2 Main Purposes of Stage Lighting To illuminate the actor(s) & the set(s)To establish MOOD & settingTo draw focus
3 The History of Stage Lighting Greek:Open-air, usually on a hillsideThe afternoon sun was behind the audience areaThe afternoon sun illuminated the stageRoman:Much like the Greek theatres, but audience area was covered with a colored awning which softened the sun’s glare
6 Italy, circa 1500s:Patronage system brought private performances, pageants, tableaux and indoor theatre.Serlio – (Italian architect) suggested using candles & torches set behind glass bottles filled with amber and blue colored liquidPalladio’s theatre used common sources of light: torches, open wicks, pine knots, tallow candles
8 England: circa late 1500s-1600s Shakespeare’s Old Globe Theatre was open-air, so natural light was used (candles & torches also, when necessary).Blackfriar’s Theatre – winter home of Shakespeare’s theatre company. Indoor theatres like this used candles and torches to light the stage and the audience area.
9 The Old Globe TheatreRebuilt according to the original plans and in operation today!
11 Inigo Jones (English designer & architect) Used reflectors to increase light sourcesOil lamps & candles on front edge of stage, out of sight of audienceTallow candles and lamps vertically mounted behind wings on the sides of the stageUsed candles on hoops & chandeliers up on pulleysGold decorations in theatre reflected the light
12 AHHHH!!! Poof! Or, the downsides of candles Candles wereExpensiveHard to maintainTrimming the wicks during the showBlackouts – snuff out the candles quickly“Snuff boys”Dangerous &unpredictable
13 David Garrick Richard Sheridan William Murdock Drury Theatre, 1765 (London)Footlights – candles masked with metal screens along the front edge of the stageRichard SheridanDrury Theatre, 1784All stage lights now out of sight of audienceHid lights behind wings and bordersWilliam MurdockScottish engineerGas lighting from coal – would replace candles
14 Fredrick WinsonGermanLyceum Theatre, 1803 (London)1st successful use of gas lighting on stageAll the equipment – valves and switches, are controlled in one central location, the “gas table”. This is the forerunner of the modern switchboard.“in the limelight” means to be famous, or the center of attention. It originates in this era, when the mineral lime was burned to create light for the stage.
15 Lyceum Theatre, London(The original was destroyed by fire in hmmmm)
16 Speaking of gas….. Advantages Disadvantages Brighter than oil lamps & candlesBetter control: valves at a central pointSmooth increases & decreases of lightVariable speed of transitions1st time: auditorium lights can be darkenedHeatSmell/vaporsFire hazardHel-lo, open flame!!As a result,laws were created to establish guards, screens, glass chimneys
17 Modern Stage Lighting Begins! Thomas Edison1879, invents the first practical electric lampBye bye gas!Light is produced by heating a filamentWithin one year, the Paris Opera is using the new electrical lighting system.
18 Thomas Edison’s Electric Bulb The filament is the wire inside the center of the glass bulb.
19 The Paris Opera House Grand Entry Hey look, electric lights!
20 Paris Opera House - Interior (Note the chandelier and electric lights.)
22 The Script What is the feeling of the play? Ask about the budget. What colors do you see?What music do you hear?What emotions do you feel?What are the rhythms and beats of the script?Ask about the budget.Stay within the budgetWork with the director and other designers
23 Light Design BRIGHTNESS COLOR CHANGE RATE DIRECTION In order to accomplish the 3 goals of lighting, we manipulate a variety of factors.BRIGHTNESSCOLORCHANGE RATEDIRECTION
24 BrightnessControlling the brightness focuses the audience’s attention.Darkness = secret action; action that is not meant to draw focus.Brightness = important actionDifferent lamps will put out varying amounts of light….
25 Brightness Types of lamps FresnelEllipsoidal/LekoPar CanBorder, or Strip, lightFollow SpotScoopLED LightingBarn doors, shutters – hinged metal flaps that narrow the light beamDimmers – control the amount of power
26 Fresnels“A Fresnel spot is a can with a lamp, a reflector, and a lens. The lamp and reflector move back and forth on a "sled." The reflector is a "bowl" cut from a sphere, and the lens is a "plano convex" lens that has been specially shaped to save weight and reduce heat. Because of the shape of the reflector and lens, the light from a Fresnel is always soft edged. Fresnels will have some knob or crank or lever that moves the sled. Moving it will make the blob of light bigger or smaller.”
27 Fresnel Used for general color washes Soft-edged beam Come in 3 sizes Short-range light
29 Par Can“Parabolic reflector cans (most commonly called PAR cans, or simply cans) are non- focusable instruments. PAR cans consist mainly of a metal cylinder with a sealed- beam parabolic reflector lamp at one end. These lamps are very similar to those used in many automobiles as headlights. The instrument throws an unfocused beam, the shape of which depends on what type of lamp is in the instrument… Theatrical applications of cans typically include washes and effects lighting. Color frames can be used with most cans by using the clips present on the front of the instrument.”
