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lighting casablanca

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by zac850, May 3, 2004.

  1. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    I am doing the show casablanca which is opening May 15th. The lighting plot will be fairly simple, since this is a low-key show with a non-existant. One thing that I was wondering is having a no color front light on high to give a dramatic look to one of the scenes. (i've never seen the movie... I need to rent it) I was told that during the flash backs to Paris it is mostly romantic, so I will have amber on the part of the stage that is 'paris', but that there is one dramatic tense scene. I was thinking that a solo strong, harsh front light would look OK for this... but I'm not sure if it will look great or horrible....

    OK, I have no clue if this post makes any sense, cause i'm sorta tired....

    anyway, ungeled light from front only, would it look good and dramatic or horrible?
     
  2. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    i say dramatic , if done right
     
  3. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    You want to make sure that the instrument is properly focused. If your focus is too soft, the dramatic effect will be compromised. Also, try to avoid harsh shutter cuts. I would choose the narrowest degree of instrument possible (such as a Source Four 19 degree). If you choose a 26 or 36 degree, you might have to iris it down with a gobo or something. I guess it doesn't matter if the beam of light is square or round. Also, if you put a donut in the fixture, the halation will be reduced. I would add some background color, such as blue to enhance this effect. If you add some pars overhead, you can get a nice moonlight effect. A deep-colored cyc is also nice. To add texture to your scenery, try throwing some softly-focused breakup gobo patterns gelled in no-color blue. This will look like moonlight shining through trees, if they are suggested in your show. Hope this helps some.
     
  4. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I would look heavily into the Black and White lighting design debate presented here, on Pro-Sound's old lighting network http://www.prosoundweb.com/community/forum.php?board=4 and the further debate presented on http://forums.delphiforums.com/lightnetwork/start
    to see the debate on the subject presented. There was a wealth of ideas presented on the subject already and lots of very interesting concepts for doing it. I would also try to directly contact the origional poster on all three forums who promessed to post his results but never did. Stagecraft will also have further info on ths subject. Very interesting design statement and huge thing to pull off on stage. I did a similar effect once with going incandescent plano convex and got the grainy amber directional image I wished for and was very satisfied.

    All this said, my design was unique to my own design image of the show. Since you have not seen the movie yet (what's the world coming to), you might consider waiting to see the movie until your production is done. This will preserve your artistic statement of what you design as opposed to what someone else designed. Sure if doing West Side Story you can watch the movie and view pictures of what others have done with it, but is what you than implement really your design or an abomination of someone else's statement if not art? Are you doing paint by numbers or are you doing art might even be the debate.

    In my opinion, you already have a concept and vision for what you want to do, why do you need to muddy up your own artistic statement with what someone else has already done in the production? As a definate design statement, perhaps it might be of interest to skip watching the movie and present what you see as design as opposed to what someone else does. This in the program would even be worth a side note in the production. Yes, your education is so poor you did not see the movie, but it's theater is covering that base - donate to us instead. Than in doing origional art, you have based the design off both your own and the director's artistic concept and it's not trying to recapture what was presented in the movie. If you are successful in design, than it's all you as opposed to if you are successful after having seen the movie, it's part you but a lot you copying what the movie did.
     
  5. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, first, yes, I know its sad that I didn't see the movie. The problem was it went from being the movie that I wasn't old enough to see, and before I had time to see it, it became the movie that everyone had already seen......

    second, thanks for the links, i'll check those out.

    Also, another question is how, with just lights, do I make the stage look like an airfield? I was looking for an old airport light that I had, but that disappeared. I was thinking some ungeled S4's from my top rail, and have the follow-spots sweep the stage like a search light... any other suggestions.... I have a bunch of S4's and S4-Par's and plenty of dimmers to play with.....

    thanks
    Zac
     
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    What does your mental picture say is an airport when you are on the runway/gate area in olden days?

    Does it have some type of search light like light house beam revolving around from a high tower, does it have runway lights you can see from the loading area, is it dark in actual fixtures but very ambient in light, what's the set providing for you that you can motivate from etc?

