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

Old lighting plots

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by gafftapegreenia, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,348
    Likes Received:
    486
    Occupation:
    Prop-tart
    Location:
    Chicago
    Does anyone know if old lighting plots from Broadway and other major productions are available somewhere or can be viewed? It would be very interesting to be able to compare plots from the different eras of stage lighting.
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,378
    Likes Received:
    2,755
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Excellent question, sad answer.

    None online that I know of. A university library, especially in a school with a strong theatre dept., may have back issues of Theatre Crafts and Lighting Dimensions, at least they did in 1980! A fellow named Beeb Salzer used to write an entertaining regular column for Lighting Dimensions titled "From the Balcony Rail." It was almost more gossip than informative. I remember one of his comments, (paraphrasing): "The latest trend on Broadway this year seems to be the use of Congo Blue, with a transmission factor or around 2%, requiring multitudes of 2K Fresnels." This was probably about 1982. When I saw Noise/Funk on Broadway in 1996, Jules Fisher (your idol? Mine too, along with Billington. Where did Fisher's quote come from?) had loaded up the box booms with 405s and PAR64-VNSPs, all with Devon 146 glass. Must have been 30 units total.

    Anyhow, the mags used to print complete light plots, sometimes across two pages. Lately when the currents ones include a plot at all, it's a cropped version, or so small that even my 10x lupe just shows pixelation. Since the Diazos deteriorate and yellow so quickly with age, copies are not-viable; and the original vellums in each designer's studio may have been tossed or lost.

    You might try contacting the designers directly, or get in touch with Ted Mather or Vivian Leone. Most Broadway LDs went CAD in the late'80s/early'90s, but probably no longer have the software or computers to print the proprietary files. I've recently lost the ability to print all my Blueprint files (.bp5) as Blueprint will not run on anything >Mac OS 9.4 and I have no printer <OS X. Even Blueprint's great-grandchild, Vectorworks, can't open them.

    Confidentiality/proprietary issues also arise, more today than in the era to which I think you're referring, but still.

    I bet Steveterry may offer some help to this thread.

    I'll leave the lights on for ya.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2007
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,467
    Likes Received:
    2,456
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    While taking my students on a tour of the big regional theater I just asked if they had any old plots around and they gave me a couple... not as cool as a big Broadway plot but still 300-600 instruments per show. So try the T.D. of your largest local theater. They probably just have them in a drawer somewhere waiting for a reason to dump them.
     
  4. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,061
    Likes Received:
    655
    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    I have old plots from some of our shows, I would have to check with the designers before I gave them out, but many don't mind if they are used for study/classes.
     
  5. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,957
    Likes Received:
    691
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I would contact the New York (City) Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

    http://www.nypl.org/research/lpa/lpa.html

    I couldn't find anything on their website, but a call or e-mail to them as well as site search might yield stuff.

    The NYPL /PA is a center of research for many NY based designers.

    Trouble is, most plots are, or should be copyrighted and remain the intellectual property of the designer. I assume that the plots there were once printed in Lighting Dimensions and Theatre Crafts were all printed with the permissions of the designer. I rarely see any these days, but have assumed that's a choice of the publishers, as it can be hard to reproduce in a magazine to a level of quality sufficient to be able to read the details. It also costs money to do so for little benefit.

    I admit to missing them.

    SB
     
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,467
    Likes Received:
    2,456
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    By the way Live Design does frequently publish a VERY TINY copy of the plot for the shows they are writing about.
     
  7. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    9,401
    Likes Received:
    1,799
    Location:
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    I have a copy of an original chorus line plot lying around here somewhere with all the original focus notes and such. Thats a pretty interesting plot.
     
  8. kovacika

    kovacika Active Member

    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ive got the adapted plot for the lincoln center when the NYC Ballet moves to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Just go to larger scale theaters and ask for old plots. 9 times out of ten they are more than willing to oblige.
     
  9. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,348
    Likes Received:
    486
    Occupation:
    Prop-tart
    Location:
    Chicago
    Wow, so many good ideas. I think it would be interesting to study the old plots, and to gain an insight into "how they did it". I'm always interested in food for thought, theatre history and seeing how the legends used their striplights. I also checked my swatches, R384, Midnight Blue, is 2%, R382, Congo Blue, has an amazing 0.56% transmission.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2007
  10. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    9,401
    Likes Received:
    1,799
    Location:
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Most of the old plots are done with roscolene color, its hard to even find those swatch books anymore. You usually have to either know someone who has held onto one or get lucky and find one while digging around in an old light shop.
     
  11. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,348
    Likes Received:
    486
    Occupation:
    Prop-tart
    Location:
    Chicago

    Sounds like I have a new mission. I do have a Roscolux book I found from the early 80's, it has the RxxA numbered gels in it.
     

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