# Gel!

#### Techiegirly

##### Member
I have recently come across this debate in a few of the theatres I belong to...when I label my gels I use a china marker pencil and I label the number smack in the middle of the gel so that while it's framed you can easily read what number gel is in it without having to pull the gel out to read the number this comes in handy when dropping gel into fixtures or when you're trying to identify the number if it's burnt so you can go pull another on. I believe there's no signifiant reason you should label in the bottom corner. It's just annoying. Anyone feel differently and why? Do you think it burns the gels any faster?

#### Footer

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
I don't like being able to read the gel number sitting in the house, I am fine with doing it if you are working in a space where all fixtures are masked all the time. If there is any chance that any gel anytime in its lifetime will be seen by an audience member do not write the number on the gel where you can see it. Nothing annoys me more then going to see a studio show and being able to read every gel color. Informative, but annoying.

#### Techiegirly

##### Member
Oh yes I totally agree with this theory. Good catch!

#### TimMiller

##### Well-Known Member
I write the numbers on the corner b/c i can read them when they are loaded in our pars, but you have to be close, the audience would never see that they are all labeled in the corners. I also lable on the corners incase the gel were to burn through i could still see what it is for reordering purposes.

#### zac850

##### Well-Known Member
I don't label in the exact center of the gel, since thats usually the hot spot of the beam. I label off to the side, but still in a place so I can read it when its framed.

This seems to be the most common, at least in theaters that I've been to.

#### SerraAva

##### Active Member
I can speak from experience that labeling gel in the middle of the sheet makes them burn through faster, especially when labeling with a sharpie. I had someone once do that, and the gel didn't last very long. My motto is always you cut it, you label it. Well, they labeled them right in the middle before I realized what they were doing. Lesson learned I guess, tell people where to label the gel .

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
Label gel with Sharpie? I always use white china pencil, and usually write the number off center but still in the viewable area of the frame so that you can read the number without taking the gel out of the frame, but at the same time the number isn't in the hot spot.

#### Spikesgirl

##### Active Member
We mark our gel with a white china pencil, but in the lower right hand corner. it's true you can't see the number when it's loaded, but we keep track of what gel, how many cuts and where they go on a sheet of paper. The AME takes the sheet with him when he gels. Usually we're not using colors so close that he can't tell one from the other. If he does get confused, he know right where to look.

Charlie

#### SerraAva

##### Active Member
Sharpies work well when you don't have a china pencial around, which is often actually. I also label in the upper left hand conner, so the frame covers it and has no effect on the gel. Labeling in the left hand conner is also nice when I am flipping through my files and can clearly see when someone but the wrong gel in the wrong file. I am also a fan of "I don't want the audience to see gel numbers on gels."

#### SteveB

##### Well-Known Member
Footers comment is valid if the audience is looking at, or can see the units.

Our space is proscenium so everything is masked (mostly), thus we label with with china marker in the bottom of the circle of the color frame, color goes in to the frame so when the frame is in the unit, the folded side is down in the unit, with the painted black side facing away from the fixture and the color number readable.

We just did the Richmond Ballet with color changes on the #2-3-4 Electrics at every intermission, for 10 Pars per pipe in 2 washes (30 total units) . There were some units with L161 NOT changing colors and even with bringing up system groups, we still wanted no confusion with colors in a deep GAM blue and R60's. Ditto the boom C/C's - 24 units changing colors per intermission, so you HAVE to see the color numbers in order to get it correct. Hiding the number doesn't work in these instances.

Steve Bailey
Brooklyn College

#### gafftapegreenia

##### CBMod
CB Mods
I prefer white china marker. With the china marker I personally don't care how it's labelled. Don't use other colors, once someone labelled a bunch of diffusion with an orange-red china market and I had to have a talk with them.

If using a sharpie, which is sometimes necessary, then I like to use the corner, or just edge of the visible gel, right next to the opening in the frame.

#### soundman

##### Well-Known Member
Always in the corner, you don't know where that piece of gel will end up in its life so the center unless seen by the house argument doesn't hold much water with me.
If you have CC like in Steve's example you can label the frame or then write it in the middle.

