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Lighting Proposal

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Charc, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    So long story short, we have a very highly ranked craftshow at my school every year, and the Parents Association gets about 15k-30k from it. Every year they pick a “pet project”. One year it was playground equipment. Last year it was all new MacBooks for the Modern Languages Department. I’m hoping this year it can be lighting.

    I just got the go ahead from my dept head to draft a proposal for theatre. Unfortunately, the consensus among faculty and staff is that because we got a million to partially renovate our theatre, that we’re now “set” for a long, long time. I’d love to sway public opinion.

    I gave some thought to what I’d add in a lighting package. While DMX toys are fun and all, there are two major problems, they cost a lot, and once I leave, no one will know how to use them, or take the time to learn. So, it’s conventionals across the board. I love the idea of stocking primarily HPLs, so I’m looking at S4s and S4 PARs. I’m not quite sure what the difference is between the EA and MCM. They can both be lamped with 750W, and come with the 5 interchangeable lenses, correct? So the only different is the MCM has the metal cold mirror? In that case, I find the cost justifiable. I’m trying to make this the “gift that keeps on giving”. Decreased operating temperatures will make our gel last longer, a huge plus.

    I have to take a look at how many instruments would be worth spec’ing, but I’m looking in the ballpark of 40 total. I need to also come up with some breakdowns by beam angle, etc.

    I’d love to add some accessories to this list. Of primary importance is drop-down extenders. As it stands, we can’t hit the stage from our 4th AP slot, the angle is a little shallow, but it should help.

    Here are my sales pitches right now:

    • Energy saving on the HPL 575W lamp vs 1000W FEL, 1000W PAR64s and 750W EHGs

    • Safer: Smaller and lighter, easier for high school students to hang in cramped conditions. Have accessory slot safety clips (correct name?).

    • Will provide us the ability to evenly and consistently light the stage.

    • Will replace our ancient and dying inventory with industry standard instruments.

    • Cooler operating temperatures means less heat to contend with (we have no AC in the building).

    • Cooler light output means longer life of gel and GOBOs. (It's the gift that keeps on giving!)

    • These lights will not need replacement for at least 20 years.

    This is a long shot, but I’d love to give it a try. Any thoughts anyone?
     
  2. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Yeah a couple...what's your current inventory look like and what do you want it to be?

    I think you've got a good pitch going but these sound like bottom line people so crunch some numbers for them.

    Also...as a way to show what you need in a space...put together a dream rep dance plot. The nice thing about this is it covers every angle and the stage is basically empty and will give you an idea of what lights you'll need. I love the fact that you're looking at it responsibly and understanding that this is a HS theatre so "DMX toys" are being avoided.
     
  3. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    The ideas are good, and grog has good points too. The real key is that you have to write your proposal in a very precise and businesslike manner. You don't want it to be just a list. You might want to take photos of equipment that is falling apart or unsafe, but only if anyone looking at it can tell something is wrong. You will also want to include real figures in terms of prices of new equipment. Once you figure out what you need/want call a couple dealers and get quotes.

    Don't forget to make sure that while you want new equipment you ask for anything else you may need. If you are short safety cables ask for more. Make sure when you get quotes for new fixtures that you include lamps, clamps, color frames, and safeties. Some dealers, like BMI include all that always, but others don't. This is also a good time to stop using FEL lamps and switch to one of the newer 575w or 750w lamps (GLA/GLC or GLE/GLD).

    Ask for as much money as you are allowed to because you will inevitably not get as much as you want. Make sure that you, personally, have a plan for what you would get if you were given different amounts of money. Don't tell the people with the money that you can get by with less though!
     
  4. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Can I specify to the dealer to have safety cables attached permanently to the S4 via the safety cable hole on the body of the instrument. (That's what that's there for, right?)

    So when I get an approximate list of gear, then I get a quote from a dealer, and list those prices on the proposal?

