2 Functions of Stage Light Visibility: “ If you can’t see ‘em, you can’t hear ‘em”Selective Focus: Allowing the audience to see only what they are supposed to see.Modeling: Revealing the three-dimensional formMood:Composition through the use of the “four qualities of light” (Intensity, Color, Movement, and Distribution).Mood is the most difficult and misused function of stage light in that it can overpower the other functions (there should be a balance).Contains the designers’ visual concept and interpretation.
3 Traditional (MacCandless) Method Goal/Objective: general and even illumination of the principle acting areas of the stage.Division of acting areas into lighting areas.
4 Traditional (MacCandless) Method Five light sources per lighting area.Overlapping of beams to compensate for instrument characteristics.Blending of complimentary colors to achieve white light (early process before quartz light).
5 Traditional (MacCandless) Method Four steps towards completion of design:1. General Illumination of the Acting Area2. Use of Color Washes for fill and mood3. Use of Specials to focus on specific moments as dictated by the script and rehearsal.4. Illumination of off-stage or secondary acting areas to compliment the action of the play.
6 Traditional (MacCandless) Method A few more tips:Lighting areas are generally 8-10 feet in diameter.Odd number of areas are used downstage to prevent dark areas.
7 Traditional (MacCandless) Method Ideal angles are 45 degrees above the horizon line and 45 degrees either side of center.
9 Motivational (Natural) Approach Developing the Lighting Plan(s):use “Lighting Sources” (practical and implied) in the stage setting to establish the quality of the light for the Lighting Plan (intensity, color, movement, distribution).Placement of “Lighting Sources” in relation to how the actor is using the stage setting is important in developing the Lighting Plan.“Lighting Sources” should in-turn appear to influence the movement of the actors.Remember: In life behavior is influenced by light…therefore you plan, to appear natural, should reflect human behavior.
10 Motivational (Natural) Approach Continuing to Develop the Lighting Design:Layering Lighting Plans to accommodate shifts in mood and composition, or time or place.Overlapping Lighting Plans from different scenes, looks, locales, etc.Use of KEY, FILL, BACK, RIM and TOP lights to accomplish the Lighting Plan
11 The Principle Differences The difference between the two approaches is that the “Motivational (Natural) Approach begins with natural sources and expands to fill the acting space. The Method Approach begins with a general illumination and expands to meet the specific needs of the action of the play.The Natural Approach offers a more effective composition as it’s based on practical and implied sources.Both approaches can work on the film location as well.
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