Old School

With the use of moving lights etc, what has happened to all of those wonderful beam lights, pars and profiles.

Those were the days when you had to think about where a light was going to be focused before you even rigged it. The moving lights are a bit more forgiving were it comes to rigging them, as long as there is no scenery in the way you can point them were you like. . With an old fashioned fixture if you had the focus wrong you had to be able to get next to it to adjust it. You did not sit at your console and tweak it. There is the old fun thing of changing the colour, the old school method was to climb a ladder or truss walk and change it by hand. Now it does not need replacing. The old school way was very labour intensive. Lots of ladder climb and people to do the ladder climbing.

And let us not forget old school lighting desks. These did not have memory systems, it was all manual operation. You manual set the levels. In fact you have to work fast and be accurate and be able to repeat the lighting night after night. The best thing about using a manual lighting desk was that it taught you have to work fast and accurately.  You learnt the best way to work efficiently. In fact I would recommend that young lighting folks have a go doing a show manually and see how quickly it can turn pear shaped. A good operator could play back cues with feeling that could match the mood of the show exactly. There was none of this push a button for the next lighting state. You need to set up each cue on the preset and fade from one cue to another.

This was the golden age of lighting, all that hard work, we were lean trim and fit. Now look at us. The rig is hung and winched into the air. We focus from the console and then continue sitting there and operate. I am sure there are a few chaairs around with the butt print of lighting people permanently embedded.


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