Lighting in the Academic/Educational World

What is more important?


  • Total voters
    34

icewolf08

CBMod
CB Mods
2) In my opinion you can learn more with 3 fresnels, some red, green, and blue gel, and a white drop... maybe throw in a 4th fresnel with some amber just for kicks. Also since this is subtractive, instead of additive like CMY, what you will learn translates directly to working with gel.
P.S. I love the "master the rules before you can break them" idea. It's very true.

I hate to do this, because I am sure it is late for all of us, buy you have your additive and subtractive color mixing backwards. RGB is additive and CMY is subtractive. I do agree with what you are saying though :)
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
I hate to do this, because I am sure it is late for all of us, buy you have your additive and subtractive color mixing backwards. RGB is additive and CMY is subtractive.

Your right. It's late and I just took Nyquil.
I'll go edit that right now...

Ok fixed... I want to throw out one more thought in which may or may not be correct in my drug induced state... This is a great thread. I love debating philosophical differences in what we do. Because in the end it's all art and there is no "right" and "wrong". So philosophical debates of how we teach the art are very interesting. It's always great to challenge yourself in the "Why do I believe what I believe?" department. And even better for me as a teacher to be challenged with the "Why do I teach what and how I teach?" This is great. And to those who have disagreed with me, like Pie, thanks for the challenge. It's good to stretch the mind. (I still am not very comfortable with my answer to the question "where should one learn to use movers for the music industry?" I don't think anyone except people in the industry really have the budget to buy the proper gear to learn with, and you have to have the job to use it. It's quite a catch 22. Hopefully there's a university out there with a lot of cool toys who runs a big concert series teaching this stuff.)

Ok, no more posting tonight... sleep is good.
 
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Logos

Well-Known Member
Nyquil? That virulent green chemical hammer that I believe is considered to be a Class A narcotic in this country. Oh how I miss it.
 

Charc

Well-Known Member
Nyquil? That virulent green chemical hammer that I believe is considered to be a Class A narcotic in this country. Oh how I miss it.

The one and only.

(But the only thing that makes you sleepy from nyquil is Benadryl, right? So Benadryl is a Class A narcotic? Or is it the whole like "making microwave meth" out of nyquil thing that makes it a class A narcotic? If you are looking to replicate the sleepyness effect, I suggest straight Benadryl.)
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
The one and only.
(But the only thing that makes you sleepy from nyquil is Benadryl, right? So Benadryl is a Class A narcotic? Or is it the whole like "making microwave meth" out of nyquil thing that makes it a class A narcotic? If you are looking to replicate the sleepyness effect, I suggest straight Benadryl.)

No Benadryl in there. It's got a full dose of Tylenol, a dose of a cough suppressant, an antihistamine (which even though it's not Benadryl it's still in the family so it tends to make you drowsy), and finally the magic ingredient... 10% alcohol.

Oh it's good stuff. You folks down under are really missing out if they banned it on you. They tried to change to a non-alcohol formula here a few years back and people just purchased the knock off brands that still had the alcohol so they switched back. I prefer the Cherry flavor because it tastes less like shoe polish.
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
I see your point and agree that it is a good idea to get kid's hands on good gear. There's not much point in teaching them how to use a piano board and spaghetti patch anymore.

-Chris
Others have refuted "telephone operator patch" so, feeling argumentative, I may as well attempt to refute the current validity of "piano boards."

My story:
My high school auditorium was built in 1974. For budgetary reasons, NO lighting system or fixtures were supplied, other than the motorized autotransformer dimmer HouseLIghts. About 40 2pin & NO ground stage pin outlets were distributed in the FOH Catwalk, the ceiling at the ends of the battens (15 lines, barely 10' flyloft) and floor pockets. In the Booth, the only booth, was a panel containing 80 female 2pin stage pin connectors. Everyone with me so far? Anyone see a problem? The English teacher/theatre TD had "stolen" two Luxtrol SixPacks (6x1.2 + 1x 7.2 master, or ind. dimmer). We had a number of 10' 14/2 cables with male connectors on each end. Now have we caught the problem? Plug into the dimmer first and you're holding a live MALE connector with 1/4"d x 3/4" long brass pins, and no ground!

