# Ok here it is for your comment...

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Alright so a bit about the theater first. It's Black Box. I've got 5 catwalks with a batten for hanging lights on each side. Each batten has 15 2.4k circuits there are also socapex jacks on 24 of the farthest to reach circuits. Each batten is 18 feet above the floor so an "ideally" placed instrument will have a throw of about 22 feet. There is also a piece of uni-strut running on each side of each catwalk at about 17 feet above the deck. A proscenium style seating configuration will create a stage that is about 40X33... (I'm getting a 40 foot traveler) with 13 feet of wingspace on each side. If we were doing a show and wanted the maximum space with minimal wingspace (no grand) I can stretch that out to about 58'X36'. An arena seating configuration creates a 23'X23' stage area. Thrust is about 29'X34'. And Corner is about 35'X34'. I'm getting two racks of Strand C-21 dimmers and a Strand Classic Palette console.
We currently own 16 Source Four 23-50 Zooms and 2 Selecon Pacific Rama PC's.

So here's the main lighting part of my shopping list:
60 Source Four Ellipsoidals with 575X lamps and the following lens tubes:
48 @ 36 degree, 24 @ 26 degree, 12 @ 50 degree, 6 @ 19 degree,
and 4 @ 70 degree
24 Source Four PAR-EA with 575x lamps
12 Altman 175Q 8" fresnels with 1000W BVT lamps
48 Altman 165Q 6" fresnels with 750 BTN lamps
8 Altman PAR 64's with NSP and MFL lamps
12 Selecon 23-50 zooms specificly for gobos and transparency projection
18 Altman FC1 Cyclights with 1500W FDB lamps and 3 Cell Yokes
4 Inky's

16 Seachanger's for the Source 4's
12 Wybron Nexera Wash lights
2 Martin Mac 700 Profile's
2 Rosco Infinity animation systems with 5 discs each
4 I-cues
4 Right Arms
2 Gam indexable double rotators
2 Gam non-indexable double rotators
4 Elation UV Wash lights

Barndoors for everything.
200 sheets of Gel
50 steel gobos
24 Rosco Colorizers
24 Rosco Image Glass
4 drop in Iris
2 City Theatrical Image mulitplexers
4 Strand Non-dim dimmer packs
5 Strand Ethernet/DMX nodes
1 Wybron PS-600 powersupply

Lot's of power and DMX cable and other small stuff like side arms, top hats, color extenders etc...
-A color laser printer to be able to print color transparencies for the Selecons
-Vectorworks and Lightwright
-24" HP color plotter printer (I wanted the 42" but there isn't enough space in my office).

That's the lighting part of the package. I've also got shop tools, music, fog machines, rigging gear, a scaffold, and a lot of other stuff... this is just the lighting equipment.

I'm particularly curious about feedback on:
-My balance of Fresnels vs S4' PARS
-the heavy lean on 6" fresnels over 8"
-the lack of strips... I decided to cut them and go with more fresnels and cyc lights instead
-barndoors do I need one for EVERY fresnel or maybe only 75%
-going with Nexeras for wash lights but Seachangers for spots.

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#### Pie4Weebl

##### Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
my thats quite a list, I am envious.

Personally I would cut down on the number of fresnels and get some more pars. Also I would use only one kind of frensel, cut down on the number of lamps and spare parts you need to stock. Also when you have the wybron lights I wonder how much you will even use other wash fixtures. Also I am kind of curious as to why you are doing half right arms and half icues, it seems like you should go one way or another. Also if you are getting icues it might be a smart idea to pair them with a dmx iris.

Also get pleanty of gaff tape, tie line, black wrap and black tack while you have the cash.

#### jmabray

##### Active Member
I might ditch the selecons in favor of Rosco Image Pros - same benefit of transparency gobo's, but lots less cost. It might free up money for a few source 4 zooms, then you just have the one lamp for your ellipsoidal stock...

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
Aha! Here I go...this is gonna be a long one, and I'll take it item by item.

