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Non-Stage Lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by DarSax, Jul 1, 2006.

  1. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    I'm not sure if there's been a thread on this already, but honestly I have no idea how I could search for one anyways.

    For next year's Talent Show at my school, I really want to a lot of architectural/non-stage lighting. That is, when the audience comes in when the doors are first opened, I want them to enter an auditorium that already looks amazing, so they immediately enter the world of the show.

    So far I'm planning on projecting some sort of patterns/gobos from the cats onto the walls, I want to try and light up the walkways somehow, and if I can, put some regular old fluorescents on the walls with GAM gel over them (I forget the name fo the stuff, they sell gel in fluorescent tubes). I was also thinking of hooking up some simple rope lights, but I'm afraid that might look tacky.

    My question is, does anyone else have any suggestions? I want to see if I can hang some sort of diffusion/spun stuff from the ceiling and light that up...any ideas?
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I would personaly stay awa from the rope light enless you can get it to light something with seeing the physical light. Taking a leko and puttin it on a floor mount and having it shoot up wall is a simple and effective effect. If you can haze the air that will help as well. If you have a fly expose your elecs and put lights on each end to highlight your elecs. Try steep angles on wall and that should do what you want it to.
     
  3. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Well in past year's we've put two vertical trusses in the back of the auditorium, and put either PAR's or Technobeams (waste.) on them. The BIG problem with those was that I was always afraid of blinding the people as they came in--so all I could really do was point them...up. Or to a wall. Either way, it wasn't so cool, and they would get burned, and annoying.
     
  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I think that the diffusion hung from the ceiling and lit with different color gels would look cool. It reminds me of the sound baffling material in airports, all different colors, hanging from the celing. But, with that in mind, you'd have to check with the sound people to see if that would diffuse the sound too much, depending on what material you're using.
     
  5. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    Depending on the weather, you may be able to do something outside the building. For one "winter Ball" that we did lighting for, we put some lights on a T bar out across the driveway from the building aiming at the front entrance and put scrollers in them with that made big snowflakes fall down the outside of the building. It was a really cool effect and not that blinding b/c they were far enough away from the building and aiming enough above the door.
     
  6. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Mm, you read my mind Peter, but that's a different story--there's this crazy metal awning outside that I want to hang lights/stuff off of, but I need to find out if I'm allowed to do that D: But hey, if you all have any ideas about outside lighting too, I'd love to hear those too.
     
  7. saxman0317

    saxman0317 Active Member

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    i saw a tape of one of our old shows about 12 years ago. There were rope lights hanging from the celling, and the house was taken down to dark, and they chorographed the white rope lights to move to Isa Night Sprachza. You know...opening to 2001: space odyssey. Looked real good, and it just went off from there with all sorts of stuff. As far as haning stuff...mylar is evil, and expensive, and ugly...
     
  8. lightbyfire

    lightbyfire Member

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    If you are going to use rope lights, i would suggest building some sort of trough for them to sit in that is not visible by the patrons, then line it with a reflective materieal (foil), this could run along the cats or in front of the apron/pit.

    If you have wall sconces think about replacing their bulbs with flickers (only works for certain looks, and only if each sconce has independent power). The idea of sky silk also sounds interesting (maybe rope lights bracketed to the ceiling surrounded by a tube of the diffusion?)

    I would stay away from using MLs (as you seem aware of) the movement is distracting more than additive, unless you are talking about gobo movement which can be pleasant under a soft breakup pattern.

    If you use a main curtain play with it, breakups, complimentary colors etc.

    good luck.
     
  9. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Actually--about the ML's--As of right now, I have 6 in the pit. Last year, I put two studio colors in the pit and pointed them at the stage, and they did about double of what the hanging studio colors did, as far as lighting up the stage/performers. This year I'm putting 4 in there, and 2 Mac 700's. I may have them moving slightly and slowly, and maybe slowly fading through the colors, just as an ambience thing. I'm not sure though, as it may clash with anything else I put up.
     