30 Par Cans Unfocused beam Like a headlight Add color frames to the front Washes &effectsEasiest to workwith
31 Ellipsoidals/Lekos“Ellipsoidal reflector spotlights (often called ERSs, or Lekos,…) are among the most complex non-automated lights found in a theatrical lighting setup. Ellipsoidals consist of an incandescent lamp, an elliptical reflector, and one or two plano-convex lenses. There are many types of ellipsoidal instruments, but they all share the common trait of producing a sharp beam that can be focused and shaped. Most employ four shutters that allow the spill of light to be controlled. Ellipsoidals typically have provisions for color frames and gobo projection. Typical uses of ellipsoidals are: acting area lighting, specials, back or side lighting, and pattern projection ….”
32 Ellipsoidals/ Lekos Sharp beam Longer range Can be focused & shaped – hardor soft edgeUse withGOBOSUse for: actingarea lighting,specials, side-lighting, back-lightingMost versatile& popular stagelight
34 GOBOS Patterns cut out of metal plates Fit into the pattern holder slot of the Leko (aka ellipsoidal)Project onto the stage floor, set, cyc, etc.
35 Border/ Strip Lights General washes of color Mount behind wings/bordersCan’t be focusedPermanent alternating colored glass lenses (often)
36 Follow Spots Specials Long-range light Manually operated from the catwalk orthe back ofthe houseGives theactor mobility
37 Scoops General wash of light Cannot be focused Can be fitted with coloredgelsGreat for lightinga large spacewith only a fewlights
38 LED Lighting Light Emitting Diode Used extensively in concert lighting Par cans and strip lighting can utilize LED sources, but it can be used to replace any conventional lighting fixture except ellipsoidalsLED is used a lot with “moving head” lighting systemsOften used to light the cyc, & for side and back lightingCombines red, blue, and green light to create different light colorsAdvantage: low heat outputDisadvantages: can’t create a hard-edged beam; costly
39 LED Lighting YouTube - Nine Inch Nails - The Making Of
41 Color Establishes setting/time & mood Creates texture Cool colors: blue, greenWarm colors: red/amber, yellowMcCandless MethodStanley McCandless - architect, later a theatre lighting designerOne light from the top left, one on the top right, both at 45° angles, at least 90° apartcombine a cool gel on one light & a warm gel on the other to create a neutral lightLights the actor, and also “sculpts” their featuresThe most basic and common way to light the stage
42 Basic Color TipsTest the color by holding it in front of a light source against the fabric or skin.“Use less saturated colors for actor's faces.Each skin tone is unique and may respond differently to a particular color. What looks terrific on one person will not necessarily serve every other performer in the piece. Be prepared to make adjustments.More saturated tones can be used to sidelight and backlight actors.Save the strongest colors for lighting the scenery.”ght.html
43 Gels Colored films that are placed in holders in the front of the lamp Used to be made of gelatin; hence the name “gels”.Swatch books of colors available from each company
44 Direction/AnglesFront lighting – often made using a follow spot; flattens features/setTop lighting – light, especially directly above, will exaggerate shadows & can age the actorBack lighting – highlights shoulders and hair; stand out from the background; special effectSide lighting - can create a shadow on one side of the face/set; shows direction of light; special effectUp lighting – from footlights or cans; spooky, ghoulish effectMcCandless Method: combine top lighting & side lighting advantages with color to make a flattering, neutral light on the actor/set.
45 Lighting - Angles McCandless Method Front Lighting http%3a%2f%2fwww.roctronics.com%2fslbsics.html
46 Try some of these angles yourself with a set of flashlights! BacklightingUp LightingTry some of these angles yourself with a set of flashlights!
47 And now, a Brief Break for a Professional Show…. Lighting Design Powerpoint –CSULB TH 148 Graduate Lighting Design, Dr. JacquesView Slides 316 – 330Entire Show can be downloaded & viewed at https://webmail.svusd.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=bc f 68a5d3cad48e606f37&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.csulb.edu% 2f%7edjacques%2fpage_powerpoint_presentations.htm
48 Basic Design StepsREAD THE SCRIPT!!! – Note setting(s), mood, beats, char.Obtain a floorplan of the set – Set DesignerDetermine the main acting areas - DirectorDraw a large circle on the floorplan for each acting areaFor each large circle area, determine how you will fill that space with light.InstrumentsGels for colorDetermine any other special acting areas that are impt. to the director – DirectorFor each special area, determine how you will light that space, &/or the actor(s) in it
49 So, What Instrument Do I Use??? General washes:FresnelsPar cansScoopsSpecial lights:SpotlightsEllipsoidals/LekosFootlightsBorder lights