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bry1513
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373 Posts

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I am trying to put together a configuration with a truss lighting system that will work best for me and was wondering if it is better to be backlit, have lighting from the sides or have the lighting facing you? I do not want to light up gimmicks and strings and such.......Thanks for any input.

Take care, Bry
Kevin Ridgeway
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Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
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Depending on how much you want to carry and want to spend, will determine alot.
Basically you should be front lit so the audience can see you. The best light comes from 30-45 degree angles, both from above and from either side. Also being lit from below will help with any shadows under your chin, a hat, etc.

Lighting from upstage or backlit will make you fuller, more dimensional. It is also the light, that when used with haze, is what creates color in the air. It will make the stage much more attractive looking. It can fill empty space.

As far as what type of lights to use...
Source Four Pars are the only type of pars to use these days. A 575 watt source four puts out the same amount of lumens as a 1000 watt traditional par can. The same bulb can be used in a source four ellipsoidal. The par will give you good wash light, the ellipsoidal will gove you hard edge beams.

Now you can step up tp intelligent lights. Forget the cheap junk out there...find some good used equipment.

Just remember on all of this...lights eat up alot of power. Once you get to a certain level, you will need to carry a distros to provide the electricity you need to power it all.

To give you an idea of what we are using....
60 ft of truss, four 21' lifts, Source Four Pars & Ellipsoidals, High End Intellabeams 700HX.
We are in the process of adding Mac 300's for intelligent wash lights.
Everything is ran from a dedicated computer, running Elation Compu Ware Pro.


Hope that helps.
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

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

www.LadyHoudini.com

www.livingillusions.com
Fitz
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Phoenix, AZ
476 Posts

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Sounds like a nice setup.
bry1513 try looking at http://www.lightbroker.com for used lights. You might also call around any theatrical lightting companys around you to see if they would sell any old lights. I would try to find their slow season, in Arizona that would be summer. The reason is out here all of the lightting shops are cleaning to keep thier workers busy and they find all kinds of stuff they won't "need" anymore so they sell it to make some money in thier dead time.

Just a thought,
Fitz
I have a daily web show all about magic at http://FitzMagic.info
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Toronto, Canada
793 Posts

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Bry,
Put together what Kevan has said, along with http://www.magicroadie.com/ (click on the "Lighting" lnk), and you'll have all the basic info. Actually, with the two bits of information included in these two places, you'll have ALL the useable info you'll ever need with a moderately sized lighting rig!
Cheers!
Dan.
Dan McLean Jr
www.MagicRoadie.com
"Taking the mystery out of stage technology!"
Kevin Ridgeway
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V.I.P.
Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
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Dan....my fault.
Instead of a long winded post I should have just pasted your link. I won't let that happen again...lol
Hope things are going well.

Kevin
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

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

www.LadyHoudini.com

www.livingillusions.com
bry1513
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373 Posts

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Thanks so much for the help guys and Kevin don't apoligize. I really appreciate it when anyone goes out of their way to help me out.....also thanks for the websites Fitz and Dan.......

Take care, Bry
g0thike
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722 Posts

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I read somewhere that Walter Blaney has a tool box rigged with lights in them to light his shows. Does anyone know about this and care to share with us?
Miracle Man Show
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Indiana
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The Zaney Lights are found on page 29 of "The Banquet Magicians Handbook" by David Charvet.
Tom McCormick
"The Miracle Man Show"
There's only one Miracle Man, that's Jesus Christ; I just get to do a show about HIM.
www.themiraclemanshow.com
Mike James
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Houston, TX
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If you're gonna use Source Four fixtures (a Source Four is nothing more than a Elipsoidal light with an ETC logo), you need to use several of them, and put a heavy diffusion gels on them - a pure elipse can has WAY too sharp an edge, and looks sloppy, IMHO.

Being lit from directly above is really more suited for TV talk shows and other very bright lighting schemes - not for a show. Being lit from beneath, at anything steeper than about 45 degrees looks like you're telling a ghost story - which may indeed be a neat effect.

The best lighting for a normal show, however, is from about 60 degrees, with diffused par cans, with elipses (aka Source Fours) to highlight prop pieces and, of course, YOU.

Another neat trick, mostly empolyed in news studios and big stages, is that of EDGE LIGHTING - On most news broadcasts, there is a lip at the front of the desk, which contains several flourescent (sp?) tube bulbs to light the anchors. On huge stages, like those of Broadway, par cans will be embedded into the edge of the stage. - You can employ this technique by obtaining some long tube bulbs (not flourescent, due to warm-up lags) and make some small (not view-obstucting) boxes.

NSI has some great (lower end, fairly cheap, yet still nice) rigs for small application.

Sorry I cannot put any more (as if anyone here would want me to), but I'm on the road and must go.

Good luck!
fccfp
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NJ
561 Posts

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At what point does one need to add lights. I just bot a portable PA. I am not working in large halls very often. Mostly house parties and school shows. I don't do any large illusions at this time. However, I am thinking that Should carry some lighting for thse occasions wher there really is not much in the way of light naturally in the space. I.E. in a returant or catering hall where the lights are moderatly low. Can get away w/inexpensive work lights clipped to a tripod? or am I better off not doing anything if I can't go "top drawer"?
A.K.A. Jay The Magician
www.jaythemagician.com
Mike James
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Houston, TX
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You should add lights when they enhance your show, and you should add whatever lights enhance your show. Period.

A Christmas light would be a great addition if it enhances your show (oddly enough, I built a magic lighting rig that employed two christmas lights).

If your only concern is lighting for areas that don't have much light, you don't really need much - a couple par cans or some flourescant bulbs would be fine. If you are building a lighting rig to create complex cues, transitions, colors, effects, etc., you do need to get a little more serious...

To answer your question, work lights are fine - as long as the lighting is fairly white (not yellow), evenly distributed (aka not creating heavy shadows or dark spots), and not too bright.
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