Flame Tracks

DarSax

Active Member
Hey all. So I know some of you know this, but the theme for my schools annual talent show this year is Back to the Future. The theme really only connects the pretty unrelated acts, but there are skits interspersed that apply directly to the theme.

So for the finale, I want an unbelievable sound and light show culminating with the DeLorean travelling through time (we're making a DeLorean, we're figuring that out later). The lihgts are all going to start flashing and building, the sound is going to be building, until BOOM! AUDIENCE IS BLINDED AND WOWED.

Then the lights go out...except for the characteristic tire tracks of flame left on stage.
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Of course, we can't do pyro. But what I want to do is emulate that effect with lighting. I'm thinking that while most of the audience can't see the stage, if I have flat orange light emanating from the ground, it'll light up the haze enough for the audience to realize the effect.

The problem is how to cheaply create groundlight with incredibly thin materials.

soundlight

Well-Known Member
For each track, have a red, an orange, and a yellow ropelight running down each chasing at different speeds, all under diffusion material. You can get ropelight and chase controllers cheap.

gafftaper

Senior Team
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What about two of City Theatrical's Beam Benders with the angle REALLY flat focusing all of a source4's light down into a low path through fog. Throw in some redish orange gel and there you go. Go to www.citytheatrical.com Click on "lighting accessories" and "Beam Bender".

BillESC

Well-Known Member
Several strips of Duralight on a chaser would be the ticket. You could even cover them with a very thin strip of cotton to give some texture to the visual.

soundlight

Well-Known Member
I really think that the rope light (DuraLight)is going to be the best option for a few reasons: you can run red, yellow, and orange, and chase them at different speeds, with cotton over it (as BillESC suggested), and this effect will be able to create the long strip that you're looking for, in my opinion any lighting coming from the sides will not look like it is coming up from the ground like the "Back to the Future" fire tire tracks on the ground. You could even pull up the cotton a little bit to make it look like there are fingers of flame. And if you're really crazy, and actually have a time machine going from a downstage corner out the opposite upstage corner, or a time machine going across the stage, you could build it so that you can roll out the ropelight from underneath it as it races across the stage., and you would activate the chaser just as it starts to unroll.

DarSax

Active Member
Soundlight--that's not what I want with the time machine (it's supposed to be going out towards the audience, like the headlights are facing towards the audience.

But the rope light idea(s) are PERFECT. I didn't even think of chasing them, but if I could alternate between colors slowly like fire--that'd be AMAZING. Oh man, this is going to be amazing. (The cotton idea is quite intriguing, quite intriguing indeed...)

Is online the best place to buy duralight, or would a theatrical lighting supplier carry it? (Is there a good place to get it for cheap? I wasn't exaggerating when I said I didn't have that much money, unfortunately...)

By the way--would I want a "chasing" duralight, or a "static" duralight? Would it be cheaper just to plug the static strands into dimmers, or can I not do that?

gafftaper

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Is online the best place to buy duralight, or would a theatrical lighting supplier carry it? (Is there a good place to get it for cheap? I wasn't exaggerating when I said I didn't have that much money, unfortunately...)
I bet BillESC would be happy to sell it to you and give you the best deal he can. You might be able to find a cheaper rope light product... but as has been discussed at length in other threads... there is a lot of crap out there in rope light and you will get what you pay for.

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soundlight

Well-Known Member
If you get the stuff that plugs in to straight line voltage, I'm pretty sure that you can just set up a chase that goes something like red&yellow-orange-red&yellow-yellow&orange-orange-red&orange-repeat and have that be the effect for the "fire."

This is a really cool idea! Sounds like it's gonna be a good show.

DarSax

Active Member
Ooh, soundlight--that'd be beast. (I don't use possibly outdated adjectives.)

And it's going to be a great show. ("Good." Pshaw.)

Not that I'm totally excited or anything.

BillESC

Well-Known Member
Dar Sax,

Chasing Duralight would be the best since it can create the linear (travel) effect you are looking for. With several inexpensive sequencers you could not only have the back to front chase but change colors to boot.

Duralight is available in clear, red, blue, green and purple. Here's a pic of the product.

Feel free to contact me if you need more information or detailed specifications.

gafftaper

Senior Team
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Bummer Duralight doesn't come in yellow. You could cut and scotch tape gel around the clear stuff to turn it yellow.

soundlight

Well-Known Member
I've found yellow duralight on other sites...hmmm. I think that a red/yellow/orange combo would be the best, but budget and availability may limit that.

How long are the tire tracks going to be?

BillESC

Well-Known Member
I believe yellow and amber are also available. I'll check with the warehouse.