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Lighting System Design

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by lighttechie5948, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. lighttechie5948

    lighttechie5948 Active Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    I'm now the lighting director for a theatre complex that recently opened up. The theatre has 2 performance spaces, 1 concert/dance hall and 1 performing arts center.

    We are currently looking for equipment to be donated to the non-profit organization.

    I was planning on filling the concert/dance space with movers, L.E.D.s and Pars. I haven't decided what console would be best.

    As for the theatrical performance space I was planning on the rig including 10 S4s on the FOH as 2 systems of Frontlight, and having 3 electrics over stage. The 3E being for the cyc, and the 1 and 2Es would have 5 Par 64s or S4 PARS as downlight.

    My hope is to also have 4 S4 Pars with Scrollers as high sides to wash the stage from the 1 and 2 E. I would also like to have 2 Moving lights with Irises on the FOH.

    I was thinking of an Express as the console for the PAC. And If possible I want a second FOH position on the back wall of the house, and box booms if possible.

    The space isn't huge but I see alot of potential.

    Any suggestions on what equipment or where to get donations, would be appreciated.



    Thanks,
    Joe

    Joseph Naftal
    Lighting Director
    Islip Pavilion Center
     
  2. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    In building your base stock of lighting fixtures, I would concentrate more on conventional stage lighting fixtures than on moving lights. While they absolutely have their uses, they can be high maintenance and temperamental. It appears that the inventory you're speccing here may be inadequate for the level of flexibility you need in designing for multiple shows. You can buy a lot of Source 4's for the price of 1 moving light, so you might consider trimming the movers to gain more conventionals.
     
  3. lighttechie5948

    lighttechie5948 Active Member

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    I was only thinking of 2 Moving Lights for the Performing arts center. I was thinking of more M/Ls for concert/dance space.
     
  4. LightStud

    LightStud Active Member

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    Don't you think you might have just a tad bit unrealistic expectations--wanting state-of-the-art gear donated for free? What's that saying? Oh, yes. "Beggars can't be choosers!" That's it. The best of luck to you and if you're successful, please let us know.

    I'd gladly accept the donation of an ETC EOS (sorry, no IONs) and Sine-Wave dimmers (no phase control models). No offers of any SourceFour fixtures without EDLTs, please.

    For a reality check, try visiting UsedLighting.com - Buy, Sell & Trade Used Stage Lighting & Theatrical Lighting Equipment or Stage Lighting - Used Lighting, Used Audio, Used Video - Solaris.
     
  5. lighttechie5948

    lighttechie5948 Active Member

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    I understand that I can't get everything on my wish list for free, I just like to have a big wish list, so I can see what I can get.
     
  6. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Occupation:
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    Without having a name to back yourself up...you wont get anything. Especially if you're just starting out. Doesn't matter if you're non-profit, the companies don't care unless you can promote their name and their products. So basically...unless you're a large rental/sales company then you wont be getting ANYTHING for free. Sorry but thats how the business works, because rental companies can promote a product...if they rent something and the client like it they may say "HEY, I might buy one of these for myself" and therefore the company makes more money. In your case, you're going to be the only one using it and the company wont get any promotional advantage and therefore they are going to want to sell it to you for the highest price possible.
     
  7. LekoBoy

    LekoBoy Active Member

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    Wish in one hand and [defecate] in the other. Which fills up faster?
     
  8. lighttechie5948

    lighttechie5948 Active Member

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    Right now basically nothing.

    And since I am a student would companies give donations with the hope I would buy tons of them in the future and that I would remember the favor if I'm ever working big events. And the theatre complex is offering any companies that give donations, bricks with their logo on it and naming rights if they donate over a certain amount of value.
     
  9. ishboo

    ishboo Active Member

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    Theres plenty of high schoolers that could grow up to be the next great lighting guy but that's just it there are a lot and few do. They don't have enough freebies to go around that wide.
     
  10. Saunier

    Saunier Member

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    Do you have any specific budget?
     
  11. lighttechie5948

    lighttechie5948 Active Member

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    Well, I met with the Business Director of the complex and we talked for a couple hours, she explained the complex was working on basically $0. But she told me that if i need any fundraisers to get money for lighting to let her know. She told me that she will send me a letter this weekend to forward to lighting companies that explains that any donations are tax deductable, and that any donations over a certian value result in naming rights.
     
  12. ishboo

    ishboo Active Member

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    What kind of performing space is it? High School? College? Professional?
     
  13. lighttechie5948

    lighttechie5948 Active Member

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    It used to be a 3 theater movie complex. When it closed it was purchased to be turned into a cultrual arts center. The three theatres are:

    Theater 1 - A Cinema Arts Centre (Still Needs to be Renovated, Not Opened Yet)

    Theater 2 - Cabaret Hall (where they have the concerts, teen events, presentations, all the seats were removed)

    Theater 3 (upstairs) - Performing Arts Center (plays, comedy club, musicals)

    It's community theater, I guess, as it is a non-profit.
     
