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Chapter 8 Practicals and Effects

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1 Chapter 8 Practicals and Effects
Notes taken from Gillette’s Designing with Light

2 Practical An onstage working light source.
Table lamp, wall sconce, oil lamp

3 Effect A specialty device designed to give the appearance of being a light source Fire effect, candle, torch, lighting

4 Gas Lamp Flicker bulb 3-4 Watt F-shaped lamp
Metallic screen electrodes act as igniters for neon glass in bulb which give off flickering yellow-orange light Picture from

5 Candle Can be distracting for audience as flames dance
May not be safe or allowed by Fire Marshall Either 120V (controllable by dimmer) or battery powered with a hidden switch Purchased or shop made “C” (Christmas light) painted with amber acetate ink or covered with yellow gel lightly sanded

6 Candle

7 Torches Sterno (with salt) or pyro gel Away from scenery and costumes
Stationary Only if permitted by Fire Marshall

8 Torches Stationary Torches 120 Volt Bunch 3 flicker bulbs together
If too many flickers substitute 3-4 Watt “C” (Christmas tree) lamp for one of the flicker bulbs Paint with yellow or amber translucent paint Hot glue flame colored/shaped gel outside/over lamps Or flame colored chiffon or lightweight silk with fan

9 Torches Hand-carried Battery-powered
3 Variable-rate lamp flashers set at variable rates and intensities with one constant

10 Fire Effects Traditionally Variation
Orange and yellow lamps hidden behind logs Variation Motor-driven, slowly rotating cylinder of crumpled aluminum to reflect the light Add a random flicker with starters from fluorescent light fixtures with “A” household lamps

11 Fire Effects Reinforcements
6 in. Fresnel, small fan, strips of variegated gel Variegated gel – multicolored gel made in the shop from strips of color media of different hues Fan blows gel which causes a flickering light Usually hidden in fireplace so actors do not walk through effect

12 Moon Effects Moon Box Wooden box with silhouette of desired phase of moon cut out Inner face covered with muslin or diffusion Cut out lined with Watt lamps wired in parrallel Inside of box painted to reflect light Rigged behind cyc Can be rigged to move

13 Moon Effects Moon Box

14 Moon Effects Moon Box

15 Moon Effects Gobos or projections
Rosco Steel Moon Gobo Rosco Glass Gobo 82700

16 Star Effects Black curtain or black backdrop perforated with many little “star holes” hung in front of cyc or light reflective material

17 Star Effects Grain-of-wheat lamp or white LED lamp sewn or hot-glued on black cyc or sky tab White “Christmas tree” lamps can also be used to make larger “stars” Low-voltage lamp with transformer or wired in series

18 Star Effects Thin strands of fiber-optic material
Act like a light tunnel Shine light in one end of strand and it comes out the other side which faces the audience Attached to the back of a black backdrop Strand mounted in front of high-intensity light source (MR-16 lamp with cold mirror and cooling fan)

19 Lightning Traditional Dangerous
Striking and breaking the contacts of an arc Works best behind windows Not to be used

20 Lightning Single-flash heavy duty strobe light
Also called a strobe cannon Oftentimes requires a reset time, before it can be fired again May require several units to create a realistic effect

21 Lightning Fast rise time lamps
Time that it takes the filament to heat to full incandescence Theatrical instruments = slow rise time 200W household lamp = Fast rise time and high light output Several lamps mounted inside a reflector scoop Momentary-on switch push button switch w/o a locking fixture Circuit stays on only as long as the button is pushed

22 Lightning Moving lights
Strobe effect done with a quick moving mechanical douser

23 Water Effect Rippling effect
Shine ERS into a shallow container of water with reflective bottom Make water move with fan or other jiggling device

24 Water Effect Moving light or Effects Head Dual Gobo rotator
One moves clockwise, the other counter-clockwise Dual Gobo Rotator from Rosco

25 Ghost Load An offstage unseen load connected to the dimmer
Usually a W fresnel two-fered with small onstage load to provide sufficient wattage for the dimmer to operate properly Eliminates lights glowing or flickering of low wattage light source

26 Safety Tip Never use liquid fuel on stage
Violates fire code Don’t let wires and cables be a trip hazard Run under cables, platforms, or in corners Tape into place or cover with rugs If using candles on stage, keep away from anything flammable, such as scenery drapes and costumes

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