Lens tubes - you'll need more 50 degree ones. We always run out of 50 degree lens tubes in our blackbox, and it's a 50'x50' space (seating confines it, of course), and our grid is also at 18'. Great for gobo washes (foliage, etc), shuttered backlight, close high sides, and just generally getting a bigger beam of light in a smaller venue.

I'd say one thing about the balance of fresnels and s4 pars - drop the 8" units. Don't get me wrong, I love 8" fresnels for a nice, big proscenium space with electrics at 22' in the air, but for a black box the 8" fresnels are unnecessary. The TD at my school actually traded out his 8" fresnels for S4 pars for this specific reason. Don't get 'em, the 6" units will do you fine. Instead, use that money to get some more S4 PARs. Also, good choice going with the 165Q units - the crank focus makes all the difference in the world when focusing, as long as you lubricate it every now and then.

I'd go with Rosco Image-Pro units instead of the Selecon units, because you've already got those source four 25-50 zooms - great units by the way - that can do your projections. This extra money can go to purchasing other stuff, as mentioned close to the end (strips & pc's). This will also reduce the number of lamps that you have to keep in stock.

I'd jump it up to 6 inkies, just because I always seem to run out of them in our blackbox, and they're great for putting lights all over the set. Make sure to get the 100W and not the 150W lamps for them, because the 150W lamps blow through gel, as in changing it every third night, even after bench focusing properly.

Nexeras - bad. Every single person that I've talked to that's used them (~15 or so that I can remember) has said that they're AWFUL units to deal with technically. They break, they are sometimes noisy, and they're just plain difficult to deal with. I'd switch this out for Seachanger Washes, and add 12 more S4 bodies to your budget to use with the Seachanger washes.

And now the moving conventionals - I'd say that you should get 6 i-cues and 2 right arms, just because of the space limits. I-cues are great for blackboxes, but Right Arms take up ALOT of room. I'd definitely still include two, though, to put out in the far corners of FOH in the thrust and proscenium configurations, with 19 degree S4's with seachangers and DMX irises (get 6 DMX irises, two for FOH units on right arms, and four for overhead units with i-cues, City Theatrical sells them).

When you get the GAM indexable rotators, make sure to get the DUAL motor units, so that you can spin each gobo at a different speed. Pretty dang sweet feature, and it works well for many effects. Get the good ol' reliable original twinspins for your other rotators. Great units. Almost indestructible. Also, get two film/FX units with some loops. These are great, and are a slightly different effect than the Rosco animation stuff.

Get barndoors for all but 10 each of your s4 pars and 6" fresnels, because in a blackbox, barndoors serve two purposes - shaping the beam of light, and then keeping the actual light source out of audience view when beam shaping is not needed.

The gobos - fun, fun - I wouldn't get the colorizers unless you see a real specific use for them. We have some in our inventory, and they never, ever get used, because they're just impractical. I'd get much fewer, just one set for fire f/x and the other set for water f/x (so a fire color breakup set and a water colored breakup set). For everything else, you've got taped gel. Works charms.

I also don't see the need for the image glass - you've got the selecons or image pros, whichever you end up going with, you can print whatever you want!!!! Money could be spent better elsewhere.

Don't forget gobo holders! Glass & regular.

I'd switch to two Apollo Smart Power 400's for two reasons - one, I like Apollo PSU's best out of all PSU's that I've used, and two, so that you can put one PSU out towards "FOH" position and one for the overhead toys. This makes running the scroller/accessory cable (don't forget to get plenty of this!) a lot easier than trying to do the whole space in one run of cable.

When you get some cable, make sure to get longer socapex to hook up to your soco circuits - sometimes you want a whole bunch of circuits in a completely different location due to a weird seating design (we've had to do this), or due to many more circuits being needed overhead instead of out at the "FOH" positions. I say "FOH" in quotes because there is no real FOH position in a blackbox, just what is defined as FOH position by the seating.