    Might do a drive by or stop by to a small reagional airport. Sit as near to the loading area as you can if it's only in the parking lot. How's it lit, what is different about it from any other parking lot, and what's different about it saying this is an airport verses mall parking lot or farmer's field? Where is the light coming or motivating from and what intensity and color is it from each direction? What do those under the light look like in the normal ambient light, much less when that revolving search light hits them? How wide is that beam anyway? Is it more like a clearly disquinguishable beam of light, or more like a wash of everything.

    More important in concept yet, that wash of light or spotting every what 15 seconds, is it also washing the audience in annoying them but also bringing them into the show past the third wall in a Brecht sort of way, or do you want to shutter or project off them to prevent this? On the talent washed or spotlighted, how will this relate to their own giving of their lines and motivation? Do they take the script and do pauses or meadiate their giveing important lines in between that search light passing over them - given it's more than just a light in being blinding, or does it have an effect on them? When they are clearly in the light, given others will now be watching them, can they say what they need to, or how does that search light effect the beats and momentum of the script. Does the speed of search light even act as a motivation for having to leave? What changes in the loading area when the plane is ready to go? Perhaps brighter in one direction? What direction and at what angle? How much effect verses the rest of the scene does this have?


    Than once you get your image of what an airport runway or terminal is like, how do you represent it in the super realism and compressed space of the stage both to convey that image along with the set in providing it, than even if by stage convention in saying this light might not have been invented or used yet, but it's what we expect to see at an airport thus it's what I will use to help locate the scene. For intstance, you might not expect to see a row of closely spaced blue ground lights from the loading area, such things might not even be realistic, but what about a ground row of transparent blue but dim lights say on 18" centers? That in additon to the scenery and that revolving light might make the effect given you still need ambient light off the terminal or street lights and moon.

    More important yet is the feel. How fast is that search light going? Anyone who has been around an airport gets a basic feeling for how fast it travels and instinctively knows that speed is airport search light. Can you match that revolving light speed on stage? If nothing else, such a sub contious detail can make or break your scene. If off you need to put forth much more effort in making it believable.

    Hope it's some hints in at least where I would start. Add to that the color vision and modern time you will see verses what you want to convey as black and white and the past. Perhaps that search light is very amber and grainy - hard to describe in other than that term. Perhaps the blue lamps are a little more washed out in the white spectrum, and ambient light chocloate, shadow etc. Once you get the image for a scene, making it practible to the concept is techinque that follows. First get those images and concepts, than wonder and theorize about the how.


    I realize this is many more question than advice, but hopefully it's also something you can find useful in designing your scene.
     
  7. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    Now some of us can't go to our local regional airport because the mayor took the liberty of bulldozing it one evening. :twisted:
     
  8. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    That was one on the founding reasons I no longer take Mr. Mayor on face value including after having worked in his own department. That was a very sad day I I'm for the return. Still there are reagional airports that are not international. Waukeegan or better yet the one on Milwaukee at about Lake Cook is going to have that feel I'm thinking about amongst others in the area. Actually that one on Milwaukee would make a much better third regional airport than any others they are attempting to build for the jobs it would mean as opposed to the usefulness of it. If you build it they will come will not be an effective solution but that's outside the reality of the South Side needing votes for the local congressmen.

    Anyway, hopefully this is more than just how to make an airport in concept and more of a design idea for how to design realistically in concept when scaling it down to the stage and scene - especially in making the reality of it become at one with your own design intent and vision for what you want to do. For me that key lighting would be the search light, the rest is just effect or supplemental and motivational. Even after I make the mood and setting there is still the little detail of visibility that's going to be counter productive and hard to implement with the mood and setting lighting without washing it out. Thus another part of the challenge in setting verses the primary goal of visibility.

    Fascinating idea in making the black and white with trying to convey a realistic setting. Very difficult to pull off just right especially on a gymatorum stage. Zac, you get half your concepts and visions and you have indeed made magic. You do only 1/4 of that and you have done a darned good job.
     
