The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

If you were asked what you SHOULD have started out with...

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by forbiddenpluto, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. forbiddenpluto

    forbiddenpluto Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NE Florida
    So I was told today to make a list of everything my high school theatre "should" have started out with. (We're a 3 year old high school and apparently already falling apart) Here's a brief overview of what we have and I'm hoping for. Any input would be great. Be gentle, this is my first year truely doing all of the technical side and I'm still learning.

    We've got...
    3 motorized battens above stage
    2 ancient spots (we got them from the other HS theatre, one is currently dead and we don't know why. The fan is on but the lamp isn't turning on. Bought a new lamp... still not working.)
    4 MAC 550's
    Levitron Innovator 48/96 (which went kaput today... no clue why)
    Colortran i96 dimmer rack
    Approx. 25 Shakepeare 30 degree
    Approx. 35 Altman Par-cans
    (I'm not there right now and I can't remember the specs)
    6 Cyc lights (single color)
    Clearcom system
    A FOH that has no catwalk or motorized batton and I have to rip out a row of seats to get the Genie to it.
    No access to house lights for replacement
    A "Shop" that is 8X14 and only has 1 electrical outlet.
    An equally tiny booth that isn't even elevated.
    No box office.


    Obviously I need to fix the broken things as well as figure out something to do about FOH. However, I also want a new board. I was recommended the ION as it's performing well and the ETC interface is something my kids will encounter in the future if they continue with this field.

    Help?
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2008
  2. themuzicman

    themuzicman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    162
    Occupation:
    Audio Engineer
    Location:
    On Tour
    I am at a 3 year old school too, in a county that has 2 schools on Newsweek's top 25 best high schools, and you still have better stuff than us...

    I wish we were asked to make a list of what we should have. :!:
     
  3. forbiddenpluto

    forbiddenpluto Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NE Florida
    Really? Maybe the other high school is just spoiled. They generally have 4-5 pro shows going through a month.

    I'm really stressing the lack of access to FOH and the now deceased board.

    Buuuuuut since they asked I'm going to make a huge prioritized wish list. :)
     
  4. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,788
    Likes Received:
    1,090
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    No FOH focus-ability is a major boo-boo on the part of your Architect/Theatre Consultant, I would recomend hunting them down and shooting them. As far as inventory and viability of the actual gear... Well we all wish we had the inventory of a broadway roadshow, or a Genisis concert, but honestly, it ain't gonna happen. Hey You have moving head fixtures, your about 20 years ahead of most High Schools I've worked with. I'm not as much a lighting guy, anymore, so I'm not nearly as qualified as a lot of the guys that are going to weigh in on this. The Leviton Board..... Hmm... I blame it on NSI but then I like to blame things on NSI. 6 single color cyc lights.... How wide is you stage?
    Your shop space is definately under sized and a single outlet is ridicuous. What type of space is this you are working in ? what was the intention? Did they < School Board> think this was just a presentation space? did they think it would be a viable place to teach theatre/stagecraft with that small of a space?
    Take it from a "Proffesional" that produces 8 show a season out of a shop that is literally half of a handball court, a small space will bite you on the butt. Small shop space with no storage for stock scenic peices, spell much higher build expensives.
    Could you post a GP of the theatre?

    BTW
    If you haven't yet, < by the time you read this> Post a hello in the New Members Forum. Tell us about yourself , your background, your facility and whether or not you support the Cubit movement.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2008
  5. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,657
    Likes Received:
    320
    Location:
    PA & NJ
    Holy crap. If my school had that much, I'd have been so happy. That's amazing kit for a high school.

    Console replacement: YES to ION. It's in place to become an industry standard along with the EOS, which uses the exact same software.

    New followspots: Lycian, Strong, or Phoebus Manufacturing. What's the throw distance from the spot positions?

    New accessories: some Rosco I-Cues and Apollo smart Move Rotators.

    Get 8 to 12 I-Cues, put them on fixtures on the FOH batten. That way 8 of your FOH fixtures are re-focusable without going up to the FOH batten. If you have the money, DMX irises for all of those fixtures as well so that you can change the beam angle and the position remotely. Plus, each of those fixtures can do a number of different things in any given show. If you gel half with R33 and half with R60, you'll have both pink and blue (standard frontlight colors) refocusable fixtures.

    I'd call Leviton-Colortran tech support about the board to get it up again right away if possible.
     
  6. forbiddenpluto

    forbiddenpluto Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NE Florida
    Oh, I should also add that I don't have any software for any type of design.