I'd get a set of (4) 3-circuit, 30-lamp Altman zip strips or econo strips for floor-based cyc lights when the set is really close to the cyc or for other effects that need something like a zip strip. We've used them to color the walls of our blackbox for a more creative production (as in we used lighting effects to put fire effects on all of the walls and the set and the floor)

Also, if you've already got two of the Rama PC's, get somewhere between 6 and 10 more of them. They're a great little unit, and unless you really don't like them, I think that they'd be great for a blackbox inventory.

Make sure to get lots of tie line, gaff tape, spike tape, blackwrap, blacktack, extra stagepin connectors, edison->stagepin/stagepin->edison adapters, twofers, DMX 3-5's and 5-3's (for any other fun gear that might use 3-pin in the future), and some grease pencils and white paint markers. Also get a large, high quality cutting board for gel.

#### SAWYeR

##### Active Member
Goodness that is quite the list. Once you get it all, can I come to your school? That's better than what we have at my high school, and I go to a good high school. The MAC 700s are nice, so are the Selecons. Good luck to you on your theatrical shopping spree, the best kind there is!

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
my thats quite a list, I am envious.
Personally I would cut down on the number of fresnels and get some more pars. Also I would use only one kind of frensel, cut down on the number of lamps and spare parts you need to stock. Also when you have the wybron lights I wonder how much you will even use other wash fixtures. Also I am kind of curious as to why you are doing half right arms and half icues, it seems like you should go one way or another. Also if you are getting icues it might be a smart idea to pair them with a dmx iris.
Also get pleanty of gaff tape, tie line, black wrap and black tack while you have the cash.

I had thought about going with all 6" Fresnels but thought a few 8" would be great for a little extra punch at times. Maybe I should drop that down to about 6 or 8 8 inchers. I'm thinking of the Wybrons for mostly back/down light... things that can provide an interesting color accent. While the other fresnels would be for side light, front light when a S4 isn't appropriate etc...

EDIT: I went with a mix of I-cues and right arms because I-cues are nicer for tight spaces while right arms are more flexible in what you can do. I can see situations where the right arm won't fit and I can see situations where the I-cue won't move a fresnel or a video projector.

That's what I was thinking please comment more. I'm looking for good debates here...

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#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
I might ditch the selecons in favor of Rosco Image Pros - same benefit of transparency gobo's, but lots less cost. It might free up money for a few source 4 zooms, then you just have the one lamp for your ellipsoidal stock...

I looked at both options. I decided to go with the Selecons because the cost of an I-pro AND a Source4 is about the same as the Selecon. But the Selecon is so much nicer optically that it will really kick the S4's butt in standard gobos as well. So the idea was to get the Selecons and just use them as my pattern projection instruments. Also the cost of the I-pro slide refill kits is significantly more than a 100 pack of transparency film at Office Depot. Finally it's an educational institution and I like the idea of having different types of instrument kicking around to teach with.

That's what I was thinking please comment more...

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Lens tubes - you'll need more 50 degree ones. We always run out of 50 degree lens tubes in our blackbox, and it's a 50'x50' space (seating confines it, of course), and our grid is also at 18'. Great for gobo washes (foliage, etc), shuttered backlight, close high sides, and just generally getting a bigger beam of light in a smaller venue.

I was thinking of my S4 Zooms as 16 additional 50 degree barrels so that's why I went a little short there. I'll think about adding a few more.

I'd say one thing about the balance of fresnels and s4 pars - drop the 8" units. Don't get me wrong, I love 8" fresnels for a nice, big proscenium space with electrics at 22' in the air, but for a black box the 8" fresnels are unnecessary. The TD at my school actually traded out his 8" fresnels for S4 pars for this specific reason. Don't get 'em, the 6" units will do you fine.

Another vote against 8" fresnels... I'm starting to get the message. Can I keep 4? By the way this is really helpful because almost all my experience in a variety of proscenium spaces and I know that I've got a lot to learn about a black box.

Nexeras - bad. Every single person that I've talked to that's used them (~15 or so that I can remember) has said that they're AWFUL units to deal with technically. They break, they are sometimes noisy, and they're just plain difficult to deal with. I'd switch this out for Seachanger Washes, and add 12 more S4 bodies to your budget to use with the Seachanger washes.