  9. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    Definetely would be something that a intelli fixture with a big beam would be good for. Constant rate, so no human influence there once it's programmed. You'd have to rent that, though.
     
  10. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Could also just rent a turn table type device similar to a mirror ball motor and mount a Fresnel on it. All a question of budget etc. Even read here or somewhere else about someone that did a turn table as in LP turn table to do the light.

    Moving light would probably be easier unless you found a source that has such a thing for rent economically. Some of the larger lighting companies will probably have them with even power transfer to the spinner to run the fixture. Bash should be local to him.

    Otherwise given it's Zac, he should shoot for a Coemar Super Cyc and make best use with some 250w wash light he gets. Might hate the Coemar fixtures, but my what a wash of light it would give. In fact given the gymauditorium, it would be more a show centered around the Super Cyc than anything else. Zac I'm sure would take great pride in that as it would be kind of fun to center a show around and take the entire crew to install.

    By the way, I have not been back to the airport since about 98 when I was helping to set up the Triathalon on airport grounds. Oh, wait a minute, it's a private airport and normal people can't get onto the grounds, yea that's it, and a little plane is going to take out the Sears tower. Wonder how the Air and Water Show has been getting along without also?

    Still, how are the jungle gyms and picnic areas going on the old runway? Lots of shade trees installed yet, or did the city suddenly run out of money and put the project except for midnight X's dug into the runway on hold? You know the real reason for this was it's less than a mile from the Mayor's condo and directly about in line of sight with his view of the lake don't you? He lives just off Roosevelt and Indiana if I remember the street right in that condo area. Used to drive golf carts and fork trucks on the street past the police parked outside the condo frequently. Only in Chicago...
     
  11. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    I believe they haven't done anything with it since those stranded planes took off. I'm not sure how the park is coming, he'd like to put a casino there too, so, I think first the honorable mayor has to figure out what's going there <g>.

    I'm not sure how the air & water show is going to work out - all the military planes, if there's any of them not in Iraq or whereever fly in from Kentucky, there's an air wing there, the 160th or something. My backyard happens to be in the north turn around zone for a second pass, so i get my own little show out back.

    Mayor lives over that way, I'm not exactly sure what the cross streets are.

    As for the turntable - hadn't thought of doing something like that. You'd have to limit it and reverse it - saw an el cheapo dmx disco ball the other day, might be able to cannablize one of those and use the base & bolt something on, and write a loop effect that goes back & forth on the motor. The Coemar wouldn't give a searchlight effect really, as it'd be totally out of focus, given that it's a wash light. Maybe with some barn doors somehow, or something like that.

    How much does a basic moving light (sufficient for this) run rental per/day? I've never had any call the rent the things before.
     
  12. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I forget but think it's Indiana or it's Calumet. Used to work at a shop up the street from it. Wait a minute it was neither, instead one block West.


    Heck if I know about rental rates.

    As for the out of focus, that's a design concept in being a disquinguishable (sp) beam of light verses a wall of intense light such as the Super Cyc would provide. They by the way have barn doors. But I expect rental on such a thing would be outside budget anyway thus the joke of it in settling with something at 250w in wash.

    So that's where the casino is going? Others commented about it becoming attached to McCormic Place which by a recent news report, also has the most mob ties of any faculty in the city. Note the last casino debate about Rosemont. No in this case, they might not own the place, but they would no doubt have some skimming powers if not staff it. I would expect a better place to be Navy Pier, not that that's not part of the McCormic place management. In any case, were the park distract mind you in that the Mayor had "no say in what they do with their land or airport" :mrgreen: plan a casino on the lake front, is that also not counter productive to the big lake front plan of no businesses or blocking off of the lake front - part of the reason for closing it? On the other hand, there is lots of land for a big parking lot and casino. You might have something here. Granted we could very well take it for granted that the Mayor is well above ties to the mob. Such a concept is well outside his own rationals, but it's interesting how much support or reliance he has on such places partially controlled by them. To his benefit, past casinos between Hammond and Elgin have always marketed to people from Chicago and based part of their application on how easy it would be for those from Chicago to spend their money elsewhere, meanwhile the Chicago bid for a casino was passed up out of course in that it would be to convient and rob the other burbs their city people funding them. Chicago should have a casino of it's own, no real reason why they have not gotten one yet. Certainly with a few rivers much less a Lake it's more feasible in fitting that rule than someone having to basically dry dock their casino boat in some shallow stream. Always wondered how the boats got there to most of these places anyway.

