How do you make curtain warmers?

lightwench

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Mar 2, 2005
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Minnesota
I generally just take a couple of lekos (I have some Source4 Jr. Zooms) that I hit the curtain with, using a warm gel (dependant on the curtain color). Does that help?
 

ntcsound

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May 22, 2004
I meant more shape-wise. Do just make a circle or two or several squares? I normally just cover the drape with that scattered light gobo but she said it wouldn't work? She wants a more "clasic" one. Help me.
 

cutlunch

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Jan 12, 2005
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Auckland, New Zealand
Quite often you can use ellipsoidal lights from high up and close to your curtains. This will give a nice scalloped look across the curtains. You may also find that the lights you are using from front of house to light the front of stage may give a nice spill on the curtains. If using these the levels shouldn't be set to high. Do you have old lights in your inventory that you don't tend to use. These may be perfect as curtain warmers.
 

propmonkey

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Jul 22, 2004
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Milwaukee, WI
i just run all my foh lights at 20-30%. ive been meanign to add to zooms with breakups for more effect.
 

The_Guest

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Detroit, MI
For a classic look I generally like to use a minimum of four lekos. I put them in a cove directly next to the curtain on the mezzanine level (2 lekos per side). Focus the beams parallel to the curtain, aim them about to the center of the curtain. Each pair of lekos (l and r) of the lekos should be aimed a bit upward on the curtain, while the other two pairs should be aimmed a bit downward. Forming a diamond like shape. This should be ran a fairly high intensity to cut through the light coming from the house lights and if you're lighting up anything else down stage. I normally will either light up the down stage area and the curtain very dim or just run the stage wash very lightly. Sometimes a nice texture focused downstage and on the center of botton quarter of the curtain. As far as gelling curtain warmers, generally use some warm colors than will catch the audience's eye while still blending in with the calm preshow/intermission/post show environment.

So basically the warmers should look like this...<>

You can even do this in a rock environment, even if you don't have a curtain. With some haze of course. You can make a sort of virtual transparent curtain. Works well with a tighter iris so the beams don't spread all over the place. You could even ditch the horizontal diamond formation and make horizontal or vertical bars with several lekos.. You'd need a lot haze though. It really is a good and simple way to seperate the rest of the stage and the house preshow and intermission. It looks great gelled a flashy color, or cool mellow colors look good too.
 

rochem

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May 20, 2008
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New York, NY
Apologies for bringing back a 3 year old thread, but I'm curious how other people do it. For the first time I find myself with a few spare instruments which I am going to use as curtain warmers. I've never been able to do this before, but right now I'm just planning on hanging one instrument on each end of our FOH pipe and focusing it to the opposite side of the curtain. Then I want to put some sort of gobo in a different color focused on the center of the curtain, but I might just stick with the two instruments.

How do you usually do curtain warmers? I know some designers go all out on their warmers and change colors and patterns throughout the overture based on the mood. What do you do in your shows?
 

philhaney

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How do you usually do curtain warmers? I know some designers go all out on their warmers and change colors and patterns throughout the overture based on the mood. What do you do in your shows?
At the Pageant we use apron strips and just light the main from below. Next door at the Laguna Moulton Playhouse, they use six or eight lekos on the balcony rail, all soft focused to do a wash on the main. I'm not sure if they gel them or not.
 

LekoBoy

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Aug 10, 2008
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Moralton, ST
So I have a blue main curtain, and normally use two 8" Fresnels with barndoors from the Beamport gelled in R68. Would these be "Curtain Coolers"?
 

cdub260

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At the Pageant we use apron strips and just light the main from below. Next door at the Laguna Moulton Playhouse, they use six or eight lekos on the balcony rail, all soft focused to do a wash on the main. I'm not sure if they gel them or not.
For those of you who may not know what Phil means by apron strips, this is two twelve ft. strip lights, made in house from aluminum raceways and medium screw lamp bases in a wood masking frame so you don't see the lamps from the audience. It's a set-up that you don't see very often in more conventional stage shows. Their use as curtain warmers is secondary to their primary purpose as one element of our set lighting. For the 2008 Pageant, I also hung a 19 degree Source 4 from our mid house right lighting truss with, if I remember correctly, an R-12 gel. We had a yellow curtain for our 75th. season. Our two niche stages, on either side of the main stage used 50 degree Source 4 Jr.'s mounted on the down stage wall of the orchestra pit with the same gel that I used in the 19 degree.

