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lighting an 8mx4m stage

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Lights and Sound
Forum Discription: Technical discussion
URL: http://www.communitytheater.org/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=3082
Printed Date: 7/18/24 at 1:51pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.05 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: lighting an 8mx4m stage
Posted By: AndyPandy
Subject: lighting an 8mx4m stage
Date Posted: 3/28/08 at 5:00pm
i'm looking for some help with hiring a lighting rig.

I'm going to need to light an 8x4m stage (height ~1m) for a musical.
I've got 3 scaff bars which are deadhung, one of which is over the stage, the other two are just further than the edge of the stage over the fisrt couple of rows of seating.

Basically, i'm looking for advice in what i should be using to light this stage. my previous experience is really only with parcans, so could i light the whole stage with par56's, or should i be looking at spending more cash on something else? (budget is tight too, which doesnt help!)

sorry its so vague, but i'll answer any questions youve got.

any advice?



Replies:
Posted By: JoeMc
Date Posted: 3/28/08 at 10:35pm

gâ€da Andy 'n welcome.

Checking out your groups  website, I picked up they are obviously in Glasgow!
Couldn't find an actual location or what 'toon it is?
Also I see some are also members of a Scouting group.
Viewing pics of your panto, I can see it's mainly Front Of House lighting ['Y' Position], although in one they used 'floats' [[footlights] int 'Z' (deck) position} hence the shadows on the back drop cloth. 
You could use more wash light from ['X' position] over head & side light which will help.
From your post as you have two FOH lighting bars & only one lighting batten on stage, I'd suggest utilising the No2 Front bar & re hanging it on stage, if thats possible, or add at dead hang at least an aluminium tube/pipe as a cyc batten upstage. You will find it easier to light if you have at least two light battens [LX] on stage.
{a lot of techies refer  to these as 'LX' these days, believing it means 'Light Effects', I believe it actually stands for 'Lighting 'X' (overhead) batten, as in the old description of Boarder X light Battens [flood troughs - strip lighting]}
I note there was one QI flood light focused on the the upstage. These are quite cheap these days, as they are all knocked in China. which can be utilised effectively as wash lighting, with a number In a row, as either Boarder &/or Cyclorama lighting. In fact a lot of commercial style lamps can work well, as theatre lighting. The Small diachroic spot display lamps, make excellent mini high light spots & not bad 'Floats' [footlights] either, as a special feature. If you scrounge around Salvage or Reclamation Yards, you can pick a myriad of lamps 7 lighting fixtures, for less than a song. this is also a good source for tube/pipe to use as light battens, along with second hand gear for fiying it up. Further 'Skip Surfing' on Industrial Sites can yield a wealth of usable equipment & materials.
Scout around & become friendly with other theatre & Amdram groups in your area. Get to know their techies, this can be a great resource to glean tips & even borrow gear & kit from. Especially the Proeatres which normally chuck out old gel into their wheelie rubbish bins. Nearly all of the discarded cut gel can be reused, after they do a rig colour change. as the Lamps are usually larger & the gel only washed out in the centre, from hot spots.
This will save you a packet by re-cutting to the frame size you use or sticky taping it to together.
years ago when i worked in pro venues, I would contact the local Amdram groups & get them to supply a rubbish bin. Which was kept backstage & all used gel would be dumped in to it. you will need a few different brand colour gel swatch books. It will take you time going thru the myriad of colours, cutting & marking them with the respective colour number in white china-graph. But well worth it & good training for future would be techies in your mob.
However all that waffle is not getting the barren a bottle!
If you have parcans use them, but as you would know, they are blat lamps similar to floods & beyond rotating the element hot spot, this is the only focusing that can done. They are particularly good for cross stage side lighting, to fill the odd hole in the wash or ['Z' (floor)] up-lighting specials.
With the floats[footlights] you have these would be better hung behind the proscenium arch, for general wash coverage, pointed toward upstage,so the beams only go as far as the back cloth tail batten. [if they separate electrical circuits, even better to give you different colour wash] The P56's can be used as side & front fill, however if you get Fresnel [soft edge] spots they will give you an even colour coverage & can be adjusted to different beam sizes. Profiles [hard edge] spots will help you as specials & with using GOBO's & other image effects.
I see there is listed on the Amdram theatre site database a couple of groups in Glasgow, who are probably near you & I'm sure would help. http://www.amdram.co.uk/forums/index.php - http://www.amdram.co.uk/forums/index.php  The Apollo Players who use the Kings Theatre there, seem a likely mob to checkout?
In fact the Edwardian theatre depicted on their site, reminds me of the Alhambra theatre, that used to be in Waterloo Street. Which is probably a Bingo Hall now or a car park?
Besides doing shows there as a young bloke, we used to travel up from Tyneside with the Newcastle Gang show, each year, to see the Glasgow Gang show, when I was a young 'gangster'.
Another thing with parcans if you use them on the FOH 1 or 2 Bars, is cross light light them. also you can use home made 'dough nuts & snoots' to concentrate & reduce the beams.
Try & use Ali tube in the same diameter as the scaf pipe or that fits your lamp 'C' hang clamps. Ali is far lighter than using water pipe. They normally are available in 4m lengths, which with Leg Drops at both ends would fit your stage nicely.
Having only 1m fly height above the 'teaser' on the pro, makes for a problem, but using 'Boarders' as masking will give you a wee bit more head space to fit light battens.
Do you use dimmers & hows the lighting controlled?
 
