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Lighting design pitfalls for new players

Lighting Designers that are starting out may not know that there are potholes they can get caught in. Let this article give you a better understanding of what the world of Lighting designers is like.

First of if you are new to the industry let the company know that. They need to know your experience up front. They have certain expectations or your skills, they may expect more than you can deliver. So, to be honest, they may be more tolerant. As a lighting designer you should know what each light can do – such as beam angles, shutters and barn door, and also a lot about colour theory. You need to have the basic

You have been asked to design the lighting for a local theatre group. This is your first one with this company, therefore it might be a clever idea to have some ground rules in place. Since you are responsible for the lighting design, make sure it complements the set design and aligns with the director’s vision. The copyright is yours even if the client has paid you. Therefore, there are a few things to think about, and which you need to make the client aware of. This is where a simple contract might be helpful. I suggest checking with a lawyer or looking at what others may have done.

When working as a lighting designer there needs to be regular communication between the team and directors. All the distinctive design elements need to work together. Therefore, you need to exchange ideas and work as a team. You will need to attend several rehearsals and production meetings.

Next as the designer of the lighting for a show, you are the owner of the lighting design. You are presenting your artistic vision to the audience, which was designed to complement the Director and other creatives’ vision.. Therefore, if there are any changes to be made to the cues, colour etc of the design, they need to run this by you. They should not just make changes that make it look worse and you have your name attached. So, make sure the company is aware that they need to consult you before getting the lighting board operator to make changes.

Also, you should make sure you have complete documentation of the show design. This is CAD plans, patching charts, colour lists and cues and a script with cues marked in it. Most lighting consoles can provide this info. So, if you have any renderings or drawing of the lighting design looks, they need to be included. The reason for this is that if this production is re-staged by the company, you should get the first right of refusal. But also, they cannot use your design without permission. It is up to you to decide if you want a fee so they can use the design or employ you again to make the show great.

So, you have a lot to think about. again I suggest that a contract is in place, this is so everybody is all on the same page. The contract can have details such as what you are being paid, a re-staging agreement, variations of design clauses and copyright information.

Now this is considerably basic information, but it is a starting point. Any questions feel free to ask.

This post first appeared on Ramblings Of A Techie | Thoughts, Opinions And Rev, please read the originial post: here

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Lighting design pitfalls for new players


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