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Technical Theatre 1
WEEK OF April 13-17, 2020
Students are expected to complete the assignment and/or activity for the day and, if there is a submission button, to click the button and fill out/submit the completed form for that day.
As per Cobb County guidelines, classes are only meeting Monday-Thursday and exercises/activities will reflect this. Friday is to serve as an evaluation day to gauge student learning and to be available for office hours and questions.
Each day at 2pm, including Friday, there will a Zoom session where industry professionals continue to join us. Check out the line-up HERE and join us for some exciting and interesting discussions.
This week we will explore stage lighting. Watch each video posted and any questions/activities connected to it.
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Monday April 13
Part 1: What is Stage Lighting?
Lighting for the stage involves manipulating the four major Controllable Qualities of light; Intensity, Color, Direction and Movement; to influence the four functions of stage lighting which are Mood, Selective Focus, Modeling and Visibility.
Basics of Stage Lighting
Lights allow us to see. Have you ever watched a performance in a cave, completely absent of light? Of course not. Visible wavelengths of light are required for us to see.
Lights allow us to create a mood or craft an atmosphere. There are no hard-and-fast rules to create mood. It’s a creative process that hopefully supports a story or song.
Lights need to enhance and balance all the components of a stage performance. Where is the focus on the stage? What should be highlighted? What should be de-emphasized? Consider all the pieces and their priorities when creating a composition and painting the area with light.
Lights can create plausibility or reality to draw an audience into a time period and out of the hall or auditorium where they presently reside. A play or performance set in the distant past can use dim lighting to mimic the time period when interiors were illuminated by candles.
Lights can reinforce the mood or action of a performance. Whether it’s music, a story, a dramatic interpretation — lighting can elevate the performance through the use of color, angles, intensity, and effects.
Lights can sculpt actors and musicians and make them seem larger-than-life, drawing them into the foreground and setting them apart from a two-dimensional stage.
Types of Lighting Fixtures
Ellipsoidal — Ellipsoidal Reflector Spotlight (ERS), is a light used to highlight certain subjects or stage pieces with a relatively narrow beam angle. This is best used for when you want to draw attention to a person by using multiple units. ERS lights always have adjustable focus and can have gobos placed in them to project patterns or logos.
PAR — Short for parabolic reflectors, these are lights used as wash fixtures. These lights can cover large parts of the stage to fill in gaps that the spotlights do not cover or to wash the entire stage. These fixtures typically do not have any sort of zoom or focus option, but come in a variety of lens types to get different beam angles. This is the most common type of fixture you will see, because it is generally the most cost effective while providing the most coverage.
These are just a handful of the fixture types in the lighting world but are among the most common and widely used. With just these fixtures, you can create a professional show and provide almost any look you can imagine.
Seen here is a Chauvet Rouge R3 Wash moving head instrument. Hillgrove installed two of these this year.
Moving Head — These fixtures come in a variety of different flavors, such as a spot, wash, beam, and hybrid. Each of these names refers to the beam angle range of the fixture. Beam is the narrowest, spot is a little wider, wash is the widest, and hybrid could be any combination of those three. These units also have color capability, movement, gobo patterns, and a long list of other functions. As the most versatile option, they allow you to really take a show to a whole new level.
Fresnel — These fixtures are the happy medium between a PAR and an ERS. They have a zoom function but not a focus and usually cast a much “softer” light than ERS fixtures. This type of light also comes in handy when you cannot hang a fixture in an optimum location and need adjustable optics to help achieve the look you want.
CYC Light — These fixtures throw a sheet of light. Traditionally with a "J" shaped reflector, they are able to sit on the floor or hang fairly close to the backdrop and throw an even sheet of light up and down. The bottom of the "J" is for the short throw and the top part is for the longer throw.
Tuesday April 14
Part 4: What is DMX
DMX512 (Digital Multiplex) is a standard for digital communication networks that are commonly used to control stage lighting and effects.
Setting Up Your Lighting System
Types of Lighting Controllers
Dimmer Pack — Dimmer packs are what you plug your lighting fixtures into in order to dim them. Dimmer packs will also have XLR inputs and outputs for DMX512 and/or other protocols. These inputs are to be used when you are daisy-chaining, or linking together, multiple dimmer packs under the control of the controller.
Lighting Control Console — DMX Consoles (lighting boards) are the brains of the operation. It is from them that the control signal is sent to the receiving device. Using the DMX-512 protocol, these units speak to the largest percentage of devices.
Seen here is an ETC Element, which is the lighting console that Hillgrove High School uses.