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Fire Causes Less Piro Effects

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by delnor, Mar 8, 2003.

  1. delnor

    delnor Active Member

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    I have noticed already that the recient fire in that club has already caused a significant decrease in piro effects being used in shows. I reciently went to go see a show in which I was told (by one of the techies) that there were going to be several flash pots used but was saddly dissapointed when there were none and I later found out that they were pulled due to the recent fire. How do you guys feel about this?
     
  2. tm1000

    tm1000 Member

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    It's sad really and it only hurts the economy (think about it, no pryo, no pryo technicians), however I believe that once this gets out of the lime-light everything will eventually go back to normal (but it will only take 3 or so years)
     
  3. delnor

    delnor Active Member

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    Yeah, I would agree like I said in another post "as soon as the smoke clears" everything will go back to normal. Its just sad though because piro effects can add a lot to a show and it had to be ruined by a few stupid people.
     
  4. TechDirector

    TechDirector Active Member

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    Very true, My director wanted me to find some fireworks to go off at the end of "Downtown" in "Little Shop of Horrors" and when I talked to dvsdave, he recommended some non-flammable fireworks that are CO2 powered (and keep in mind this is before the incident in RI). But then after the RI incident, the director refuses to have them in the show. It would really add a lot of "wow" into the show becuase we've never done anything like this before. Oh well.
     
  5. delnor

    delnor Active Member

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    Alot of people are canceling them out of respect. When directors are thinking about the show they think about what the audience wants to see, and as much as it might be cool, it might be a turn off. Stuff like that can make or break a show. They will return some day. :D
     
  6. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    Well the "first show" of the year if you will is a little Freshmen assembly to welcome them into the high school. They canceled all falsh pots in cluding puff pots this year. Very sad!
     
  7. Jo-JotheSoundDog

    Jo-JotheSoundDog Active Member

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    I don't know. If a concert needs flashpots to be entertaining than the music is lacking. I quickly think of the glam-bands of the 80's and the huge pyro shows that they would put on. The truley sad thing is how many unlicensed uncertified people they had running pyro. I have had to run it several times, and I am thankful that I did not kill anybody or even hurt anybody.
     
  8. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    This was not a concert it was merely an effect. The assembly is our freshman initiation. They have a mourning assembly, and then in the afternoon we but on a light, FX, and multi-media show to welcome the freshmen. The GBS mascot is The Titans, so they read the ancient Greek myth about the titans and Zeus dealing with the fact the titans gave mankind fire. Then poof, bangs, and pour on the sound FX. It is really great! And the pyro really made a difference.
     
  9. Jo-JotheSoundDog

    Jo-JotheSoundDog Active Member

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    Actually my post was aimed towards Delnor's post of

    But I still feel the same way about just about everything that relies on pyro for the impact.
     
  10. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I still like the idea of someone shouting "Rat" and pointing. Than instantly every pneumatic staple gun in the scene shop otherwise doing work is trained and fires off the rest of it's magazine in semi-automatic or rapid fire depending upon the setting of the gun at the rodent in that general direction. What other need is there for doing theater other than what hooked me - dancing girls changing where ever they wanted. But I digress. No really that was a large part of why I stuck with theater early on at least.

    Pyro, I had enough of that in the Marines and have never really messed or been impressed with it since.

    Seems to me that your school needs to come up with a new hook to get prospective "fresh meat" to join the program.

    Given the staple gun idea isn't approptate and unless doing some more racy mucicals that year the second Idea won't have much ability to be shown to the froshmen, perhaps it's just a question of better ideas that don't involve things you as students really sould not be playing with anyway. And I mean you should not have access to it even if you are in general responsible - at least until girl #1 comes along. While school rules are much worse than school rules when I went to school, there is some good reasons for them besiedes just lawyers. Like it or not.


    What are other ways that you can impress the freshment?

    Construct a hard flat wall much less stair case that you are able to climb with Pneumatic power tools in seconds? Do a well rehearsed stage combat routine, reinact a hair cut scene from Sweeney Todd or a feeding from Little Shop?

    The stage will always have magic to it. When one form isn't needed or available there is always another way to do it. Instead of doing pyro, how about lighting off some stink pots under the audience when god (- the TD) commands it. Same effect or one with it's own uniqueness similar to just running a rock type shound cue that's coordinated with an amazing light and fly system show to impress the new meat. Granted you probably can't afford moving lights, a hog and WisiWig on a huge flat screen to show how it all goes together and what part of it they will be, but a suitable pre-programmed Light/Sound/Set showing is easily done for specticle.
     
