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The Power of Lighting!

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Brandofhawk, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. Brandofhawk

    Brandofhawk Active Member

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    Ok so i hate to start soo many threads but.. i just enjoy theatre and talking about it and such... anyways

    Who doens't love the power of lighting? I prefer running lights rather then sound... the main reason is because lights cue the audience to clap, they tell the audience how and what to feel...
    you dont get that from sound! the best thing i've gotten from sound is high screeching noises that makes the audience go ewwww. =P (well except for those perfectly mixed musical numbers...) but i feel sooo much better when getting applause for a perfectly performed lighting maneuver.

    Thoughts, feelings???
     
  2. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    For concerts you can control how loud the audience claps by controlling the level of the moles (crowd blinders) :twisted:
     
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    A dissenting opinion. Audio is just as valid a design medium as lighting, costumes, and scenery--as evidenced by the fact that they now have their own Tony Award (June 07, 2009, on CBS) category.

    Notice the difference between a presenter walking on stage with and with-out a play-on. Or the added emotional response when a romantic scene is underscored by music from Rogers & Hammerstein or Lerner & Loewe. Just because it's not visual does not mean it's any less important.

    Without lights, it's radio; but without sound, it's mime!
    :(
     
  4. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Lighting is a much different animal in my world. In the realm of tableau vivant or living pictures, the lighting is much more a science than an art. For the most part we're not trying to create moods or influence the emotions of the audience. That becomes the job of the orchestra, the narrator, and the artwork itself. The purpose of our lighting is to act as the glue that holds all of the various scenic elements together. If we've done our jobs right the lighting serves to bring the sets, painting, costuming, make-up and the people together to form a finished recreation of a piece of art. While much, though certainly not all of the equipment we use is the same as the rest of the theatre industry uses, our lighting techniques are vastly different than those used for standard stage lighting.

    Regardless of whether you're putting on a conventional stage show, filming a movie, or recreating an eighteenth century painting with live people, the lighting by itself is worthless without all the other elements that go into creating a show.

    For some cool pictures of how all these elements can come together to create art, click the link to the Pageant of the Master's website in my signature.
     
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Or watch the Gilmore Girls full episode here: ABC Family: Gilmore Girls 'the festival of living art', or three-minute preview here: www.thewb.com/shows/gilmore-girls. Now, C-Dub, you have no excuse not to watch and tell us how accurate the depiction. Don't have a TV, indeed!;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  6. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Actually I have two t.v.'s, but no cable or satellite service, and no reception. I do, however have a sizable DVD collection.:twisted:
     
  7. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Um, are you sure I'm supposed to be able to watch the full episode here? 'Cause it aint workin'.:rolleyes:
     
  8. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    I feel your pain. My wife and I have the same situation. We Netflix alot.
     
  9. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Pain? What pain? I've been without cable for six years. I don't miss it. There was nothing good on when I still had it anyway.

    Okay. I found another source for watching the episode.

    Where do I start?

    1 week to get ready for the show?

    It takes us six months to build the Pageant. Yes I know their characters only actually had to come up with one new piece for their show, but even the simplest of our living pictures take a minimum of three weeks from start to finish, The set needs to be built, then prepped for painting. Cast needs to be fitted into the set. Costumes need to be made. Sets and Costumes both need to be painted. Some sets need to be wired for lighting, a process that can take anywhere from twenty minutes to a full week. And even at that there's still more to be done.

    Casting a piece because the girl looks like the figure in the painting?

    I'm afraid it just doesn't work that way. I suppose we could care less about whether you have the right face for the part, but not much. Casting a piece is based solely on whether your measurements are right for a given part, with height being the primary determining factor. We'll use make-up to make your face look right.

    Recasting is easy.

    It would be impossible for any member of our cast to hold a part hostage if their mother didn't get the part she wanted. We had 1200 people sign up for the show this year. We could easily find someone else to fill the part.

    The Make-up Department

    Cast never apply their own make-up. Gilmore Girls had a mixture of application by others and self application. By only allowing our make-up volunteers to apply the make-up we are able to maintain a certain degree of quality control and minimize the artistic license that is often taken by performers trying to "improve" their make-up. Now to get really nit-picky, we use Stools, not chairs. And our make-up mirrors certainly do not have the standard, surrounded by light bulbs set-up.

    The costumes looked good up close.:shock:

    Now that's just wrong!:evil: Costumes are supposed to look terrible up close. Everybody knows that.:rolleyes:

    The backstage experience.

