Lighting Designer

Let There Be Light!

The role of the Lighting Designer (LD) is to create the lighting, atmosphere, and time of day for the production and to help advance the plot.


The LD will be responsible for:  

- Reading  the script carefully
- Make notes on changes in place and time between scenes 
- Discuss ideas for the show with Director and other designers
- Establish a budget for materials or supplies needed for the lighting
- Attend several later rehearsals to observe the way the actors are blocked during different scenes



Acquire all stage plots
                    a.) For the theater's lighting positions
                    b.) Lists of the equipment available
                    c.) The set design(s)
                    d.) cross sections for the theater.


The LD must take into account the show's mood and the director's vision in creating a lighting design.
Because lighting design is much more abstract than costume or scenic design, it is sometimes difficult for the lighting designer to accurately convey his ideas to the rest of the production team.

To help the LD communicate with the other members of the creative staff, the ethereal aspects of lighting they may employ:

1.) Renderings
2.) Storyboards
3.) Photographs
4.) Reproductions of artwork or mockups of actual lighting effects to help communicate ideas about how the lighting should look.

Examples of typical paperwork include:

- Cue sheets - communicate the placement of cues for the OP 
- Lightplots and Instrument Shedules

The LIGHT PLOT - is a scale drawing that communicates the location of lighting fixtures and lighting positions so a team of electricians can independently install the lighting system.

Included on the Light Plot or each instrument:

            a.) Color (gel)
            b.) Area of focus
            c.) Channel
            d.) Circuit 
            e.) Gobo (if necessary)

The lighting designer uses this paperwork to aid in the visualization of not only ideas but simple lists to assist the Master Electrician during load-in, focus and technical rehearsals.

The Technical Week of the Show
Once the set is up and painted.

The entire lighting crew is present

- Cut all the Gels and gather all the gobos
- Put all the instruments under the batten they are to be hung.
- Hang the lights, tighten all clamps 
- Plug them into the asigned circuit
- Patch the circuit to a channel (from the booth)
- Test the instrument by running up the channel
- Change the bulb (lamp) if needed
- Gel the instrument
- Add the asigned gobo (if required)


(descriptions and images)



Then it is the job of the designer to have the lighitng crew"Focus" each instrument: (With one person on the board

Each instrument is one by one brought to FULL (100%)

Making the instrument(s) illuminate the the asigned area of the stage/set
- To focus the width of the throw to the asigned area (soft or hard edges)
- Cut the light (if possible) with the shutters to avoid going into unasigned areas.


A special rehearsal for Lighting.
The entire cast is brought into the theater.

This is the time in which the designer and the director get to work through each light change in the show (moment to moment)

- To set fade times 
- Run transitions
- Check colors 
- Check intensity (too bright or too dark)

NOTE: Must get the director's approval at the "Cue to Cue" and try to make all adjustments then. 


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