Lets do it again

There are at times the opportunity to re-stage a production that you have designed. So we should always plan for this eventuality. I recently have completely documented the lighting side of every show I work on. But what does this entail? Well I always do a lighting plan, which will be updated when it is completely rigged, things can change when you rig a show. I also keep copies of the lighting patch, colour lists, exact equipment used. So it is a good idea to document the whole process. Keep it all neat in a folder. One thing you need to get is a record of the cues and the channel levels. This is a great starting point for when you re-stage the show. so this is a habit that all lighting designers should get into early on. It is time consuming but in the end you will find that you will develop shortcuts that will make this task easier. In fact you will sometimes find that certain theatre companies etc., are going to want a copy of all your paperwork and it could well be in your contract.

So let us look closely at will make the job so much easier than relying on your memory, photos and/or video.

1. Lighting plan
The most important element of the lighting process. With this you have the location of the lighting instruments in relation to the set, performers etc.  This should also contain the layout of the set, height of the instruments above the performance area. It is also useful to have a cross-section or 2 to see the heights etc.

Lighting plan

2. Paperwork
The paperwork that will really prove useful are the patching charts, list of colours and how many,  equipment list and accessories.

Channel hook up


3. Lighting cue plot
This is the lighting cues in a form of a spread sheet listing channels and the levels. Very useful as a starting point for when you have to plot the show into another lighting console.

4. Lighting Cue Synopsis
This document is basicly a list of the lighting cues and notes on how they look.

5. Script
Very important document here, in this you mark up the lighting cue points with any references to visual cues or word cues.

As you can see there can be a fair amount of documentatiion required , but the more you have and the more accurate that it is, the easier the task will be to re-stage.

Other useful tools are photos and videos, but do not rely on them, they should complement the above materials.

So all lighting designers should get into the habit of making sure that are recording all the information needed, because there is nothing better than being asked to re-stage a great show in another city or country.


2 thoughts on “Lets do it again

  1. Hi~Stephen, I’m a stagen designer in Taiwan and have a lesson in Tunghai University. I would like to share this article with my students, wouldn’t I?

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