# Question about locating new tormentors for lighting

#### SophiaRodriguez

##### Member
Hi everyone,

I'm an amateur lighting engineer, and we're doing some construction in my space.

The space is for live bands, live plays, projections, movies, etc (up to about 250 people).

I have about 20x lights (some weak LEDs, some "light bars", some halogen, nothing too fancy)

We have tormentors on the wall (for the lights), but the existing location is not ideal (as it "hits" the actors at 90 degrees, which means that only the sides of the actors are lit).

My construction guy offered me to add 2x NEW tormentors on the wall (6 feet each), one on the left and one on the right.

I measured 45 degrees (horizontally) from the stage center and marked where it "hits" the wall in the attached diagram.

In the diagram, ORANGE is the potential location of the new tormentor.

GREEN and BLACK are just measurements (of distance and degrees) and general info.

My questions are:
1) Does measuring 45 degrees (horizontally) from the stage center is the "best way" to decide where to put the new tormentors?
2) Can you please suggest what height (vertically) should I install the new tormentor?

As I'm an amateur lighting girl, any additional suggestions would be highly appreciated

Thank you so much!

Sophia

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I think the location you indicated will accomplish what you're looking for at the point where your angles meet, but downstage of that they will only function as sidelight and you're going to have difficulty lighting the faces of people standing there.

If a lighting position parallel to the stage front over the audience isn't possible, I'd consider moving your datum for the angles to the DS edge of the stage and then put those positions at that point, further toward the rear of the audience or FOH.

I've never heard those types of positions called tormentors before (which doesn't mean that isn't a term in use), I have always called them box booms. Tormentors are what we Americans think the folks on the other side of the pond call our leg curtains.

What's wrong with side light? It's m favorite for Dance-type shows and can often add visual drama to plays/musicals.

Nothing at all! But it looks like the existing positions would do most of the heavy lifting for that and it seemed like she was looking to get more face light out of the rig. I just don't think the position shown will be that big of a difference from the current one.

Amateur here as well but have worked in multiple spaces. For more face, I'd go as far back in that auditorium as possible.. assuming you're throwing with some sort of elipsoidal.

Get too far back with a parnel/fresnel and you will have uncontrolled mush and be lighting the audience backs as well. Your disco ball position looks grand.. Since you already have some power and control there.. how about a short overhead bar?? Hard to get to to aim, but if you do general re usable plot, might be nice to have, especiall with LED where you don't have to access for lamp change

Tormentors are what we Americans think the folks on the other side of the pond call our leg curtains.
Started to reply, then realized the wiki entry tormentor already said what I was going to say.

My questions are:
1) Does measuring 45 degrees (horizontally) from the stage center is the "best way" to decide where to put the new tormentors?
2) Can you please suggest what height (vertically) should I install the new tormentor?
1. The 45 degrees is going to change for every US-DS position. I'd use 45 from DSC and compromise everything else. Fixtures less than 45° will be more toward center which will will give more visibility.
2. Top fixture as high as possible, and then every 18" (or 2', or whatever fits) below that. Higher also means less obtrusive shadows on the opposite walls.

I think the location you indicated will accomplish what you're looking for at the point where your angles meet, but downstage of that they will only function as sidelight and you're going to have difficulty lighting the faces of people standing there.

If a lighting position parallel to the stage front over the audience isn't possible, I'd consider moving your datum for the angles to the DS edge of the stage and then put those positions at that point, further toward the rear of the audience or FOH.

I've never heard those types of positions called tormentors before (which doesn't mean that isn't a term in use), I have always called them box booms. Tormentors are what we Americans think the folks on the other side of the pond call our leg curtains.
And I just looked, cause I had it wrong, and apparently the Teaser and Tormentors are the *first* Border and Legs; the ones specifically intended to reduce the size of the proscenium for design reasons.

TIL tormentors have multiple meanings! My HS kids always thought it was from Harry Potter.

TIL tormentors have multiple meanings! My HS kids always thought it was from Harry Potter.
No, those are DEmentors.

And that's more than usually funny, since I'm presently reading this:

[ an exceptionally well written HP/Buffy crossover from 20 years ago at Full Novel Length, 187kw in 59 chapters ]

Selecting lighting positions is a fine art. This space however can use almost anything more. Side, front, back, top, foot would all help.