    Cast does not wander around backstage unless they are escorted by their assigned crew. Also, there was way too much room back stage. Every bit of available space should have been filled with scenery. Now I know they weren't actually trying to present something on the same scale as our show, but I did not see a single piece of scenery in the wings. Our stage is packed to the gills with sets for the 34 to 36 pieces that we do in a typical show. In fact, we actually cannot fit the entire show in the stage building. About a third of the show is stored in the shop building and we do a set transition at intermission.

    Was that supposed to be a painting?

    While they did a reasonably good job on the Last Supper and the statue in the gazebo, the other two pieces didn't go flat at all and given the size of their frames, there is no way they could have. There was simply not enough room for the lighting needed to flatten the paintings. Then there was that ridiculous platform they had their performers standing on. That beast would make transitions from one piece to the next exceedingly difficult. There's a reason why all of our scenery is on casters. It's so we can do our set transitions quickly. While one set is gonig off another is coming on.

    Cast in the audience.

    We do not allow our cast in the house. They are not allowed to leave the stage building until they have removed their costumes and make-up and are back in their street clothes. Even then, if they want to go out into the house, they need a ticket, the same as anybody else.

    So was the Gilmore Girls episode a good representation of what we do at the Pageant of the Masters?

    No.

    Was it a good representation of the art form known as tableau vivant?

    Absolutely! They gave good rendition of an amateur tableau vivant show on a much smaller scale and certainly much less polished than what we do. We don't have exclusive rights to the art form after all. It's been around for centuries, and we've only been at it since 1933. We're the biggest, the most experienced, and the best at living pictures, but we are by no means the only group doing them.
     
  10. Brandofhawk

    Brandofhawk Active Member

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    I never ment to suggest that sound or scenery are any less important. Without lights its radio, without sound its mime (kind of.. you can still hear the actors.. =\ ) without sets its boring. I understand that without sets, costumes, sound, and lights a show does not come together.

    I believe full heatedly that sound can make the audience applaud equally well! For a simple thing this last week i was working on Oliver where i was both the sound and light board op (it was under staffed... but I pulled it off somehow...) And simply after food glorious food the audience was cheering every night because the actors sung their best and they were all together. Plus a perfect mix (according to my director) by me... I've experienced shivers down my spine because of sound that is mixed soooo amazingly!

    But with lights there are so much more meat for myself to grab! (not to say anything less about sound.) I love the idea that when you throw a green gel onto an actor that it makes them appear sickly or how a perfect transition. How for instance you can take a turn table and some blinking lights and make a cart crash onstage! (But dont forget your sound effect!)

    Ultimately everything comes together to create a harmonious show... i just believe lights are, well... better suited to myself. =)

    To each his own! =D
     
  11. themuzicman

    themuzicman Well-Known Member

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    Brandofhawk
    If you're in this for the claps, you're in it for the wrong reason.

    I don't mean to belittle your point, but being a person who frequently works electrics crews, but is trying to make it in sound design, there is just as much to both areas. To each his or her own, but to say lighting is so spectacular because you can use a green gel to make an actor appear sick is like saying it is spectacular that you can use reverb to make an actor seem like they are a ghost.
     
  12. Brandofhawk

    Brandofhawk Active Member

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    your right there is a crap ton to do in any field in theatre, and once again i'm not degrading any of those areas... or not trying to sound that way at all.

    and with what your saying it is spectacular we have any of this!
    Thinking back to theatre history... they used to use salt water dimmers, and now we have src dimmers with dmx control!

    Its the same with sound with digital mixers and wireless receivers. when going back in time, there were nothing but the voice and how far an actor can project.

    With new technology coming out letting the technicians and actors and directors to create a new world and interesting world or what ever, to let the audience escape into a fantasy (or not depending on the show).

    Technology that back when the greeks walked around (not liek they do today... =p ) but when the greeks walked around and performed with nothing but their voice... just the changes in history, the adjustment, the fast pace of the technology.... its all amazing and spectacular.

    and i dont know anyone who isnt in theatre ultimately for the applause... well... i suppose the people who dont stick around for the show but any applause the actors get goes to teh entire tech crew, load in/load out crew included.

    When you work togeather to bring a show around that applause is deserved to all.

    I'm not in it for the applause.. im just saying that when the audience applauds it gives me a rush... i love it.

    If they dont applaud im still fine...
     

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