One of the reasons I attended the college I did was that my HS TD had gone there also. In fact he had "stolen" the two Luxtrols from there when they built their new PerfArtsCenter in 1969. In 1980, he asked me to return them, finally deciding they were a hazard and he would force the school board to buy a dimmerboard or rent a KliegPac9 for every show. And change the panel in the booth to MALE 2P&G connectors.

At college, I was right at home in the black box theatre. It had Ward-Leonard autotransformer dimmers. 3x 1.2 were fed from a 3.6 master, and I think there were 4 said masters. On the other side 3x2.4 were fed from a 7.2 master. 4 of those also. So you could have 24 electrically mastered dimmers, or 32 machanically mastered dimmers, or any combination thereof. All the "big" masters were mechanically interlocking with the Grand Master--the largest handle in the middle of the board, but one that carried no current. Can you say VCA anyone? Soundmen? The LD could have installed a two-scene preset, but choose to spend possibly more money installing a mechanical dimmer system. Why? It was a liberal arts university and a large part of the theatre dept.'s mission statement was to train non-professional theatre students how to cope when they become English teachers in charge of the High School Play. The resident LD also believed that using limited wattage and an arbitrary layout forced a student to think about design, as well as operation, when lighting a show.

On the mainstage were installed 228 circuits including a few 60a floor pockets with stage plugs, NOT stage pin plugs but stage plugs, 60x6k SCRs, and a 5scene "infinite memory" platen preset system, all by Ward-Leonard. Platens were never changed due to reliabilty. Running this system used one main "operator," two "presetters," and one "checker." A heirachy was developed. You started as a presetter. If you were accurate you became a checker, then a main operator. Everyone taking any lighting class was forced to be at least a presetter for a few performances of a production each semester. The educational machine fed itself.

Late in the first semester of my second year, a Strand-Century Light Palette V4J was installed, the third in Ohio. I was the first operator, and was there for the turn-on. Lost was the ability to train students by actually doing, and watching. The LD used to say that during dry techs he could write 10 light cues per hour with the old system. With the new fancy-smancy Light Palette, guess what, he still wrote 10 cues/hour. They may have been more complicated cues with more intricate timing (LP allowed up to 6 part fades) but it was the exact same cues per hour. No time was saved, and the elimination of 3 positions in light booth was detrimental to the learning/apprentice process.

I am aghast when I hear of "a high school across the street from High End..." I love High End, mind you, but I'm glad I learned lighting on autotransformer systems. I content that if a student has no other knowledge than the Hog3, he would have a harder time running an Express, than the other way around.

Today, I wouldn't intentionally buy obsolete gear, but I also would not fall for "state of the art" or "bleeding edge" either. I would buy what's used "in the real world." Two million Source4s in 8 years. 40 years of 360Q. It's a tie! The Light Palette of which I spoke was eventually replaced with the very last Light Palette II, then I think with a Light Palette 90. None of which lasted as long as the original 5-scene preset, BTW. When the professor asked my opinion of what he should buy in 1998, I told him "the ETC Expression/Express line is found in more high school and college theaters and maybe even professional theatres than any other console. I know you're loyal to Strand, but I haven't used a Strand desk since leaving your college." He bought a Strand 520i. Three years ago, when he retired, the new LD bought an ETC Express 48/96 to replace the Strand LightboardM, which replaced the autotransformers in the black box theatre.

YMMV. Fun thread. Got my heart rate up.
 
