Lighting tutorials and systems

Joined
Apr 16, 2004
Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum so hopefully this is the right place for my question. I've spent the last 2 years working with three companies one as sound crew head and two as artistic director. However, this coming year my high school is losing all of its light crew and my director wants me to take on the position of technical director despite the fact that I have yet to operate a lights board. As we've discussed this we've also been discussing what systems we should be using next year (we're currently building a new theater and deciding upon new lights and sound systems.) So I was hoping that someone here would have suggestions for tutorials as well as good boards that are logical for high school theater. If you have any suggestions as to these topics I would be very appreciative, thank you so much.
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2004
so ive heard, i think thats what we are planning on but im just looking to see if there are any better options out there. thanks for your help! :)
 

Radman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Location
Franklin, TN
You just happen to be in luck! I spend more time putting together lighting and sound systems than I do on my homework. I look through more catalogs...

I would recommend for lighting, asuming that you have a basically high budget, and that you are getting a basically standard theater, getting:
 

ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Location
Illinois
goldenillusions said:
my director wants me to take on the position of technical director despite the fact that I have yet to operate a lights board. As we've discussed this we've also been discussing what systems we should be using next year (we're currently building a new theater and deciding upon new lights and sound systems.) So I was hoping that someone here would have suggestions for tutorials as well as good boards that are logical for high school theater. If you have any suggestions as to these topics I would be very appreciative, thank you so much.
I'm always floored by such things happening. Hard to learn tech without someone there to train you no matter how good the tutorial or book. Much less the liability in things not known also. Sorry no offense, and welcome, we all do our best, but I would think the absolute best thing your theater can do for next year is to salary in a TD to teach you rather than new gadgets to tinker with and new space to play in. Even if there is no budget left, you can make something out of nothing given the proper training in doing so, and often those lessons are the most valuable of all. It is school after all. Hard to come up with an inspiration or new technique without guidance and instruction.

ETC Express many say is a good light board and I believe ETC has a tutorial for it. After that, ask away for other questions but I could only hope such resorces such as us could be more in supplementing on-site instruction.
 

bdesmond

Active Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Location
Chicago, IL USA
ship said:
Hard to learn tech without someone there to train you no matter how good the tutorial or book. Much less the liability in things not known also.
I'm with ship here. Learning from somebody who knows their stuff is a lot easier, and a lot more productive than from a book. You can learn to program a console from a book. You can't learn how to do stuff safely, pick the right equipment for a space, etc.

I playe dwith a Strand 300 series console today, and I was quite convinced that it would do a great job in the high school space I'm in (not that big of a space). You might consider taking a look at it in addition to the ETC. Find someone in your area who is going to sell the stuff to you, and ask them to demo both consoles for you.
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2004
i agree that learning from someone else is a much better option. however our adminsitration refuses to hire anyone new to our theater department, meaning that we have no technical director and no one with experience in lighting next year. i know that it is possible to learn tech via manuals etc. simply b/c that is how i learned sound, however i do agree that learning from someone with experience would be a great option, it just happens to be an option that i currently do not have.
 

Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
Try volunteering at a community theatre. If there's one in your area, I'm sure they have some positions to fill. Granted community theatres aren't usually the most professional of venues, you usually come across some really talented people, and its a great place to get used to a different environment, different personnel, different rules, and a different way of doing theatre than youre used to. Community theatre is usually a volunteer-run organization (usually including the actors) but its a great place to get a head start and get youre name out there. I can't tell you how many paying jobs I've gotten from people who know me from the theatre. As for youre lighting system, and based on my own experience, I would try to stay loyal to ETC as much as possible. Altman makes good parcans and fresnels, and the Strand 'Iris' CYC lights are pretty amazing too. If youre budget is REALLY high, the Expression line of consoles are about as good as it gets for high school.
 

Radman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Location
Franklin, TN
You dissin community theater?!
Take a look at this!
_
||
||
||
\/
 

Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
Don't get offended or anything... There are always exceptions...
Looks like a great house, the community I started out at was a renovated movie house built back in the 1950's. It is nice, with good lighting and sound, but it had a small budget per show, so some of the set work was alittle compromised. The acting was a little sketchy as well, but it was a great experience to get me used to something other than high school.
My particular community theatre only sat 350 and was really small, but I'm sure yours is extra fancy.
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2004
yeah im already artistic director with a fairly new community theater company in my area and have learned more than i could ever have expected from the experience... although that is a great point since we do actually have a technical director who could at least give me a great deal of the basic knowledge i need... hmm.... thanks so much, thats rather useful. :) have a great day.
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2004
yeah im already artistic director with a fairly new community theater company in my area and have learned more than i could ever have expected from the experience... although that is a great point since we do actually have a technical director who could at least give me a great deal of the basic knowledge i need... hmm.... thanks so much, thats rather useful. :) have a great day.
 

Radman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Location
Franklin, TN
That was for lester.
 

Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
yeah. I got that too... Hence when I said, "looks like a great house".
 

zac850

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2003
Location
New York
I would also suggest the ETC Express light board. My school just got one, and it is my new love (after my girlfriend, of corse:) ). We got the board in during spring break (of which I spent 90% of at school) and after that had tech week, and then the show. I felt fairly proficient after about an hour of using it, and after a week I felt that I had mastered enough to program in some chase effects as well as a 110 or so cue show. It is extremely easy to use. I had one guy who knew how to use it show me the basics of how to use it, and after that I just messed around with it for a few hours and figured out how everything works and how to soft patch and stuff.....

you can't go wrong with ETC :)
 

digitaltec

Active Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2003
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
I agree, ETC Express is a great console to begin with. Every command with that console is easy and straight forward. Everyone has a different skill level and I beleive that this is the best console to get everyone on the same page. Now I have heard that strand consoles are good but I personally have never used one and always request a ETC when dealing wih conventionals. ETC has a good name and reputation and their manuals are easy to understand. If anyone ever needs help with their ETC consoles, feel free to drop me a line any day. I may not respond ASAP unless it's an emergancy.
 

Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
Yeah, I saw that too... Hence, when I said, "Looks like a great house..." lol
 

chris512

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Location
UK
guess it all depends on the size of your school and the sort of events that you do etc...

the sixth form college i'm in the uk has a student number of around 600, and we have invested in a new Pearl 2004 because of our amount of wobbleys (32 mac's of various types) that we need to control.

but i would seriously look at strand, i'm currently using a 520i at a theatre near me and its a superb desk and has a lot of functionality but is around £10,000 (about $15000? i'm guessing), a strand 300 may be more your thing......but have never come across an ETC desk.


but my advice is to get involved in every possible experience you can, its the only way to learn
 

Users who are viewing this thread