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First Theater Show...

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Tyler, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. Tyler

    Tyler Member

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    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  2. Edrick

    Edrick Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'm assuming it's a newer theater, but i'm sure even most older ones as long as it's not ancient use gells for their strip lights. so yes you can just buy the gells and take the current frames out of the striplights and change them. they're wired in banks of 3, ie: if you have a bank of 12 lights on one strip, it goes- 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 (red, blue, green)
     
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Ah...striplights. If they're Zip Strips, T3's, or anything else than R40's, they probably don't have glass roundels, but if they're R40's, which they probably are, they probably have some combination of no-color, red, blue, green, and amber. These are thick glass color filters that are fitted to the size of the slots in the striplights, and are designed for three or four color mixing, such as RGB, RBA, or RGBA mixing. Some of them also have a no color (no filter or clear glass) for no color toplight. There's standard roundels and beam-spreading roundels, the beam spreading ones have a pebbled surface and convex area on the side that faces out to diffuse the light and make it cover the stage more evenly. While R40's are hardly spec'd at all for facilities these days, they many times come with roundels because of the practicality of gels never burning out. We have thirty year old ones in my HS theater that are still just about as saturated as new ones (yup, I compared them with new ones, but didn't have a light meter, so it was just a visual test).

    So no, if they're old, probably not gels. But if they are gels, you're lucky, and you can just switch 'em out. Otherwise, I'd advise the color mixing route. Roundels are really, really expensive to buy new.

    My rule about followspots: if it isn't a musical, don't use them at all. Some people may not agree with me, but there is almost never a need for them in a regular play.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
  4. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Well, they still do supply roundels, so unless they're ETC Multi Cell or Altman Zip's, they could very well be glass. But, you can take the glass out and put in your own gel if need be. And they're most likely 3 circuit, but they could be four.

    If this is simply a stage play and not a musical, I would avoid followspots altogether.
     
  5. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    And going in the theater lighting direction, well, let's see here. Some general tips. I'm gonna start out with some basic stuff which you may already know: don't use a saturated "daffodil" or "canary" style yellow for anything more than top or backlight unless you want the actors to look like they've got a strange skin disease. You should probably follow some basic Stanley McCandless stuff here, and get two front washes: a light amber and a light blue. These will create a more vibrant white on stage and on the actors' faces. Also, if the movement is sometimes limited, set out acting areas or something of the sort if you need to isolate them.

    Check out Stage Lighting 101 if you want some more basic advice.

    Also, YOU are the LIGHTING DESIGNER, so you should come up with a production concept, work closely with the costume and set designers as to what types and colors of fabric and what colors of paint will be on the stage, and make sure to test your gel colors on the costumes so that they don't turn out to be different colors under the lights. This is something that both lighting designer and costume designer should actively pursue, but often don't, and then there are usually a few costumes that show up as complete surprises under the lights, and may show up as three different colors in three different scenes. This may be OK for some things, but sometimes the colors can be pretty bizzare.
     
  6. Edrick

    Edrick Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  7. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    As I said, many systems that still use R40's still use roundels. But some use gels. As I said, this is very nice for two reasons: they never burn out, and the can spread the light nicely. But I would never spec R40's for a facility any more just because of the impracticality of replacing the bulbs, the low wattages of the bulbs, the bulkiness of the units, and the amount of other units that can be purchased for the money. (Sure, I may only be a college student, but I've spec'd quite a bit of gear for a number of facilities, and all parties have been happy with the outcome, and I plan to continue to do this).
     
  8. Edrick

    Edrick Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    i noticed the lack of wattage i think it's only a 150 watt bulb. horrible lighting, you can turn all 4 rows of blue for example on and you barely will notice it.
     
  9. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's the reason that they're really lousy. Unless they're the only thing on (which, i'll admit, is a cool effect for some dance pieces, but maybe throw in some amber ground-skimming shinbusters and heads at 20 or 30 percent), they don't read at all.
     
  10. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I'll echo the earlier posts and say, " Just say no, to spotlights". Even in musicals I hate them, Concerts, One man shows, etc etc their great but unless you are going for a very period lookto your lighting I think they are Archaic.

    As for strips ya'll are all sort of right, they actually make, or made some r40 strips that took gel or roundels, the roundels would fit in the gel frame.
     
  11. dvlasak

    dvlasak Active Member

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    I agree with Van, even for musicals just say no to follow spots! I would also agree that you need to be careful when using real yellowy yellows. Are you using a cyc or a back drop? The color you throw upstage on the "back", whatever your "back" is, can also help with the mood and should be part of overall design.

    Dennis
     
  12. fredthe

    fredthe Active Member

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    Now you know what the other two people are for :)
     
  13. astrotechie

    astrotechie Member

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    But those lights to stink and you would wonder why the school bought 6 more of those border lights.
     
  14. taylorjacobs

    taylorjacobs Member

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    I completely disagree with the comment of spotlights being archaic...if used properly they are fantastic. we own 4 altman spots but never use them because they are archaic...as you said, intead we rig up some ellipsodials as spots with irsis and handles, and shoot out spots from the cats. these work great because you dont get that defined circle around the actors...unless you want it, and you can throw some gobos and gel them and they look great. dont have as good as a throw distance but our cats are pretty close to the stage
     
  15. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Our spots for Urinetown here are gonna be two 19 degree or 10 degree S4's with irises and spot handles, and modified yokes for followspot action.
     
  16. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Again, Look at my original post of the statement that " spotlights are archaic." The use of spotlights in a musical purely because it''s a musical, is archaic IMHO. Spots are fantastic for concerts for stylized pieces like 42nd street, Chicago,Urinetown,Rent. These shows are a lot more Presentational. They are much more like a rock concert than a musical so to speak. Now compare those some "traditional" musicals. Let's say you're doing The Music Man, or West Side Story, or Guys and Dolls. Traditionally these would use follow spots to light Leads during solos etc. Which is the point at which I say "Yuch Archaic. ".
    Besides nothing breaks the suspension of disbelief faster than a lousy spot operator. Well excapt maybe a whole wall falling down.
     
  17. drawstuf99

    drawstuf99 Active Member

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    Nothing bothers me more than a crappy spot operator. I know a lot of times on broadway shows/musicals, the leads almost always have spots on them-just diffused quite a lot. It's so distracting though when they aren't opperated well, but they can look nice if done right.

    I'm a fan of spots on musicals, but not "just for the sake of doing so." Do it b/c you think it's what the scene needs, not just the "every person singing" method. Ick.
     
  18. taylorjacobs

    taylorjacobs Member

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    I agree that you need resoning behind using spots, but since you bring up west side story i did the lighting for it last year and we had two 19 degree s4 spots and used them alot...i dont think that it turned out cheezy but ill let you be the judge http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/page2/
     
  19. squigish

    squigish Member

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  20. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    ...or just print them out on school printers.. >:)

    But yea, that guide is gold, and I had quite forgotten about it!
     

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