SLTs own collection of people who try to ensure the production is not left in the dark
Your lighting designer works with the director and the set designer to agree a lighting plan for the show. Lighting design is about much more than making sure the actors can be seen. It can give the audience information about the place and time of the scene, and the mood and style of the piece. It can be unobtrusive or it can be astonishing. Designs can vary from the very simple (switch 'em on at the beginning, switch 'em off at the end) to the very complex (disco lights, glitter balls, dawn breaking at sea, magical green smoke etc.), but there are some questions you need to answer with your designer for every scene in every show.
- Where does the scene take place? Is it indoors or outdoors? What is the weather like? Is it on a sunny beach or a grey windswept moor? What time of day is it? Bright morning, golden afternoon or blue night? Is the light changing as dawn breaks or the sun sets? If it's indoors, is the lighting daylight from a window or artificial from a light bulb? Sometimes specific times, places and effects will be called for in a script. Other times you as director will have to make these decisions.
- Which areas of the stage will the actors be in? Where will they be moving to?
- Are there special lighting effects required? A lighting storm? A full moon? Light through a stained glass window? A disco? Red and green flashing background lights? A police car outside the window?
- What will the changes between different states be like? Snap to black or slow fades?
- Are smoke effects required?
- If there is darkness between scenes, will actors or stage managers be moving about in it? If so you will need some low light (usually blue) for them to work by.
Once the design is agreed, the main work of the lighting designer takes place between get-in and opening night. Typically the role of the lighting designer will include:
- Reading the script and noting down ideas for times, effects, lighting changes etc.
- Discussing and agreeing the lighting brief with the director
- Attending run-through rehearsals to watch the show, imagine how it should be lit and note down further ideas
- Having a detailed lighting design ready in time for get-in
- Recruiting help to rig lights
- Around the time of get-in, rigging the lights that will be used in the show. Rigging includes hanging the lanterns on the lighting bars, plugging them in and patching them through to the computer control desk, attaching any coloured gels or gobos that are needed, pointing and focussing them.
- Programming lighting states and lighting cues into the computer(which uses software called LCedit LCedit+).
- Attends tech rehearsal to agree
- Discussing running of lighting cues with the lighting operator.
- Attending dress rehearsals to make sure lighting plan is effective, and make any last-minute changes necessary.
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Pages in category ‘Lighting Designers’
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