    Suggestions? :)

    And I went on over and put up an intro! :)
     
  7. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,788
    Likes Received:
    1,090
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    Well, outside of VectorWorks, or AutoCAD, both of which are standards for design, you could look into D/Ling the free version of SketchUp from Google. It's a great 3D drawing system, I use it in conjunction with ACAD all the time to do renderings. There is also a relatively cheap CAD program called TurboCAD which is easy to use/learn and imports/exports to VW, AutoCAD and has availible plugins for rendering etc.
     
  8. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    88
    Occupation:
    truck driver
    Location:
    perth W Australia
    The innovator is more than adequate for the job, the money you have should go on more lighting, inc full cyc lights, a different board will make no difference to the look on stage, although it may make the operators life easier, but the same amount spent on lights could dramatically improve the production.
    Basics first-frills later.
     
  9. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,766
    Likes Received:
    435
    Location:
    Vegas
    Your HS and mine were actually pretty close on the gear list, but I had a professional company supporting us (yay for convenient marriages).

    When I worked in a house with no FOH access we had no other choice than using a BIG step ladder and taking a lot of time for focus because of it. For the rest of this I'm going to assume you have a reasonably small space.

    {Standby} someone arguing everything I've said

    If I was going to make a similar list of what I wanted it would be:

    A fly system with at least 10 movable baton's (that's not a lot but with a shop that size I don't see a lot of flying scenery)

    2 Robert Juliat followspots (Margot 1017's maybe)

    The MAC 550's are really nice to have so keep those

    ETC Ion

    ETC Sensor dimmer rack

    50 Source 4's (with something like 35 36 deg barrels, 15 26 deg barrels, and a few 50's and 19's)

    20 Source 4 PAR's (EA is cheaper but MCM seems to be more worth the money in the long term)

    Enough Altman SkyCyc 4 window fixtures wo cover the cyc (need more info, cyc fixtures are probably the thing I know the least about)

    Clearcom system will be fine as long as you have enough headsets


    Now out of fairy land. What my priority list would be in your situation:

    1. An ETC board. The Ion if you can get the budget, but an express or expression will be adequate and get you programming in a more modern sense. I learned on an innovator and I pretty much had to forget everything I had learned to come work for Alex.

    2. Better Cyc fixtures. Color mixing and variety are the point of multi window fixtures and that seems to be the standard.

    3. At least one good followspot

    4. 5 - 15 more Shakespeare's either 20 deg to 40 deg barrels, do math figure out which will be more usable or get some of both.

    5. Kicking the architect in the balls for not giving you any kind of FOH access.



    Other thoughts. I used that exact board, liked it and did some great work on it. But I could have done it in half the time on a modern board and would have more knowledge that is applicable to programming as a profession. The I-que's are a really good idea, but remember that although quiet they still make some noise. I didn't really list any DMX toys at all, but if I had to pick one it would be scrollers, they just give you so much more variety out of a small inventory.

    {GO} Arguing people
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2008
  10. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,766
    Likes Received:
    435
    Location:
    Vegas
    Wow two people posted in the time I was writing that. Oh well. One thing I forgot, the shop part...... What we did when I was in high school was recruit the woodshop class. People are graded on craftsmanship and wanted to be there, and that way we could use the woodshop for a little storage too.
     
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,493
    Likes Received:
    2,475
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Just had the pleasure of chosing my own fixture package for a new college black box.
    So far I've been very happy with the results:

    48 Source Fours
    48 36Degree lenses
    24 50 " "
    24 36 " "
    6 19 " "
    4 70 " " Now that's WIDE BABY!
    16 Source Four PARS
    16 Source Four PARNels... I'm starting to like them and would possibly drop the PARS given a second chance
    16 Source Four Zooms
    48 Selecon Frenels.
    5 3 cell L&E broad cyc's
    12 1 cell L&E broad cyc's-with floor trunions
    8 Selecon Zooms for pattern and transparency projection
    4 Inky's
    6 Elation UV Wash lights
    8 Seachanger XG Profiles
    12 Seachanger XG Wash lights
    4 Rosco I-cues
    4 Apollo Right Arms... don't over look these and just get I-cues. They make more sense from FOH to me.
    2 Gobo Rotators
    2 DMX Iris
    2 Rosco Infinity Animation systems

    I LOVE the Seachangers and wish I had more. They are amazing. The system designers put in a new Strand Classic Palette console and C21 dimmers. It's great. I've seen Ion and it's very cool too. No offense to our friends at ETC but you should really look at both of them. They are very similar in features and abilities I would say it's more a matter of which feels best to you. So try to test drive both options.
    If I had more money I would add more Seachangers (they are amazing!)... and maybe a Rosco x-effects or a Gam Film/FX.

