Odd lighting angle help?

v75vette

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Hello all,

I've been asked to a light a show for the community theatre. It's a decent enough space for a proscenium configuration. However the director wanted to do the show in the round. The play is "Spoon River' by the way. So here comes my list of problems. The building is rather old...

There are no permanently attached battens. All I have are 6 torms, 4 are 12ft and the other 2 are going to be I think 10ft. Now the really fun thing is that half of the "stage" is on the actual stage space and the other half is down in the house. The stage is 20'x20' and it's about half in the house and half on the stage. The house has a slight rake to it. I'm trying to keep the torms out of the way except I can hardly get any light on the acting areas without lighting up half the audience because of the angle and with the shallow angles the light's going to be right in the audience’s eyes.

From what I can figure I’m going to try to put a torm on each corner of the playing space and then two in the middle against the walls in the house.

My original idea was to use the two side torms only for fill light and the 4 corns for the main acting light. However now I'm thinking that it may be a better idea to use 4 torms in the middle of all the sides and then use the other two for specials from the corners.

If anybody has any ideas on placement and types of lights to use let me know. I have a decent budget to rent some lights. I have 11 40 degree shakes and 15 or so 6" fresnels.

I'll try and get some picture up tomorrow.

Thanks
 

gafftaper

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Forget renting instruments rent some truss! Find a way to get light over the stage. Before our new theater, we did a lot of shows in this ballroom with 12' high drop ceilings. There's just no way to get decent light in the round if you can't shoot down at the actors from a high angle. If you're shooting a flat angle you'll find your options are blinding the audience on the other side of the stage or lighting the actors from the waist down. Furthermore if you can't get light overhead then the actors faces are dark from the other side of the stage. So if I were you, the first thing I would do is rent a better way of hanging lights. You could either hang something or rent something free standing... but much taller than what you have.
 

v75vette

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Gafftaper,

What kind of truss would you recommend. Vincent Lighting systems is right down the road in cincy so I can get it pretty easily. I've just never dealt with truss before.

thanks
 

gafftaper

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I'm not the truss guy either... Alex? Derek? WhatRigger? Bueller? Anybody but Van?
 

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First, is there any rigging points over head at all, i.e. structural beams etc... I would say your best bet would be to deadhang some pipes if you can. If you can afford it truss and motors is nice, but a ladder and some pipe will also do. You have to get something overhead.
 

v75vette

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It's a historical building. So i can't easily attach anything to the beams. I think they're mostly there for decorations and they've got a project planned to install some overhead pipes. It just hasn't happened yet because of funding.

So I'm going to go ahead and say that no there are no overhead rigging points. I was checking the vincet site for rentals. I can get 2.5' x12" box truss for 25$ a week, 5' x12" box truss for 35 a week, and 10' x12" box truss for 50 a week. Corner blocks are 35 a piece. So I can easily put up a 12" pipe on the sides in the house and then put 2 12" sections over the acting area. My only concern would then be making sure they don't fall over. Any ideas or help?

I'd only be putting at a max 16 lights up there. 11 or so shakes and some S4s.
 

Pie4Weebl

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I would get someone from the company to come in look at your space and make suggestions, rigging is not something you should do on your own if you are not confident.
 

gafftaper

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I would get someone from the company to come in look at your space and make suggestions, rigging is not something you should do on your own if you are not confident.
Great point Pie, I'm sure they would be happy to come in and make a recommendation.
 

icewolf08

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I like the truss idea, if you can get it in the air. The people who have said to get help with rigging are right. In lieu of truss you could erect taller booms and some cross pipes. You can get pipe in 21' lengths so you could put booms at the corners of the stage and then span 21' sections between them at the top. If you are only hanging about 16 units you should be ok. You may want to get scedule 80 pipe though if you can. This solution would be cheaper to rent than truss and doesn't require any overhead rigging points.
 

avkid

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rigging is not something you should do on your own if you are not confident.
Confidence has nothing to do with it.
At least $1 million in liability insurance(low end).
Knowledge of various formulas and hardware.
Possibly a Cert. such as ETCP.
 

ship

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I'm thinking mirrors could be useful. Might be a concept to look into at least perhaps.
 

v75vette

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So I should no longer be looking at truss but maybe a long pipe attached to two trees?