  10. ricc0luke

    ricc0luke Active Member

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    what color is the auditorium? what color is the ceiling? are the cat-walks exposed? what type of house lighting do you have? sconces? hanging? recessed?

    how is the talent show setup? do you use the house curtain prior to the performance? what is the backdrop if not? whats the theme of the show?

    its really hard to recomend anything that will look good in the space without knowing it. you need to look at the space and decided what you want to accent and what you don't. Keep in mind that you still need to keep it bright enough for the audience to read their programs prior to the performance starting.

    as far as my experience goes, if the auditorium has bold colors, use white accent lights and you can keep the room still pretty bright and classy. If you want a darker look, use 2 or 3 BOLD accent colors on features in the auditorium. just throwing light up on a plain wall and making it fit in and look right... well.... it's probably not gonna happen.

    but how about the stage? i've done talent shows (as well as full musicals) that don't use the house curtain prior to the show. Take full advantage of this. You can create a spectacular atmosphere without putting a single light out in the house. Think about touring shows... you walk in, like (gasp) Cats, or Rent or a number of others and the atmosphere is set by the lighting the stage (along with a little haze)

    The big thing though is to look at what you've got and utilize it. Don't waste time and money with fabric hanging for a (i'm guessing) one night talent show. Save that for a musical like Camolot or Into the Woods. But take a look around and use what you have, don't go too crazy, keep in mind, the audience is there to see the show.... don't go too over board with the house lights, they are off during the show anyway.
     
  11. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    what color is the auditorium? what color is the ceiling? are the cat-walks exposed? what type of house lighting do you have? sconces? hanging? recessed?

    Color? Ugly tan. Ceiling? Gray-ish reddish somethingorother, neither is really pronounced or anything. Catwalks are hidden. House lighting is by mercury vapor floodlights; incandescent perimeters line the walls of the auditorium. There's actually nothing really special about the auditorium design, there's walls and a ceiling; it's a little bit more complicated than a box (there are some angled walls, ooo) but not much more. [/QUOTE]

    House curtain is closed, so we can wow the audience with the stage when the show starts. Main curtain is a brightish primary blue. Theme...well I can't tell you because it hasn't been announced yet. This is for before the show though, so what's important is that hte curtain is closed.

    The show runs for 3 nights, and it's one of the 3 major productions that the school does--so as far as priorities go its a pretty big deal, as far as attendence goes it's second only to the musical. Budget on talent shows have always been pretty impressive, 30k+. But I see what you mean by the house lights being off--but at the same time, I want to make the auditorium able to be lit in some fashion at times to compliment the acts on stage.

    What I think would be really cool would be if I could make the walls of the auditorium (or any hanging spun stuff) glow with complimentary colors to those on stage. I think it would really bring the audience into the show, as instead of everything being in the little box of the stage you get pulled in by all around you--not so much that it's distracting from the action on stage, but enough to make each audience member really experience what's going on.
    Thoughts on this? Just a harebrained idea?
     
  12. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I see a use for LED parcans. Rent a few PixelPars, if you happen to have the budget for them. Point them on the tough spun or whatever. Use the DMX to change the colors slowly. FWIW, I really like that idea. Just make sure that they aren't bright enough to actually distract from the stage, just enough to give the room that feel.

    www.pixelpar.com
     
  13. TheJeanieness

    TheJeanieness Member

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    I've never been in Whitman's auditorium, which is a personal travesty--I really wish I had seen you're West Side this year. Congrats on all those Cappie nominations, too. But, as I've never seen the auditorium, I don't quite know what lighting effects would be most operative for what you're trying to do. Although, I did intern for Digital Lightning in Gaithersburg this past year, so I picked up a few tricks from them.

    Up lighting with lekos or S4 pars can do wonders. Bold, alternating colors look amazing in a dark room, especially if the audience coming in isn't expecting it. If you can spare some circuits, having a neat looking pre-show curtain would help out, either with gobos or gel colors. I'd definitely go with the outdoor light effect, so the audience gets sucked in even before they walk in the door. Uplighting and gobos on the outside of the building looks really cool, too. Students and parents who are so used to bland everyday exterior of a high school will see it transformed.

    Decorative lighting is such a great effect. It's so simple, and people just ooh and aah over it all, because it's just cool.

    Hope this helped some.
     