    Is it worth counting how many instruments I have in the air, finding their wattage, and mentioning how many energy is saved, if all instruments are run at full for an hour, something like that?

    I'm not sure about the "dream dance plot". I feel that I'm not that good of a designer to accomplish that. I thought more along the lines of 14º and 19º instruments, with a sprinkle of 26º-90º (remember my long throws!). I'm going to find the diameter of the lens tube of the 10º and 5º, and see if they will fit in our catwalks.
     
  5. Sean

    Sean Active Member

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    Make sure that they not only fit, but can actually be focused where you want them. Also consider the added length of the 14°-5° fixtures--will someone be able to reach the front of the light SAFELY to change color, etc?

    --Sean
     
  6. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    I think the technical aspects may be the easiest part. From the “public opinion” side, is the “Parents Association” a PTA (That is, affiliated directly with the state and National PTA organizations), or is it an independent organization (often called a PTO) with no ties to any state or national associations?

    The difference would be in the bylaws of the organization.

    Under PTA bylaws, “pet projects”, such as they are, must still be voted on by the membership (or, to be more specific, must be voted on at a meeting.) I would also expect a PTO to be very similar, but often the by-laws of those types of organizations are poorly written.

    The next issue is how this organization is really run, compared to how it is supposed to be run per the bylaws. Too often, PTAs are dictatorships (often benevolent) run by a few people who run roughshod over the membership, bylaws, and the rules. [A litmus test is to find an officer, ask to see a copy of the bylaws, and see what the reaction is.] Contrary to popular belief, a PTA president and its officers do not make all of the decisions; membership does. (On the other hand, the PTA officers usually have the blessings of the membership.) More often than not, the officers define the action to be taken, and there are no objections from the members.

    There is a potentially ugly situation here, but the proper way (assuming either standard PTA bylaws, or a decent set of PTO bylaws that has the power in the membership and recognizes Robert’s rules of order) to decide on the “pet project” is for a member to make a motion at a regular meeting that “the funds from the craft show be contributed to the theatre department lighting system” or some similar wording. It is then debated and voted on.

    On the other hand, if the membership are sheep or apathetic, then the reality is that the officers make unilateral decisions and run the organization.

    You must determine how this organization is being run so that you can follow the proper channels and have a chance in succeeding. That is, you need to talk to members who actually go to meetings. Your single biggest PR issue may be the $ spent on the theatre already.

    [That’s the short version – I was parliamentarian for my daughter’s elementary school PTA. PTAs and PTOs can be ugly business and I am assuming the worst.]


    Joe
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Charc is a spoiled rich kid at a private school. So the PTA should be able to do what it wants. ;)
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    The EA runs a little hotter but it is also brighter than the MCM. Check the Photometric data on the ETC datasheet downloads. I decided to go with EA for my theater and make the actors sweat a little more.
     
  9. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Yes get quotes...note the plural..get it from more than one dealer cause as I'm sure gaff will tell you they'll want them.

    Here's why I go with dream dance plot...it convers all the angles and with the booms usually gets you a few more bodies than you can hange. The 14/19's that you're specking for your long throws from FOH are great, but from a design perspective what can you put overhead to really pop an actor out from the set?

    And if you have drawings of the space I'm sure there's a number of us here who would help out with my silly little idea.
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Charc check out the prices at Production Advantage and Premier Lighting. You can assume that your competitive bid pricing will meet or beat their prices. Depends on how much you are buying, the more you spend, the better the deal you will get. But the advertised prices you see there are pretty close to what you will pay. Also pay attention to the cost of shipping. It can kill you.
     
  11. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I didn't realize, is the 14º longer overall? (Just looked it up, 4"...)

    I really feel like I need the 14º, even with the added cost.

    I believe my throw distance on the 1st AP Slot (Straight down) is 26' or so. The other lighting positions, I'm not sure about. Only that 19º from the back of my catwalk covers entire acting area, more or less.

