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How do I handle this?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by w3st0n21, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    Ok, how do I handle Non-technical people tell me what to do? like I am in the middle of a dress rehearsal, and the teacher in charge of the show came back to the booth and told me the "the stage was to dark" I had all of my fronts and most of my downs up 100%. ok maybe im crazy but i really hate people who dont know what looks good and what doesnt coming back to me and complaining about the stage being "to dark." has anyone else had this issue? how do u handle it?
     
  2. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    Get over it, your job is to provide the teacher/director what they want, the customer is always right.When you're in charge you will be able to impose your ideas onto others.
     
  3. lightman02

    lightman02 Active Member

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    You usually you can just sit in the booth and call to the director and say "ok, how do you like it now" they will then reply, "yes that's alot better" usually that works, the best part is I didn't change a thing!!!
     
  4. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    ya i think ill try that

    thnx
     
  5. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    "too dark" means different things to different people. They might mean "too much contrast", "not enough contrast", "not warm enough", "I don't like the shadows", "I can't see faces on the people USL". You get the idea.

    We once had a renter-from-hell (TM) who complained to one of our less experienced people about the stage being too dark. After running every light in our inventory to full she was still complaining so I got a phone call. Turns out all she wanted was a warm wash instead of a cool one.

    You could politely ask for clarification as "too dark" is not giving you the information you need to make them happy. As a side benefit, you are giving them an appreciation of what it is you do.
     
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  6. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    This almost always works for me.
     
  7. chrispo86

    chrispo86 Active Member

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    If I had a dollar for every time the director would suddenly be like "Oh! What are you doing, I like that, keep that" and I'm not even at the board let alone changing anything...

    But yeah... what I usually do in that situation. "Don't worry, I know, I'm working on it." And then leave it be. It's amazing how quickly people forget things...
     
  8. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it is like focusing at an IA house. The LD says 2 inches left, just wait about 30 seconds and they will say "perfect". You don't even have to move anything.

    Wait, I do that same thing on the LD end! *lol*

    If that doesn't work then ask for clarification and do your best to make the adjustments.

    Mike
     
  9. theatretechguy

    theatretechguy Member

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    I've found that most of the time when people are saying "too dark" they really mean to say "there's too much color saturation" but they lack the technical skills to convey that properly. During a rehearsal, simply say "ok, I'll work on it" and then later talk to them a bit more in depth about the problem. Ask questions in simple terms, but don't "talk down" to the director. Usually when a director gives you a vague request/complaint, there has been a breakdown in communication somewhere.
     
  10. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    OK!! NOW I AM PISSED!!! they did it again!! but this time meaner and madder! she came in a said "it is too dark on stage! you have 17 lights in "the beams" and only like 8 of them on! (I have two different sets for when the curtian is open and closed) and idk i guess im just mad...sorry guys
     
  11. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Does your school have a TD? Go get him to step in an explain to the director what's going on.
     
  12. VegasLites

    VegasLites Member

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    I hate to be insensitive, but is it possible that it really is dark?
    First are you in a booth or are you located in the same area as the teacher/director? Is the booth on a different perspective than where the director is watching from?
    If you want some real advice I would go into one of the cues they are complaining about, go down where they are and look at the cue together...with people on stage and ask them what they feel they are missing. Besides creating art one of the LD's main jobs is to illuminate the action.
    Believe me this is not a unique occurrence and you better find ways of dealing with it. Everyone thinks they are a Lighting designer.
     
  13. LightingPenguin

    LightingPenguin Active Member

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    You still have to give the director what they want. Dont give them attitude, give them results. The show is normally the directors vision, and while you do have a say of how it goes, just bear with it. If you REALLY think its that bad, then bring it up to them at another time, but when programming I've found its better to simply to suck it up and say "OK".

    However if I have a real design issue with what they are asking, I will often times not do it
     
  14. beachcombah15

    beachcombah15 Member

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    So I'm assuming that the curtain is closed during this particular scene? Have you tried bringing up the lights that you have focused upstage past the curtain up a little bit? this could in turn light up your curtain a bit and leak some light where it may be needed. just an idea...
     
  15. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Some of the many schools of thought:

    As a technician, you're there to "do" not to decide. So when you're given instruction, even poor instruction, your job is to just make them happy. In the professional world (and I don't mean just in theater, I mean everywhere) there are people who are pedantic, obnoxious, mean, Napoleonic jerks who like to throw their weight around.

    If this person isn't your supervisor but has some authority, you should be discussing this calmly, politely, and privately with the person who is. There's a chain of command for a reason. It should be followed.

    If this person has no authority, you need to respond properly. What that response is depends on who the person is. Since they're a teacher and you're probably a student, you still need to respect their position, even if they are behaving poorly. But I suggest again, calmly, politely, and privately, take it to the supervisor.

    Two cliches that are usually true:

    The world is filled with two types of people, those who manage what they don't understand and those who understand but aren't allowed to manage.

    Never let anyone else take control of your emotions.

    And if all else fails, we could dig a hole in the desert.
     
  16. itie

    itie Active Member

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    yeah i have the same problems. for one show i did i had set two diffenent areas with light to show a difference in the two areas well the actors did want to stand in the light and two days before opening night i got told to move all the lights a little more down stage so they would be in the lights. (it was like 10). i told him no and to tell the actor to stand in the lights. but this is also the same guy who couldn't figure out that the reason the light board wasnt turning on was because it was unplugged.
     
  17. LightingPenguin

    LightingPenguin Active Member

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    A 6 feet deep hole? I've contemplated this idea many many times.
     
  18. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    I have moved lights every tech rehearsal because the actors never hit their mark (in community theater especially), finally I just opened up the light wider.

    You do what you have to do.

    Mike
     
  19. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    For all the young designers out there, when you start a show, develop a language with your director. Learn to speak to them in terms they get, and give them some terms to talk to you in. Too often we forget to communicate to each other (which is sad considering ours is a career dedicated to communication), or don't know how. Develop this right away. I often do it during initial produciton meetings when I presenting my palette, my drawings, and my collages with my vision of the show. Talk to the director in terms of mood, emotion, movement, feeling, etc. Tell him that you would like him to communicate about color, visibility, focus, direction. Keep talking and looking. Communication is key.

    Mike
     
  20. Raktor

    Raktor Active Member

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    Quoted for truth.
     

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