  14. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Rope Lights are often a good economical solution. You can also buy colored fluorescent lamps but the gel would also work. Might look into fluorescent lamp tube guards and just taping the gel together in strips around the lamps. Any of the three could be more economical at least as opposing solutions to the fluorescent lamp gel. Could also buy rolls of the gel and cut it yourself given a bulk application of many fixtures.

    Beyond this, the fixtures hung from the catwalks and in projecting patterns at the walls from above would probably be better than something from the front of lower sides.

    Other things to consider is perhaps a Leko from the stage apron focused up the aisle and focused to project up the aisle in staying low to the floor and only at the aisle. Some rear pattern projection on the audience and perhaps some pinspot rays of light projected at odd angles along the walls and ceiling.

    Next question is what ya doing?
     
  15. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Wow, thanks to all of you for all the responses and advice!

    TheJeaniness, since you had suggested, do any of you have any tips/whatever for lighting outside? It worries me because of the humidity, rain, etc--are there any safeguards you guys know of that would be helpful? Also, something that has always worrried me is leaving things outside/in the lobby, where audience members can knock over, touch, etc. them. Should I just post someone outside? Any other tips?

    Ship--The aisle-lighting idea sounds cool, but I'm not sure how to do it in a good way. I'm planning on having 2 mac 250's and 4 studio colors raised in the pit and capable of shining on the aisles, but I'm afraid of blinding small children, etc. Could I do the same effect from up high and behind? I was thinking of somehow lighting the aisles (or the seats), possibly with lekos with cropped beams to match the shape of the aisles/seats...but I'm really afraid of blinding people. (Funny, when the show starts we do it all the time). Do you all have any suggestions for this? Would maybe frosting some lights have a cool effect on the seats/aisles with less blinding? Thoughts?

    Oh and ship--sorry, but I can't announce it until next year, late. I suppose since you're on the senior team and would have no reason to go blabbing it, if you were deathly curious I could tell you, but I just can't tell you the theme (I can however tell you any technical info, albeit nonfinalized and nonapproved, you might want)
     
  16. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I was thinking of keeping the aisle light by way of say Leko within 12" high and shining up the aisle thus just lighting the floor. Mooving lights doing the lighting... I suppose you could probably program a kind of laser light along the floor type of effect. Believe I once saw a laser demo once in about 1992 on doing a laser projected floor pattern. So thus the intent was some form of aisle lighting from down low in the audience that would be intensive for the first viewers of it, than for those follow up people, given lots of feet and legs in the way, very dispersed but still showing somewhat in an interesting way down the aisle.

    This as reverse of a learned effect I once did by way of some under audience lighting I did of the stage floor. Lit in part the stage floor for a small non-for profit store front theater by way of mini wash lights installed all over the under part of the under side of the first row of audience. The effect of the first audience floor level of lighting was interesting on the stage, and what was blocked by way of people's feet helped the effect.

    As for senior team or what ever,... my asking was to further understand your intent in a design type of way. Yep at one point I was let into the top secret planning stages in a corporate way for the next... huge tour. In the end it was just another job in me figuring out solutions to the technical problems in it for the bid on the tour. That's my purpose at work - solving problems by way of making gear and figuring out how much it would cost or offering ideas. By way of the forum, I serve the purpose - editing should there be bad stuff or not as if asst. webmaster or not, I am but a designer with some shows under my belt. Intent in asking was to understand what your own design intent is to convey so as to help provide options or understand if you need to leave the work lights on in the lighting grid, install the rope light or make the fluorescents do the job for the grid. I'm trained as a designer for set and lights and have some amount of shows under the belt. Intent in asking is to understand the need and intent as with all.
     
  17. Jamie

    Jamie Member

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    i recently did a show and dealt with this exact same topic....4x S4PAR WFL on 12'booms with R68/R54 and 4x S4PAR VNSP on base of booms shooting out over house...it looks great if you have haze, and just ok if you don't. help you get ideas!
     