  11. SbhstechieImlah

    SbhstechieImlah Member

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    quite frankly I think it sucks one of the many things that makes a concert a concert is the pryotechnics!!! I wont go to see shows if they don't have them!
     
  12. Jo-JotheSoundDog

    Jo-JotheSoundDog Active Member

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    I'm sorry that you feel that way. pyro adds spectacle, some "musicians" need this spectacle to make their music worth listening to. Kind of that, if we distract them, they won't notice how much we suck mentality. But when it comes to a really talented performer, pyro is just a distraction from the real show.
     
  13. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    We are the MTV generation!
    Spectacle adds some much more and enhances the total performance. Go to Glenbrook North Variety Show, and then go to a Glenbrook South Variety Show. The way we use the automated lights, use of fog and haze, and the size and detail of our sets takes the show to higher level for the audience as well as the participants.
     
  14. Jo-JotheSoundDog

    Jo-JotheSoundDog Active Member

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    Okay what does MTV have to do with anything? Yes I considered myself part of the MTV generation because I remember what I was doing when the Buggles video "Radio killed the radio star" kicked off the new music station. And I remember when whenever you turned on MTV, there was a video. I don't understand how a Real World Marathon, could make you need explosions to enjoy a concert. I could see how it would make you want to blow something up.
    And yes I believe that there is a difference between a stage show and a concert. Marilyn Manson great stage show, and quite frankly, he'd look ridiculous without the show to support his look. But then look at BB King, great show, doesn't require any pyro, but it is still a great concert.
    And if you look back over the history of big concert names. The Who, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen... all had huge pyro shows, but didn't need it to make or break the concert.
    I remember the whole glam-band phase of the eighties, where the stage was a giant set, the whole band was in costumes, makeup, and hair for days, there was choreography, lights, whatever technology they could get their hands on, but most of all they had pyro. And Great White was one of those bands, and they had to give the biggest show to their fans and look where it got them.
    Spectacle is not something new to the "MTV2" generation.
     
  15. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Matt, I entirely agree. But you are with using words like spectacle in your position, are venturing upon my side of our earlier heated debate if you replace theater use of spectacle for rock/talent shows. But that's an old debate and there here is a lot of common ground.

    Wemeck,
    So you have a bunch of toys and gadgets at what ever high school which has far too much money for it's own good and it looks much more "pro" rock and roll than the high school on the south side of the tracks for their similar "gong show." Look at all the re-runs of the Brady Bunch with their various talent shows. They didn't exactually rock now did they - mom and Marshia dressing as bumbs in a very high tech pro way for such a show, but, funny, there wasn't any need for pyro or moving lights for such a show. The idea was that the talent in a talent show is what wins the day not the dancing dog act.

    "But that's TV and stylized and the 70s." Point is with a talent show that you as a tech person might feel the need for bang for your buck and wow factor to get bodies in the seats, but the goal of the night is still to look at raw talent and to give mom and dad a warm squishy feeling on seeing their kids on stage.
    I'm sure any rock concert they would wish to go to would be much more enjoyable to see moving lights and pyro on. If the basement band needing that big rock show's lights and pyro for the talent show needs it to push their preformance over the edge, perhaps they would be just as enjoyable given the setting without and even in the cafetera accoustic. Some of my favorite albums and MTV type things were the MTV unplugged shows.

    I think your eyes are tech slanted. More is not necessiarially better. Better is the singer on stage singing home sweet home with real talent no matter what side of the tracks she lives on. Better is accomplishing something on an amature level that is great not making amature talent rock with special effects and lights. Think of the hair bands of the 80s. How many of them are still around verses say a David Bowe or (aak) Stones. Will Manson be around in 20 years doing his same or even more tech gig, or will he loose the stick and go natural such as many singers have. I surmize that he will not be around much or will turn himself into a similar to hair band nightclub act if he does not advance and let his talent be the main part of his show. Talent yes. Not as much raw talent as Norah Jones, but talent okay enough.

    Keep it simple stupid. Do you need the flash and bang to enjoy the show? They might add to the sensory enjoyment of a show but such influences only help the enjoyment when the talent is on a par with it. What kind of real talent did your show have in it? Was cheerleader singing stupid song X have any more ability to sing a show than the same person from the other school? That's the key here.

