Downlight color preferences


I've actually just gotten involved & interested in lighting design over the past few months, and am presently working in a small black box space.

We're putting on a playwrights festival that requires a fairly flexible/non specific lighting plot (each show is fairly different in tone and styel- musica/drama/comedy), yet at the same time, I still want to provide some light colors in the general wash that will provide some decent modeling as well.

My question then would be what the general wisdom would be regarding downlights and crosslights (I'm not sure if crosslight would be quite the right term, but since they're from the side and elevated, that'd be a more adequate description than sidelight). My front cover right now consists of Misty Blue R61 and No Color Straw R06, with crosslights in Bastard Amber R02.

Still something about this doesn't look quite right, and I thought perhaps it may be better to use R61 and R02 as the front, with the lighter warm color R06 as a downlight instead, giving some highlight to actors heads & shoulders.

I'll of course fool around with it a bit and see what works, I just wanted to see what general thoughts or advice anyone may have. I've done a number of readings on my own, but want to gain as much info as I can.

for each type of show (ex. drama comedy musical)there are different lighting techniques, for example you would not not want to use extremely bright and obnoxious colors for a drama, but a musical might require them. a good general wash color is Lee 194 suprise pink,very good for when you do not want the harsh beam of a bare bulb but not too much color either!
One of the things I've done for downlighting is hung par cans in threes along the pipes. I gel the pairs blue (R80), red (R26 I think), and purple (Gam - forgot the color). I don't have enough circuits to run them all individually, but I have more than enouhg power to twofer or threefer them. So, I have the adjacent reds twofered, the adjacent blues twofered, etc.

With this system, you can bring all three up for a soft but bright light. You can mix them as well for whatever you want. More red - hot, more purple, cool, more blue, sort of icy.

The fixtures I use here are all 575W ETC Pars, throw distance is 22' I think with an upstage and downstage electric. I also have three pairs of 6" Fresnels w/ barn doors twofered ont he downstage electric w/ R02 (I think) on them to provide a warm wash from the top.

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