Presentation on theme: "The Theory and Practice of Stage Lighting"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Theory and Practice of Stage Lighting Gordon HughesSCDA Workshop – Feb 2010
2 BackgroundThese slides were originally used for a workshop at St Serf’s Hall given in Feb 2010 for the SCDA.The workshop was highly practical, and the slides only indicate the structure of the talk, rather than a complete training course.After the talk this presentation has been extended to include other useful information in line with the discussions at the workshop.The dominance of Strand equipment in the presentation reflects the equipment available in Edinburgh Theatres.
3 Contents Introduction Theory of Stage Lighting Coffee Break Lighting Design in GeneralLighting for the SCDA 1-Act FestivalQuestions and Wrap Up
4 IntroductionStage Lighting has been around since the beginning of theatre, and used the lighting technologies of the periodSunCandles / Fire torches - floatsOil / ParaffinGas - size of lighting barsElectricity
6 ResourcesEquipmentBudget (money)Time (design time + theatre time)
7 Equipment Resources Theatre lanterns available Lanterns owned by the theatreGroup or Personal lanterns availableBorrowed or Hired lanterns availableNumber of dimmers + control circuits availableOther equipment requiredAccessories (depending on Lantern)Coloured GelRigging equipmentCabling + Adaptors
8 Types of Lantern Flood Lights Par Cans (and Birdies) Spot lights Soft edge – Fresnel SpotsHard edge – Profile Spots (fixed or variable)PC Spots and Beam LightsIntelligent Lights – multiple controls per lanternLED based technologyMoving Head and Moving MirrorEffectsSee also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stage_lighting_instrument
9 Flood Lights Optical system of Lamp + Reflector Covers a wide area Limited control over shape/area coveredGood forColour washesLighting cyclorama (from top or bottom)Working lights
10 Examples of Flood Lights Old Strand Patt Patt 60 + Patt 49Newer Strand Coda/Nocturn 500/1000Grouped together to form Battens for lighting cycloramas or acting area washes
11 Par TechnologyAppeared during the 1970s when range of sealed lamps with Parabolic Aluminium Reflector were developed.Made popular with pop concerts, then started to appear in theatresA cross between a flood light and spotlightAsymmetric bright regionDifferent sizes and powers available
12 Examples of Par Lights Par 64 – 1000W Par 56 – 500W Par 16 – Birdie All lamp sizes available with different beam anglesNow available with LED based white lamps
13 Soft Edge Spot Lights Addition of a low quality lens Light gives a bright area and a spill areaControl over area covered by moving lamp position relative to the lensBright area can be shaped by barn doorsUsed for general lightingIn larger theatres also used with wide angle beams like flood lights
14 Examples of Soft Edge Spots Old Stand : Patt 123, Patt 223, Patt 743Newer Strand : Patt 803Recent Strand : Prelude F, Cantata F,(also Quartet F, Harmony F, Alto F, etc.)Many others makes including CCT Focus Spot range
15 Hard edge Spot Lights Profile spotlights Better optical system to give a well focused beamWith multiple lenses can give variable beamAccessories such as Iris or Gobo or shuttersUsed for:Highlighting actionProjection of gobosFollow Spots
16 Examples of Hard Edge Spots Old Strand: Patt 23, Patt 264, Patt 764Newer Stand: Prelude, Cantata, Alto, etc.Prelude 16/30 + Prelude 28/40 at St Serf’sRecent Strand: SL range(fixed and variable beam models (e.g. CHT))ETC Source 4 – more modern profile range
17 Other types of Spotlight PC Spotlights use a Prism-Convex lens and can offer a wider range of beam angles. The Festival theatre has some, as well as a number of schools, but they are not common.Beamlight or Pageant lanterns give a very intense soft edged beam of light. Adam House Theatre has some old Patt 58 ones.
18 Intelligent Lights - LEDs Allows colour change control + flashingMany options available for number of control channels usedE.g.1 – Red Intensity2 – Green Intensity3 – Blue Intensity4 – Preset colour settings5 – Strobe Control6 – Sound to Light control
19 Intelligent Lights - Movers Moving HeadMoving MirrorCome in soft and hard edge versionsAll use multiple control channels
20 Lighting Effects Mirror Balls Fire Flickers UV Tubes and UV Spots Disco LightsPractical Lights (e.g. Standard Lamps)
22 Requirements Read the Script Discuss with Director Discuss with Designers (esp Set Design)Results of Research into time or location
23 Constraints Limited Number of Circuits Limited Number of Lanterns Limited Power available (per dimmer)Limited Power available (total)Limited BudgetLimited (unrealistic) time schedulesCommunications Issues
24 Outputs from Design Process Lighting Synopsis – what effects and moods are required during the showLighting Plan –what lanterns are requiredwhere are the putwhat will they dowhat colour will they bewhat accessories are required
25 Making the plan a reality Physical/EngineeringRig – mount on the rig (2 mounts/lantern)Cable – connect each lantern to a dimmerColour – Add colour and other accessoriesArtistic – likely to need input from directorFocus – Make each light point as requiredPlot – record all states required for by show
26 Effect of Angle of light The angle at which the light points towards the actor or the stage will affect the mood created by the lighting (examples in reference books)Beware of actors facing downwards where all the lighting is from above, e.g. most raised stages where audience look upwardsRemember to consider where the spill from the light will fall (examples of effects from the recent drama festival)
27 General LightingIdea of Splitting the stage into areas and lighting each area with one or two spotlights depending on resource.9 Areas (3 x 3) typically used at St Serf’s for SCDA Drama festivals.Floods or Pars to produce colour washes
28 SpecialsA “special” is any light which is used for a special purpose, usually a special effect, in other words that is not part of the general lighting. E.g.Highlighting actors or items of setProjecting images such as gobos
29 Historical Bibliography C H Ridge and F S Aldred: Stage Lighting Principles and Practice, Pitman 19351950sS Selden and F S Sellman: Stage Scenery and Lighting, Harrap1960sF Bentham: The Art Of Stage Lighting, Pitman, 1968 (2nd ed 1976)1970sR Pilbrow: Stage Lighting, Studio Vista, 1970F Reid: The Stage Lighting Handbook, Pitman, 1976 (2nd ed 1980s)1980sT Streader and J A Williams: Create Your Own Stage Lighting, Bell & Hyman, 1985
30 Other Information on line Wikipedia: Stage_lighting_instrumentThe Strand ArchiveBeware that some on-line resources use American terminology which does sometimes differ from European terms.
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