ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down

Author Topic: Lighting equipment for summer camp theater  (Read 1969 times)

Adam Griff

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5
Lighting equipment for summer camp theater
« on: December 11, 2020, 11:21:55 pm »

I work for a summer camp and we're building a new performing arts center. It's really a multi-purpose space, and one of those purposes will be our twice/summer play. We'll be spending around $100,000 on theatrical lighting, and I want to make sure we're making smart decisions. We typically have campers helping to run the lights for the play, and college age theater kids as staff members working with them. Typically it's a musical.

How much of the $$ should we be spending on fixtures vs. control systems? We're planning on doing all LEDs. Do we need ETC brand stuff, or are there more economical options that will be reliable? This is a 10,000 square foot space. It's not technically a stage, but rather a platform. The design includes 3 lighting bars.

Thanks for any guidance you can give!
Logged

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1661
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Lighting equipment for summer camp theater
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2020, 11:29:50 pm »

Thanks for any guidance you can give!

Before anyone can help youíll need to change your user name to your actual full name per the policy you agreed to when signing up.
Logged

Adam Griff

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5
Re: Lighting equipment for summer camp theater
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2020, 10:18:36 am »

My mistake! I believe I fixed it.

Before anyone can help youíll need to change your user name to your actual full name per the policy you agreed to when signing up.
Logged

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1661
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Lighting equipment for summer camp theater
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2020, 11:23:03 am »

Thanks!

So my two cents...  If youíre only using the system twice a year - rent it.  That $100k can likely be spent on other portions of the project with better return on investment (so to speak). 

If you must buy, Iíd strongly suggest hiring a dedicated company in your area to spec, sell, and install the equipment.  It protects you from any liabilities or performance issues, and the extra money you pay for the service is easily offset by not having costly ďlearning momentsĒ or needing to add more equipment  if things donít turn out how you envision.  Most integrators can also facilitate equipment demos in your venue to help make choices.  Hope this helps and good luck with the project!
Logged

Tim Weaver

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2834
  • College Station, Texas
    • Daniela Weaver Photography
Re: Lighting equipment for summer camp theater
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2020, 12:59:00 pm »

Thanks!

So my two cents...  If youíre only using the system twice a year - rent it.  That $100k can likely be spent on other portions of the project with better return on investment (so to speak). 

If you must buy, Iíd strongly suggest hiring a dedicated company in your area to spec, sell, and install the equipment.  It protects you from any liabilities or performance issues, and the extra money you pay for the service is easily offset by not having costly ďlearning momentsĒ or needing to add more equipment  if things donít turn out how you envision.  Most integrators can also facilitate equipment demos in your venue to help make choices.  Hope this helps and good luck with the project!
This. You'll be able to rent it for many years before you spend 100k on rentals, and during that time you'll have zero maintenance to do and you'll like get fancy new lights to play with every couple of years.

Barring that, I'm having extremely good luck with Chauvet Pro fixtures. I have both the Leko's and the Fresnels and they are awesome.
Logged
Bullwinkle: This is the amplifier, which amplifies the sound. This is the Preamplifier which, of course, amplifies the pree's.

Adam Griff

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5
Re: Lighting equipment for summer camp theater
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2020, 01:35:42 pm »

So, we are using a lighting vendor, but because it's a large construction project, they report to the Electrician, who reports to the General Contractor, and I'm not always getting the access/answers I want.

While I agree rentals would probably make more sense, unfortunately our budget doesn't work that way. We have money as part of the capital project budget for theatrical lighting that won't necessarily be available in our annual program budget. I know that may be bassackwards, but such is life. We may be able to rent a few lights for each summer's show, but we won't be able to spend thousands of dollars on it. Also, we will use the lights for other camp productions - our dance show, Rock concerts, etc.

So, back to my original question. For a middle-school level theatrical production, is our money well spent on an ETC Colorsource 40AV console, or is it worth upgrading to Element 2 1K? Or are neither of these appropriate for our use? Any general tips - if we're buying 20-30 LED fixtures, what are must haves? Stick with ETC or are there good alternative options? Finally, important to note this is technically a platform and not a stage. There is no curtain.

Thanks for any insight!
Logged

John Fruits

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 925
Re: Lighting equipment for summer camp theater
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2020, 06:57:43 pm »

How large is the stage (platform)? how high is the ceiling going to be above that?
Going with ETC is a great idea, you get tied into their legendary service.  The Colorsource controller is interesting but still somewhat limited.  The Element2 will be familiar to a lot more people since it is an EOS console.  The latest version of EOS also adds augmment3d, a 3D visualizer.  You might also take a look at fixtures from Chauvet Pro and Elation. 
Logged
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.  There's also a negative side."-Hunter S. Thompson

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1661
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Lighting equipment for summer camp theater
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2020, 12:31:13 am »

So, we are using a lighting vendor, but because it's a large construction project, they report to the Electrician, who reports to the General Contractor, and I'm not always getting the access/answers I want.

Iím sure that can be frustrating, but working through a vendor thatís integrating with your electrician is the right way to do this.  For permanent installations there are a number of electrical and structural (rigging) considerations that must be handled properly for code compliance.  Can you fire the lighting vendor and hire one that meets your desired level of detail?

While I agree rentals would probably make more sense, unfortunately our budget doesn't work that way. We have money as part of the capital project budget for theatrical lighting that won't necessarily be available in our annual program budget. I know that may be bassackwards, but such is life. We may be able to rent a few lights for each summer's show, but we won't be able to spend thousands of dollars on it. Also, we will use the lights for other camp productions - our dance show, Rock concerts, etc.