Interesting the big university here in town went all Nexera and loves them. I'm curious what other CB'ers have to say about Nexera vs Seachanger wash lights. The reason I chose the Nexeras was that they are cheaper and I've been told that they have a better color saturation. Opinions?

And now the moving conventionals - I'd say that you should get 6 i-cues and 2 right arms, just because of the space limits. I-cues are great for blackboxes, but Right Arms take up ALOT of room. I'd definitely still include two, though, to put out in the far corners of FOH in the thrust and proscenium configurations, with 19 degree S4's with seachangers and DMX irises (get 6 DMX irises, two for FOH units on right arms, and four for overhead units with i-cues, City Theatrical sells them).

Wow Very cool idea. I hadn't thought about the DMX irises combined with the other two units. I had skipped them just because they are RIDICULOUSLY expensive. But that's a very tempting trick you just described.

The gobos - fun, fun - I wouldn't get the colorizers unless you see a real specific use for them. We have some in our inventory, and they never, ever get used, because they're just impractical. I'd get much fewer, just one set for fire f/x and the other set for water f/x (so a fire color breakup set and a water colored breakup set). For everything else, you've got taped gel. Works charms.
I also don't see the need for the image glass - you've got the selecons or image pros, whichever you end up going with, you can print whatever you want!!!! Money could be spent better elsewhere.

I was thinking very specifically with the colorizers to get 8 for fire, 8 for water, and 8 for leaves. You bring up a good point with the image glass. Plus it's the kind of thing I can go buy two of to make a specific effect.

I'd switch to two Apollo Smart Power 400's for two reasons - one, I like Apollo PSU's best out of all PSU's that I've used, and two, so that you can put one PSU out towards "FOH" position and one for the overhead toys. This makes running the scroller/accessory cable (don't forget to get plenty of this!) a lot easier than trying to do the whole space in one run of cable.

Great Idea. I was looking at the biggest PSU I could find. Two smaller ones in different locations make a lot more sense.

When you get some cable, make sure to get longer socapex to hook up to your soco circuits

Sorry didn't mention that. I'm getting four 25 footers. Which should do pretty well.

I'd get a set of (4) 3-circuit, 30-lamp Altman zip strips or econo strips for floor-based cyc lights when the set is really close to the cyc or for other effects that need something like a zip strip.

This is why I cut the Zip strips. First off I'm lazy and don't want to be hanging them overhead and moving them around all the time. That just sucks. I would much rather use more fresnels and Pars. Second, those Altman FC-1 Cyc lights have a handy little foot on them. So they can be used for a ground row... as well as a zip strip? So when I decided to cut the strips I put some of the money into extra Cyc lights. A friend of mine here is really bugging me about cutting the strips. Anybody see my point or am I being deaf to really good advice here?

Also, if you've already got two of the Rama PC's, get somewhere between 6 and 10 more of them. They're a great little unit, and unless you really don't like them, I think that they'd be great for a blackbox inventory.

You know I've been a little ticked at Selecon over those PC's. They have this horrible black spot right in the middle of the image. After complaining a lot I've been told that the reason is that I didn't buy Phillips lamps and they have problems if you don't buy Phillips... which was no where in the documentation at the time. I got what my local dealer provided with the instrument and neither them or Selecon has offered to give me a free lamp. So I still haven't got the Phillips lamps because I'm annoyed at everyone involved and don't want to deal with it. Yeah I'm letting my judgment be clouded by a stupid little thing. I'll think about it.

Make sure to get lots of tie line, gaff tape, spike tape, blackwrap, blacktack, extra stagepin connectors, edison->stagepin/stagepin->edison adapters, twofers, DMX 3-5's and 5-3's (for any other fun gear that might use 3-pin in the future), and some grease pencils and white paint markers. Also get a large, high quality cutting board for gel.