 
 
 
 
 


-------------
[western] Gondawandaland
"Hear the light & see the sound!
TOI TOI CHOOKAS
{may you always play to a full house!}


Posted By: AndyPandy
Date Posted: 3/29/08 at 4:14am
some good detective work there!!

sorry, i should have pointed out that i'm not working for that group this time around, and its a different stage, so that sucks majorly.

i'm going to be hiring the lighting, and so far, i'm not sure how it going to be run. in the past, its all been dimmable and using desks like these:
http://www.pulsarlight.com/Products/Controllers/TwoPreset/tabid/133/language/en-GB/Default.aspx
usually a combination of 1 or more of the 2 channel desks.




Posted By: JoeMc
Date Posted: 3/29/08 at 5:50am
Ey she'aright piezano!
At my age it helps to pass the time!Wink
It is the same  jockey on  a different horse, all of what was posted can equally apply, which can be handled comfortably with the 12 channel 2 preset desk. With what you would need to hire for the show, is Dependant on the type of musical & have you done a lighting plan?
The type of lighting will be determined by the script & the productions required mise en scene.
Do you need a 4 colour wash, Specials & Limes [[followspot) aka Drummond Light, Dome] which can influence the light palette requirements!  


-------------
[western] Gondawandaland
"Hear the light & see the sound!
TOI TOI CHOOKAS
{may you always play to a full house!}


Posted By: AndyPandy
Date Posted: 3/29/08 at 6:06am
minimum 3 colour wash (max 4), a special involving a cross shaped gobo (got this sorted already - know what i need) and theres going to be a followspot used for certain scenes which involve an actor out in the audience, so it not going to be actually on the stage at any point.

i've got a rough lighting plan, but i'm at work right now, and its at home.


Posted By: JoeMc
Date Posted: 3/29/08 at 7:52am

Well just hire 3x4 unit cyc light troughs, 4x500W &/or 2 x1Kw fresnels. Utaliseutalise your parcans to fill & cross light from FOH bars #1 & #2. 4 parcans for each of the side light on the OP & PS. Plus your gobo special Profile. You may need to add a couple of extra profiles or Birdies to highlight specific acting areas.

Which will use up your 12 channels & allow colour mix & macfh 3 or 4 colour wash, asuming you have dimmer racks to take the channel amperage, which you should do!
I find it easier to plug up the cannels to mirror the stage patch circuits on the board, looking from the bio box [control room]. This way it will be easier to work out cues & run either them manual or place them in the computer. 
 


-------------
[western] Gondawandaland
"Hear the light & see the sound!
TOI TOI CHOOKAS
{may you always play to a full house!}


Posted By: AndyPandy
Date Posted: 3/29/08 at 8:58am
Cool.

Thanks for all your help. I've managed to persuade the hire company to send someone out to meet at the venue to see what they think, so i'll get back to you after thats happened.

Cheers,
Andy.


Posted By: JoeMc
Date Posted: 3/29/08 at 9:34pm
G'donya Andy!
In this remote area, being not that many hire Companies, we are stuck with our own devices.
I'd be interested to know, what they come up with?
Chookas Andrew


-------------
[western] Gondawandaland
"Hear the light & see the sound!
TOI TOI CHOOKAS
{may you always play to a full house!}


Posted By: AndyPandy
Date Posted: 8/12/08 at 6:46pm
Sorry for opening this up again, but I feel I should let you know what the outcome was, since I forgot to earlier.

We hired:
6x 1.2kW fresnels
8x 500(or perhaps 650)W fresnels
1x Strand MX48 desk
patched into the schools dimmers using some sort of ghetto method I didnt quite understand fully because the original planned method didnt work as expected. (years of people "fixing things to make them work better")
also got 2 additional zero88 alphapacks to give us power in difficult spots.
All that plus 2 followspots and 14 radio mics plus some other stuff I cant remember.


Posted By: JoeMc
Date Posted: 8/12/08 at 7:30pm
G'donya for the play back! Which is a rarity on most forums to let others know, how they go on & what did or didn't work.
I'm not sure what 'ghetto' means? Would this be actually 'Dmux' digital - analogue connection?
Anyhow thanks again Andy.


-------------
[western] Gondawandaland
"Hear the light & see the sound!
TOI TOI CHOOKAS
{may you always play to a full house!}


Posted By: AndyPandy
Date Posted: 8/13/08 at 8:02am
The original plan was to use the dmux kit we hired in, but for some reason it wasnt working as expected, so the hire guys had some work around and I left them to it. Looking back, it was probobly just a different convertor! I had more important things to sort out - like stopping the school trying to hold an assembly as we we're trying to rig lights above them on a scaffolding tower!

all in all, it worked well.

PS: forgot to list the large amount of S4s I got too. used them at the last minute to light the choirs of children that no-one had told me about.



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