Unfortunately as Tim alluded to, lighting isnít a one-time expense even if you own your system.  Equipment WILL need service, repairs, and parts from time to time, especially if you bring moving lights into the mix.  Youíll also need to budget for lift rentals if the equipment canít be safely accessed with ladders.  I see this happen very frequently in schools especially - school gets a grant for new equipment.  It gets bought, maybe one or two people learn to use it, and when it breaks thereís never any money for repairs.  Iíve lost count of how many moving lights (or even conventional lights with a burnt out lamp) Iíve found sitting in storage cabinet purgatory...  My point is that you might want to educate the powers at be that tech needs the style of budgeting applied to things like set construction, performance rights, etc.

So, back to my original question. For a middle-school level theatrical production, is our money well spent on an ETC Colorsource 40AV console, or is it worth upgrading to Element 2 1K? Or are neither of these appropriate for our use? Any general tips - if we're buying 20-30 LED fixtures, what are must haves? Stick with ETC or are there good alternative options? Finally, important to note this is technically a platform and not a stage. There is no curtain.

Iíd spec the Element 2.  Colorsource is okay when used within its intended purpose but Iíd never want to run a musical on one.  Is the Element the right board though?  Itís definitely a ďdietĒ theatrical board, meaning that itís generally better suited to scripted playback versus the ďbuskingĒ we do at rock concerts where weíre running on the fly.  EOS has gotten better in this regard compared to when it first was released, but youíll see the biggest limitations here versus other areas of the console structure. 

Iím an ETC owner and user, but I also own equipment from Martin, High End, Elation, Chauvet (Pro and DJ), and the list goes on.  No one make or model is universally the best.  Thatís why renting is a good option so that you can have the right gear for your exact needs versus trying to shoehorn things just because itís what you have. 

Sadly 20-30 fixtures wonít nearly be enough for a proper theatrical light plot.  Having 3-4 times that will get you in the ballpark depending on the size of your space.  That aside, youíre going to need a mixture of ellipsoidals of varying beam angles, fresnels, dedicated CYC lights, followspots, maybe a handful of moving lights, and any architectural lights that help to accent your performance space.  This is one of the reasons why hiring a professional to help you will pay for itself several times over - they can demo fixtures in your space and leverage their lighting design experience to help you get the most from your budget without any gaping holes in your capabilities.

I know this can sound like a lot, but when spending other peopleís money itís important to document and plan your decisions to justify to the projectís stakeholders why said decisions were made - especially if the result fails to meet expectations.  I can promise that saying ďI bought this because someone on the internet said they liked itĒ wonít go over too well!  Best of luck though!
Logged

Steven Cohen

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 119
Re: Lighting equipment for summer camp theater
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2020, 08:47:11 am »

I work for a summer camp and we're building a new performing arts center. It's really a multi-purpose space, and one of those purposes will be our twice/summer play. We'll be spending around $100,000 on theatrical lighting, and I want to make sure we're making smart decisions. We typically have campers helping to run the lights for the play, and college age theater kids as staff members working with them. Typically it's a musical.

How much of the $$ should we be spending on fixtures vs. control systems? We're planning on doing all LEDs. Do we need ETC brand stuff, or are there more economical options that will be reliable? This is a 10,000 square foot space. It's not technically a stage, but rather a platform. The design includes 3 lighting bars.

Thanks for any guidance you can give!
+3 for the Element. The console will provide a solid base for any students who continue on the Tech theater route + I don't think that the price difference is that much in comparison to other areas you will face. For example, the electrical service, relays, raceways, racks, cable runs, ect will be your major expenses. As far as instruments, ETC just came out with a retrofit Color LED end cap for Source Fours. I am not sure how this prices out if one does not already own the Source Fours, but that product should be explored to see if it is feasible.

Also, as another poster has point out, how will someone get to the instruments to focus them? Will the electrics (pipes that hold the lighting instruments) be on motors? 
Logged

Adam Griff

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5
Re: Lighting equipment for summer camp theater
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2020, 10:47:36 am »

Is the Element easy for non-lighting people to use? I looked at some videos of the Colorsource 40AV and it looked fairly user friendly. Keep in mind this is for a cast and crew of mostly elementary and middle school campers.

If the lights are all LED and can be different colors, do we still need 60-100 lights?? That seems like so many for our simple productions. The performance part of the platform will be about 35' wide, and about 20' deep I believe.

And don't worry, I'm not making any recommendations based solely on the internet :). I'm getting input from many, just thought this would also be a good place to ask some questions.

+3 for the Element. The console will provide a solid base for any students who continue on the Tech theater route + I don't think that the price difference is that much in comparison to other areas you will face. For example, the electrical service, relays, raceways, racks, cable runs, ect will be your major expenses. As far as instruments, ETC just came out with a retrofit Color LED end cap for Source Fours. I am not sure how this prices out if one does not already own the Source Fours, but that product should be explored to see if it is feasible.

Also, as another poster has point out, how will someone get to the instruments to focus them? Will the electrics (pipes that hold the lighting instruments) be on motors?
Logged

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Lighting equipment for summer camp theater
¬ę Reply #9 on: December 13, 2020, 10:47:36 am ¬Ľ


Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.053 seconds with 22 queries.