    Melinum park - another simply wonderful project, I hear it's going wireless DMX by way of four circuits of DMX onto ethernet wireless back to DMX to each location. Should be interesting.
     
  13. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    Well, the mayor would like to put a casino there, I think. He has to get a license from the state first, and rosemont just got one, so, I don't know how that's gonna work out.

    Are you saying I can take my PDA with a wireless card an some software and goof with moving fixtures at Billenium Park? That'd be more fun than bringing a microphone for one of those out of the box powered PA systems. I'd never do something like that though. <g>
     
  14. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Remember, I'm a barbarian when it comes to technology, but I expect that if your PDA what ever that is speaks the same signal as that of the transmitter and reciever, you could have some fun with the system. Still it's better in the long run than the stage hands that forgot to lock up the booth at Portrillo and suddenly found an empty one one year. How many people have PDA what evers that speak DMX, know what to do with it, and would. Plus that's given your PDA is transmitting at the same speed as the wireless system. I would think there to be blockers in filtering out other than the most optimum signal. In other words, since someone I know is installing the system, and that tinkering with would count against my yearly profit sharing, count yourself a suspect. :) Plus, I don't know if you have ever been aprehended by Chicago Cops, but should you get caught doing such a thing, I can assure you that part of the experience is those moments between when they say you are going with them and you get into the patrol car. You getting in the car and under arrest quickly becomes something you really do want to do at times as opposed to the prolonged option of it.

    I don't imagine you can tap into the signal very well anyway. It to me would be similar to tapping into a cordless phone signal, which can be done, but than also speaking with those talking which is a little more difficult. Even than, it's a question of how many times repeating the same signal per second? In other words, if you were not able to keep your interference signal going, it would be a slight blip in the show. Were you to keep it going, you might be able to confust the signal enough to confuse what the lights listen to but you certainly would not be able to take over the show unless you took out the booth or transmitter to the remote signals.

    Interesting concept this wireless system for doing DMX. One I'm certainly only at best a common sense type person in. I take it for a given when you have two DMX light boards, transmitting different signals something is going to happen either first or last takes precidence, or it's going to get confused and do nothing. Don't know exactually what, but I know you would not be able to take over the show given the other light board is counteracting the commands you hope to override, again unless it's last takes prescidance.

    Back on what's more important to all people around the world... will Chicago get a casino. Good question, how much does the state Govener owe the Mayor in consideration of such a thing? How many brownie points did the Mayor already spend in just closing the airport? Verses how much is making the convention center as a world wide place to go feasable in making it also a casino or location by it casino to entertain those at the convention? I expect this no matter where in the near loop is the main selling feature above those going to the convention in importance being just a quick limo ride away from the convention center after they land. Granted this airport is within annex range of the convention center, still I think that doing away with the airport made a few VIP's having the conventions a little upset with having to wait in rush hour. After all, the city does not block off the Kennedy and Edens for every VIP that comes to town. Just those when you want to get home from work. Used to be this was where the Pres would land his chopper after flying in from O'Hare. Had to change that around a bit. Besides, it's going to become a much needed park in the middle of the loop afterall. Or at least add to the mesuem campus of parks already there. 57th street and other lake front parks will just have to wait for improvements.

    :D So the park distract ran out of money in making it a park ha? Gee, perhaps they should have left the airport open a little longer in raising more funds for the park...
     