    "I wont go to see shows if they don't have them!" Than you are missing out on a lot of life. Johnny Cash died today. I grew up with him playing on the radio along with Steely Dan and the Altman Brothers in the pre-Kiss generation. Some of his work was very good on the even rock ears. Ever listen to Synatra, or Nat King Cole? Might not be your tastes, but everyone would have to admit a wee bit of quality and enjoyment in being forced to see such shows even it they didn't have pyro or wiggle lights. Had such people been doing songs with todays pace, perhaps moving lights and a big show might add to the sensory influence. But the base of all good shows is still in the talent. Smashing Pumpkins on the show I saw a fairly sucky light show and set. I was not impressed short of halograms in keeping up with the amount of enjoyment I was having just listening to the music. Are you saying your school's helping the talent on stage put on a good show is doing a better job of it than some big lighting company or just attempting to add some flash? If that's the case that it's just adding some toys, are you really pushing the show over the edge for enjoyment? Perhaps it's enjoyment that's on the level of the talent on stage, but that's a question of the talent. Focusing on the tech over the talent might be the wrong solution if your tech is over that of the enjoyment the audience gets in the talent. AT that point which are they watching in refrence to the reason for them being there taking the idea that if people wanted to go to a rock concert they would go to a better one.

    Here is a news flash for all of ya. I grew up and went to school with Billy Corigan aka Smashing Pumpkins/Zwan star. He lived up the hill and about 3 blocks from me. We did the birthpartys and played kick the can. I moved about midway in junior high school to another subburb and lost touch. He was more along the lines of being on a second tier ring of friends anyway.
    After I got to the new subburb I was doing various tech work for another basement/garage band "Steel Hart" but not the more famous one. What seperated "Steel Hart" from "Smashing Pumpkins" in making it and being ready for the big pyro show later after many years of playing partys, weddings and bars was not the amount of equipment at a gig, it was talent. No amount of toys can replace that. Steel Hart had a light show, Pumpkins did not during the same period. You can dress the bum up but he is still going to crap his pants. So I submit that unless the talent on the north side of the tracks is by nature much better than the bumbs on the south side of the tracks, your lighting and toy package is of limited value to the real enjoyment of the night.
     
  16. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    I think, and obviously the residents of the district agree, that it is the job of education to keep up with the innovation of the industry.

    We are a 2500 student high school so the talent portion of the variety show has very stiff competition. The question becomes what do you do with the other production oriented kids who do not sing, dance or play an instrument? How do you bring all of them into the creative and collaborative process? How do you make the process educational as well as inclusive? Well the answer is stage crew, make-up crew, assistant directors, and costume runners. We are blessed with the ability and the facility to use and therefore give the students access to some of the higher end tools of technical theater trade.

    As a whole the district looks to the U of I to model are educational system. We have a constant need to push the students and ourselves to larger heights. Technology, aka "the toys", plays a vital role in perpetuating our goals, and really energizes the students. When the LD tells a band act that their act is all about them and giving them their special look is important to him, it raises the level of their performance.

    If you give talent, especially young talent, the opportunity to perform and the special gift of access to professional artists, artisans, and equipment, you raise the level of the production for everyone. The show runs four nights in 1468 seat capacity auditorium, and it almost always is sold out, and ticket sales pay for the entire show.

    Our students not only get the experience, but they get to make connections with alumni in the industry and or vendors. Since returning the GBS I can say that the people at ILC, and Accutrack Recording and Sound, Inc. have been a tremendous resource to my continuing education and me.
     
  17. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    “Have been a tremendous resource to my continuing education and me.” That’s all well and fine for you but what about the purpose for the event? Is it really the lighting equipment and tech people that are selling out the house or is it that the students on stage with even normal conventional lighting while seeing their fellow students or parents in selling their souls for one production that puts bodies in the seats. Funny, York HS. out in a similar suburb didn’t have problems with selling out for similar shows and that’s before moving lights were invented. The I and me in your argument tells it all. This show is not about you if not on stage, it’s as a show. A bout the performance and talent. That is why it’s a talent show and not a lighting/toy show. How many of those thousands that pack the seats would really come because of the lighting design and tech abilities of your school as a norm, much less as compared to what other schools could do as a tech only show. Your part is support staff, what do you think that means? Perhaps there is a one in the million budding lighting designer out there that does not have moving lights or other excellent backstage help that is still better in their God given ability than you are. ILC support or not, is the talent on stage any better than the talent on stage at your competing school to the South that you refrence? I would hope that it in a talent show, it is not and thus no matter how UofI a level your production is at, it’s still a question of bodies on stage that is what matters and not the toys that are involved with making them shine. As the "old man of the theater says to me, "you really made that turd shine". His meaning is that no matter how good of a job you did, it's still a turd. If it’s a dancing dog act, no matter how great the moving lights are at following the dogs, it’s still a dog act. I’m sure that such sidewalk level talent in the show while up on stage would be just as charged by any normal stage lighting much less moving lights and the like in the end. That school to the south does not have a short coming, your school instead has one in that it’s tech people are spoiled.

