Red hot poker, and cell phone rings

RiskyWaves

Member
We are doing Edward the 2nd Modernized, and somehow I have to show that a fire poker is red hot (during a black out), and I have to have cell phone rings on stage. Any one have any ideas? Is there any software for cell phones you can download? Im not so sure the actors will be able to scroll through ring tone settings during the play.......

Thanks, Josh

Andy_Leviss

Active Member
Don't ever try to make a real cellphone ring on stage. There's no practical, reliable, repeatable way to do it. The two most common options are to either use one of those toy cellphones that ring when you press a button, or to fake it.

I've designed a couple shows where I've had to fake it, and it turns out very well if you put a speaker for that effect near where the actor will be standing. If it's a proscenium venue, you can hide speakers in props/set pieces, behind doors or windows, etc. In a more flexible space, you can hang speakers directly over where the actor will be standing.

The last time I designed a show with a cell ring was in a small in-the-round room with an overhead grid. I placed a speaker directly over the actor, aimed down at the ground so as to diffuse the sound to the audience a bit (you might also play with aiming it at the ceiling to see which works better for your effect in your space).

I found the ringer we wanted (we needed a specific song) on a ringtone site and downloaded a wav format sample of it, which was perfect, since it sounded like it was being played on a phone. You can also go the MIDI route, composing it as a MIDI file and recording that to a wave with the basic cheesy sounding samples that come with most computers, and then process it (particularly EQing it appropriately) to sound like a phone, which will let you compose any ringer you like.

A bit of careful level setting in the venue led to a very convincing effect--even good friends who should have known better came up to me after the show asking how we got the phone to ring on cue!

--Andy

Peter

Well-Known Member
red LED inside a hollow "poker" with a clear/semi-trasnparent end, batteries shoved farther up the poker? Tightly wrapped and reinforced black paper might be good enough (use the bateries to support the inside). it really depends if this is going to have to be seen in the light too or not.

RiskyWaves

Member
Yeah I figured the whole actually using a cell phone thing would not work. Thanks for the advice I will be using it. Thanks for the idea of the poker. Yes it has to be seen in the light, but we might be able to work something out. Where can I just buy a single led light? Better yet where can I rob one from ?
Perhaps I can use a blood red gel for the tip.

Thanks, Josh