Jump to content

Lighting


Jake Brice
 Share

Recommended Posts

That’s interesting - one of the theatres I used to work in was built in the 60s and we had pictures of the original staff in the booth with pretty much the exact same “tiered booth” setup.  It’s long gone now - the booth is side by side now, but I wonder if it was more common than I thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmm. In my school we had a lighting position stage Left on steel pillars I guess 7ft to 8ft high. A bit like a small mezzanine. The sound equipment (Brenell Mark 5,), A Goldring Lenco turntable, what seemed at the time to be a homemade (No branding, but a mid green top) 6 channel rotary mixer, two valve amps driving built in columns. The sound operator was facing away from the stage and had to constantly peer around the tabs to see what was going on. 

Memory may be playing tricks, but I think we had just two microphones, both Reslo ribbon.  

Still managed to put on cracking shows though, although I may be biased! 😉

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Robin D said:

Hmmm. In my school we had a lighting position stage Left on steel pillars I guess 7ft to 8ft high. A bit like a small mezzanine. The sound equipment (Brenell Mark 5,), A Goldring Lenco turntable, what seemed at the time to be a homemade (No branding, but a mid green top) 6 channel rotary mixer, two valve amps driving built in columns. The sound operator was facing away from the stage and had to constantly peer around the tabs to see what was going on. 

Memory may be playing tricks, but I think we had just two microphones, both Reslo ribbon.  

Still managed to put on cracking shows though, although I may be biased! 😉

Well yes the platform you refer to wasn't there and sound & lighting positions used to occupy virtually all of the big wing. Our solution ('our' being the half dozen of so regular lads involved with the technician parts) was to construct the platform... we were asked to design it and pruduce a timber list, the teacher suggested making it much bigger. Next thin the timber arrived and under the teachers regular visits we built it, removed the junior 8 and wooden switchboard from the wall and repositioned  higher up. My dad got some lengths of conduit cut to length and we added to the ring final for local power and working lights etc etc etc.

Cor you had 2 Reslos...?   The schools sound kit was very basic but Dad allowed me to borrow some of his sometimes.

 

I'm sure >95% of what we did then would ring massive bells today. In fact having been involved in a number of school installations, both permanent and temporary, I know that to be true. In one school one of the year 11 lads asked if he could help me do the install, I was up for it but the school said no.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, sunray said:

I'm sure >95% of what we did then would ring massive bells today. In fact having been involved in a number of school installations, both permanent and temporary, I know that to be true. In one school one of the year 11 lads asked if he could help me do the install, I was up for it but the school said no.

I've had year 8's and 9's in a state school op'ing the desks up to the first lockdown. They were allowed under my direct control (as a volunteer), to assist with set, connect mic's to the desk, check and change batteries in the radio mic's etc. Holding one end of the snake while I laid it in etc. and helping thread DMX cables into the FOH bar. However, they were kept well out of the way when the bar was coming in or out.  I double checked everything they did, and they were pleased on occasion to be asked to double check things I had done.   

The H&S implications can be significant, but that shouldn't stop us trying to give them some experience. It's all down to a well constructed Risk Assessment. (Not a school one trotted out of a filing cabinet to put ticks on! every show.)

I did draw a very firm line when a local primary school put on Cinderella and they had a year 7 'difficult' boy allocated to fire the pyro's. I told the head to stop there or I would walk. After a frank 'discussion', he agreed. The lad was understandably aggrieved to not be "letting off the fireworks"! 

Edited by Robin D
Spelling
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think anyone has mentioned it yet, but you could join the Association of Lighting Production and Design (ALPD) as a student member (provided you are in the UK). If you apply BEFORE CHRISTMAS, you can have free membership from now until April 2023 by selecting "Student (Sponsored" as the membership type. Just go to the website and fill in the application form. You will be told what evidence you need to provide.

For "course tutor", give the details of a member of staff that knows about your interest in lighting (or might be an adult outside school but not a relative). As far as proving you are a current student, you probably won't have a school id card so think creatively what evidence you can provide (photo in school uniform perhaps?) If I need to check anything, it doesn't matter as long as your application arrived in time.

By the way, any other UK students listening who have not been members of the ALPD (or ALD) before, can join in the same way - but the offer for free membership expires at Christmas.

Peter Vincent (ALPD Membership Secretary)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/19/2021 at 6:01 PM, Ynot said:

Often surprises me (but not THAT much, tbh) when yet another BT type raises a hand in here owning up to working for the company I have (for 43 years, now) and working theatre or gigs in some way shape or form at the same time.

Back when I started, as several here will likely attest to, some of the standard patching equipment used in many theatres was of the old 'Post Office' type jack fields, and I'm sure many amateur venues had bits & bobs that had been 'rescued' from one exchange or another over the years. 🙂

In fact, looking back through the archive pics, this one does indeed show the tell-tale cream racking that I've known throughout my working life on the right there...
No photo description available.