    I'm really leaning towards the MCM, though I'll check out the photometrics charts. I'm concerned we'll loose overall output, compared to EGHs and FELs, that will disappoint the Dept Head, but the 575WHPL is industry standard, right?

    Here is what I had in the air for my last show, we have a few more instruments than this, but they are in a state of disrepair / disuse.

    INSTRUMENT TYPE COUNT

    4 - S4-19 @ 575w
    4 Total

    6 - 6x22 @ 1kw
    6 Total

    13 - 1KL6-20 @ 1kw
    13 Total

    7 - 1KL6-30 @ 1kw
    7 Total

    2 - PAR56-MFL @ 500w
    2 Total

    8 - PAR64-MFL @ 1kw
    8 Total

    9 - 4.5" Zoom @ 750w
    9 Total

    4 - Strand 6x12 @ 1kw
    4 Total

    1 - LEKO @ 1kw
    1 Total

    11 - 360Q @ 750w
    11 Total

    2 - Lycian Midget 1206 Followspot @ 1kw
    2 Total

    8 - MR Open Face @ 1kw
    8 Total

    9 - SKY-CYC-03 @ 1kw
    9 Total

    2 - PAR64-NSP @ 1kw
    2 Total

    3 - 6" Fresnel
    3 Total

    1 - Fluros
    1 Total

    1 - Rosco I-Cue
    1 Total

    1 - Chandelier
    1 Total


    TOTAL LIGHTS: 90

    TOTAL MOVING LIGHTS: 1

    TOTAL OTHER: 1
     
  12. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    What should I factor in, as shipping estimate?

    I have a fine line here between making the administration POed, and getting my proposal looked at.

    To jwl, Gaff is right.
     
  13. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    personally charc I would get a local dealer onboard with this, figure out everything you want and send a few dealers the list and ask for quotes. This way you have something very tangable for the board.

    Also do you have enough dimming and cable for the new fixtures you want?
     
  14. STEVETERRY

    STEVETERRY Well-Known Member

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    Any asbestos leads in those old fixtures? That always has a surprisingly galvanizing effect on the proposal.

    ST
     
  15. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I must be an idiot. 19º would be fine for a bulk of the inventory. I'm just thinking about when used on the side catwalk positions, it's really not that large, especially when used directly down, and some 26ºs and 36ºs would definitely be called for. I'd really like to have about 8 14ºs, and some 10ºs or even 5ºs just to have that capability for some sort of special. The same thing for 50ºs 70ºs and 90ºs. 50ºs I see being used from the catwalks for a large wash, with 70ºs on booms, and 90ºs and extremely short throw locations (I can think of some applications.)
     
  16. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure how to check for these, or what to look for. It's possible though.
     
  17. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Dimmers and distribution really isn't a problem, but i'd spec some new cable, to replace some of our old crap. Then rewire the smaller auditoriums with stage pin, and cycle the instruments down the line, so to speak.
     
  18. fredthe

    fredthe Active Member

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    Asbesdos leads will (typically) be individual wires (2 or 3) from the instrument to the plug, with "fuzzy" white insulation (kinda cloth-like).

    Be very careful with claiming the asbesdos as a problem. I know of one instance where a public school complained to the county about the asbestos, hoping to get their instruments replaced. The county's response was to send in a "specialist" who removed (and disposed of) all the wiring and plugs from the instruments... leaving them with no working lights!
     
  19. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry, no asbestos here!

    I was worried that would happen if I claimed anything was unsafe, some I'm going with only using the word "safer".
     
  20. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I would actually measure or calculate your throws before you go buying long throw instruments. On the plot that you sent me a bit ago, the longest throw is about 68'. At that throw you could use 10˚ units, but I doubt you need 5˚s.

    If the goal is to replace old equipment you should look at what you have, and start by purchasing direct replacements. Once you start an inventory of source 4 bodies, it is easy and a lot cheaper to buy lenses when you have money. Speaking of lenses, that may be something you want to add to your proposal. Having extra lenses gives lots of flexibility.
     

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