  15. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    Nah. If this thing's gonna become a park, Daley will find the money for it, he's already spent billenium park by 200%. I think he'd rather the casino, but, whatever he can get the most for.

    I'd just be scared to run wifi control signals in a public place, because some smart ass might try to interfere with or take it over. No idea how the wireless dmx works, actually, i'm just being the smart ass that I am. If I really wanted to fark around with it, I'd probably have to show up with enough gear to look like a suicide bomber or something, and then I'd have to explain what I was doing to Secretary Ridge.

    On the other hand, I don't understand the need for wifi in a new space like that crazy outdoor stage. DMX cable ain't exactly a high profile requirement.
     
  16. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    No, our little sidebar conversation at least in this is of interest to at least the both of us thus of value also to us.

    Taking over the signal is of interest in us musing about it. The only reason I know about the park's control system is that I was chatting with the person installing it about options for our next system of FOH snake. Currently we have six channel true DMX snake with two more for Clear Com. Have a large tour leaving in June that of course requires 8 channels which fostered me looking into options for the next generation of FOH snake. We could go wireless, but the problem would be in touring at being able to communicate with the stage often. In the case of the park, being able to communicate between booth and stage should not be much of a problem. Why it's not run cable of some sort thru conduit is a good question but besides the point that it's going to be four channels of wireless DMX With the option of adding more components for more channels.

    Given 400' is my standard FOH snake length and we are also pulling 10/5 SO wire in with the snake to power up the FOH, going wireless for no cable to pull was not much of a solution anyway. Our options were to add another snake cable to the data snake, re-configure the current 16 pair snake to have more data lines as opposed to true 5-pin DMX lines, run ethernet either the normal 100x speed which is only rated for 300 or 350' or the 10x speed that would go a longer distance but not transmit as much data. Otherwise we could go fiber optic as Fourth Phase has gone from what I understand.

    Problem with fiber optic is that it does not like going thru doorways or bending, plus it's very expensive and tempermental. Same with cat.5 cable. We figured we would need to either buy one spool per location and just leave it once the show was done or have a six pair with wire rope core loomed into some very heavy duty jacket so it both would survive repeted pulling and have enough channels to make it worth it between two for video, one for internet and four for data. Than have to buy expensive DMX to ethernet transmitting gear.

    Even still, between a double pair of fiber optic - one spare, and the ehternet, we would have to include at least four DMX lines in the jacket to provide for Clear Com and Hog remotes - both of which send power down the data line thus can't really get along with the electronic otherwise means.

    In the end and so far, I'm just buying another snake cable to loom in with the 16 pair one. When we invested in the 8-pair snake with six at true DMX only about four years ago, six channels of DMX was 1.1/2 times what you needed. How soon times change. Since the technology of ethernet and fiber optic are not where we need them to be yet the theory is we are going to wait a bit on it.

    So in a nut shell, our little side bar about interferance of wireless DMX verses land line for the data is topical to consider in where the industry is going. Also, I'm being dragged kicking and screaming into the higher technology of ethernet. For the moment any of that type of cable or connection is managed by the electronics department. Soon I expect I will be making it and repairing it and beyond that have to read that book on ethernet protocol thus become just as board by it as the DMX protocol book.


    You that does high tech in school will have an easy in to all of this stuff while for me these days, I can't even run a simple two scene preset if someone did a patching inside of it last time it was used. You know the Vision really was not a bad lighting board...
     
  17. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    Heh. I'm one of those types that thinks CAT5 is the solution to anything low enough voltage and within range. The telephone company has similiar stuff in 12 pair and 24 pair models for running phone lines when you really have a lot of signals to send. fiber too, but it only flies direct, I wouldn't put the stuff where it's gonna fight a battle. This place is loaded with 6 strand fiber into every single classroom - conduits full of it all over the place. I haven't really looked into DMX --> Other medium converters, but my guess is you'd have to bump it over to ethernet, and then bump that over to fiber --> expeeensivvve.
     

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