I'm not one of the chaps in that pic, as it was a couple of years or so before I started there, but the set up was definitely there when I moved over in about 1981/82...
Strand SP60 LX desk in front and I believe an old Tascam (I think) 24-ch analogue mixer sat up top.

That's not proper lighting - what about this board we had at school? A Strand Electric Senior Sunset with 27 dimmers plus a Spare (on/off only) There were an additional 10 dimmers on the right-hand wall in my time plus 6 x gel changers on Patt 23. So cues were multi-people hands, knees, feet, and bits of wood affairs - more fun when girls joined the team a few years after I started in 1968! This was in a tower SL in a nice old fashioned way. We loved it and understanding tracking was no challenge, as that was every cue (changes circled in red on cue sheets).

 stage.7.thumb.jpg.c37d3d4dba5467c5434664d12eb5c0e2.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, vinntec said:

That's not proper lighting - what about this board we had at school? A Strand Electric Senior Sunset with 27 dimmers plus a Spare (on/off only) There were an additional 10 dimmers on the right-hand wall in my time plus 6 x gel changers on Patt 23. So cues were multi-people hands, knees, feet, and bits of wood affairs - more fun when girls joined the team a few years after I started in 1968! This was in a tower SL in a nice old fashioned way. We loved it and understanding tracking was no challenge, as that was every cue (changes circled in red on cue sheets).

 stage.7.thumb.jpg.c37d3d4dba5467c5434664d12eb5c0e2.jpg

Mmmm Strand?

Towards the end of my schooling I helped at the local little theatre who had one of three bays (so I was told) of this type of system from the demolished theatre along the road. From 49 years ago I remember the rack being about 30" wide and I think 5 rows with space for 6 dimmers per row but not all rows were full. The pushbars were flat and different colours denoting the dimmer rating with chalk numbers corresponding with the dymo lables on the plugs.  A sheet of asbestos covered the space in place of the switches . We only had one wheel which could drive all rows, again advised the others went with the other racks.

Now the crunch, I think the plate on the top of the rack was General Electric and not a Strand logo that I recognised (my previous experience being the junior8 and dimmers from the decommisioned board rated at 1000 - 1500W, longer travel, narrower (5 fitted in the size of a junior8) and deeper.

Edited by sunray
Ah and yes the bits of wood, they lived on top of the pushrods.
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/21/2021 at 9:40 PM, vinntec said:

 So cues were multi-people hands, knees, feet, and bits of wood affairs - more fun when girls joined the team a few years after I started in 1968! This was in a tower SL in a nice old fashioned way. We loved it and understanding tracking was no challenge, as that was every cue (changes circled in red on cue sheets).

 

At my school, 3 x Junior HA board, with lengths of wood, some with slots to leave channels out of group fades,  plus 4 rotary triac dimmers mounted in a box (used rubber bands to gang them),  located on a gallery in the wings SL accessed by a ladder.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting back on topic for the original poster:

Get involved with things. School drama/music, local amdram, local youth theatre (some stagecoach and alikes will take on techs as well as performers).

Once things are calmer with covid check out your local professional venue to see if they run any youth engagement, they'll be limited as to what they can offer you but you might be able to get behind a desk or a backstage tour. 

Try out various disciplines, listen and learn, and don't be afraid to do the basic jobs. I still sweep/hoover and make tea, and so does my boss.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many good points made in earlier posts, to which I would add, start learning basic electrical theory and practice.

At 14 years I doubt that you will be allowed to do that much, but ideas vary in this regard. Try to learn the following, not by rote, but with understanding.

How many 1 kw lanterns on a 10 amp dimmer, again not just "by rote" but WHY.

What size cable for a 15 amp extension lead, and WHY.

How to wire plugs, and what size fuse to use. 

And related questions.

If you see something that you are CONVINCED is dangerous, then report this to the person in charge. If not certain, then ask the question via this forum or otherwise.

Edited by adam2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First (I hope the obvious from this thread) "learn to filter the information you get on the internet." Both for relevance, and because people disagree, and the world is not neatly organised into right and wrong answers.

Second (which I was going to post), is consider experimenting at reduced scale, which you can do on a table top (and no working at height!). The theatre has a long history of producing reduced scale models in order to try out with less time / cost / venue access than the real thing. Historically mostly sets, but don't let that stop you. LED light sources (which are bright but run relatively cool and can be found in low-voltage DC powered versions) are now reasonably affordable and safe to experiment with, as well as being an increasingly important part of productions. Dimming can be a problem, but lots of relevant learning to come out of that!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, themadhippy said:

And why cant you give a definite  answer to this question, as the answer could be anywhere between 0 to infinite with the information given

Well yes, but presuming standard UK mains supply, which in the UK IS a reasonable assumption unless stated otherwise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

Well yes, but presuming standard UK mains supply, which in the UK IS a reasonable assumption unless stated otherwise.

Never assume as it makes make an ass out of u and me.I was asked a very similar question on a job interview,I asked for the  missing  info ,they asked why I needed it and  I explained why .later,when I got the job I found out  they had worded the question that way  on purpose and anyone not asking and just assumed  got no further.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...