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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Lighting for a stage show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Comedy Writer
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Howdy,

I'm looking into portable lights for a stage magic show. I'm leaning toward two trees with a 10' truss between them, with 6-10 par cans. Does anyone use a system like this or something else?

CW
silverking
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What kind of power will you have available at your gigs?

It can make deciding which fixtures to use much easier if you work within the power limitations of the venues you play in.
Bill Nuvo
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I would get that, but be prepared to only use 4 cans per tree. A lot of halls won't be able to handle much more. Another solution is to carry a lot of extension cords to spread the power around between fuses. It may not be pretty, but may be nescessary.

I have performed in some pretty old venues with outdated electrical supply/fixtures. I was only able to use two pars (i the power rating on them...it was years ago) in this one venue. I had to use their crappy 60 watt sound system since mine drew too much power!?!?! I don't think that place should have been holding any event being that shabby.
Tyler_Magician
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It all depends on what type of par cans you use. The 64s, especially, suck a lot of power and get very hot, so make sure the building you are in has a/c and it's set colder than normal.

One thing to think about is dimming and shadows.

10 par cans will give you a lot of light, probably too much. Especially if you have the lights in one small area, like the 10' truss. When you plug the lights in, they will all be on full power. I use a dimmer pack with a lighting controller, computer program.

You will also get many shadows if you only use lights from the direct front. Consider using multiple angles of lights to reduce shadows.

Hope some of this helps...Let me know if you need more info.

-Tyler
Stuart Coyle
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Perhaps par 56s are the thing you need. They are quite usuable, are lighter, draw less power and create less heat than 64s.

You really should consider a bit of side fill and something from higher angles if possible in the venue.

For small gigs I prefer to use 2 to four par cans on each of two push up trees spaced well apart and angled about 45 degrees across stage. This gives reasonable coverage and fill. That way you need no truss. I can run that from two 10 amp power points. A small 4 way dimmer pack is useful as well.
Comedy Writer
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Thanks for the info -- very useful. I hadn't considered the power requirements necessary. I'm thinking two trees, plus ( now) some side fill lights -- though these may just be clip on work lights.

CW
chmara
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As you go to a bigger and bigger show that includes proper dramatic lighting your power requirements increase and often will require you to make sure you have a technical rider on yourt contract with power needs spelled out -- AND a back up smaller lighting plot for whem the rider is not met.

At minimum you should have 2 - 20 ampo separate circuits availanle to you. I also carry a 1500 watt spot that I require a circuit for in back of the hall and prefer to put my sound and effects on a fourth.

Rather than par cans -- I have found that varios specialty ionstruments (zoom spots, etc.) can give better effects and focus attention (and/or mis-direct) when properly cued anbd aimed.

This is "technical" work, much like pyro, that takes a lot more atrention to detail that just brightening things up.
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ



C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
TheAmbitiousCard
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I know nothing about lighting.
Thanks for yacking about it. I hope to pick up more info.

Qn: How do you know what gels to use?
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
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Tyler_Magician
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What do you mean what gels? It is just a colored sheet that goes in front of the light. I really can't help you there as I don't understand exactly what you're asking...
-Tyler
Neil_Brown
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England
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Quote:
Qn: How do you know what gels to use?

Most theatrical lighting shops will be able to give you flickbooks of gels, so you can see exactly what colours are available. You can then order by the code attached to the particular colour.
TheAmbitiousCard
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But how do you know what colors to purchase? What combination?
pink and blue?

green and yellow?

I have no idea?

What are the rules?

Thanks,
Frank
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
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Tyler_Magician
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They are used to set different moods. They usually sell them in sets of 3 colors with different moods. I will check tomorrow what brand ours and let you know.

The colors will be mixed on stage so you need to make sure they look good together. I wouldn't use pink, blue, and yellow all at one time because all you would have is a bunch of colors. You have to get the feeling for which colors to use. If you are doing a dangerous trick like an escape, red looks good. For a bird act, maybe blues or greens.

It's all about creating different moods and you really have to feel it.

-Tyler
Kevin Ridgeway
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Do not buy your gels in packs of three colors. They are terrible choices, cheap gels that will turn white in no time and will teach you nothing about color.

Go to your local stage ot lighting rental and sales company. Buy your gels there and ask them to spend just a little time with you teaching you about color. We prefer Rosco, they have some great new colors, like Steel Blue. There is also Gam and Apollo.

Also remember the darker the color the more fixtures it is going to take to actually show that color on stage.

Again..in my opinion, do not go online to some music store and order their three pack of gels.


Kevin
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
The World's Premier Female Escape Artist

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