    That all said, I did not take offense with the high quality of show you intended to present. No, instead, my intent was to point out to you the actual importance of the tech level you were bragging about as opposed to the seeming lack of skill and tech level of the school to the South. Reality check! Heck, you have those high technology advances in support that will put those one in a million acts in the talent show up over the top. Good for you, but on the balance of the show, what value is it? Is that total show any better in reality in what’s on stage than that of the show presented by the school to the south with out the moving lights and tech to push those one in a million acts that will still be great over the top without the moving lights there to make a better total performance. It’s a high school talent show not Zwan! I still say your eyes are backstage tech person blinded. Talent shows are from hell and one step similar to Irish Step Dancers. One day you will work above the ILC level of corporate or infrequent rock production. Be glad you have as tight a link with them as you do, but don’t think that is the total production because even the high quality staff there when teching the show see it as just a high school talent show that’s only one step parallel to step dancers.

    You know where I work and what I do. Take a second read of what I post. ILC while a nice company is still small time for the most part and your use of moving lights is still just tech in helping performers, but only ready for it. No offense about ILC, they do good work but are not on a national level for doing a huge job. It’s not the show in itself. Time to take a step back from the cool gung ho attitude and listen for a while. I assure you those cautioning you here have a bit of experience beyond yours. Been there done that.

    Your experience is good and notable, you are very qualified to even skip college - not a smart idea but one that could easily pay off, but you still need to learn the place of toys verses performance.
     
  18. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    gonna say it once, and it applies to all. You are in highschool or at best college. Relish it, and enjoy it! Don't try to push beyond what you can learn about there and don't try and tell me you have mastered the conventional lights and standard scenery, in being ready for the high tech solutions in high school because you have not. Too young and lacking in time in grade. Master and stick with the normal lighting for a few years, than tell me about how great your show is with toys such as pyro or moving lights. Than, I'll send you back to conventionals until you know what you are talking about.

    Know what the most requested lighing fixture this summer was? It was not the HES Color Command. We bought about 30 or 40 of them but that's beside the point - our designers know conventional lighting. What designers wanted most was the beam projector. Now what type of fixture do you think that was, much less where if you school is so equipped do you think you would learn how useful it is? Gee, I'm qualified on a VL1K, you would think that I know how to prep a beam projector. Not even 10% of the shop knew what to do with them for some very major tours. I did, than again I'm not a moving light or newest technology person. Learn it all. By the time you get paid to use wiggle lights, they will have changed anyway. A conventional wether a 1960s version of a Kliegl or a 2000 version of a Selcon works the same. You still need to master it, and really master it not just focus and change lamps for one and call it a day. What angle do you need to make one look perfectly Hitler anyway? That's time and familiarity that 17 years in life just is not going to inform you of.
     
  19. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    The purpose of the show is to showcase the talents and abilities of the students of Glenbrook South High School, while providing them exposure to professional quality equipment and direction.

    Whoa! No one said there was a problem selling seats! Even before we were the first high school to use automated lights we did not have a problem sellings seats. About 7 years ago the demand is so high the school started hosting a fourth night for the show.

    Somebody had a bad case of the Mondays.

    Your are always supposed to take ownership of the production and what your job and duties are! I take pride in what I do, and I do my job well. More importantly I strive as part of the production staff to push myself and the student technicians to a new level. A new level through the appropiate use of technology, FX, and the theatrical arts. We showcase variety not just talent. Hell the show has a thread of multi-media sewn through out the production and used when appropriately.

    The hits keep on coming! First of all I am not the LD. I work directly under this gentlemen and he has been doing this stuff professionally for over 21 years, just for this facility. Plus he maintains a freelance carrier on the side. I have only been back here going on four years and have been doing theater for about 15 years now.


