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Lighting help - late venue change

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by jwl868, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    Location:
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    Last week, we had to change our venue for the studio’s Nutcracker (don’t ask). The new venue is not much more than a thrust stage and seating. No sound system and no theatrical lighting. No backstage, no wing space. While we’ve found a sound system, I’m trying to figure out my options for lights and the cost. (I know enough to know that I’m best off starting here.)

    I’m looking for basic lighting of the stage – about 30 feet wide, 16 feet deep and the stage floor 40 inches above floor level. There in no way to hang lights. There is no backstage and the area between the sides of the stage and the walls (75 inches) is being used as wing space (at least that is the current plan). Renting equipment may be an option, but I’d like to have any idea what to ask for.

    Could lights stands be set at each wall, in front of the front edge of the stage? How far from the line of the front of the stage? How many lights and what type? What wattage? Just white, or should I also get some gels? And any suggestions for controlling the lights, that is, can a controller and dimmers be rented? Any idea about rental cost?

    Another limitation may be power. There are only few standard 120V electrical outlets in the room. I have no idea of the breaker sizes.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Joe
     
  2. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Get an electrician in there ASAP to assess the power situation.
     
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  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Contact Vincent Lighting Systems - Pittsburgh Office. There are also likely other rental shops in the Pittsburgh area. I have worked with VLS in Cleveland and Cincinnati and found them very helpful.
     
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  4. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Occupation:
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    I agree with Derek, call a local rental house and have them come out and advise you on what to do. I warn you though, you're prolly going to be spending a couple thousand minimum on equipment. You might also have to bring in a Genset...a few plugs in the wall is not going to cut it and most likely all those plugs are on only 2 or 3 circuits. Unless the building has a power distro (Cam-lok's or Expo-Plug) then you are probably going to have to bring in a small Genset of maybe 20 or 30 kW, but really only the rental house can tell you for sure and if you need one they will most likely be able to get you one.

    Call the rental house and ask them to meet with you at the location sometime and they will help you get what you need.
     
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  5. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Don't be surprised if you find out they're all on the same circuit. Both of my venues have only one circuit powering all backstage receptacles on the original install from when the buildings were built. Subsequent work has used additional circuits, but the original designers of the buildings did not see the need for multiple power circuits backstage. This may well be the case with the venue you're using.
     
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  6. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    As a follow up, because of limited funds (and, indeed, limitations in the electrical system), we could only use what was available: the house lights and a follow spot. The stage, though well lit, wasn’t as bright as we would have liked, and because there were only two circuits for all of the house lights, we couldn’t get the good contrast of a lit stage versus a darkened audience.

    Joe
     
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Just consider yourself "retro." It wasn't until one-hundred years or so ago where the practice of darkening the auditorium during the performance became commonplace.:)
     

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