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Automated Fixtures Have 8 movers and want to make sure I get most out of them.

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by poolman78, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. poolman78

    poolman78 Member

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    Question.

    Renting 8 Mac 700 Profiles for 'City of Angels'. I have 1 house pipe and 4 electrics to work with. My thought is either all 8 on the house pipe or six on house and 2 on first electric. Set is one modular set, no changes..just small pieces flying in. Any suggestions on best place to hang the 8 in my plot? I know this is an open question, but only have used movers a few times and never luck enough to have this many on a show. Just want to get most bang for buck.
     
  2. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    The BIG question is, what are you controlling them with?
     
  3. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    The bigger question is why you are renting 8 expensive lights without knowing what you want to do with them.

    Two FOH as refocusable specials/template washes.
    Two each on 2E thru 4E (one on each side of the pipe) for top/back light moments, template washes from the top, or high side moments depending on how they point.

    But I refer you again to my original question.
     
  4. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    I think the bigger question is what you hope the lights will add to the production. I no nothing about the show so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    If it were me and I was unsure of blocking and the show called for a lot of isolation I would put them 3 on the house pipe, 3 on the 1st E and 2 on the furthest upstage electric. This would give me a fair shot of getting some flexible specials that can fill in an established wash system. The onstage lights can provide some textures when not being used for specials.

    If the show is dance and effect heavy I would place all 8 above the stage. I would hang a pair on each electric, one at 20 and one at 25' off stage with a 25' proscenium opening. Now they will act as pipe ends and provide punches of color and texture.

    Without knowing a little about the space and the show its hard to make this choice. Is this the type of show that you would have the lights moving live or will they only MIB? What are you hoping to gain by using movers instead of 8, 16 or 32 more conventionals?
     
  5. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Knowing little about the show or the effects you want to achieve the most powerful position for moving lights is as back or side light. The further you pull them into the house the less of an effect you will get from them.

    I have never bought into moving lights as refocusable specials. Why not just use specials or even an iCue or something like that? To me the house position is a waste of units. The only time I put them in the house is when I have an over abundance of units.

    Your mileage may vary however.

    I would do 4 on the 1st electric and 4 on the most upstage electric.

    Mike
     
  6. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

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    Where you place the movers really depends a lot on the show, your design goals, what the director wants to see, and lots of other things like that. The movers should be used to supplement and add to your existing design, not to throw another toy in there to play with. Before you even start to think about your equipment, you need to design the show, figuring out what kinds of colors and angles and textures you want in each scene, and after that's done, figuring out where the movers should go will be easy. You may find that you don't need 8 expensive movers, and your money could be better spent getting a bunch of Source Fours, maybe with gobo rotators, scrollers, or whatever else you may want.

    I am not familiar with the show, so I can't really give any specific advice. But basically, if I was hanging movers for a show I knew nothing about, I would simply follow my design ideas. Personally I am a big fan of side and back light, so I would probably hang them all as high sides or as back/top lights, depending on what my conventional rig looked like. I would even consider hanging a couple movers as head-highs, on sidelight booms or ladders, if I was able to put a moving light there. I personally love using head-highs, and so having a moving light in those positions would help me a lot. I tend to use as little front light as I can get away with, preferring to key from the sides and fill in with front light, so I personally would not hang movers out front. But again, it's all about your design for the show and your personal style of design.
     
  7. poolman78

    poolman78 Member

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    Thanks for all the comments, I know it is a hard question to ask, and I am going with the 8 movers for a miriad of reasons. Lack of lights, lack of power, large set, but with several isolated tight spaces. City of angels is black and white and color design, so I also needed the flexibility to change color in an instant a well as have the lights track the actors around the stage. I guess after reading all these responses is I am using them as flexible key lighting for the most part, but will use when dictated the special effects. Ive used moving lights before, but as moving specials and color washes. Just looking for best possible position that's all. And to answer the first response, I will be controlling them with a Hog 500.
     
  8. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

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    Hmm... Again, no one can give many specifics without knowing the exact details of the set, the director's vision, and things like that. I still think using movers as front light is a waste of a fixture, but that's just me. Personally, I would plot the movers as side or top/back light, and use a S4 for frontlight for that area. Reason being is that frontlight colors are generally fairly standard and unchanging, while you can play around with your back and sidelight colors for many different looks.

    I might plot 6 fixtures as a top/back system, spread along 2 LX pipes so that you had 6 areas. Then I might take the remaining two and put them on pipe ends, on a pipe where they could hit the most key places, depending on the scenery. Of course, if you have a wide stage you might not be able to get by with 3 areas across. The overhead fixtures could be used for any top or back specials you needed, and the other overheads can be used to add more angles and colors to those specials. They could also function as a full stage color or gobo wash, or as upstage frontlight if needed. Then the side fixtures could be used whenever you wanted a sidelight in a scene. You will be limited by what you can do with these because you only have one zone of sidelight, but if you put them where much of the key action takes place, you should be able to hit some dramatic scenes.
     
  9. iLightTheStage

    iLightTheStage Active Member

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    Based on your description, I would probably go with 4 FOH and 4 on the 1st or 2nd electric, spread out evenly. Should give you a good number to establish different playing areas and some decent angles to play with.
     
  10. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Be VERY careful trying to track actors with a moving light. Even on Broadway shows if you watch the show enough you can see the cues where the lights are tracking because they will always be either a hair in front of or a hair behind the actors. I never recommnd trying to track actors with a moving light.

    Mike
     
  11. kmontagne

    kmontagne Member

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    It is possible to track talent on the stage area with movers in settings where a FOH followspot may not be appropriate. It is probably out of the range of many budgets but Autopilot II from Wybron Wybron, Inc. - Products - Tracking Systems - Autopilot has been used with success in numerous shows. It involves flying eight or so receivers above the stage with the people to be tracked wearing a small transponder. The software runs on a PC and interprets the signals to determine the location up to 4 transpoders in 3 dimensions. It can then control the pan/tilt and for some fixtures the iris by interjecting the proper DMX signals inline after the control board. You can even place limits on where the light can go so that it does not track the person if they go off stage or into some required dark area.
     
  12. beltsvillecrucib

    beltsvillecrucib Member

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    Having the movers track people could be considered clumsy at best. Like the above poster mentioned, the best way to do it is via an AutoPilot system. Especially for someone who doesn't have a good deal of experience with movers/programming movers.

    If your goal is to create nice tight isolation between actors this can be accomplished with very tight areas and some attentive programming. I will echo the others and recommend putting all the movers on the overhead elecs.

    Also remember from FOH, if you decide to put some Mac700's there, the spots they create will be a different color in O/W than your S4's unless you remember to roll the CTO in.
     
  13. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    I will never ever ever again use Autiopilot. I have been on tour with autopilot multiple times and it has the biggest pain in my you know what every time. Receiver placement, signal falloff, problems with the transmitter, the list goes on and on. It is not worth the money or the headaches. In the end nothing beats a good old fashioned follow spot operator.

    Mike
     

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