The 20s

Stoldal

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I am doing a production in 5-6 months. This production is in a high school gym. The time period is in the 20s. The director was to use lights and sound to make the house feel more like it is from the 20s. Any idea of what we could do. Tell me any other information you need, i will try and get it to you ASAP.

I will have a 3-D model of the gym and the stage, in about a month.

Thanks!!
 

gafftapegreenia

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To make the house feel like it's from the 20's? Well, I'd start researching the old movie palaces built during the time period. Many still exist that could be used for 'field research'.

Is there a plan for the stage picture yet? Sets, lighting or costume? Tell us more about your space. What lighting control do you have? How is this space normally utilized; have you done shows there before?
 

avkid

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There are no movie palaces in Las Vegas.
Maybe a trip to LA is in order.
 

gafftapegreenia

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or google images!
 

Stoldal

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Hmm, a R&D trip to LA would be fun.

I have done many productions in this gym. The gym is normal used for P.E. Classes. We have house lights, but these light take about 10mins to turn back on after they have been off a hour or more. There are 6 rows of lights and each row is on it own circut.

The production that is am doing is "Thoroughly Modern Millie", if that helps.
 

DarSax

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Um.

First off, is the set going to be 20s style? From your post it sounds like the era is going to be suggested just by lights and sound. It looks like your only real bet is practicals like 1920s era lamps and fixtures. Otherwise, if you have no idea what a 20s style house would look like through lighting, I highly doubt your audience will.

Weird.
 

gafftapegreenia

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I know you don't have money, but company is a great starting point for ideas.
 

Les

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They could be 400w Metal Halide, and usually the hook on top of the ballast has a spring loaded clip that closes once it is hooked to the eye, which is connected to the ceiling truss. If it's an open hook I'd worry. And they weigh at least 20 lbs each.
 

Grog12

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I am doing a production in 5-6 months. This production is in a high school gym. The time period is in the 20s. The director was to use lights and sound to make the house feel more like it is from the 20s. Any idea of what we could do. Tell me any other information you need, i will try and get it to you ASAP.
I will have a 3-D model of the gym and the stage, in about a month.
Thanks!!
No flourecents...no metal hylaide....lots of candles on the tables (if the audience is sitting at tables)...electric foot lights along the stage....Large chandeliers. Pick up one of those Now and Then books on Vegas at Borders or B and Noble. There's some pictures in there that might be able to help. Head over to the local library or even to UNLV's and do a little research on cabarets and how they were lit. Make sure to rent a haze machine to get a smoke feel going...I'd tell you to go see The Rat Pack Tribute but that's a little more 50's/70'sish.

Bah Derek am I crazy or isn't there a place in town where you can see a flapper dress on stage?
 

09astephens

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Berwick, PA
The first thing that pops into my mind is the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou?" The entire movie shows how people dressed, and the ways of life. Towards the end of the movie they are in an auditorium, this could give you some ideas for lighting.
 

Logos

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Except that "Oh Brother Where are you" is deep south rural USA of the 20's and "Thoroughly Modern Millie" is fantasy New York urban twenties. Totally different feel.
 

Van

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Except that "Oh Brother Where are you" is deep south rural USA of the 20's and "Thoroughly Modern Millie" is fantasy New York urban twenties. Totally different feel.
Hmmm For a Darned Foreigner you sure know a lot about the U.S. of A. I'm gittin' suspicious now.


Foot lights add a good old timey feel to anything.

So would you want to have the look of a place built in the twenties? Easy, go Art deco everywhere, or do you want to go with a place that looks like it was in business in the twenties, in which case you need to go "turn of the century" for you decorations.
Art Deco is always pretty and relatively easy to reproduce, as it is highly stylized, "Turn of the century"/ Late 1800's gets difficult because of the many schools of architecture, and design that were in competition at that time. It could be anything from Anti-bellum, to Neo-Gothic, to Neo-classical.
 

derekleffew

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Pick up one of those Now and Then books on Vegas at Borders or B and Noble. There's some pictures in there that might be able to help. Head over to the local library or even to UNLV's and do a little research on cabarets and how they were lit. Make sure to rent a haze machine to get a smoke feel going...I'd tell you to go see The Rat Pack Tribute but that's a little more 50's/70'sish.