My additions are to note that:
• The magic 45 angle is to the viewers line of sight! Everything else is a compromise, no matter how necessary compromise is.
• And that Stanley McCandless was in search of efficiency, not beauty.

Selecting lighting positions is a fine art. This space however can use almost anything more. Side, front, back, top, foot would all help.

My additions are to note that:
• The magic 45 angle is to the viewers line of sight! Everything else is a compromise, no matter how necessary compromise is.
• And that Stanley McCandless was in search of efficiency, not beauty.
Thank you everyone for your inputs, I really appreciate it!!

@RickR, can you explain further what do you mean by "the magic 45 angle is to the viewers line of sight" please?

Thank you!!

Sophia

45 degrees was was made famous by McCandless in his 1932 book "A Method fof Lighting the Stage". He showed various angles on a face and body to explain why 45 works. His and following examples typically show a single person under different lights. In all these illustrations the angles are measured between the line of sight in the picture and the center of the beam. He also discusses breaking a stage into many areas and lighting them in the same manner for consistency. This means lots of targets and I'm trying point out that each audience member will have a different view and therefore different angles to each target.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_McCandless

In your space, if a performer walks across the stage front each person in the front row will have wildly different views from each other and during the walk. DSC is obviously the most important target but Center‐Center is the closest to all parts of the stage. If money was available I would use 6 or 9 areas on your stage and calculate positions for each area. Fewer targets will result in a visual averaging, which is why central seats are considered the best and the front row is usually not.

Hopefully I haven't lectured too hard. This stuff is debated endlessly among lighting folks.

I more or less agree with everyone else. Here's my 2 cents:

-First and foremost- Anything more will be an improvement and more options are always better than less.
-Second- Further back would be better in a perfect world. Even better than that would be adding 2 more on each side- one 1 speaker forward of where you're showing the new one and one 1 speaker further back than where you're showing the new one. That would give you even side light across the whole stage (one position down stage and one upstage) plus up stage and down stage positions for front light.
-Third- You should probably be practical about this and make sure you can actually use the new locations. Do you have, or will you be able to get, lights for these locations? Will they be the right type- probably ellipsoidals- and probably something shorter throw for the near side and longer throw for the far side? How will you power these locations? That's always the big issue with locations like this. IF you can use LED ellipsoidals that don't need dimmers then it might not be that big of a deal. But if you need several channels of 500w to 1000w power at each location, that's a lot of cable.

For the record, I would call those side pipes or light ladders (even though they aren't really light ladders). Best of luck!!!

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Thank you very much for all your help!!

Sophia

45 degrees was was made famous by McCandless in his 1932 book "A Method fof Lighting the Stage". He showed various angles on a face and body to explain why 45 works. His and following examples typically show a single person under different lights. In all t
RickR, any quick lessons on gels to replace the dark blue and red gels Sophia started out with?

Edit: Some gel numbers could be a great help.

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I'm not RickR, but I have a couple suggestions for area light pairs (or quads, with 4-sided audience areas) that have worked in the past for me. (We're talking 45-45 or so here and for dramas. and not exotic, "horror-film", "rock concert" stuff.) For your area lights try a pale rose or pale gold on one side and a pale lav on the other. Try a pale blue (save your faded steel blue gels) on one side and a pale lav on the other. On a daylight/outdoor scene, try no-gel on one side and the faded steel blue on the other. (Sun & sky) In each case, one (the motivating side) slightly brighter than the other. E.g., an exterior, a brighter warm (sunlight) side than the fill (sky light.) An interior, warmest side dependent on the side with the source on stage, or where you want the audience to think the motivating source is. (Light fixture, window, etc.) Remember that lav (and relateds) will look "warm" against steel or other cools; lav will look "cool" against pale amber, pale gold or similar warms.

The objects here are to: a) illuminate, b) be appropriate to the motivation for the scene and c) assist the audience in perception of depth to the characters. Stereopsis only works for about 20'; it's up to you to provide depth for an audience beyond that.

Lavenders are a very versatile colour, toning well with a lot of different looks.

" Did you ask Rosco for permission to reference those colors on this software just now. (Ducking for cover) "
I everyone so gun-shy and so sue-happy nowadays that one can't even mention a color?? Good Grief!!