Lighting Questions...

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February 9, 2010
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Looking to reset my lights for Annie Jr. How do I focus my lights? Do I aim for the actors? Aim for the floor where the actors will be standing? Do I just light the set background?Thanks.
7 answers

February 18, 2010
I'd aim the lights on the actors if the scene is focused on them, or where they will be, if that fits the scene better.

February 10, 2010
Thanks guys! Rodney, I just wanted clarification for myself. An example of main lighting would be lighting that would come from the front/overhead? Fill light might come from over head or the side, and back light would mostly come from behind the actor? Did I get that right?

February 10, 2010
Yes, Marly, you've got it! The main light is brighter than the fill light. The main light does most of the work to light the subject. The fill light softens the shadows on the opposite side of the face (or the object) you are lighting. The back light, for a stage production, just about HAS to come from behind and ABOVE the actor--otherwise it will shine in the eyes of your audience. You want the backlight to catch the subject's head and shoulders. Sometimes I've seen the backlight come straight down from ABOVE so it looks more like a hallo. That's okay, if you're trying to make a hallo, but usually too much hallo is a sign of lazy lighting adjustments. When you get it right, your subject will look natural, but still stand out from the background. I think lighting is fun, and hope you enjoy it too.

February 10, 2010
Cool! Just starting really work with lighting in my productions and I'm planning on learning more. It's a great start. Thanks a bunch!

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February 10, 2010
Its addictive Marly and as Rodney says its fun and gives you another theatrical tool to play with! When you get the important goals correct (that tell your story),special effects like "specials", gobos, etc. really are a ball.

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February 9, 2010
HI Marly! To "shed some light on the matter", it all depends on what lights you have available to you! Basically, the lights need to tell the story just like every other part of the show and the audience needs to follow what is happening by the aid of lights. So whether you are using a simple spot light run by a student, or focusing a board, we need to see the actors in most cases. If you have to keep it simple, have bright and low lighting for mood (or day and night). The orphanage when Annie is trying to escape is the perfect time to keep it as low as possible (or use your blues). If you can, setting the lights for the mood, (Warbucks mansion, NYC,) it helps accentuate your set. I will definitely blog about lighting soon!! Cindy

February 9, 2010
I like to see actors (or stand-ins) on the stage where the director wants them to stand. Then I light THEM and put a mark on the stage for the actor's to hit. If I have a board and enough lights, I might plan a main, fill and back light for each zone or area the actors will use for their lines. Of course, sometimes you do really want to light the SET. That can be anything from splashing some light on the backdrop, to "painting" with colored gells, or creating the illusion of sparkling water or the flames of Hades.