    My usual rant around here is that everyone wants moving lights for their school but they usually have very little actual use for them. I say only get them after you have a full inventory of conventional gear plus the basic DMX "component" toys. Most theater productions need a water effect, a fire effect, or a light that moves from one place to another. You don't need $5k-$10k Martin products to do that. You can do it for half the price by just having the proper DMX "component" toys and have a far more useful every day inventory.
     
  12. forbiddenpluto

    forbiddenpluto Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NE Florida
    Oh, I totally agree with the overkill on the DMX lighting. While yes, I'm super excited to have them, umm... the money could have been spent wiser and we wouldn't be in this position right now. However there was some politics from a teacher at the school (nothing to do with the dept) that successfully got us them and well, I'm not complaining! (Except for the difficulty and time consumption of the innovator)

    Our curtain line is 29'. Random, yes, I know. If I recall correctly our center line is something like 34-36. While we have the 3 motorized battens, we have 0 fly loft. Ugh. Architect must be shot. FOH is approx 18' high. I've only gotten the Genie once since I've been there so it's an approx. Our house sits 570.

    I'll definitely bump cyc lights up on the list. Thanks for the input.

    I was thinking about phasing out the shakespeares over time with source 4's. I'll get some 50 degree ones first. But it's definitely not an immediate need.

    Oh I should also mention that our Colortran i96 is having issues as well. My borrowed lighting tech is suggesting to attempt to get a tech to fix, and if nothing can be done then we'll be in the market for that too.

    I'm heading in now. I'm sure there'll be more concerns I totally forgot about.
     
  13. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,293
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    Your in the perfect area for a killer package that will help you out. On gearsouce (they are out of florida) they have an ETC package consisting of an express and a couple of sensor dimmer racks. Check gear source out at www.gearsource.com. I hope this helps.
     
  14. phil000

    phil000 Active Member

    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    I agree with the idea of getting dmx component type toys etc before you get a whole fleet of moving lights...but also there are a lot of students in these schools who want and need to be qualified to maintain and work on moving lights as that is a real world skill that, I for one, wish our school actually taught us before we're expected to know about them in the real world.

    I think schools should not throw out the old stuff, a few theaters I interviewed with out at SETC were really psyched that I knew all about the 360Q in a humid environment (and I'm working for one of them this summer :p:p) .

    A lot of the theaters that one encounters won't have an all Source 4 inventory, or a really nice board. I think a wide variety of equipment provides an appreciation for the new, and provides a sense of direction for where technology is moving. It's easier for a theater to pick a more compatible technician rather than a whole new set of instruments.

    Just my thoughts on the matter
     
  15. Jezza

    Jezza Active Member

    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Auto-transformers!
     
  16. Saunier

    Saunier Member

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Van Wert, Ohio
    I'm the Lighting Director at a community/high school theater and we are looking to upgrade and get a moving light package. In the package, I am strongly recommending the Ion as well. Its small and I love touch screens. We have all S4s, Fresnals, and Pars. But I lwork well with it. Your shop is kind of sad, but ours is really small too.
     
  17. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,400
    Likes Received:
    2,784
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Good point, [user]Phil000[/user], but I think you're graying the issue between High School and College. My high school had virtually nothing; my college had better equipment than Broadway at the time.

    [user]Saunier[/user], I'd go for the Ion before a moving light package. Stop by the New Member Board and tell us more about what you have now. Since you're new, I'll repeat my mantra: "In most situations, buying moving lights rather than renting them makes very little sense economically." Look at the ROI.

    For teaching purposes the $49 LED PARs and $200 Disco scanners work just as well as the $3400 (new) PixelPAR and the $7500 (used) VL3000Spot.
     
  18. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    3,988
    Likes Received:
    737
    Location:
    DFW, Tx.
    Not to hijack, but what happens to a 360Q in a humid environment?
     
  19. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,293
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    360Q's shutters love to rust together and require some TLC, usually along with some help of using a C-wrench as a hammer. Very true in using a couple cheap moving lights to teach over buying some really expensive stuff. I have had schools rent moving lights quite a few times and pay me to come in and tech a little class on them. It seems that no one really factors in the price of owning moving lights when they buy them. Right now i'm working on repairing 8 moving washes and the repair bill is around 5k. I had one school whos studio beam lamp power supply went out and took out the ignitor board. So that was around a 500 dollar repair. Also the lamp power supply went out in part due to they did not have the light on a true non dim circuit, but a dimmer set to non dim.
     
  20. Jby007

    Jby007 Member

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
    whats wrong with what you have when i was in high school i had 36 dimmers and 50 6x9's

    the ion is way over kill for a school go with an expression or something like that
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice