The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Moving Lights - High School Lesson Plan

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by maccor, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. maccor

    maccor Member

    Likes Received:
    Dayton, Ohio
    I teach a Technical Theater class in high school. Our school doesn't have any movers, but I've got a local rental house willing to loan us a moving light fixture to "play with". I don't have any experience with them, but will get some basic training before. I'm looking for advice on what might be some beneficial things to do.


    Mike Cordonnier
    Centerville High School
    Centerville, Ohio
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Likes Received:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Lititz, PA
    I suppose the first question is are you teaching design or are you teaching tech, because there are really two different sides to approaching the MLs. As a technician, this is what I would want to learn/be taught for the first time on an ML:

    First off I think one of the most important things to teach is proper handling and setup of the fixture. MLs are not like your garden source four that you can kick off the front of the stage a few times and only end up with a bad bench focus and bent shutter. So teach how to get the in and out of the theatre, and to hang them and be safe with them.

    Next up is probably a lesson on DMX (unless your students have had that). Talk about control channels (or dimmers or outputs [in strand speak]) and how they get softpatched into channels on the board. Talk about how each controllable attribute of the ML need to have one or more control channels. You probably don't need to teach the math that goes into figuring how you beak up 360˚ of movement into 255 data points and such.

    Now you are ready to start showing students how to setup and address the fixture, connect it to the light board and power it on. Now, if you are going to be using an arc lamp fixture you should talk about if the fixture/lamp supports hot restrikes, how long you need to leave the power on after you turn the lamp off so that it cools off, and such that hopefully your dealer will tell you when they train you. There are things like the fact that striking the lamp is about equivalent to burning it for an hour so it may not be worth turning the fixture off when you take your hour dinner break.

    Now you should have your fixture up and the basics in the students heads, so you can move on to showing how to patch fixtures on your console. Then show them how to control it, and what each attribute does. if you are using a console that doesn't have attribute encoders then you may want to assign each attribute to a submaster so it is easy to operate.

    Next up show how to record the fixture into cues. You may also want to talk about how in general in the theatre world people try to program the fixture to move while the intensity is at 0.

    Then let your students play with the controls and get to know the fixture. If you want to give them a project, maybe get them a piece of music that they have to write a series of ML cues to.
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    NJ & NYC
    If you do end up using the music project, it'd be a good idea, but keep the music to one minute or they will spend the rest of the semester on it (trust me, I know, I've been involved with a short light show, it takes forever).

    If you can, open it up, show them how everything works, and then reference the parts that they saw as you demonstrate it's features live. If you can get one with CMY mixing, you can also talk about that theory as well.
  4. KaR356i

    KaR356i Member

    Likes Received:
    Missouri, usually
    I think the music idea is a good idea as well. However, I have taught very inexperienced people about moving lights, and I would suggest that IF you do music, you make it a 30 second clip. The reason being, if you have 10 kids in the class and they all need an hour and a half to set the light up and patch it, plus play their music 30 times and program cues... you may get into a scheduling problem! :)

    Have fun with it though!
  5. mattm

    mattm Member

    Likes Received:
    Denver, CO
    Print out copies of the manual. Most will have some sort of exploded digram or pictures of the wheels. Explain how gobos, effects, and colors are selcted by spinning the wheel into the optical path.

    The DMX charts in the apendix are a life saver if your console does not display textual information. With the chart, it is easy to see how every atribute reacts the same as a regular dimmer channel.

    Matt McCormick

    DHSLXOP Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    To add to this, most manual diagrams have numbers on the different parts and then a key at the bottom stating what each number is. White out the key part and draw lines, then you can quiz your students on what the different parts of the light are...that way, if you say "go ahead and address the fixture," the students will know where to do that.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice