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Stupid Question - Naming lighting positions

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by waynehoskins, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    So in the process of designing the show I'm working on now at the high school (everybody's favorite musical, Grease), I again ran into a couple of questions that had come to mind in years past, on the naming conventions for lighting positions.

    Overhead electrics are obviously overhead. That one's easy.
    A front-of-house or obviously-AP position is easy too.
    Ladders, box booms, regular booms are easy too.

    The architecture of the mainstage at the high school is rather stupid. It has a huge apron downstage of the pro, which extends probably three feet from the arch at the arch, but at centerline is a full 15 or 20 feet downstage of the pro, a big wide curve. In this area there are two dead-hung overhead lighting pipes, one just a couple of feet downstage of the pro, and the other six or so feet downstage of that.

    What do I call these positions? They're overstage but downstage of the pro.

    Next related stupid question: when you use a plain old batten as an added electric for a show, do you renumber the electrics for that show, or do you simply refer to it as "1A"? In this case, I added both 1A and 1B (and the upstagemost electric is 2), so I decided it made more sense to me to renumber them 1-4 this time.

    What makes most sense on these to you guys?
     
  2. thommyboy

    thommyboy Active Member

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    I have always called those apron pipes. numbered from the Pro towards to the audience.
     
  3. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I would still call these overhead electrics. As in many many theatres, there is different nomenclature for things like this. You may decide that you will call them the first and second apron electrics. The biggest thing is consistancy in communication. Everyone in your space should use the same term. As with many things in theatre, there can be countless terms for the exact same item. As I am sure future posts to this thread will display.

    I always think of a show as a complete entity. In the example you give, I would start with the downstage most electric overhead and call it first electric, the next one would be second electric, and so on. Since they are all part of the same design, that is how I would treat them. If you need to deliniate between the electrics you use for a show and linests that may not be used as electrics, but still have raceways, you may want to call them ( the unused electrics) "house electric 1" "house electric 2", etc.. In this context of this particular show that might be an option to deliniate between the various electrics. You could do the opposite and call all of the electrics used in the show "show electric one, show electric two:, etc. The important thing is consistancy and proper lableing. What is labeled on the light plot and rigging schedule are the same terms that should appear on the actual lock rail labels (and used by all crew members).

    In both cases, it is all about consistance of use in the terms, and good communication. As long as in your traning of your crew you let them know the term you wish to use for the positions, you should be ok. That is my $0.02

    ~Dave
     
  4. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Everyone has different conventions. Lets start easy though. House Electrics are always the whole number elecs. So 1E, 2E, 3E etc. Anything added upstage of a house elec but downstage of the next house elec gets a letter, so if you added one elec between the 1E and the 2E it would be the 1AE. If you add a position downstage of the 1E it would be the 0E.

    If you are working in a space that does not have permanent dedicated house electrics then just use whole numbers.

    As for your over stage FOH positions, there are really more conventions than you really want to think about. Some theatres start with the first position downstage of the proscenium and call it FOH1 and just work out towards the house from there (FOH2, FOH3, and so on). In our theatre, we only have one position over the apron (DS of the Prosc.) and we call it the proscenium slot (it is literally a slot too). Some theatres with more than one position over the apron just call them numbered slots, with the lowest number closest to plaster line.

    So, really what it comes down to, is what is most convenient for you and the people who work in your theatre. Establish a convention for your space, so that everyone knows what you are talking about when you talk about lighting positions.
     
  5. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Whenever I've had a situation like this the standard house electrics have kept their normal designations. The added electrics then became 1A, 1B, 3A, etc.

    Of course, if you really want to confuse people, you could name your added electrics George and Shirley.:twisted:
     
  6. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Over the past decade, I've gone through different phases.
    "Apron Electrics"
    "Apron Grid" (it's got a couple sticks of strut up there too)
    "Pit Electric" (picked this one up from one of the guys at college, where we had a similar set of positions, except they really were over the covered orchestra pit)

    At the high school, I've been pretty much a resident Guest LD this decade, so while it's not really My Space, it is my space, if that makes any sense. There aren't many tech students there, never have been, so there's not much convention. Usually I end up referring to the pipes in question as "This Pipe Here" and "That Other Pipe There".

    So far I like "prosc slot". Even though they're not really in a slot, it better describes where they are. I always had trouble calling them Pit Electrics, because (1) there's no pit, and (2) when there is an orchestra, the "pit" is Rows A through D orchestra center, not even close to these stupid pipes.

    I'll see if I can find a drawing of the space. It's a terrible space that I really quite enjoy working in. Nothing like trying to pull off a musical on an MD288 half-rack. :)
     
  7. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Alex says it all, my only additional is to name it what makes sense to the people you need to communicate to. We have a VersaBar/Kindorf track as well as 7 slots in a solid ceiling above our 25dt deep pit elevator and apron. Thus I call the Kindorf track the "DS Pit" and the 7 slots the "US Pit". Then we have 6 Eyeball fixture just DS of the P/L that have been called Fisheyes since before my time. It actually is descriptive and I've never had anyone forget where the Fisheyes are located.

    Only conventions I really follow is that numbers go SL to SR and US to DS once DS of P/L.

    Steve B.
     
  8. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I like "AP1", "AP2" because it could stand for Apron Pipe as well as ante pro.
     
  9. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    For what it's worth, I came up with some drawings and photos from a few years ago. But I couldn't attach them here, so I stuck 'em up on the church server.

    www.crossroadsofarlington.org/wayne/littleshop/
     
  10. indyLD

    indyLD Member

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    In the UK, a bar (or pipe if you prefer) that is immediately DS of the pros, over the apron or orchestra pit, is called the "advance bar". What makes it different to FOH1 is it's proximity to the pros.

    I have no idea why it is named that, though.
     

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