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The Butterflies Evil Spell

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Hughesie, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    anyone do this one before, i was dragged into Designing both sound and light,

    we're running a simple blackbox setup with a twist, it's in a normal venue but we have the audience sitting up on the stage looking down into the house where we are performing.

    :rolleyes:

    Heeeellllp Me
     
  2. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    What kind of *&#*#*$(#*@#&@^# IDEA IS THAT
     
  3. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Seconded.

    I'm all for doing interesting things, taking a show and flipping it on its head, approaching something from a completely new angle, making people stop and think about their most basic motivations. However, it needs to be right for the show, it needs to fit, and above all it needs to work.

    You say its a normal venue that your pretending is a black box, so I presume that means its a proscenium space?
    From a lighting standpoint, well, if you can point your FOH pipe down you have top light I guess and if you fly in your first electric you can get face light. But thats about it, and odds are there is no way to make this look anything but bad.

    From a sound standpoint, well, if you have some other speakers that you can throw up to work, yea, whatever.

    My suggestion would be to turn on the works and the house lights, give them a boom box and walk away. It just sounds really stupid.


    </bitterness>

    If you feel so inclined to do it, well, there's no way to make it interesting or cool, because theaters are hard wired with some basic concepts, mainly that people sit in the seats and watch the people above them on stage. Electrics, cable runs, its all set up for this. Also, look into fire egress codes.

    Lighting wise, just use the FOH pipe to get down light, ends of it can do some pipe end/high side business, and fly in the 1st electric and get some face light. It won't look good, but it shouldn't look horrible.

    From a sound standpoint, I hope you have some other speakers and amps and just set them up at the edge of the stage for the audience. Kinda like how you'd set up monitors.

    Where would you run the show from? The booth, which is now on the upstage wall, or would you want to try and run all your cables some other way and run from the back of the stage, now the back of the house?


    But, unless their paying you, I'd say walk away from it. It doesn't sound like it is worth the headache, honestly.

    EDIT: I'm of course ignoring all the practical issues of the actors attempting to act in the house, and how no one in the audience past the first row will be able to see what is going on. Section it, the sight lines will suck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008
  4. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Really? Sounds like an interesting opportunity to me, as in, a challenge to be embraced.

    Depending on your hanging positions onstage, you might be okay with frontlight -- lowering some battens or the likes to act as FOH positions. Might be a bit low angle, but what can you do. If your true FOH's aren't blocked, then you have your downlight covered (in some fashion), and then you'll probably need to get some booms for sidelight. Sounds like a big cabling job, but if you plan it out accordingly, won't be too bad.

    I know Haverford's theater did a show like this years ago, though I don't think their theater's a black box. Just put the action right in the seats. Sounds like a cool idea, just another constraint on your design to work around. Don't get discouraged!
     
  5. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I LOVE the idea and have always wanted to do something like that. Some pics would be cool of the space to get an idea. If its in a black box just revered it will be a piece of cake, otherwise it will be a bit more fun.
     
  6. ceedwards

    ceedwards Member

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    I was the LD 4 this a few years ago. We did it in the style of "A Bugs Life"
    U can some of the pictures @ www.ceedwards.com under the Yesterday section.
    It was very challenging with a very small amount of equipment and almost no power. But it was one of my best works. Lots of texture and my secret weapon. (Scrollers)

    Christopher
     
  7. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I was a little harsh in my last post. One question, why are you doing the show like this? This is always the first question to answer.
     
  8. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    When I was graduating high school I helped to the design for a show that had acting space on SR and the audience on SL. Problems we ran into in the planning stage:
    1. Awkward Lighting throws and positions
    Solution: Math, math, and more math. Make sure your pools are big enough BEFORE you hang and it will go a lot easier.
    2. Majority of dimmers on the electrics.
    Solution: Make sure you have plenty of cable and plan it out before hand. If need be find a smart way to run multi's from the electrics to the positions you need.
    3. Emergency evacuation of audience.
    Make sure the side of the back stage that the audience is on is clean. And that there are at least two ways out that are clearly marked.

    It's do able, I'm happy i don't have to figure out the blocking for moving through the house, The use of textures could make for some really interesting look especially since the seats will naturally throw shadows.
     
  9. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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  10. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Do those FOH bars perpendicular to the stage run along the length of your side walls? If they do, that's pretty helpful.

    Looks like you have your work cut out for you, though better pictures would be more helpful. Looks doable, definitely a challenge.
     
  11. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I think it's a silly idea but that's just me. ;)
     
  12. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    First silly responses:
    a) I love the pictures of your actor cage. All theater's should be equipped with a system for keeping the actors securely confined.
    b) I wish my I had a giant green console like that.

    Actually really interesting pictures Hughesie. Looks like you've got a pretty wild and creative director from some of those show shots which help explain why the audience is going to be on stage.

    I think the best way for us to help you would be if you could make a ground plan diagram of the theater with all the lighting and sound positions. It's going to be interesting and the results won't be as spectacular as some of your other work but it'll do.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2008
  13. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    Looking at your space this looks a lot more do able. The non perminant nature of the chairs and that thrust proscenium style FOH setup (at least that's what I would call it) will really help, I don't know about sound, not my gig really though so that's no surprise. Looking at your space you could really give the audience the "god looking down on the world" kind of feel, can't wait to see how it comes off.

    Oh yah and were can I get an actor cage like that (does it accommodate ASM's???)
     
  14. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    LSC Axiom 36

    and we have a vectorworks drawing of the venue i will open it up and do some screenshots.


    and what is this actor cage your yapping about.

    oh and i have two options

    act
    or crew:cool:
     
  15. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Actor cage.
    Every theater needs one. Does it come in a director model too?

    Yeah send us some screenshots. Pictures are nice but without a sense of scale it's hard to really give very good advice.

    Yapping my way to another thread...
     
  16. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    that's our orchestra pit, the reason that barrior is up is because the cast get blinded by the light and fall in :)
     
  17. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    So it's not intention ally an actor cage...... but you could put them in there and then put the barrier up right???
     
  18. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    What if you throw the actors in the pit and then put up the barrier? Would it help keep them in the pit? :twisted: Of course there is also the potential for protecting everyone from the orchestra. Hmmm... this is a VERY useful device. One place I've been has a cargo net over the pit. I like the idea but always felt it needed some barbed wire too.

    Still waiting for those designs...
     

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