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Keep that Havisham burnin'...

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by tenor_singer, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. tenor_singer

    tenor_singer Active Member

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    Good afternoon everybody...

    I am two weeks out of tech for our show Great Expectations and am starting to get our tech squared away. I have run into a bit of a snag...

    One of the characters of the book dies in a horrible fire. It turns out... she was the kindling. I have to set the stage before I pose the question...

    The main character, Pip, is sitting on a bench showing obvious signs of recovering from major burns on his hands and a recent illness. He dozes off and relives a scene where he argues with the lady who supposedly catches on fire, Ms. Havisham. The scene is blocked UL on the bill of our stage. The actress playing Ms. Havisham will be sitting in a recliner with a table beside her and some other nic-nacks. She bumps the lit candle on the table and woosh (if you know the plot of Great Expectations, the dress she is wearing is incredibly old).

    My question... I would like a special to turn various colors of fire but at the same time achieve the effect of the "rolling" nature of the flame itself. I was thinking about some form of gobo scroller (if there is such an animal) that scrolls a continuous rolling flame in front of our special to give the shadows and depth of actual fire.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated by me and by the dozens of kiddies involved with this production.

    Thanks!

    Tenor.

    The fixtures in my inventory... Strand SL Series, Altman 36Q's, 6" and 8" fresnels, par 56's, 12" scoops, 3-color strips and 3-unit cycs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2006
  2. Diarmuid

    Diarmuid Active Member

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    Hiya,

    Have you thought of using a couple of fixtures each with a different color and a gobo rotator allowing you to set up something like a chase which will mix all of the different colors.

    I dont know how much money you have to spend on hire (if any) but something like http://www.rosco.com/uk/lightingequipment/infinity.asp this by rosco would be pretty awesome for rotating gobos. As I'm more from the UK side of things, I'm not familiar with the altman 36q's, but if my memory is awake (which it isnt normally:) ) then they are profiles, or something simmilar, and so the Rosco infinity should fit them and having seen them it PLASA, they are pretty good.

    That would probably be the way I would do it (and its probably not the best lol) but gel scroller wise, l'm not entirely sure on this, however you could probably attach one of the rosco infinity's onto a scroller allowing you to scroll between fire colors, however you would need a custom string made to avoid scrolling between un-firey colors.

    Another option is using bi-color gels as in two triangles of different colors to make one gel allowing you to shine two colors through the gobo rotator at the same time.

    Hopefully this has been of some help, however it does revolve around whether you have any money to spend on a hire budget.

    Diarmuid:grin:
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2006
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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  4. disc2slick

    disc2slick Active Member

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    Hey,

    you can achieve a pretty good fire effect using a GAM twin-spin (a gobo rotator that hold and rotates two gobos, seperately), or a GAM FilmFX, which is basically a gobo scroller as you described. In terms of color, you could use split gel, though that does not allow any movement of color, or a scroller which would look kind of wierd since it would be red fire, orange fire, yellow fire but never a mix, y'know? I'd say just use two instruments with a different color in each (and maybe different go-tators?) and just play with intensity.

    -dan
     
  5. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Gam has a nice page of all the different fire effects, videos of what they look like, and an explination of what Gam product was used to make the effect.
    link

    The other option is to use a gobo stroller like you said. Gam has one with a fire effect.
    link
    I have never seen one in person, but the videos of them look cool. Here is the link to the movie of this stroller with the fire gobo in place.

    I remember that scene from when I had to read that book. Couldn't stand it, he got paid by the chapter and it showed. It felt like a bad soap, it could have ended a million times, but never did......
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2006
  6. koncept

    koncept Active Member

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    we used one of those continuous loops for a show (Jane Eyre) i worked on, they seemed to work ok, i wasnt overly impressed (possibly bc i had seen it like 20 some times...) but it did give the illusion of the place burning...
     
  7. macas

    macas Member

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    We hired in some computer intelligent lights for our production of guys and dolls and they are awesome, they have tons of preset go-bos and images and they can show virtually any colour, including UV which is pretty cool. Im dont know the specific details as im more of the stage management side of productions but our lighting tech, freddie probally would be able to help you. You can reach him here: http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/member.php?u=1449
     
  8. tenor_singer

    tenor_singer Active Member

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    Thanks for the ideas. I have heard of scrollers and gobo rotators, but was completely nieve of their price. I may just buy one (if my kiddies get off their keisters and sell more ads).
     
  9. koncept

    koncept Active Member

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    i would sugest renting the gobo scroller type units, however i would say it is ok to purchase the rotator. i see the rotators used much frequently thatn I do the scrollers so im not sure it is worth the investment....just my 2 cents
     
  10. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    in addition to the above you could look at one of the colored silk simulations, with a fan that you turn on when you want the flames and you use a combination of lighting and these types of units. You could also look at building something along these lines, very light weight material colored to look like a flame and being driven with a fan could give you a close to the floor start of a flame which IMO can greatly increase how good it looks

    http://www.starmgc.com/leflame.html this is just an example you could build something pretty easily with some dyed very thin fabric and lighting

    Sharyn
     
  11. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Use the GAM Film FX unit with the fire film. We have this, and it is absolutely amazing. We made a taped-together gel of red, yellow, and blue, and it works amazingly well. You can focus on one side of the film fx unit so that you don't get fire that goes up as well as well as down, and you can plug the unit in to a standard dimmer circuit and vary the intensity to change the speed of the effect, and it's just amazing. You won't be dissapointed if you get it. The opera company also used the unit (with a foliage loop) in a recent show to project moving foliage on a car seat and steering wheel, to make it look like the person was driving through dappled shadows. It works really well.
     
