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Design Issues and Solutions Recreating the glow of a television

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by LightingPenguin, May 27, 2009.

  1. LightingPenguin

    LightingPenguin Active Member

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    How can I go about recreating the glow of a television from inside the set/wood box, if I can't use a real television and I have no dimming options? I have basically no budget (read: none) to do this, so cheap as possible would be nice.

    And no, I do not know why we cannot use a real television. That would be far too smart of the director.

  2. CBR372

    CBR372 Active Member

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    Corpus Christi, TX
    Place something like a par can or a fresnel in the box with a sheet of diffusion on the screen of the box and the instrument. Then when programming give it a flicker effect. I know Strand has that as one of it's effects on it's Palette series consoles.
    What kind of console do you have?
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    A real TV would probably not provide a realistic enough effect!:p

    Color or B/W TV? Back in the dark ages, I used a couple of these mixed in with some "always on" 60W bulbs in random colors. I think the "flash buttons" used to be $1.49.
    FB2008 Light Socket Continuous Flasher Button 60W Max, 120V Socket

    A classic method to create a fire or flicker effect is to wire some of the lamps in series with a fluorescent starter: Simple light bulb flasher (note European instructions given).
  4. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Somewhere far far away, Vic, Aus
    If they don't want to run power to the TV due to saftey concerns this option would probably need power too. CBR372 mentioned the lights inside a TV, just create a chase that runs the selected light at varying percentages.
  5. FatherMurphy

    FatherMurphy Active Member

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    Midwest US
    I had to do this once for a production of 'Buried Child', and just to make it extra fun, the director had a character blocked to roll the set from one side of the stage to the other, so hard wiring it to dimmers wasn't an option. Ended up using a motorcycle battery, some MR16 lamps, the flourescent starters mentioned above, and an RC aircraft servo as an on/off switch.

    One reason just using a real TV might not work is that you wouldn't be able to easily cue it, there'd always be a lag time as you faded it up and down, or if just left on, it'd cast a blue glow into your blackouts.

    If you've got the dimmers and console capability, using three small fixtures would be one approach, one as a constant on, and two set to separate, slow, on/off chases. Setting the speeds of the two chases at different rates will give you a version of the random flicker of a real TV.

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