Can You… Some of the most annoying questions asked

How many times have you got the lighting and audio just right? The client seems to be very happy with your creative work. Then the video guy walks up part way through a performance asking if you could make it brighter for the camera. now you know that the video guy has been employed by the client to record the show with the possibility of sales to cast, friends and relatives. now what would your response be? You have just spent hours designing and plotting the show so that it looks great for the paying audience that is sitting there in awe of the show. So do you destroy your work and the audiences enjoyment when the show suddenly gets brighter (of course you do need some power in reserve to accomplice this – possible excuse here 🙂 ). You should consult with the director of course, but this situation can put you in an awkward position. As a Lighting Designer I would not want to alter my lighting for the video. This sort of thing should have been mentioned before designing and plotting was started. Lighting for video sometimes means you may have to drop the more subtle lighting effects, but if you know before hand you can make concessions.

Then you get audience members coming up to you saying it is too loud, cannot hear the lead singer etc. You have a choice on how to handle this politely or abruptly. But is it going to work. I have been known to grab an unused control and adjust it, making sure the punter sees that you have taken heed of their concern and have valued their input. There usually go away happy and you have not stuffed up the mix. This is probably the best option, beating them to a pulp is messy and you cannot afford to sacrifice a roadcase to be used as a coffin.

Sometimes I have clients that that don’t have a defined leader, so they all offer  input. The only problem is they all have their own ideas of what should happen. So the will all come up to you individually and ask you to change something. They also don’t consult each other, so the left hand does not know what the right is doing. Makes for an interesting show.

And then there is the parent who asks can my son/daughter come and watch what you do. And the look on the kids face says it all, they are not interested its their parent that is really interested but hates to admit it.

And just before the curtain goes up, over the cans you get this… “err by the way we wonder if we could add a mirror ball to the second item” The clock is ticking down to the zero hour and you can see the mirror in its box behind you on the shelf and you politely explain to the client that it is not possible due to the time constraint, but you are will to rig it if they are willing to delay the start of the show and explain to the audience what is going on.

I am sure I will be able to think of more stories, or you may submit stories as well and I will include them.


2 thoughts on “Can You… Some of the most annoying questions asked

  1. Yeah, these are really annoying. Some of those (like leader-less-ness) doesn’t really have a quick solution. As for the changing lighting for video thing, I think, the short answer is NO. That’s what post-production is for.

  2. I was the project assistant in a media group’s 40th anniversary celebration project.

    One of the project item is a gala dinner show in which there’s a fashion show with 12 models and 30 outfits. So My company gave the client a T stage but since the client invited too many guests and they have to add extra tables, they want the fashion show to be done without the walkway…aka 12 models barely standing on a 4 X 1 m platform…I just wish that god could set common sense as a preset in every human’s brain.

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