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
One of the best things that I see in your budget is that you have at least one or two of EVERYTHING. This is one of the things that I like about the theater department where I am a wide variety of accessories. Maybe they only get pulled out for a show or two a year, but hey, the students can learn how to use them! It's very nice to be able to go out in to the world knowing how to hook up and most accessories from most major companies, and that looks like what you're going for.

Honestly, I've never needed gobos sharper than a source four zoom can make them. If you want to be able to see the tooling marks, go ahead and get selecons, but I really don't see the need. Those source four zooms would work great. If you do get the Selecons, keep it down to 6 or 8, because I don't think that you'll be projecting more than 8 transparency slides during a blackbox show, and you can put other gobos, rotators, etc in to the S4 zooms.

Oh, about the DMX irises - I've used the I-cues without them before, and then this summer I saw them used with DMX irises, and suddenly it was ten times more awesome, because you can change where you wanted the special AND how big the beam is. And with a Seachanger, it gets even more fun! The irises really, really make it so much better than it already is. And you can create little 4-pin jumpers so that you don't have to use a 10' cable to go 1' between the i-cue and the dmx iris.

And I have to agree with you - if you're in the US, you'll be using a whole lot of ETC and altman gear, so that's the way to go with an educational space.

Oh! Something else to add to your budget! The Pocket Console DMX, 8-page ML model. This is purely educational. This is what you bring in when you have a dmx-controlled light down on the deck that you're explaining. Just hook it up, and as they see you move the fader, they see the light move, change color, gobo, intensity, whatever, so you don't have to worry about sitting down there and remotely accessing the console via the palm pilot remote or the remote interface software or whatever. Great little unit for educational stuff. Also teaches the concept of softpatch.

#### Sean

##### Active Member
Ohhh one other thing Sean,
I've spent a lot of time debating going all Selecon or mostly Selecon with the inventory. I've had several demos and they make some KILLER equipment. However it costs a lot more then the domestic stuff and I'm not sure that it's worth it. Those Rama PC's ended up costing over \$400 each after shipping. Yeah I would get a better deal now because I'm buying a full package but they still cost a lot more than S4 and Altman products. So yeah I would love the Fresnels and Cyc lights... but I'm not sure that it's worth giving up a lot of my toys. Plus being an educational theater I think it's important to teach the equipment you are going to find out there in the real world... which is Altman and ETC.

I'm the ME at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. Our main cyc units are Selecon Auroras. We've had them for 4 years now. At least one other theatre has purchased them after seeing them in our space.

In our new space I've spec'd 32 3-cell Selecon Aurora's, as well as 24 (or was it 30?? hmmm) 8" Selecon Fresnels. There are a buch of regional theatres buying Selecon gear. I don't think their lekos will make much of a dent in the professional market. But their other gear is well thought out and very well made. I don't like Altman cyc stuff, but to be fair I haven't used the focusing cycs. The Selecon fresnels are really nice units as well. The metric thing is a pain, but we'll see how it works out.

As for the color mixing stuff. The only place locally that I know of that's purchased the Nexeras is a community theatre. All the professional venues around here have scrollers. We have ~50 Forerunners in our current space, and are purchasing 60 ColoRamIT's in our new space. Until the Seachanger is made about 6" shorter, the beam aberations are fixed, and the company is more responsive to comments from the theatre community, I'm not sure they're going to gain wide acceptance. I might be wrong. Their color mixing is great, but you can't put that unit on anything else in the inventory. And it makes the unit about a foot longer than everything else on the pipe. In a broadway setting they're pretty good, but for theatres that have their own inventories, they are not as flexible.

As for "out in the world". I've yet to run into anyone professionally using the image multiplexers, the right arms, sea changers, much image glass, more than the very occasional mylar image (and much more often in I-pros than in Selecons). I haven't use an inky since undergrad--they're too big to be "small" and there are much cheaper/better options. I've never used any elation gear (that I can remember). You don't have any strobes--something you'll use FAR more theatrically than ~50% of your other toys. Every other play seems to have a storm/battle/etc that needs one.

--Sean

#### ship

##### Senior Team Emeritus
Each batten is 18 feet above the floor so an "ideally" placed instrument will have a throw of about 22 feet.