So just a rigging question. Can a truss system be set up on a raked floor? Because it would have been set up in the house which has a raked floor.
 

gafftaper

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Ok let's put out two options here.

Four tall trees with 21' pipes forming a square are a good option. If they are high enough then they will allow you a good angle down on the stage to minimize the amount of light in your audience's eyes while still lighting faces. You are probably going to have to sacrifice some audience retinas in order to get a good full wash, but not nearly as bad as with your short trees. It's not ideal, but it will work much better than what you have now.

In order to maximize audience sight lines, directors tend to put actors in the corners and at the extreme edges of the stage facing the opposite direction. So how do you light that? The answer is lighting positions over the center of the stage at extremely steep angles pointing outward. Which you can only do with Truss.

I think it's time to bring in an expert to tell you what you can do.
 

Pie4Weebl

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Confidence has nothing to do with it.
At least $1 million in liability insurance(low end).
Knowledge of various formulas and hardware.
Possibly a Cert. such as ETCP.
I beg to differ, its not hard to set up booms and trees and a reasonably responsible person could do it on their own. We are not talking about rigging an arena show here.
 

Pie4Weebl

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Ok let's put out two options here.
Four tall trees with 21' pipes forming a square are a good option. If they are high enough then they will allow you a good angle down on the stage to minimize the amount of light in your audience's eyes while still lighting faces.
I think it's time to bring in an expert to tell you what you can do.
That idea has my vote.
 

avkid

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I beg to differ, its not hard to set up booms and trees and a reasonably responsible person could do it on their own. We are not talking about rigging an arena show here.
The stuff about hanging pipe from a beam is what concerned me.
I could put some box truss up on some crank stands or pre-installed and rated wall brackets with no problem.
 

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Self supporting anything is also a good option, you can do self supporting truss as well with 4 genie lifts and 12" box truss. This will allow you to basicly built a square grid. The only problem with that is that you have to put the lifts somewhere.
 

JD

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What is above the ceiling? Is it a loft, a second floor, or the roof itself? If it is a loft, you may be able to do a shadow pipe tied to the structure or across joists and use the shadow pipe to support the pipe below the ceiling. We did a theater in the (almost) round once and above the ceiling was the steel framework for the roof, which was apparently the hull of an old ship! (Long story) Anyway, we anchored 2 inch steel pipe along the "hull" and then ran 3/8 aircraft cable down through the ceiling to support the clamp pipe.
 

v75vette

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Above us is another floor. I'm not messing with the ceiling Building is to Old and "historical". However the floor is concrete and the engs say that it's 8-12 inchs think. So I can secure the truss to the floor.

An interesting bit of history about the building.

"Oxford College for Women was founded in 1830. The original building dates to 1849 with significant alterations and additions in later years.
Caroline Scott Harrison
Sections were added to the building in the 1870’s and 1880’s with the ballroom added in the 1920’s. The monies for the ballroom were raised by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in honor of First Lady Caroline Scott Harrison.

Caroline Scott attended the Oxford College for Women where her father, The Reverend John Witherspoon Scott, was the first President. She met Benjamin Harrison while he was a student at another college. He transferred to Miami University in the early 1850’s and they married in 1853, one year after his graduation. Benjamin Harrison was elected President of the United States in 1888. Caroline Scott Harrison served as the first national DAR President while living in Washington, D.C.

In 1928 Oxford College for Women became part of Miami University and was extensively remodeled with funds provided by the Daughters of the American Revolution. It was during this renovation that the building’s exterior was altered to its current Georgian style. For many years, the local chapter of the DAR met in the new ballroom, and that tradition has been recently revived.

In competition with the Oxford Female Institute and Western College for Women, Oxford Women’s College was formative in the early days of women’s higher education.

The restoration of this building not only preserves an historical landmark, but also provides Oxford and the surrounding area a theater, ballroom, meeting and classroom facilities as well as studios for area artists. "

The org. restoration for the theatre was going to include tearing everything out and the floor above and adding a balcony to seet 150 or so people.
 

gafftaper

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Yeah like I said, you have a solid option with extra tall booms and long pipes in a square or some sort of truss on tall crank up stands. But I think you should get someone to come in who knows their rigging to really look it over and tell you what your advanced options are. We are just sort of guessing at this point.
 

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