Focus Session - Laser?

Charc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
I was just wondering, before starting a focus session on Monday, if anyone has any tips to speed up a focus session? I have people who want to focus, who want to help out, but aren't familiar with the shows. I have a friend who has a 10mW green laser (class IIIb), it is pretty powerful. I haven't tested it in the theater yet, but I think it should be pretty visible with the lights out to demonstrate to lighting techs where to focus an instrument. Has anyone ever tried this? Do you think this is easier then saying "no s.l., s.l.!". Has anyone tried this, or have any tips for a focus session?

Thanks,
Charlie
 

stantonsound

Active Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Location
Charlotte
I have used the lasers that are built in to the moving head fixtures. They are pretty cool for focusing during the day, but that is pretty much it. All in all, the best is to map out your grids onto the floor for focusing and then telling someone to go stand on B6 and then have the instrument focused on it.

Have one person at the board and paying attention and one person in charge giving commands. It should only take a minute or two per fixture. Also, using common terminology is helpful.

Hard Focus/Soft Focus
Shutter it at "..."
Cut it off the legs/teasers
move it more up/down stage
etc.....
 

Charc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
I have used the lasers that are built in to the moving head fixtures. They are pretty cool for focusing during the day, but that is pretty much it. All in all, the best is to map out your grids onto the floor for focusing and then telling someone to go stand on B6 and then have the instrument focused on it.
Have one person at the board and paying attention and one person in charge giving commands. It should only take a minute or two per fixture. Also, using common terminology is helpful.
Hard Focus/Soft Focus
Shutter it at "..."
Cut it off the legs/teasers
move it more up/down stage
etc.....
Hehe. But, how do you use common terminology to someone 100% green?
 

pyrus

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Location
Colorado Springs
Well, If he is green, then the laser should be great (green laser for green person :mrgreen: )!
 

Footer

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Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
When running a focus, 99% of LD's have the light focused on them, not someone else. This speeds things up immensely. Instead of trying to convey a cut, flood, bottle, etc...., doing a simple cut to my foot, flood to my arms works very well. You can also catch hot spots much easier by actually looking into the light. The way I call a focus is... I stand where I want the person to put the hot spot, after its on me I call the cuts/flood/bottle rotation. After that I call barrel runs etc... When focusing always keep at least 2 positions moving at all times, so the second you get done with one position, you can begin another while the other position moves. I really do not see the need for using a laser to focus, seams to me that it would be a hindrance more then a help.
 

Van

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Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
When running a focus, 99% of LD's have the light focused on them, not someone else. This speeds things up immensely. Instead of trying to convey a cut, flood, bottle, etc...., doing a simple cut to my foot, flood to my arms works very well. You can also catch hot spots much easier by actually looking into the light. The way I call a focus is... I stand where I want the person to put the hot spot, after its on me I call the cuts/flood/bottle rotation. After that I call barrel runs etc... When focusing always keep at least 2 positions moving at all times, so the second you get done with one position, you can begin another while the other position moves. I really do not see the need for using a laser to focus, seams to me that it would be a hindrance more then a help.
Hey ! Imagine this. I agree with footer!. When I'm LDing. I'm calling the focus. It's ," Hit me hot, middle of the chest, cut to my feet, soft out focus. Hold it. Love it ! Lock it! Next!. Depending on the theatre you can usually keep 2-3 guys focusing, with your ME calling out where the guys should move to next. One other person on the board and you've got a crew on. Lasers? we don't need no stinking lasers.
 

ScaredOfHeightsLD

Active Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Location
Los Angeles
I use a welding glass to look into the lights. Just the glass, not the whole mask. Yeah no burnt retinas!
I recall seeing somewhere a circular gaffers type lens made of welding glass or something similar, but even with my best googling I can't seem to find it. Does anyone know of such an item and or where to get it?
 

soundlight

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Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
We use a lightweight flip-glass welding mask for looking in to the beam. It's great!
 

gogotoovee

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2007
Location
Beverly, MA
toolsforstagecraft.com has the gaffers glass. The gaffers glass is expensive! $90. The glass I use I got from Lowe's for about 3 bucks.
 
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soundlight

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Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
Well, this is tools for stagecraft that we're talking about here. Expensive is their specialty.
 

Footer

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Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY

Charc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
I forgot some people actually have crews!

A typical focus session for me is two people.
1. The director, on the board.
2. Me in the cats.

I'm working with some freshmen on an upcoming show though, and I thought it might help in our coming focus session. Question, if you are LDing, and looking into the light, how can you tell it's the way you want it? Wouldn't it be easier to get a useless person (read: actor) to stand on stage, and focus on him, while you watch how it hits him?
 

gogotoovee

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2007
Location
Beverly, MA
I find it's easer to see what exactly the light is doing if I'm the person on stage having the light focused on me. I'm right there to see the edge and feel the hot spot, and illustrate cuts. It's easer to tell someone to cut to my toe then it is to try discribe a cut to someone. Then, you have to make sure your walker is standing in the right place. I usualy only use walkers if I'm writing cues outside of tech. The more you LD, the more you'll know what the light is going to look like durring focus, and focus will become less of a discovery period, and more of a realized plan.
 

Jezza

Active Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Location
Poughkeepsie, NY
Agreed, I much prefer to be the one on stage calling out the focus as the LD having people hit me as opposed to another warm body. I seem to always have the issue of looking straight into the lamp to find the hotspot and then down to the RFU to bring up the next channel and being completely blind though. Maybe I should invest in some welding glass.

As for the lasers, I've got a rinky dink $25 one from Staples that does the trick. I won't actually use it for focus, but its quite useful to stand w/ the ME on stage and point out lights that need a refocus, regel, rehang, etc. It has helped once or twice is discover angles and throw too. Still, I wouln't substitue it for my hands and feet during a focus.