-My balance of Fresnels vs S4' PARS
-the heavy lean on 6" fresnels over 8"
-the lack of strips... I decided to cut them and go with more fresnels and cyc lights instead
-barndoors do I need one for EVERY fresnel or maybe only 75%
-going with Nexeras for wash lights but Seachangers for spots.

Seems good to me. Remember it's a 5' above deck mesurement for beam spread not the stage floor thus your throw distance is a wee bit less. Barndoors perhaps 2/3 with tophats to fill the gap. Unfortunate the concept in both having different sizes between brands, much less lens sizes needing differing sizes. Barndoors for both the 8" and 6" perhaps or at least a good place to get rentals from. Perhaps in a rental concept, not as much and down to 50% ready to go in stock in saving money.

As always, design a show or a few to see what you want to buy than add say 50%. Ratio of what you think useful, it's never going to be sufficient, on the other hand what did your pre-design of at least paperwork wise shows show you that you need?

Sounds like a nice inventory and setup none the less that's well thought out.

#### icewolf08

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Seems like people covered equipment pretty well, I don't really have much to add at this point, I have to sleep on that. But, I did want to ask about consumables. I just wonder how you can go and buy the large quantity of color and patterns if generally you need something different for every show. I mean I suppose if you have the money now for that it is good to build up a base inventory, but how do you know that by the third show of the season you will not need patterns or color that you didn't buy? I guess it goes back to the question of operational budget in that is it more worth your money to buy the consumables now, or to put that money into equipment and buy consumables as needed?

I hope that made sense, I am a little out of it.

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
One of the best things that I see in your budget is that you have at least one or two of EVERYTHING. This is one of the things that I like about the theater department where I am a wide variety of accessories. Maybe they only get pulled out for a show or two a year, but hey, the students can learn how to use them! It's very nice to be able to go out in to the world knowing how to hook up and most accessories from most major companies, and that looks like what you're going for.

Ahh you get my strategy. I talked with a lot of local theater people and tried to focus on the idea of building a mixed collection that has a varitety of ways it can be used. Instead of going for a bunch of VL1000's I've got all the components of a VL1000 (seachanger, Right Arm, Rotator... and yes DMX IRIS). Then instead for a mover I've got something that's really well fit for either concert or theater lighting in a Mac700... not just a theater instrument like a VL1000. I hope to actually get enough money in the near future to buy a Congo Jr. or ION. It's unnecessary yes, but giving students the opportunity to learn on two different systems is really valuable.

Oh! Something else to add to your budget! The Pocket Console DMX, 8-page ML model. This is purely educational. This is what you bring in when you have a dmx-controlled light down on the deck that you're explaining. Just hook it up, and as they see you move the fader, they see the light move, change color, gobo, intensity, whatever, so you don't have to worry about sitting down there and remotely accessing the console via the palm pilot remote or the remote interface software or whatever. Great little unit for educational stuff. Also teaches the concept of softpatch.

Yeah that's a great idea too... there goes a couple hundred more bucks.

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Seems like people covered equipment pretty well, I don't really have much to add at this point, I have to sleep on that. But, I did want to ask about consumables. I just wonder how you can go and buy the large quantity of color and patterns if generally you need something different for every show. I mean I suppose if you have the money now for that it is good to build up a base inventory, but how do you know that by the third show of the season you will not need patterns or color that you didn't buy? I guess it goes back to the question of operational budget in that is it more worth your money to buy the consumables now, or to put that money into equipment and buy consumables as needed?
I hope that made sense, I am a little out of it.

Yeah that's a good point. As far as the gobos go, I'm going to go with really standard stuff like clouds, leaves, breakups, things that I can use for texture... I'm staying away from specific images that are likely to only be used once.

Gel... Can you ever have too much bastard amber? Yeah there are a lot of colors that are one time use, but there are a dozen or so that you come back to over and over and that's mostly what I'll order. Plus again the whole teaching thing... it's nice to have a little of everything around so that students can experiment.