Having a base light plot to revert to after productions.


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Having a base light plot to revert to after main stage productions would save time and trouble. Our theater never sits empty for to long. We are constantly having band concerts, recitals, dance shows, and school assemblies. Etc. Well what I recommend is having a base light plot to revert back after main stage productions. Consider it a multipurpose hang.
1.) Once the stage pipes are hung and focused, you then fly them in and roll a long piece of muslin (4 ft wide) and centered under the baton.

2.) Turn each light on and have the electricians draw out the shape of each of the lights projections and also mark the hot spots.

3.) Also mark the center line of your stage on the muslin for a reference point and for what electric.

Once done you roll up the muslin and store them. After main stage productions reset the electrics to match the default plot, and then break out and use the muslin focus sheets to set focus for each of the lights.

Now the house pipes and/or house boxes will have to be done manually.
The theatre I work in has a a Standard rig and we have a 69line flying system which is also standard with false pro's, legs etc.

Our standard rig is a blue/red/green and clear wash and we have lecture spots on either side of the stage and then 6 spotlights in the main part of the stage. We have a cyc wash in the same colours. On our desk we have programmed in the washes, and chases with the cycs washes and the spots.

So when schools come in for band gigs etc. we simply show their op where everything is and let them do it unless they want one of the hous techs to do it, in which case you pay!

After each show that comes in, we reset the rig back to the standard which is all documented in a AutoCAD drawing and dimmer hookup sheets etc.
Before shows come in, we supply them with a copy of our hookup sheets and CAD drawings so they can base as much of their show as possible off our standard rig which saves messing around after the show!

I recommend every theatre and performing arts venue have some kind of stanard rig. they rock!

Even at our school we have a stanrd rig for assemblies etc. which is just a clear wash and a cyc wash in our school colours which is on a black curtain as oppose to a white cyc. i dunno why but i think it looks better on the blacks for special occasions!
Base House plots are the best thing...they give you a ton of flexibility and no need to change much of anything--add a few movers to your house hang and you will rarely have to go up a ladder to refocus a special again. We have our base house hang in my theater--which is a mixed dance/ballet plot focus with QL's and C and gobo's and two podium specials, and 8 moving lights on stage. We add a few color scrollers to the mix too and all is well. Works well...tho I am slowly changing over the color scheme to a more flexible one. Now if I could just get the other LD here to get into Ground Focusing on muslin like I am used to, things would be great and we could save two hours.

sounds like a rep. or reprotory plot to me. That hang and focus that's the main and standard plot for use with the shows without a real plot or design. Moving lights saving time on ladders, good question, but one for elsewhere. The point is that most places use such a hang an focus for the in-between use of the space. Never much of a problem during strike to bring the theater back to how it was found and is servicable or to that base hang/focus schedule. Than for easier shows, it's just a question of using the base plot plus a few specials to get the work done faster.

As for hang and focusing it on a cyc or target, if the electricians are the same that hung the stock/rep. plot last time, or the TD of the space has a few minutes while the show is striking to stand on stage and do a rough focus and gel during the strike, such a time intensive focus and re-hang back to the norm should not be necessary. At least I never had the time or use for focusing to cyc.
In addition to keeping an idea of what lights should go where in our theatre we tend to keep some lights unchanged. What we do at my school is on the catwalk we have about 6 or 7 area lights for just an even wash across the front half of the stage. Also, we leave about 3 lights on the house baton for use in general areas for podiums. These lights come in handy just in case of an assembly or a if rental happens to be coming to the school while we are in the middle of construction or lighting.
In our High SChool black box we recently put up 12 fresnels that generally cover the cool stage w/ warm and cool standard lights. It was decided that they should be permanent - with coloring, and use at the current designer's disgression.
I try to set up some kind of standard lighting plot to use in our high school auditorium when there isn't much going on. When dance recitals come in, and it's time for the talent show or musical then it's time for a more custom plot. The TD at our community theatre has a similar basic plot with various washes and zones on the stage that makes things a little quicker when groups come in to play etc. We just make the necessary changes that we need to when groups send us information prior to the show. My problem tends to be, as it is now, of considering the current hanging plot too much when designing the plot for a show. I think my tendency is to try to make as much of what is already hanging work for the applications I need it to rather than almost completely ignore it and focus on just what I'm trying to do and design the plot to accomodate it. Does anyone else have this problem? I'm trying to break myself of it. :?
the electrics stay pretty much the same after shows we just pull the gells and tip the fernels down. The catwalk has 4 or 5 banks of three 6*6s with a par 64 above them for work light. When dance shows come in we have no problem redoing the whole plot becasue we are on the clock :) It is nice to have a few good washes for band and choir stuff when its not payed.
We have a "Rep Plot" as it were for our rental/large hall, 250 units or so. We as a rule, do not change the plot, requesting that all users attempt to stick to the plot. We will swap units out as time allows, possibly do some minor re-circuiting, add stuff to spare circuits, etc...

We do not have a rep focus, nor do we have rep color, changing both as needed. It's mostly a dance oriented plot, but when we go DPC next fall, it becomes much more flexible and can work for about anything, excepting a big variety tour that wants 120 PAR4 VNSP's. We don't rep focus/color mostly as I believe the user has the right to focus/color as needed and there are countless way's to do both. We would never restore at any rate, usually as we would go into a meal penalty after a load-out, and can more readily either go back to the basic configuration during the next electrics call for the next event, or will simply shift to whatever the next event needs.

Of course if an event really needs a totally different setup, we will change the plot. The user ends up paying for the adaptaion as well as the restore (even if we don't do it right away), but almost never do a big change-over as the schedule rarely allows it.

We hope to add some ML's to the overhead electrics next year, replacing some zoom ellipsoidals. Can't say if that's going to be any faster !.

Steve B.
Our theater just uses a paint pen on the upstage side of the baton itself.

With houseplot already up:
Draw two lines on the outside of the C-clamp
Then on the right side, write Instrument type (P=par, L=Leko, S=Strand, F=Fresnel)
Then the angle or size (19, 26, 36, 20, 40,50...)
Then the circuit #

From there, as soon as house plot is loaded on the board, we bring up groups by gel color on the RFU.

This system makes turnover happen in one day now, including refocus.
Why don't I ever see any techie girls? lol I see a few here but there aren't any at my school :(
Thats funny, we just had a guy start working for us from Texas who said the same thing to us. Theres 3 girls on our staff and one works in the box office only.
I got 3 of the hottest girls in the school to be my spot girls this year :D i loved my spot crew
I save my own patches to disk and then revert to the original "house patch" for all other shows. I have to do some refocusing for the nitwits who know nothing about lighting except how to turn everything on.;)
Does anyone have a template or USITT graphic symbol for MArtin fixtures? I have to hand draft for my Masters and can't seem to locate the proper graphic symbols for my Mac 300, 600, RS918 ans MX 10 fixtures.
Yes, what we commonly refer to as "Rep Plots" are a great way to keep a space always ready for a diversity of acts as well as maintain a system that is easy for all those working the space to become accustomed to.

A good, detailed drawing of the rep plot is essential, as are good working drawings of the availible circuits and lines for touring groups and shows.

Several disc with the "Rep Patch" and macros are a great way to make a seemless transition from one show to the next.

All I can say, is just don't lazy and not fully "Restore" the rep plot after a touring show. It will just drive you all crazy.

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