Ah yes, the obsession with instruments, allow me to put my take.
First, ship, I think I understand you post. Basically what you are saying is that, if it artistically and creativly fits the show, go for it. However, don't do something just because you want to when it has no place in the overall design of a show. If it works with your intent as a designer, who's to say "no".
That said, I've been in numerous small little "inside a house
's where birdies and inkies are perfect. Short throws require smaller units with wider spreads. So there is a very practical
aspect to designing a show with "just birdies and inkies".
On the other hand
, when playing the role
of designer, (I'm not going to call
myself an LD-we've had this discussion in the past), I love to use "alternative" lighting sources. Colored PAR
38 lamps, porch lights, christmas lights, haogen work lights can all be used effectivly in a design. It's fun to go to Home Depot and see what might make an interesting effect
on the stage
. Also related is my fascination with older lights. They have a unique look, stlye and feel all there own. They have theiir own uses, both practical
(when nothing else is available) and artistic (when going for a specific look or feel). The central idea is that the designer should use all the tools available to them creatively and consciously while keeping things appropriate for the show. Look at the pictures of Spring Awakening. The artistic goal of the show was obviously to use bright, deeply saturated colors with a "rock" feel, hence the amount neon tubes and color changing LED
's incorporated into the scenery.
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever been given by a professional designer is that "you must first know all the rules before you can break them". Much like the footlight discussion, maybe you have a perfect reason, artistically inspired, for using lighting from such an angle. With the small inkies and birdies, maybe you're designing a show where you want the look of multiple small sources of light because it works with the overall themes and messages the creative team is trying to convey. Overall, don't do something "just for the hell of it", or maybe, more specifically, "because I feel like it", but rather know why and understand you have made a certain design choice. Sure, we could all design shows with just Source 4 ERS
's and PAR
's, but that wouldn't be fun, nor would it allow a designer to get creative.