#### SteveB

##### Well-Known Member
If you have CC like in Steve's example you can label the frame or then write it in the middle.
Label the frame ?.

You are the first person I've ever seen recommend this. You would have to remove the label when you use the frame for a different color. Getting china marker off a paper frame is a PITA and not much fun on metal and who's going to pay the labor for this ?.

Dumb idea.

SB

#### Sean

##### Active Member
Label the frame ?.
You are the first person I've ever seen recommend this. You would have to remove the label when you use the frame for a different color. Getting china marker off a paper frame is a PITA and not much fun on metal and who's going to pay the labor for this ?.
Dumb idea.
SB

I have to respectfully disagree.

If you're doing color changes during a show (what the poster above was talking about), seeing sharpie on white gaff in the corner of the frame is MUCH easier than trying to read scratched up china marker.

Sharpie on light colors/frost, white china marker on saturated colors. Label in the corner of the cut (I honestly don't much care which corner).

I am not a fan of the color "in the middle". Whatever you put there will absorb heat. Also, it honestly looks like crap. You have paperwork, that'll tell you what color is in the light. If your prep the color before the load-in, there shouldn't be confusion about what color is in the frame.

My $.02 #### DarSax ##### Active Member I figure I'll chime in, using a standard pencil eraser to take off white china pen has always worked great for me, though I don't know what people normally use (if it is eraser, well, wasn't this a pointless post) #### icewolf08 ##### CBMod CB Mods I am not a fan of the color "in the middle". Whatever you put there will absorb heat. Also, it honestly looks like crap. You have paperwork, that'll tell you what color is in the light. If your prep the color before the load-in, there shouldn't be confusion about what color is in the frame. My$.02
Sean is absolutely right. If you are concerned about know what color it is to change the color, you shouldn't label your color through the center of the cut. Why? No matter what you use to write on the cut, be it sharpie or grease pencil it will just sit there and absorb heat and eventually melt the gel. Yes, writing through the center of a cut will cook the gel faster than writing in the corner. This means that if you write in the corner, so save on consumables.

I just don't think that you need to be able to tell what color is in a fixture by looking at it from the floor. For those of you who said you put the label so that it is visible when in the frame, but small, what is the point, that you can't read from the deck! If you don't have good paperwork that tells you what color is supposed to be in each light, you had better have a chat with the designer!

The other huge advantage to labeling in the corner is for when you have to trim a cut for a different unit. Sometimes you just need that one more cut in a certain size. Well, if you have a 10" cut handy and you need one 6.25" cut, you could trim the 10" down. If you have labeled the 10" cut in the corner, it is very easy (if you pay attention) to cut the gel down and keep the original label. If you have written through the middle, you end up with partial labels in odd places on the gel. This can be confusing.

So, in the end, labeling on the corner of a cut will save you time and money

#### Pie4Weebl

##### Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
For labeling the gel should always be labeled on its own, always! Chances are the gel will serve life for multiple shows and if you only lable the frame at the end of the show when you pull gel from the frames it all becomes useless. I typically write it small in the down center. This way you can see it if you are close, but it isn't visible from the house or in the hotspot.

Labeling frames does have its value, but thats a separate argument. During the summer I've worked for a larger opera festival which operates in rotating rep and 45 min change overs would be impossible to change 400 gels if we didn't color code all the frames by show then also label them by color on the frame.

#### gafftapegreenia

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Well it seems we have yet another topic that falls to "it all depends on the situation".

#### soundman

##### Well-Known Member
Label the frame ?.
You are the first person I've ever seen recommend this. You would have to remove the label when you use the frame for a different color. Getting china marker off a paper frame is a PITA and not much fun on metal and who's going to pay the labor for this ?.
The dumb idea would be writing the number on the frame itself in grease pencil. I thought it was implied that would would label it the same way one would label a cable, on gaff taped to the cable. Cooking the tape on might be an issue over long runs but that will happen.

#### SerraAva

##### Active Member
The cooking tape makes it a no no for me. That, and messing up the gel frames with tape goo. Sorry, do a lot of corporate stuff, so burning smells and ugly gel frames are something clients don't want to smell and see. For dichroics I use a silver sharpie on the back side of the frame.