  18. cutlunch

    cutlunch Active Member

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    For outside there is a couple of options.
    Last year for the opening of a new School Theatre my boss had me place Par 64's at the base of trees ( 1 per tree) . These had strong colours like orange, green etc. In this case we used a dimmer pack because it was handy. It was unlikely to rain so that wasn't a problem. However to allow for condensation my boss had me run the dimmer at a low level maybe 25% from when we put them out there. We put them out in the afternoon for an evining show. This looked really effective.

    The safer way to do these would not to run them through a dimmer but use an RCD safety device in the power line. I don't know what you call them but if there is a current imbalance they trip out the power to the load. They normaly have a test button and a reset button or use an isolating transformer.

    Is there any plants in the foyer? , you could back light them.
    Also Have you tried bouncing light off the ceiling this can be a god effect as it smooths out the light reflected you use different colours for differnt parts.
    But as you have already mentioned safety needs to be taken into account. So for in the auditorium you should probably start by building a general wash that let the audience get to their seats safely. Remeber that older people may need more light then you.

    Also I would light the curtain. If I have a curtain I will always light it even if it just by using the FOH lights that are doing the fron areas. If you have spare lights you might just use them on the curtain. If you had a few colours you could make a slow chase fading through the colours.

    There are heaps of ideas out there, in fact you could actually spend as much time doing the auditorium lighting as the stage lighting.

    One thing I would do is go through your lighting stock and see what lights you hardly use, they may turn out perfect the job. This may also stop someone taking one of your auditorium lights for the stage during tech week.

    I would take the time when you can get in the auditorium when there is no show on and try some ideas. That means you will know what works.

    As for the moving lights I would hang some instead of having them all in the pit. You could use them for lighting the aisles still but also have them set for other things. In fact you could have them move down the aisles with different patterns. You could use some in the pit to light the curtain.

    As you have found out evryone has their different ideas.
    God luck for this and I hope you can post photos after the event.
     
  19. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    If you have moving lights, I would not actually have them doing anything but a static effect for the house. The train of though I have inherited from my TD for lighting, is don't be a **** with lighting and put out everything at once, but scale up to the full potential of your rig as the show goes. A really good example I saw of this on youtube was the lighting for Daft Punk's concert at the coachelle festival.
     
  20. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Makes perfect sense, Pie4. Though when I try to scale it up, I try to go with nonintels. The intels are my workhorses, that's what I use for my primary light source. When I boost it up--the last act before intermission, the last act before finale, etc, I always try to encorporate something totally unseen an unexpected--like my hidden police beacons two years ago, my strobe rope this year (okay that was seen, but it was totally unexpected by the audience). You see what I mean? The audience can see the big, hulking moving heads. They expect them to do something. They don't expect the stage to suddenly burst into light (or flame...oh, the possibilities....)

    By the way: The lights in the pit are by no means the bulk of my planned fixtures; I just found that having wash lights in the pit, in front of the actors (I can't put them up high in front of them, our cat's can't accomodate that type of thing) did wonders to light up their faces, as well as the set.

    RCD Safety device, eh cutlunch? I'll be sure to look into it. Much thanks for that.

    By the way, are there any cool effect lights that you guys know of besides the standard fare? Like, police beacons, helicopters (though I wouldn't use them), moonflare (moonbeams? moonbursts? whatever those things are)s, or whatever? Specifically not those made by American DJ. I just mean, if you guys know of a catalog or something, I'd love to look at it--a lot of those light effects are kind of tacky in my opinion, but some can be cool...

    And another question. I'm looking into LED pars, for lighting up the potentially hung spun banners/curtains. Would this be a good idea? I've only seen LED lights up close once, and they seemed fairly powerful, does anyone have any experience in this? They would probably be on the floor shooting upwards, the height of the banners would probably be in excess of 30 feet but it is unnecessary that they light them all the way up (hmmmm...*light bulb*) Specifically the Coemar ParLite LED or the ColorBlast 12. Any ideas?


    edit: oh right, I had meant to reply about this earlier. Ship--as far as the 'senior team' comment, I meant it in terms of I know you're experienced and I respect your (high, though I can definitely see you replying denying this) level of expertise, so if you really wanted to know, I'd probably tell you. That, and I can't see you really going to the trouble of figuring out some way of blabbing out what it is to my community. Whatever, like I said it wasn't important D:
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2006

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