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Source 4 as follow spot

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Techiegirly, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. Techiegirly

    Techiegirly Member

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    I am going to be staring tech week 2 days from now as a follow spot op using a Source 4. I've run follow spot for almost 10 years and have never been told to use a Source 4. I know it's not something new or unheard of and I'm actually pretty excited about learning something new and different but I'm kind of scared I'm going to always be missing my mark. I was actually taught on a Super Trouper without sights but have gotten so spolied having been in theatres recently that use the little target follow spot sight and now obviously I cannot with a Source 4. I am also very worried about gel changes because I will be running it from the AP's over the house. There is nothing stopping me from accidently dropping one and I am a clumsy mother ****er :(

    Has anyone had experience with using one as a follow spot?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2007
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I have used S4s as spots many times. The key is finding a way to sight along the unit without burning yourself. Really all you need to do is sit and practice with it as long as they will let you. Make sure you bring a good pair of gloves, Setwear Hothands are great for this. Other than that, I think you will get used to it, it is like working with any new follow spot.
     
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Get cardboard "safety frames", or put tie line on all the frames or some other sort of cable to "safety" them to the fixture/batten. If you are running a raw S4, they are hard to get used to because there is really no good way to pan, if you are running one with the fully city theatrical treatment, you will probably like it better then the trouper.
     
  4. Techiegirly

    Techiegirly Member

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    Yeah I'm actually not a big fan of the Trouper now that I've used other spots. Whenever I get a call from houses that I know use Troupers I'm like,"ugh, I guess I can work"..."have you called everyone else yet to see if anyone else isn't busy that day?"
    Troupers are just so big and clunky and hard to make a good show with in my opinion. The smaller the spot the better because I can make such pretty shows with a manageable spot.

    THe S4 will have the whole set-up for being run as a spot. It's just going to be so weird for me.:grin:
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  5. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    you could coax the venue into buying/renting an spotlight color changed for the unit, they work just like a normal spotlight, but sadly aren't large enough for a 10 degree fixture, you can also use a spot dot with source 4's too...
     
  6. Techiegirly

    Techiegirly Member

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    I wasn't aware that you could even get a Spot Dot onto a S4. I don't actually own one I've just been lucky enough to have them already there for my use at the houses I'm employed by. I have never actually seen a "Spot Dot" persay but there's another tool called a "Telrad Follow Spot Sight", see link: http://roadietools.com/spotsight.html which I've used often. Those things are G-R-E-A-T! I highly reccommend them. I wouldn't have time to order my own what with tech week starting day after tomorrow. Plus since every where I've been working already has them I'd feel stupid buying one just for this show....
     
  7. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    could you borrow one from another venue?
     
  8. Techiegirly

    Techiegirly Member

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    I doubt it. I'm going to be doing an almost 2 month run. :neutral: but thanks for the suggestion.
     
  9. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I have a spot dot 2000... yep. Lent it out once... had the op leave the battery on for over 24 hours... that was exciting. (Yea, I'm cheap like that!)

    Hey, Techiegirly... at least you have work! If they can't get anyone to work a gig, tell them to give me a call... uh I'll just need a cross country plane ticket. :mrgreen:
     
  10. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Most places I work don't supply them, most of the guys who want them just buy their own. I personally am a horrible spot op so I don't own one, because they don't help me... I have no attention span. Call a local telescope shop, they usually sell them. They were originally intended for that purpose, we just ported them over. Just buy the thing, it will be worth the nerves it will save and be a good piece to have so when you are working places that don't have them/the ones they do have are a piece of junk.

    http://www.company7.com/telrad/products/telrad.html

    and some interesting history

    http://www.company7.com/telrad/index.html
     
  11. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    There are some nice advantages to a spot dot 2000 over a telrad. However, the telrad is significantly cheaper, so you have some options to consider.
     
  12. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I know it would be easier to affix a SpotDot2000 to a SourceFourâ„¢ than a Telrad. I personally prefer the SpotDot to the Telrad. I also think the Xenon Super Trouper I (Long Throw or Short Throw) is the BEST followspot ever built, other than the Carbon-Arc Super Trouper, and hate the Super TrouperII. My venue is planning on buying four Lycian 1293s, 3Kw Xenons, in the next year, as 3K Gladiators won't fit in our baskets.

    Below is the City Theatrical SourceFour color boomerang, but I doubt your show will spring for one of these.

    Charc, (and other SpotDot owners) I buy my CR2032 SpotDot batteries from Cyberguys, at $2.99 for a 5-pack, (keep unused ones in your refrigerator).
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  13. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Big and Chunky comes in real handy on a 200 to 400 foot throw! It' all about what you are using it for. On very long throws, the spot doesn't have to move very far to cover the whole stage, but every little bounce shows up big time! As far as long throw goes, I still think the super troupers set the standard. The most fun I ever had running spot was on an old carbon arc Gladiator! Talk about a tank! ;) Geezzz, the thing ran off 3 phase power!

    As far as using an S4, the concern I would have is getting burned. How long does the show run?
     
  14. Techiegirly

    Techiegirly Member

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    Not sure yet how long the show runs. I would be bringing my gloves with me of course. I usually have to use my gloves for Super Troupers any ways so no biggie. I'm excied!
     
  15. Capi

    Capi Member

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    We used two 19 degree S4's in our blackbox theater for our last show. Each had a drop-in iris, and it's own dimmer switch. We didn't have any sights on ours, but the throw was real short, so the ops didn't have any big problems. I don't think you've said how you are dimming in and out, but I'm curious as to what they are planning. Are they running it off the board, or are you controlling it yourself?
     
  16. Techiegirly

    Techiegirly Member

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    I'm not sure yet but I'd really like to know myself. I'll update cha once I find out myself.
     
  17. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I have mixed emotions about running followspots controlled by the console. On a rock show I just did, the 8 Truss Spots were totally controlled by the board, except for pan/tilt. So the operators had to follow their guy whether they were on or not. The only time the LD would give them a "head's up" is if they were the only light on. The operators had mixed feelings also. On one hand they didn't have to do anything except point, on the other hand they had to pay attention the entire 2 hour, 10 minute show.

    Now on a TV show, where intensity and balance is all important, a DMX mechanical dimmer is handy, provided the board op brings it up and down, to the proper level, at the correct times.
     
  18. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    While you on the other hand reached into your recently inventoried tool bag and pulled out a deck of cards with your left hand and simultaneously bumping color with your right hand? :rolleyes:

    I programmed my followspot intensities into the board for my last show. I'm not sure it went so well, in that my ops didn't get that all they had to do was point and follow, they insisted on using the douser and on/off rocker switch, and spazzed out at me on headset any time we approached a followspot cue: "WE NEED POWER, CHARLES, ****IT." They also had a couple issues with size, and staying on target, but hey, what can ya' do?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  19. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Close, "ON/off rocker switch." Turning that switch on/off excessively will shorten your lamp's life.

    Don't feel bad, we had the same issue with the DMX dousers on a nationally televised awards show. The board op sometimes forgot to open the dousers, thus the SoptOps didn't trust him, and would sometimes manually do it, thus leading to arguments and confusion. Harkens back to the thread "To take or not to take a cue." It's all about trust, and doing only what you're told.
     
  20. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Ha, thing is I know it's called an on/off rocker switch, I hesitated to post it though. I'm not sure why, perhaps I got the mental image of turning a musical artist on and off with a switch? :mrgreen:

    I was on top of the cues though. They would have come in a good 30 seconds early. As it was, because they insisted on controlling fades, I gave them power about 5 seconds early, when the light came on, they were supposed to know to hit their target, and open the douser.
     

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