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Hey guys im new here and to the industry. I've just started a Production Arts course here in Bridgwater College and am really enjoying everything about it. At the moment I'd say lighting is my perferd department right now it good fun!


Basically I just want to know more about lighting design and how it works as we havn't really gone over it all that well in college yet and just wanted to know what is needed qualification wise and stuff. What equipment do you use personally when designing lighting for a gig or theatre? also what qualifications are needed when looking into this line of work?


Thanks in advance guys!


I forgot to mention that websites would be handy as I can print out and keep info in my lighting port folio

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What equipment do you use personally when designing lighting for a gig or theatre?

Scrap of paper and a pencil with a rubber standing by.


Is that what you meant?


If you meant what technical equipment gets into the design, then whatever is appropriate for the show. Some shows will get by on half a dozen parcans and others will require a rig full of movers plus lots of specials. Mainly it's somewhere in between.


Oh, and to go back to the first sentence, I must admit that at a cetain point in the design I may move to a PC and ditch the pencil, but while I get the initial ideas down on paper there's nothing better than a pencil and a the clean side of a pre-used sheet of A4.

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Moleskine notebook, mechanical pencil.


Moving to AutoCAD later, and then Powerpoint (yes, Powerpoint!) for magic sheets.


Excel for cue sheets, instrument schedule, colour call.


All running on my beloved MacBook Pro. (Except for AutoCAD, which is on a PC.)


But none of that matters. You just need to communicate, effectively and accurately, what you want. However suits you best.


As for qualifications needed: well, you don't need any. I know designers from all kinds of backgrounds. Many have some kind of stagecraft or theatre design degree - but by no means all. It is worth noting that it's taken me 10 years of working the industry as a technician and production manager to get to the point where I can make a reasonable amount of money from design - and I still couldn't do it as my main living!

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First of all, Welcome to the forum!


I would recomend two books to help with lighting design.


'Stage lighting design - The art, the craft, the life' Richard Pillbrow


'Performance Lighting Design' Nick Moran


There's a good list of books somewhere on here but I can never find it. I normaly have to do a search in the top right corner there, but doing a search to link you on here I couldn't find it.


When I'm doing lighting deesign I perfer to do it with a paper plan. Either with the grid printed onto the paper or drawn on. I quite often like to do a design, or indeed just notes on the future design somehwere where I have the grid in sight. It allows me to see whats allready up there and try and incorparate it in, plus I think it helps to visualise things better.


There are also of course great computer programs out there such as WYSIWIG


Very best of luck with the course!



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