting a snow machine, so suggestions? And for a drop and tabs?

    As you may have read in another post we're looking at getting a new ETC light board, so I have to learn that too, so any help is needed.
     
  2. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Doing Scrooge's bedroom set with marks ahd changes in invisible blacklight paint on top of the main set is fun--its usually not seen under stage lights (select your deep blue carefully--some filters are reactive to the UV paints and will show them prematurely--may have to use shutters and barndoors off sets that are UV painted), and then turning on the blacklights on the set for the ghosts stuff when it happens---fun and impressive.. You can make words like "Scrooge die" and stuff suddenly appear on the walls and then disappear.. Coldflow fog is also nice effect for that scene.. Simple magic tricks (like flashpaper "poofs" and simple magician tricks) can be done by the ghosts as well... Use a black scrim midstage and stage the scenes he witnessess thru there...also impressive for a quick reveal... Tons of stuff--depends on how dark or cheery a version of it you wish to do...

    I hope that gets a few ideas going...
    -w
     
  3. Foxinabox10

    Foxinabox10 Active Member

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    Does anyone have a suggestion as a brand or model of snow machine to rent?

    How about a particular drop/tabs, or where to rent one?
     
  4. Foxinabox10

    Foxinabox10 Active Member

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    Another question for this show. When the ghosts appear, I want to blind the audience for a second with a flash. Any suggestions for this? I'd like to put a light on each boom (left and right) in the auditorium, but also probably drop a sidearm from the electrics. Should I use a fresnel or a cyc, if those?
     
  5. Foxinabox10

    Foxinabox10 Active Member

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    Any suggestions on the blinder idea I mentioned above?
     
  6. propmonkey

    propmonkey Well-Known Member

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    scoops or any flood light would be good.
     
  7. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    I believe for rock concerts they use par cans for that, but, at the Muny here a few years ago, they used striplights for that. In your case, extra cyc lights and maybe a fresnel might do the trick.

    Better yet, get a few strobe lights. They'll give you the flash you want.
     
  8. propmonkey

    propmonkey Well-Known Member

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    for concerts they use actully "audience blinders", if you could get those that would be good. i would assume you would have scoops or cycs rather than audience blinders
     
  9. LikeAStory

    LikeAStory Member

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    I can share some of my experiences with this show. I at one time had the opportunity to both Direct and (tech direct) this show, the technical direction thing came as sort of a given as I was one of the few in the group that had some technical background. So I had to wear both hats.
    One of the things I used was the very classic stage illusion of Peppers Ghost which I think was designed for this show way back when. I’ll try to write out what I did with it. Though it may be something I’ll just have to draw to make any sense. but in rigging it, one thing I found out is that peppers ghost is an effect that needed to perform to both house center, house left and house right separately. So in initial design I went from a one stage center window with the Illusion glass to 3. windows. This helped me in being able to perform the effect to my whole house. with the glass angled so SR ghost, SL ghost 2, and SC ghost 3 would be seen by house right, center and left. It worked for me so my entire house could enjoy the gimmicky but very cool effects, and not just the seats in the center due to the angle of incidence of the effect. So simple “extras” with masks. Extra actors in a veil, skeleton teasers with the lights, masked actors, and the like worked to help the creepiness. (Some mechanism for moving the effect glass to set positions would have worked as well perhaps), but for me the 3 window approach did the trick.
    One of my coolest props was some really obnoxious huge logging chains, that the actor playing Marley’s Ghost did such a good job with.
    The Peppers Effect is a classic illusion in most of the books, but let me know if you or anyone of this forum is interested in a drawing of my application of it. If so I can try to clarify and draw out a jpeg of some of the stuff and post it.

    As for lighting and blinding flashes, along with standard lighting effects I have also used just a big flash unit for a camera before. And a stage hand to set it off on cue.
    Anyway, I hope sharing my experience may help with ideas, and may the muses be with you.
     
  10. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    The first thing that comes to mind is the Altman sky cyc series:

    http://mail.altmanltg.com/publicsyn...d=1&Country=US&Show=0&Account=&Assortment=230
     
  11. Foxinabox10

    Foxinabox10 Active Member

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    We actually have 12 of those sky cys, avkid, but really only need 5 for each color that we want to light the backdrop, so I always have extras. I was thinking about using those.
     
  12. CHScrew

    CHScrew Active Member

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    Whatever you use to flash in the audience's face. Make sure that you post sign's in the lobby saying that there will be flashing lights. You don't want a lawsuit on your hands.

    As for the flash I would go with strobes that are set to the slowest speed. Even if the flash only lasts for a split second it will seem a lot longer to the audience because they're eye's are use to the dark.


    -Ray
     
  13. Foxinabox10

    Foxinabox10 Active Member

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    Does anyone know the laws/rules regarding this? I'm pretty sure that the thing that makes epileptic people go into seizures is the constant strobing, not just one flash. Otherwise, camera flashes could become a problem.
     

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