Design Issues and Solutions Lighting Cinderella's Mom's Voice

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by johnfishman, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. johnfishman

    johnfishman Member

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    Hey everyone- long time stalker and forum peruser (and many thanks across the board as I've found helpful solutions for many many projects over the years). I'm a Lighting Designer by degree, a Technical Director by job and a Scenic Designer by default. And a first time question asker. I'm at a local community theatre, budget is always an issue as is time and - for the most part- I'm a one man show with some high school volunteers. I do have access to some smaller LED ADJ cheap-o lights, and I'll be programming on an ETC Ion.

    My question is this: We're doing Into The Woods, and for many reasons not listed here, we will not be having an actual person seen onstage in a tree for Cinderella's dead mother/ghost/spirit thing. Originally we were going to put her in a tree, cover it with scrim and light the inside to give that eerie look (like everyone does). My initial thought after we came to this conclusion after auditions was to have the same general inside the tree idea, but instead of lighting a person I was going to have different twinkle (or something) lights in there that I could program a chase effect to match the lines and song. Think the angels from the Jimmy Stewart 'Wonderful Life' movie. I've done this to different degrees of success for voiceovers in other shows- sometimes cheezy, sometimes really cheezy- once in a while it times out nicely.

    So as I hadn't asked a question yet, here it is: What could my options be?
    -Projection? onto the tree? or from inside it still behind a scrim?
    -What about those 3D Illusion Lamps? Like this one : with some fog or haze? Anyone used one (even in your house?) How bright/effective are they? I assume those wouldn't dim (LEDs) and I've got an email question into that website.
    -Just blinking some very specifically placed 'christmas lights' inside the tree one and off/at different levels and times?
    -just scrap all the effects and let Cinderella and her mother's voice carry those moments?

    I guess I've got a solid idea to at least punt with if it comes down to it (I've got a good month plus til opening), just wondering what kind of funky out of the box ideas Control Boothers would come up with.

    Thanks in Advance!!!
  2. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Some random ideas:
    • shadow puppets
    • animation wheel
    • cheapo LED RGB puck with a silk fan fire gizmo,
    • LED pixel panel and some creative use of channels to do a pixelated mouth and eyes
    • 1080p monitor
  3. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    @johnfishman My initial old-school / cheap-as-dirt thoughts:
    You could use three (or more) strings of tiny, clear, 120 volt incandescent Christmas tree lamps. Place the lamps artistically within your tree behind your scrim or lightly frosted gel. [Gel? Remember gel?? Roscolux, Lee, Cinemoid?] Being incandescent you could illuminate, dim and chase these with any standard dimmers. You could use inhibitive sub-masters to limit each string's maximum intensity, an additional inhibitive sub-master as a master dimmer to fade your lights in and out while simultaneously continuing to chase and you could pile your chase(s) over a base cue to set a minimum level per string to avoid strings going totally off between steps of your chase(s). You could have several different chases running at different speeds / rates as a means of varying how frenetic the effect appears. You could also choose random chases to avoid a stagnant rock and roll chase look. I've done this for a scenic designer's vision of bee activity within a hive for an amateur production long prior to the arrival of LED's.
    Ron Hebbard.
  4. alich

    alich Member

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    The most effective and lowest tech way that I've seen this done was super simple. There were maybe 4-5 soft focused 19's irised in to blotch the area around the tree, shooting through some of the branches. There was an effect written that matched the tempo of the mothers voice that would bump through the blotches at random. Simple but it worked.

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