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head of lighting any tips?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by lightingmackdaddy, May 19, 2007.

  1. lightingmackdaddy

    lightingmackdaddy Member

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    I'm about to do a show and im head of lighting, any tips on how to make the job easier
     
  2. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    what kind of info are you looking for,

    info on the bump in or actually working the show

    maybe list what kind of desk your using

    and some pics of the venue

    try my tech pics for some pics (maybe there will be some you can use)

    also thanks for breaking the post drought on your behalf
     
  3. lightingmackdaddy

    lightingmackdaddy Member

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    advice on the whole thing im using a LSC Axiom 36 desk, and the theatre has 4 LX bars plus 4 front of house bars
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  4. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    correction

    two normal FOH
    two bars that run sideways
     
  5. lightingmackdaddy

    lightingmackdaddy Member

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    close enough oh and im not doing the design
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  6. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Normally the lighting designer is considered the 'head of lighting', as it is his or her design that the entire lighting department is working to realize. What is your position? Production Elec? Master elec?

    General advice, hang it as quickly as you can and as early as you can, remember that your going to need more time then you think you will to trouble-shoot the show. Remember that your going to need time to edit the plot when the designer realizes what things don't work. Plan time for these eventualities.

    Bring extra cable, lots of it. Bring a few extra fixtures, things break, and designers say 'oh crap, we need another light here'.

    Keep your paperwork up to date, its always worth it in the end to keep your paper work correct.

    Don't overload a dimmer, don't overload anything for that matter.

    Don't lick the wires. (especially when they're hot)

    Oh, and have fun!
     
  7. lightingmackdaddy

    lightingmackdaddy Member

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    im pretty much lighting desk operator, thanks for the advice i will
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    So you are recording all the cues then? I find it helpful for my students to create some cheat sheets. Depending on how much your designer has done, some of this will be less important. If you are mixing and recording cues on the fly with little time, then I suggest you do as much below as possible.

    First a simple list in number order that shows the type of instrument, color of gel, and it's purpose or area it's lighting.

    Then I suggest group lists... all the instruments with the same color. All instruments with gobos, all instruments pointed at an area. All the down light, all the side light. Any way you can combine them into logical groups. This makes it much easier for you to grab all the right instruments when the director says I want more amber light upstage. Also get some white paper tape and mark the board if you have sliders for every channel.

    Finally, if you've got a bunch of submasters, I would record a bunch of the groups above that seem likely to be used a lot. Record a basic look for each area of the stage... or perhaps record all your color combinations. The more things you have ready at your fingertips the faster the cue recording can go.
     
  9. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    I find it easer to read in the dark if you use black gaff tape under the sliders and mark on them with a white paint pen, or even glow paint pen if you can find one, this also dosen't leave a residue on the board and is alot easer to get off after the show...
     
  10. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Correct me if I am wrong but it sounds like your position equates to being a Master Elec./Head Elec. In which case here is some advice for you:

    1) Make friends with (or at least make nice to) your Lighting Designer, as they are going to be running your life from the time you get the plot and paperwork to the day the show opens.

    2) Make sure you understand the plot and paperwork, as well as any other information that the LD sends you. This will make hang go quicker and more smoothly.

    3) For hang, I try to make hang cards or hang tapes for each position. I also generate instrument counts broken down by position to give to my crew. I use hang tapes (burlap webbing with tick marks every 6 in. on which I put white gaff labeled with the following info: Unit#, Instrument Type, Color, Template, Rough focus direction, 2-fer with) on flying positions. I use hang cards for fixed positions that are only accessible from catwalks and such. For hang cards I generally print a scaled version of the position with dimensions and a good instrument key.

    4) I make it a point to get all color and templates in during hang.

    5) Make sure you write down all the dimmers/circuits that you connect each instrument to, or you will be kicking yourself when you have to patch.

    6) Find some time to patch at the console before you get to focus. This is also a good time to make sure everything is working.

    7) For focus I set myself up with a table, littlelight, a copy of the plot and paperwork, a highlighter marker, and a couple pieces of magnetic poetry. It is important to keep the designer moving through focus, so if you are organized that is good. Some designers will ask you how you want to run focus and some have a way that they like to do it. Personally, I prefer to just work along an entire position and then move on to the next. Some designers like to work by systems (frontlight, backlight, etc.), I find this less efficient. I use the magnetic poetry to keep track of which person is at which fixture, and I highlight the fixtures we have done.

    8) Do a channel check with the designer and make sure things are really the way they want. This will also start to get you to know where things are focused and how things are supposed to look so that you can keep that after the designer leaves.

    9) Know your lighting console as best you can. Many LDs know what they want, but they don't know every lighting console. If you know your console it will make programming much smoother.

    10) SAVE! SAVE! SAVE! I don't think you can save too many copies of a show. If your console has a hard drive, save every time you have time to. I personally create a completely new show file on the hard drive every day. I title them with the show name and the date. I also create/update at least 2 floppy disks with the show periodically throughout each day of tech for a show (usually every 80min when we take our AEA mandated breaks). After we finish tech and the show is finalized I create a disk with the final show file that I give to the stage manager to keep in his book as a backup, and I make one for me.

    That should do you well for advice. Have Fun!
     
  11. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    Talk to your designer, now so you can see what he has done and understand a bit more what's happening

    get as much info you can

    stage plan, prelim lighting design
    hire list
     
  12. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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  13. drawstuf99

    drawstuf99 Active Member

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    Be nice to the LD, seem interested, and take note of what you do wrong and fix it the next time. It's always a pain when your board op doesn't take notes after the 2nd or 3rd time.
     
  14. farmerjo1111

    farmerjo1111 Member

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    My biggest thing that I tell people is if you don't know or understand ASK. I will be happy to teach you but ASK. oh and don't forget to have fun.

    Dustin Strobush
     
  15. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    also our designer, is doing his design on paper rather than Vectorworks or any of those programs,

    plus he is just a music teacher who has no idea what he is doing
     
  16. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Hey... what's wrong with paper? :(
     
  17. drawstuf99

    drawstuf99 Active Member

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    Despite the fact that you say he doesn't know what he's doing...

    I actually love drafting by hand, I just dont have the time or patience usually.
     
  18. Logos

    Logos Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I love working by hand too. I know that the programs do all sorts of cool stuff and I've played with a couple but pen and paper suit me.
     
  19. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Heres my 2 cents on that one... Hand drafting is great, it looks nice when well done, and a well drafted plate with nice line weights truly looks like a piece of art. That being said, hand drafting as a communication tool does not work well in today as it did 15 years ago. The time saved by using a drafting program, especially for lighting, is no contest. For scene design I feel the same way, any TD worth their salt will take any hand drafted plates and put them into autoCAD, if the scene designer puts them their first they save time on all ends. As an M.E. I can deal with hand drafted plots, but I much prefer digital. You can make changes quicker, get the info that you want faster, and produce hang cards and pipe tapes much faster. Also, I hate carting around D size plots. Hand drafting does give the same information, but the exactness of CAD programs has gone way beyond what hand drafting can do.
     
  20. Logos

    Logos Well-Known Member

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    <Sigh> You are quite right and if doing plots for other theatres I do WYSIWIG plots. But I still draw my plans for my own rigs.
     

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