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We Will Rock You


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Is this similar to what you want?


This effect was acheived by using an open white 19deg Source4 rigged above and just in front of the actor's head - adjust the beam angle to allow for your trim height.


To change the beam into 'bars', add a gobo such as DHA 565 or DHA 8073, possibly in a rotator if you can afford one. (There are probably better gobos available - I just did a quick check)


Remember to choose a wide enough beam angle to get the actor in the dark area between the bars of light - if they touch the actor you will get ugly bright spots.


This only takes one fixture so doesn't use up much physical space, and only one overhead circuit.


(Edited for spelling)

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Guest lightnix
No, moving lights are not your best bet for this effect. (The old "moving lights as a solution to every problem" phenomenon seems to be rearing its ugly head again :angry:.)


Unless you can get your moving light VERY high... you'll see a lot of 'divergence' to the circle of little light beams which won't look nearly as nice as the photo.


I think you're probably on the right lines when you mentioned a ring of pinspots. Par 36 ACL lamps might also be worth thinking about...

You might be able to gain a little height by using a moving mirror, but as gareth points out, you'll get beam divergence. I'd agree that a ring of PAR36 ACLs would be the brightest narrow angle source (bar a real laser) to get a "straight down bars" type look. You might be able to do something with narrow angle MR16s, but you'll probably need a lot.


I think it's important to think about these things creatively. If you are doing 'We Will Rock You', try not to be distracted by how they did it in the West End. While it looked great, there are always other ways of doing it...
Absolutely. There's little point in the owners of WWRY making it available this early, if all the schools are going to do is try to clone the West End version.


I'm not familiar with the show myself (and it would kind of help to know what the action on stage is at this point, i.e. what's actually happening at this point in the show), but the Wikipedia entry for WWRY notes that...

Played for laughs, there is very little real story to We Will Rock You. While the musical is a spoof of the classic quest tale with some moments of clever dialogue, it exists predominately as a framework allowing a vocally talented cast to perform covers of Queen's greatest hits.
As a fantasy tale, there's a real opportunity to produce some Suspension of Disbelief here.


Back to the effect...


Do the beams have to come from above?

Would it be possible / practical to mount some lights on a truck which could be wheeled on and off, or build them into the floor of the set?


What other ways might there be of "enclosing somebody in beams of light"?

One idea that springs to mind is a stack of UV-lit, fluorescent-painted hoops (cheap and easy to make from thin plastic water pipe and dowel), with fine wires running through them, which could be then lowered from the side via pulleys. Here's some VERY rough sketches...


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v631/lightnix/hoop_cage_concept_up.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v631/lightnix/hoop_cage_concept.jpg


(apologies to Nirvana fans everywhere)


You'll need more than two pick-up points to keep it stable, but I hope you get the idea. The real beauty of this from a lighting point of view, is that the bulk of the effect becomes a set builder's problem ;)

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Absolutely. There's little point in the owners of WWRY making it available this early, if all the schools are going to do is try to clone the West End version.


Please don't misunderstand me, all I asked was if anyone had experience of a method to recreate a single effect on a budget from a picture I found on the internet. I have no intention of recreating a West End show that I have never even seen staged! I can understand a leap to that conclusion, but it certainly isn't what I have in mind.


The scenes involved call for impromptu laser "cages" to suggest a futuristic on-demand prison cell in two different locations, so although I realise it's a big budget effect, it's an effect that - if recreated - solves a lot of problems in those scenes.


Many, many thanks for all the suggestions so far. The Pinspot/ACL idea is a good one and manageable. I take your point about the Mac and beam size Gareth, and Tomo I have the gear to achieve that effect, I will have a play later this week.


Lightnix, "creative idea of the week" goes to you! It's an excellent idea but maybe not the "instant cell" I had in mind. That isn't to say that can't be changed to accommodate such a thing. Thanks for that.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi, I know this has already been covered, but it did not give me the answer I needed.


Does anyone know what was used to produce this effect.




If anyone can let me know, it would be much appreciated.





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A laser?


Yes but which kind, I know it must have a sensor on it. When you move though it it does some weird effect.


I would have thought the "prisoner" has some sort of device in his hand that makes the effect when he activates it by some description of a button, rather than it being the laser. B-)

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A laser, some haze and an effect. I'm going to merge this with one of the older ones (that even has the same picture)


There isn't a need for a sensor - it's just an effect. It's perfectly possible to add sensors to the floor, BUT - it wouldn't take much for the beams to get misaligned and prodding a button is probably far simpler.

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We had visually almost exactly the same effect in our production.


Moving head laser on the grid pointing down.


When the character inside the cage attempted to escape, we hit some strobes but had toyed with the idea of him having a mirror on the palm of his hand. As memory serves, he does manage to escape at one point and it would have been nice to see him actually bend the beams.


As for when he got shocked, we had a perspex panel in the riser floor he was stood on and hid a small stobe below. With a liberal amount of haze it looked pretty good.



Cheap way of getting the same effect - 15 or so cheapo laser pens mounted to a wooden circle in the roof pointing downwards with a 1.5v power supply connected to the battery terminals.


Great show, have fun with it!


Beat our 31 moving heads record for our small theatre!

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Hello all,


What I am looking for is a low-budget way to imitate a laser effect. Specifically this one:




Does anyone know of a disco effect type light or something similar? If it rotated then that would be even better B-)



Here is a link to the old high end systems emulator,



these are no longer in production but you can find them in clubs and on eBay etc.

Best laser effect from a moving light that is not a laser if you get my drift.



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when I was DSM for the show at sunderland empire, we just used a martin mac 250 profile and used one of the gobos. it looked really effective however nothing compared to what you see in the pictures there




Just thought I'd add my two pence worth,

I worked on the same show as Row above and just thought I's add a bit more information about the effect.

It was in fact a Mac 700 spot, we used the light with some fan gobo if I remember correct, pointing straight down for a single laser light, and made sure that turn hit the right mark each time. We also had the added bonus of having two haze machines, and another high powered smoke machine in the fly bars, which was in fact used to create a useful effect when lowering the guitar (rather than having it appear out of the set) but was handy too add some extra smoke in those needed scenes, as it was programmed to a sub master on the lighting desk for this purpose. The scenes which required a lot of people to be trapped in the cages (last scene act 1 for an example) we used about 4 or 5 of these lights to rotate across the group of people. Hope that helps.


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