Bah Derek am I crazy or isn't there a place in town where you can see a flapper dress on stage?
Yes, sorry to tell you, and I'm sure I'm not the first, but Grog--you're crazy. Las Vegas didn't legalize gambling until 1934, and didn't have showrooms or live shows until the Flamingo opened in 1949, so a book on Las Vegas history is not going to be helpful in any way. I'm not sure there exists such a thing as 1920's lighting. It was the "Roaring Twenties," flappers and bathtub gin and speakeasies and Machine Gun Kelly, but ended with the start of the Great Depression/Dust Bowl era. Costumes and Scenery will be much more useful in setting time and place than lighting, I would think.
 

Logos

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Rockhampton Queensland, Australia
I would think that theatre and club lighting of the twenties was as Van said,
Footlights to start with and basically a rather yellowish electric light look. I've never lit Millie but have lit "The Boyfriend" rather a lot (I don't know why, it seems to follow me around) and always seem to find myself using Chocolate Brown in my washes. L156, I don't know Rosco. Interestingly enough I've just found L017 Surprise Peach in my swatch book, looks interesting.
 

Logos

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Rockhampton Queensland, Australia
Hmmm For a Darned Foreigner you sure know a lot about the U.S. of A. I'm gittin' suspicious now.
Hey I even know the specific meaning of anti bellum when applied to US archy-tek-chure.

"I'm going home - to Tara."

What can I say, I love movies, I read history and I keep my eyes open. Sorry.
 

ship

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Illinois
A question of the house looking more like the 1920's or the show and it’s scenes looking more like the 1920's?

Two different designs to look into doing. For the house, an Art Deco or other style period with other props could help but that’s less what I had a thought on.

For the show, if 1920's a study into the lighting of the times would be foot lights, top strip lights and certain beams high side, front of the house and side of the proscenium would be in use. All would be fairly incandescent, lime or arc source. None really frosted in edge other than from the more dim in color temperature and intensity foot and top strip lights.

What I might attempt to do is to lay down a base of period style lighting that would be key light and harsh. Foot light, top light in low color temperature and perhaps a sort of greenish yellow tint not historically accurate but more stage convention of harsh lighting of ancient lighting olden days. From say the procenium sides I might also do a boom with some shins and high tops with hard edge beams of higher color temperature but perhaps in the green/blue range but hard edge. Same with front of the house perhaps a box boom and a select few house positions far away, but in these cases I might go amber low color temperature with that hard edge.

This all in a base of light that’s visible and can be seen but not the balance of the light for visibility more than like 50% of it.

Add to this modern lighting such as a McCandless style lighting for your own take on the production which at no point reaches say more than 2/3 the output of your base of light but does reduce the shadows, harsh light angles and help with visibility some. You than have a base of light concept, and a scene to scene normal concept for lighting a play mixing together. Base of light establishes period and can even fade some during the play to return at the end, and the normal lighting that is there but not really the primary lighting. There to help the talent and smooth it all out some, but not there to make it seem a natural lighing of the period, more a stage convention of X is what it would have looked like as seen, Y this say McCandless lighting is what is needed for todays audiences to enjoy the show sufficiently.

Less about going true period lighting, more about it being as if a wash of paint over the show clouding it. Could try grey gel also but the Chocolate gel would most likely be best with most period light fixtures. Harsh edge on them, soft focus on the modern supplemental lighting.

If using say modern MR-16 foot light cyc lights, perhaps only use one of three circuits or lamp them down in wattage plus do the dimmer and gel. This spacing between lamps in doing so than would help remove the even wash effect from them.

Perhaps just some food for thought.

For the thetaer... Bulbrite and a few other lamp companies make some fairly inexpensive reproduction incandescent lamps with really cool filaments. Perhaps stringing down from the gym grid some individual lamp sockets with period lamps in them could create quite the atmosphere. Go 60w lamp if possible - where I work has the 40w versions in use and they would not be bright enough other than for prop lights which is feasible if the normal gym lighting were used on a dimmer, but short of also conveying the harsh lighting by way of these fixtures being the only light, would not be sufficient given the primary lighting comes from modern fixtures. As with the stage, the key light to the audience should be from the period lighting and normal house lights should supplement and fill in.

Hey I even know the specific meaning of anti bellum when applied to US archy-tek-chure.
"I'm going home - to Tara."
What can I say, I love movies, I read history and I keep my eyes open. Sorry.