Color Blind Director

indigoapropo

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Mar 19, 2014
Location
Chicago
I will be working with a director in about a years time who is red/green color blind, and I'm looking for advice on how to communicate effectively with him.
We've had some preliminary talks about it and obviously color is only one aspect of lighting but I'd like to give him the best experience possible.

Does anyone have experience working with a color blind director?
 

RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
I will be working with a director in about a years time who is red/green color blind, and I'm looking for advice on how to communicate effectively with him.
We've had some preliminary talks about it and obviously color is only one aspect of lighting but I'd like to give him the best experience possible.

Does anyone have experience working with a color blind director?
@indigoapropo Is your intention to light to please the director OR to light for the majority of your patrons and you're seeking advice for getting your director to trust your judgment?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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SS Minnow

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Jul 8, 2016
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USA
An interesting question, as I have run into a color blind LD before. Let's just say that was an interesting run, and I saw some things I never want to see again as far as color combinations... However, if this Director you speak of realizes his/her condition, it would be in their best interest and the best interest of the production to trust and rely on you and your experience to deliver the best possible show...
 

JD

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North Wales PA
Mind the pun, but there are 1000 shades of gray when it comes to being color blind. Some are just deficient in the sensitivity of one or more receptors and have small areas of difficulty, others may fully lack one or more color receptors, or technically the filter pigment in the receptors. Often, those that are only deficient may have adapted enough that they can recognize colors pretty well although have trouble discerning subtle differences. Some, however may totally be unable to differentiate even fully saturated colors.
Keep in mind that even if fully color blind, he/she will be able to judge intensity and be valid in criticizing unevenness in lighting or lack of pronounced highlighting. In these areas I would fully accept their input.
When it comes to color, I would chose battles carefully. If something is slightly off, have someone voice a second opinion. If something is really off, then you need to be a bit more blunt.
 

indigoapropo

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Mar 19, 2014
Location
Chicago
Of course the production comes first and he certainly trusts my judgment on that. I think, in the past, this particular director has been made fun of for his color blindness and as such he has a hard time communicating with lighting designers. What I'm looking for are some good talking points and resources that would make our collaboration a good experience for him.
As far as the range of what he can see and cannot is there a good online resource or test that I could make him take to get a better handle on what he can and cannot see.

I'm actually really excited to work with him because I feel like I rely on color heavily and it would give me a chance to creatively focus on angle, intensity and rhythm.
I was thinking of breaking out my noir movie collection as a jumping off point for conversation.
 

TheaterEd

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I would recommend you communicate more with him about the feeling he is trying to evoke with scenes or the mood he wants to set and then let that inform your color choices. I work with a lot of non-theater-professionals and more often then not they have an idea for what emotion or tone they want the lighting to convey, but they have no clue how to achieve that effect. That is where my professional judgment comes in. So even when working with directors, I very rarely talk to them about actual color choices.
 

Nic

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Sep 21, 2019
Location
St. Cloud, Minnesota
Something that you may or may not find useful is that Photoshop is capable of simulating protanopia-type or deuteranopia-type color blindness. It might be worth your time to approximate your color palette on a photoshop canvas and then select View > Proof Setup to give yourself an idea of what your director will be seeing. Not to suggest that you should be choosing your palette around that, but just so you can sort of see through his eyes.
Just an idea.
 

RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Something that you may or may not find useful is that Photoshop is capable of simulating protanopia-type or deuteranopia-type color blindness. It might be worth your time to approximate your color palette on a photoshop canvas and then select View > Proof Setup to give yourself an idea of what your director will be seeing. Not to suggest that you should be choosing your palette around that, but just so you can sort of see through his eyes.
Just an idea.
@Nic I see what you're saying but for what purpose? Where are you seeing an advantage to viewing lighting from her / his perspective??
As a point of interest, yes. For a way to wile away the LX designer's free time, yes. For a practical purpose, I'm not seeing it. Maybe that's only me???
@Amiers @sk8rsdad @FMEng @Ancient Engineer @TimMc @derekleffew @GreyWyvern @Anybody????
 

Nic

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Sep 21, 2019
Location
St. Cloud, Minnesota
@Nic I see what you're saying but for what purpose? Where are you seeing an advantage to viewing lighting from her / his perspective??
As a point of interest, yes. For a way to wile away the LX designer's free time, yes. For a practical purpose, I'm not seeing it. Maybe that's only me???
@Amiers @sk8rsdad @FMEng @Ancient Engineer @TimMc @derekleffew @GreyWyvern @Anybody????
It’s only like a 5-10 minute exercise depending, I suppose, on a user’s proficiency and the number of colors involved. But it would give an LD insight into which colors will look the most “wrong,” and perhaps allow the LD to better communicate to the director, having seen things from their perspective. Again, it was just an idea.