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Charc

Well-Known Member
Others have refuted "telephone operator patch" so, feeling argumentative, I may as well attempt to refute the current validity of "piano boards."
My story:
My high school auditorium was built in 1974. For budgetary reasons, NO lighting system or fixtures were supplied, other than the motorized autotransformer dimmer HouseLIghts. About 40 2pin & NO ground stage pin outlets were distributed in the FOH Catwalk, the ceiling at the ends of the battens (15 lines, barely 10' flyloft) and floor pockets. In the Booth, the only booth, was a panel containing 80 female 2pin stage pin connectors. Everyone with me so far? Anyone see a problem? The English teacher/theatre TD had "stolen" two Luxtrol SixPacks (6x1.2 + 1x 7.2 master, or ind. dimmer). We had a number of 10' 14/2 cables with male connectors on each end. Now have we caught the problem? Plug into the dimmer first and you're holding a live MALE connector with 1/4"d x 3/4" long brass pins, and no ground!
One of the reasons I attended the college I did was that my HS TD had gone there also. In fact he had "stolen" the two Luxtrols from there when they built their new PerfArtsCenter in 1969. In 1980, he asked me to return them, finally deciding they were a hazard and he would force the school board to buy a dimmerboard or rent a KliegPac9 for every show. And change the panel in the booth to MALE 2P&G connectors.
At college, I was right at home in the black box theatre. It had Ward-Leonard autotransformer dimmers. 3x 1.2 were fed from a 3.6 master, and I think there were 4 said masters. On the other side 3x2.4 were fed from a 7.2 master. 4 of those also. So you could have 24 electrically mastered dimmers, or 32 machanically mastered dimmers, or any combination thereof. All the "big" masters were mechanically interlocking with the Grand Master--the largest handle in the middle of the board, but one that carried no current. Can you say VCA anyone? Soundmen? The LD could have installed a two-scene preset, but choose to spend possibly more money installing a mechanical dimmer system. Why? It was a liberal arts university and a large part of the theatre dept.'s mission statement was to train non-professional theatre students how to cope when they become English teachers in charge of the High School Play. The resident LD also believed that using limited wattage and an arbitrary layout forced a student to think about design, as well as operation, when lighting a show.
On the mainstage were installed 228 circuits including a few 60a floor pockets with stage plugs, NOT stage pin plugs but stage plugs, 60x6k SCRs, and a 5scene "infinite memory" platen preset system, all by Ward-Leonard. Platens were never changed due to reliabilty. Running this system used one main "operator," two "presetters," and one "checker." A heirachy was developed. You started as a presetter. If you were accurate you became a checker, then a main operator. Everyone taking any lighting class was forced to be at least a presetter for a few performances of a production each semester. The educational machine fed itself.
Late in the first semester of my second year, a Strand-Century Light Palette V4J was installed, the third in Ohio. I was the first operator, and was there for the turn-on. Lost was the ability to train students by actually doing, and watching. The LD used to say that during dry techs he could write 10 light cues per hour with the old system. With the new fancy-smancy Light Palette, guess what, he still wrote 10 cues/hour. They may have been more complicated cues with more intricate timing (LP allowed up to 6 part fades) but it was the exact same cues per hour. No time was saved, and the elimination of 3 positions in light booth was detrimental to the learning/apprentice process.
I am aghast when I hear of "a high school across the street from High End..." I love High End, mind you, but I'm glad I learned lighting on autotransformer systems. I content that if a student has no other knowledge than the Hog3, he would have a harder time running an Express, than the other way around.
Today, I wouldn't intentionally buy obsolete gear, but I also would not fall for "state of the art" or "bleeding edge" either. I would buy what's used "in the real world." Two million Source4s in 8 years. 40 years of 360Q. It's a tie! The Light Palette of which I spoke was eventually replaced with the very last Light Palette II, then I think with a Light Palette 90. None of which lasted as long as the original 5-scene preset, BTW. When the professor asked my opinion of what he should buy in 1998, I told him "the ETC Expression/Express line is found in more high school and college theaters and maybe even professional theatres than any other console. I know you're loyal to Strand, but I haven't used a Strand desk since leaving your college." He bought a Strand 520i. Three years ago, when he retired, the new LD bought an ETC Express 48/96 to replace the Strand LightboardM, which replaced the autotransformers in the black box theatre.
YMMV. Fun thread. Got my heart rate up.

Did the Express cost more money than the Strand 300 series 3 or 4 years ago? I'm just wondering why we went Strand vs ETC.
 
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David Ashton

Well-Known Member
There is a flip side to this thread which is the students of an academy locally who have top grade Strand and Jands control and movers and several Theatres, now I may have been unlucky but my interfaces with these students have been less than positive because if you put them behind a desk they have not used that desk is 'rubbish' and they 'must' hire in a Jands. The fundamental duty of a school has not changed in centuries and that is to teach students how to learn, so that they can adapt to the ever changing world.So learning about basics is essential before moving on to newer gear and just knowing some top line equipment is going to leave you unable to cope with many venues.
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Did the Express cost more money then the Strand 300 series 3 or 4 years ago? I'm just wondering why we went Strand vs ETC.
"Than," not "then." Comparison, not time. The "3 or 4 years ago" probably confused you.