Now, with all that said, there really is no single, "right way" to do curtain warmers. I've seen them from the front with a gobo wash, striped from the side with pars, and, of course, lit with foot lights in addition to anything else that has been listed by other posters.

Oh, and Phil, the venue next door dropped Moulton from their name at least fifteen years ago.:rolleyes: Ten years ago they removed their proscenium arch and replaced their curtain pipes and dead hung electrics with a grid structure. I was part of the demolition crew on that project. For most of their shows these days, they don't even have a curtain to warm.
 
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gafftapegreenia

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Ya mean like Foot Lights, such as these open trough beauties in the 1926 Kliegl catalog ?


 

cdub260

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Gafftapegreenia,

The concept is similar, though the execution is somewhat different. For one thing, my lamps are spaced on one foot centers. Also, they are not recessed into the apron, but turned on their sides with the lamps pointing upstage. And, of course, as is the case with a sizable portion of my lighting equipment, they were designed and built in house.

Thanks for the visual by the way.:mrgreen:
 

gafftapegreenia

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Ok,so its not *exact* but check out item No. 627. Again, 1926 catalog.




Of course, now I want to see pictures of your lights. :)
 

cdub260

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Unfortunately, your upload of this page didn't go so well. It's mostly a blank grey sheet.

As for pictures of my lights, I'll see what I can do, but I can't make any promises. I'm not sure whether posting pictures of my equipment violates company policy. I know posting pictures of our sets would.
 

cdub260

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Sorry, I'm not totally following this thread,

But how would posting pictures of equipment be against policy?
Does your company design/build its own fixtures?
Yes, we do. For much of what we do in Pageantland, standard, of the rack stage lighting simply does not work. So I end up either finding a household or industrial fixture that comes close to what I need and then modifying it or designing and building what I need from scratch. As for why posting pictures of this equipment may violate Festival of Arts company policy, our board of directors is under the impression that there is some big secret to what we do. They're wrong of course. We don't do anything that you couldn't figure out on your own. In this instance, what they believe trumps reality.:wall: So before I go posting pictures of my equipment, I'm going to make certain that I'm allowed to do so.:think: I love my job and I'd like to keep it, thank you very much!:snooty:

As for why you're having trouble following this thread, it's because we've gone off on a tangent. For those of you have forgotten the subject at hand while gafftapegreenia and I have hijacked the thread, that subject is curtain warmers and how you do them. So please feel free to chime in on that subject at any time.:rolleyes:
 

TheDonkey

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Oct 23, 2008
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Vancouver, BC, Canada
Yeah, I was working on the wording.

By not totally following this thread I mean that I read the first post, some other random post, and nothing else that makes up 90% of the context for your post.
 

gafftapegreenia

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Unfortunately, your upload of this page didn't go so well. It's mostly a blank grey sheet.

As for pictures of my lights, I'll see what I can do, but I can't make any promises. I'm not sure whether posting pictures of my equipment violates company policy. I know posting pictures of our sets would.
Well ok.

And here's a link to that page, all I did was standard html. It looks fine to me.
 

lieperjp

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Mar 25, 2008
Location
Central Wisconsin
For me, If I know there won't be anyone going out in front of the curtain before show (for instance, our Children's theatre production where there is pre-show entertainment to keep 800 kids occupied until the show starts) I just use one channel on each of the four R-40 strip lights at about 50%. If there will be someone on stage, I'll add some light from the catwalk at about 80 and bump up the strips until I get an even blend. I've tried gelling but to me it seems our red curtain just likes open incandescent light.

I was thinking about making a gobo with the school's logo on it to project onto the curtain, as I have access to a laser metal cutter (ok, I don't but my dad does...) However, I decided it wasn't worth it to figure out proper keystoning.