  12. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I would look into what Wildfire as a company offers in by way of scenic paint, makup and fixtures has to offer in the UV range. Lots of other suppliers for all but a start for ideas.

    Than look into double gobo rotating or even normal rotating gobos with donuts you install that are sort of blocking some of all the light at times you might install for some movement or some form of ripple machines, color wheels or scene machines you might acquire in doing a moving scene/fire effect. Lots of ability to do so as a general thing.

    Balance the two fire/projecting on and off of light as a wash with black light and you have two separate effects to work with in conveying an image. Granted of course a complex moving light can no doubt do all at once.

    As for depth..., at any time on stage, that’s a question of intensity verses fixtures and angle in balance. Many moving lights, scrollers or rotators, effects machines and ripple machines can do the rolling effect, others can do other forms of concept. What’s available in your budget first.
    Think of a triangle in solving the problem in crossing out one. Do you want it simple, cheap or quick. Answer the question of what to cross out and you can solve the other two questions in refining what will do the job.... artistically.

    Not to toot my horn but as a concept that I had thought had lots of ideas of use, do a search into I believe forest fire or better yet “bambie” on the webiste and at one point there was a discussion about creating a fire on the stage effect that was perhaps of use to study as a theory about.

    Still I think the normal means of fire when mixed with the fading on and off perhaps even by way of DMX douser over a black light fixture could be of use in really making for a scene that both emphizizes the point of people being burned by the fire and in different than the rememberence or reality on stage of the fire. Say the UV for what is painful and hurts by way of their skin glowing, and the fire itself perhaps in picking up some of the UV and their skin in associating the burns with the source, but also in using various means of effect to create the source.

    UV very different than the fire but once used together perhaps a good effect to shoot for.
     
  13. tenor_singer

    tenor_singer Active Member

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    Again thanks for all of the advice. I appreciate it.

    I have another question regarding one of the suggestions. How would one go about making a multi-colored Gel? Is it as easy as simply cutting two+ colors and filling a gel-holder with them? If so, how do you mend the seams together?

    I've decided on just getting a fire outlined gobo for now and seeing what that does. The way our school's ad sales are going this year, I'll be lucky to produce our musical (let alone purchase a $700.00+ device).

    Thanks again,

    Tenor.
     
  14. koncept

    koncept Active Member

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    it is as simple as cutting the gel to the look the way you want and taking scotch tape (its that clear one) and placing it on the seems. there is probaly a specialized product but i have never used it...
     
  15. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I always use scotch tape. Works fine. We have a bunch of "breakup gels" that are a set of colors that we use alot for mixed gels. They work well. And they're all held together with scotch tape.

    If there are any theaters around you that you could borrow a gobo rotator from, it would REALLY increase the impact of the effect. Just put a wide breakup gobo in a rotator, focus on your fire gobo and not the breakup gobo in the rotator, and it would really be a good effect (even better if the theater has the Film FX unit that you could borrow). Ask around.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2006
  16. tenor_singer

    tenor_singer Active Member

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    That is what I was thinking about doing... but wasn't sure if the scotch tape would work well considering the heat output.

    Does the scotch tape leave a darker spot or shadow on the beam because it is less transparent than the gel, or is it negligible?

    I'm going to go play tonight and see. I'm thinking that it shouldn't.
     
  17. koncept

    koncept Active Member

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    i don't remember it being noticable, the only noticable things i can recal is if your cuts do not work out nice you may have some white light bleeding through. we had that issue on some light boxes (they were like 4' x 5' ish in size though (we did use some large gel that came on a roll but sill had to combione some))
     
  18. tenor_singer

    tenor_singer Active Member

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    ***BUMP***

    We had a successful run of our fall show and I thought I'd share what I did to "keep that HAvisham burnin'." I made 2 multi-colored gels using red and orange and put them into their own strand SL. I ordered a gam fire gobos with holders and put them into the two lights that got the colored filters.

    The lights (channels 12 and 13) were focused slightly left and right of where Miss Havisham was to be sitting. I programed our board to turn on 12, then turn on 13, etc... in a series of cues that our light operator just scrolled through. She practiced her timing of "go-ing" each new cue and what we got was flickering fire. The entire effect was great and cost about $100.00.

    Thanks again for all of the advice.

    Tenor.
     
  19. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    What kind of console do you have? Was there any reason made of why you recorded several cues instead of recording a chase effect?

    Also, I'd love to see pictures of this effect if you have any, sounds like it worked out well! Congrats!
     
  20. tenor_singer

    tenor_singer Active Member

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    My original goal was to program a chase sequence. I have a strand 300 series board.

    Unfortunately our school never got the operating manuals with the board and by the time it dawned on me to download the manual from Strand's website, I didn't have enough time to figure out how to program a chase sequence in.

    I'm working on that now.

    As far as pictures... I didn't get any, but I am sure some of my students got them.
     

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