Since both the Strand 300 and the Express come in many flavors, I suspect they were similar in price. Perhaps the dealer's cost on Strand was lower than ETC. Perhaps Strand has a better, more aggressive local rep. Perhaps a member of your school board had heard the name Strand, but not ETC, as they've only been around since 1985. Why don't you find out and tell us?
 

Charc

Well-Known Member
"Than," not "then." Comparison, not time. The "3 or 4 years ago" probably confused you.
Since both the Strand 300 and the Express come in many flavors, I suspect they were similar in price. Perhaps the dealer's cost on Strand was lower than ETC. Perhaps Strand has a better, more aggressive local rep. Perhaps a member of your school board had heard the name Strand, but not ETC, as they've only been around since 1985. Why don't you find out and tell us?

The old TD retired to do puppetry in New England. So no, I can't ask him.
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Remember, you asked us the question. The "old TD" is the only one who knows why you have a Strand 300 instead of an ETC Express? Assuming the old TD bought it with cash from his own pocket, which we both know didn't happen, he had to have bought it from someone. Do you know who? Can you nicely, asked your school's administrative secretaries to look up the transaction for you? Are there not phones in New England? Do you not know his name? If all else fails, call every member of the New England Puppetry Society (how many can there be?) and ask, "are you the old TD from my high school? You are? I have some questions about the building that I bet you can answer, no one else seems to know..." Didn't you ever see WarGames, 1983, starring Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy? If not, I high suggest watching it. They saved the world, the least you can do is tell us why you have a Strand 300 instead of and Express. Inquiring minds want to know.

Oh, and you never did tell us whether they were 6x12 or 6x16 in your catwalks, did you? I've been losing sleep wondering.;)
 

Charc

Well-Known Member
Remember, you asked us the question. The "old TD" is the only one who knows why you have a Strand 300 instead of an ETC Express? Assuming the old TD bought it with cash from his own pocket, which we both know didn't happen, he had to have bought it from someone. Do you know who? Can you nicely, asked your school's administrative secretaries to look up the transaction for you? Are there not phones in New England? Do you not know his name? If all else fails, call every member of the New England Puppetry Society (how many can there be?) and ask, "are you the old TD from my high school? You are? I have some questions about the building that I bet you can answer, no one else seems to know..." Didn't you ever see WarGames, 1983, starring Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy? If not, I high suggest watching it. They saved the world, the least you can do is tell us why you have a Strand 300 instead of and Express. Inquiring minds want to know.
Oh, and you never did tell us whether they were 6x12 or 6x16 in your catwalks, did you? I've been losing sleep wondering.;)

If I really wanted to know, I could find out, but being a creepy stalker, *cough*derek*cough*, wasn't high on my list. :twisted:

I have in fact seen WarGames 1983! There were a lot better 1980's cold war style movies than that one though.

I have yet to get up and finish sorting out my lighting. I'd actually hoped I'd see Alex pop in on CB. I hoped to run my LW4 paperwork by him, as I will be submitting it for the governor's school.
 

Sylak

Member
As a current HS student working on a limited budget with both my school and community theatre, and then working with kids from another district who've leared in a method of "intel lights, and lighting is more important than actors," I would have to say ive seen bette rlighting designs from my friend and my colluges in the community theatre with little to no intel lighting, than i have out of the other kids.
SO, i have a firm beleife that you should teach Convnetional lightign design in high school, with mabey a few scanners (even those confoundet ADJ toys) and one or two s4 revs or mac 250's or 700's, but definatley don't go for a newwer is better philosophy.
Also, in terms of controls, after recently switching from an idea 48 to a congo jr, as well as using a DMX Operator Pro, i feel it's important to give kids basic expierence on different consoles with different types of lights, since ive actually done a dinner theatre with a leprecaun no-memory board and three dimmer packs, i know my way around a few types of boards and recognize genera stregenths/weaknesses in them, which SHOULD be taught and renforced in both High School and College
 

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