  14. beltsvillecrucib

    beltsvillecrucib Member

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    The amount of money major lighting manufacturers would lose on giving you free gear compared to the amount of publicity they would receive from naming the community space after them is enormous. Simply put, sure, you know what High End Systems is, but for the majority of community patrons, High End Systems Performing Arts Center means absolutely nothing. At least nothing that's going to help them sell a few Showguns or DL3's.
     
  15. ishboo

    ishboo Active Member

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    You could always look at renting at the start until you build up your inventory. You can rent a S4 for anywhere bewteen $4-$12 or so. With a small amount of money you could have a setup for two weeks and then make it back in ticket sales.
     
  16. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Probably the best way to go about your situation is not to go to the manufacturers or dealers, but to go to local businesses and families that may be interested in making monetary donations. Such donations could then be used to purchase gear.

    However, I find it very strange that no one budgeted for the infrastructure to make the venue functional. I mean, do you have dimmers and other associated infrastructure in place (data distro and such)? If you don't have any of that, you are talking about a major installation and major expense, that would be a major oversight if it was not planned into the renovations of the venue.
     
  17. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I must agree with everyone else. Another huge problem you'll face is people won't donate if they think you'll go under soon. That means you need to have a long-term plan on how to keep the doors open, capital projects and fundraisers kickin', and especially keeping the building extremely well-maintained.

    You're swimming upstream, a theatre complex with systems designed by a no-name student that's being started from scratch, is not going to look like a good long-term plan. Aside from that, what's your role in the grand scheme of things? Are you permanent there, or only there for a few years and then on to somewhere else? If that's the case, you won't be able to get anything completed, only capital projects started.

    Also, familiarize yourself with the term "capital projects." It means this is the stuff we really want, but can't possibly afford, so we need to wine and dine with our patrons' checkbooks to make it happen. Don't laugh, it's true. In addition to that, remember that people want their money spent wisely, and so does everyone else who's involved in the process. That means you buy essential items for as-cheap-as-possible prices before you go out and get movers and LEDs.

    You're also chasing the wrong dog; lighting companies get lots of requests for these gigs. They don't like them unless they like you, and they don't like you unless there are strong connections between the company and the facility/faculty. If you want any chance at a future, start fundraising locally.

    Another problem in your scheme is that it doesn't work to chase down companies, because they can only donate their product, if they even want to donate. That means your dream rig only comes true if the stars align, and you get not one, or two, but at least three to five companies to not only donate equipment, but pay a couple twenty-grand to install it. I just did a 48 dimmer install in a very small, 45'x45' room, with 125 seats. The electrical alone was $20k on a retrofit into an existing feed, not including any purchase of distribution equipment, fixtures, cords, etc. In total, it was $32k down the drain before we had an operational system. So that big-name company that even considers donating equipment is immeadiately turned off when they find out they'll be responsible for either watching their equipment rot or pay for someone to install it.

    Your pedastel is too high, your dreams, too big, and reality, too real. Sorry, life just isn't that easy.
     
  18. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I second this. Make good relations with rental houses and local dealers. They're the most likely people to ease your pains. Let them know you're non-profit, and borderline non-income, and they might give you fair deals on rentals. Also keep these people in mind when you do purchase equipment, because if they like you and your business, they might help you out on slashing prices for an install. What you'll find is when you purchase for an install, dealer reps can put huge slashes in their pricing for you, far better than their catalog price. That's not to say you should go to them and beg for it. You can ask and reason, but don't do anything you wouldn't do car-shopping. That means no getting down on your knees and begging. Or plain no begging.

    Your first step for fundraising should be a goal. That means have a dealer rep look at your space, work with them to design the system (allowing for future expansion, but with present functionality and affordability), and then get a quote from them, and any necessary additional labor, such as electricians. Then take that, make up some nice brochures that say, "We need $______ because we want to ___________ and we've done ________ research."
     
  19. Sean

    Sean Active Member

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    Not to be too negative about the situation....

    BUT.....

    What IS there in these spaces? Do you have dimmers? Sound equipment? Do you even have a certificate of occupancy (the document that legally allows you to do business in the building....and in some areas, even be IN the building)?

    Why would _anyone_ want to donate to a business (and yes, it is still a business) when there is so little responsible management?

    I'd venture to say the majority of theaters in the US are non-profit. That doesn't mean that ETC, Highend, Strand, Martin, etc all throw equipment and money at them. Great, non-profit, so what? They're not going to sell much of anything to you over the next 5-10 years.....why give you stuff for free?

    Just providing a reality check.

    --Sean
     
  20. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Once you have that quote in hand, your fundraising goal needs to be significantly higher. It will probably take some time to raise the funds, and quotes are only good for so long. Prices, of course have a nasty habit of changing over time, usually going higher. So I would add about 50% on top of your estimate for the fundraising goal. Then, if you fall short you can go to your dealer saying "This is my budget. How much of this can I do?"
     

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