Source Four Without a Barrel?

Sparkinium

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Hey all,

I saw a production of "Jersey Boys" at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle last night, and as I was looking around the light plot, I noticed some instruments that appeared to be Source Fours missing their barrels.

From what I had known, the Source Four is not supposed to be operated without a barrel, though I never knew why. I was not watching the lights to see if they were used or not, but presumably they would have been struck had they not been used. What would happen if a Source Four did not have a barrel installed? Could I have been seeing something else and interpreting it incorrectly?

Thanks!
 
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derekleffew

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...From what I had known, the Source Four is not supposed to be operated without a barrel, though I never knew why...
1) No place to attach color media, 2) Uncontrollable, unattractive beam, 3) Should a lamp explode (uncommon but possible) nothing to prevent hot shards of glass raining down upon people.

...I was not watching the lights to see if they were used or not, but presumably they would have been struck had they not been used. ...
Not necessarily. Perhaps the barrels were "stolen" for use in another position or on different fixtures. In what position were the "barrel-less" fixtures? If the show was a short engagement, might be more prudent to leave the unused fixtures in place and not use them until the load out. Also, if they were on the Box Booms or Balcony Rail, they may have been unused House Fixtures.

Interesting question.:cool:
 

Pie4Weebl

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If you never actually saw the lights used I am gonna bank on cut specials who had their lenses appropriated for another use.

Unless they ran out of very narrow s4 par lenses and s4 pars, I can't think of any reason you would use a fixtures sans lens.
 

Sparkinium

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In what position were the "barrel-less" fixtures?
They were all over the front of house. I think there were at least a dozen in the (for lack of a better term which I know) ante procenium position, as well as in a few other places.

Edit: I believe that they were used at some point, though I couldn't actually confirm this. I could have been imagining things, considering the house was dark at the time they would have been used. Who knows... Could be seeing things again.
 
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gafftaper

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The 5th Ave has one balcony row and two Box booms on each side If I remember correctly. I just checked and that show's running 6 weeks so it seems unlikely that it's something they just left there. I believe this is a show that was produced at 5th Ave so they would be using all their own gear with limited rented extras... as opposed to an all touring show. If you go here you can download all the tech specs for the 5th Ave which you should find interesting.

Their inventory includes:
S4's, 360's, 6x16 Strand Lekos, Par 64's, Par 64 stubbies, and Parnells

I'm wondering if maybe it was the PAR 64 stubbies you saw. They could look sort of like a S4 without a lens. or the Parnells... Are you familiar with what they look like?

P.S. Here's the fun page for the Paramount and the Moore
Sadly the Rep and SCT don't post their tech info.
 

derekleffew

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Thanks, gafftaper, I think you've solved the mystery. The 5th Ave inventory lists 240 Source4 bodies and 270 lenses, so they're familiar with swapping lenses. I think now you must take Mrs. Gafftaper to see the show, and be sure to watch to see if the fixtures in question ever turn on--I'm betting they won't.
 

Jezza

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I've used S4s without barrels before as a rudimentary skypan. They create a very uneven and diffuse light that can be ideal in certain situations. I clipped some blues to several fixtures and used them to blast through some windows on a set because the space was incredibly cramped and all I had left was Source 4s. Looked pretty good actually. Since then I've used them in other situations as well, not as effectively though.
 

gafftaper

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Yes there is a time and place that it's possible you want to use an S4 without a lens... but not in this theater. I suppose they are just being lazy with their hang as Derek suggests. It's a huge theater that does about 5 of their own shows a year and then hosts the big Broadway touring companies, concerts, comedians etc... So it would make sense that an electrician said just take the lens and leave the body so we don't have to rehang it for the rep plot.
 

lxhipster

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I ran out of audience blinders today so bye bye all the barrels.
 

gafftaper

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I have done it plenty of times, usually as "ACL's" needed for that extra punch. Just closed a show 2 weeks ago where we used them.
Yeah but if you check that pdf I posted, in this particular theater, it's 37'-44' from the near box boom, 59'-64' from the far box boom, and 70' from the balcony rail position to the curtain line. Not much punch there. I think Derek's right on with the labor saving/lazy electrician theory.

I do like the S4 as an ACL idea though. That's a great trick for my old theory that with enough frost in your pocket you can do just about anything you want with only S4's.
 

Sean

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I have done it plenty of times, usually as "ACL's" needed for that extra punch. Just closed a show 2 weeks ago where we used them.
We're talking about S4 Lekos here, not PARs. Without a lens tube, a S4 is a wide, un-focused "vomit" of light. Not at all like an ACL.

I don't see how one is any sort of a substitute for the other.

--Sean
 

soundman

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We're talking about S4 Lekos here, not PARs. Without a lens tube, a S4 is a wide, un-focused "vomit" of light. Not at all like an ACL.
I don't see how one is any sort of a substitute for the other.
--Sean
When shooting them at the audience what the light does is of very little concern, as long as they are bright and the audience can see the light shoot out of them mission accomplished.
 

Sean

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When shooting them at the audience what the light does is of very little concern, as long as they are bright and the audience can see the light shoot out of them mission accomplished.
That makes sense, using them as blinders. I was only asking about comparing them to ACL's. ACL's are low-voltage tightly focused PAR's. Beam spreads in 1-3° range (don't recall offhand). Apples and oranges.

--Sean
 

gafftaper

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That makes sense, using them as blinders. I was only asking about comparing them to ACL's. ACL's are low-voltage tightly focused PAR's. Beam spreads in 1-3° range (don't recall offhand). Apples and oranges.
--Sean
Since ACL's are very often used as blinders I think that was what he was meaning when he said using S4's as ACL's.

As for exploding shards of glass... yikes. That post is reason enough to not use them for me.
 

gafftapegreenia

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soundman

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As for exploding shards of glass... yikes. That post is reason enough to not use them for me.
Would you use moving lights with glass gobos? They can rain out glass as well. During a dance show last year our moving rig was never shut down because it was in use 24 hours a day for 3 or 4 days. During the last dress rehearsal, after the stage was swept a group of dancers found some glass on the floor, it was not normal glass but I just assumed it was from an outfit or tracked in on someones shoes, the stage was reswept and we moved on with the show.

Turns out that one of the lame texture gobos had came out of it's holder, broke and was rattling around the fixture, dropping bits of glass as it moved. We didn't notice till later that night when we were programing and going threw a gobo wheel and suddenly there were two open spots.

My point is for everything there is the potential for issues and while it is everyones job to choose the safest practice possible or none at all things can happen out of the blue that are unpredictable and unpreventable.

If you need a barrel-less source four in my book an exceptable solution would be to make a safety screen like the kind that belong in par cans.
 

Grog12

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My boss has the original light plot for Jersey Boys in his office...when I get back to work in the new year I'll take a look and see if it calls for lens less S4's