    Well the only school from the south that I have said disparaging things about would be Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Talent wise? Hmmmm. SIUC has the Majorie Opera company directed by my friend Tim Fink. So I would have to say that Tim's musical theater/opera program beats out the musical theater/choral work of our Merty Sirvatka. But Tim also has the advantage of maturity with the voices of the actors because of the age difference.

    Without the MFA in acting I think the difference between a SIUC lead and a high school lead is really slight.

    Well we are an education facility and despite the fact that there are no theater tech classes we strive to challenge and expose the production staff as well as the student to available industry technology. So yes the presentation must win out over the process, but in education the ends does not justify the means.

    Ouch!!! Well considering the fact that I went to SIUC and have a degree in Technical Production from SIUC. Let me tell ya that school has some short comings. A lot of the technical equipment short comings have been fixed with there remodeling two years ago, but undergraduate development is still an problem for a main stage production. Undergraduate still equals Lab theater, unless of course there is a grad student who wants the job. I visit that school a lot since my wife is a graduate student there now. It has some great Tech theater people especially Mark Varns, and Ron Naversen. The directing duo of Tim and Lori Fink are simply awesome.
    But in ten years that department is on their third chair and only two professors are still there from when I started in '93. Now that as a whole does not say much about the school the college of liberal arts is on their fourth dean, the unversity is also on their 4 president, and 6 sixth chacellor. Oh and I almost forgot! They have serious labor issues with both the faculty and civil service unions and there was almost a strike last academic year.

    Spoiled!! Well yea, I will except that. I prefer blessed. But I rather have what I got and be blessed, then work with some of the crap equipment I have over the last 15 years. The people I work and collaborate with make the whole thing worth while. People at ILC, hell the CEO is in the neigboorhood, people at Accutrack Recording (that president is an SIUC alumni.), and the resident production staff at the high school are just great people.

    I make and made no poor comments about ISU. I know a few professors there that were grad/undergrads during my time at SIUC and they have told me ISU has a good program. I hope ISU and SIU are being confused in this discussion, even though they are arch rivals in NCAA play. Gerrr!

    Well next time I see Scott Falbe I will ask my fellow Glenview resident what he thinks. I can say this I reccomend ILC everytime a friend mine working a traveling show in the Chi-Town area, and every school district that needs to replace lights I send them that way. I helped hooked up Delnor with ILC. And to a certain degree your right even in college a lot of people scuffed and said, "Only a High School Production." But they were all silenced and I was fast tracked with regard to production work, once they saw my portfolio., and letter from our resident TD/LD/SD.

    This list serve is about people trying to break in at the ground floor and who are looking for contacts, contections, and advice. I have found ILC to be great! If National level you mean buying instruments I say check your local prices. But I tell you what if I need a supplier in Tiffin Ohio, I will call ILC for a reference. ILC supplies Oprah with lights. You need friends in this business and you need friends that come highly recommend even more. ILC and Accutrack Recordings and Sound are high on my list, and internships are sometime available.

    Well thanks for that. I would not be where I am here if it was not for my college years. I could have made a better choice of school, but then again I would not have met my wonderful wife. Today it is my job to observe and monitor all production and share thoughts, feelings, and opinions. That is my job as a memebr of the production staff.

    If this was fall 1993 I would agree with you 100%. Ten years ago my prduction work removed me from the actors to certain degree. I was not always concerned with what was happening on stage as much as what I needed to do when the lights went dark.

    Well thanks for the call down from Mount Olympus. Conventional or static instruments will be around and useful for quite a while. But conventions and coferences like the automated lights for flexability and amount of labor time saved. Innovation drives this industry, and the automated lights are becoming more inexpensive and available.




    As professional theater technician and a professional computer technician let me say learn the technology as well as the basics. If you can handle both then there will be a lot more opportunites for you down the road and in college. Also network with people. Get the names of vendors and products that people use and like or swear by. Learn from the plight of others and collaborate.
     
  20. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Dave pointed out to me that I was being very harsh, especially with my last posting that I had him remove. I apologize for being jerk. While from my viewpoint, the counter points I was stating were for good reasons, they were still from my opinion only and I had no place to infer that you own views were as black and white wrong as I was inferring. I hope that such differences of opinion especially as heated as they became on this and other things will not stand in the way of future but more tactfully put and healthy debate when appropriate.

    I in the future will attempt to be less judgemental.
     

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