Introduction to Stage Lighting: The Fundamentals of Theatre Lighting Design

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Product Overview

Format: Softcover

ISBN: 9781566080989

Intended as a text for those who are developing their craft in the field of stage lighting design, this book also can serve as a reference for drama teachers and directors who wish to expand their insight into the total process of stage lighting design. The focus of this book is on the process of design rather than the latest developments in lighting and control technology. Effective design, after all, relies more on a thoughtful approach to the work than on the ever-expanding capabilities of the fixtures. Twelve chapters are divided into three sections. First, Tools and Terminology covers all of the basics-lighting fixtures, how stage lights work, terminology and the quality of light. Next, Manipulating the Light addresses the controllable qualities of light-angle, intensity, movement and color-as well as developing the lighting key. The final portion of the book devotes itself to the Collaborative Process, since no lighting director should ever work in a vacuum. Enhanced with 40 illustrations and photos, this is an indispensable reference. ©2004, 161 pages



List of Illustrations vii
    Preface ix
  Part 1 Tools and Terminology 1
  Chapter 1 Lighting Fixtures: The Lighting Designer's Paintbrush 3
    Development of the Dramatic Arts 4
    Tools of the Trade: Principal Electric Fixtures 6
  Chapter 2 How Stage Lights Work 16
    The Housing and Plug 16
    The Lamp 17
    The Reflector 21
    The Lens 22
  Chapter 3 Stage and Lighting Terminology 26
    Stage Direction 27
    Drapery and Stage Direction 30
    Identifying Lighting Positions 32
    Fixture Names Based on Function 33
  Chapter 4 Light: The Designer's Paint 36
    The Specular Quality of Light 36
    Lighting the Actor's Face 37
    The Controllable Qualities of Light 37
  Part 2 Manipulating the Light 53
  Chapter 5 Developing the Lighting Key 55
    Identifying the Sources 55
    Assigning Color to the Sources 56
    Identifying the Elements and Their Relationships 59
    Summary of the Lighting Key and Its Applications 59
  Chapter 6 Assigning Intensity Levels 61
    The Importance of Precise Intensity Control 61
    Using Context to Establish the Overall Lighting Scheme 62
    Shifting Focus Using Balance and Contrast 64
    Creating Mood 68
  Part 3 The Collaborative Process 71
  Chapter 7 Communicating the Intent 73
    Lighting Drawings 73
    Lighting Paperwork 81
  Chapter 8 Focus: The Rush to Perfection 87
    Acquiring Stage Time 87
    Focus Duties 88
    The Focus Procedure 89
  Chapter 9 Writing Cues 92
    Documenting Lighting Changes for Repeatability 92
    The Evolution of the Cues 93
    Cuing the Show 98
  Chapter 10 Developments in Lighting Control 103
    Developments in Manual Control 104
    Autotransformers 107
    The Patch Panel 109
    Remote Manual Dimmer Control 110
    Remote Computer-Based Control 112
  Chapter 11 Computer Consoles 113
    Basics of the Console 113
    Console Operations 117
    Imparting the "Feel" of the Show to the Console 126
  Chapter 12 Tech Week: The Final Frontier 136
    Tech Week Scenario 136
    Opening Night, Photo Call, and Beyond 147
    Glossary 152
    Index 159
    About the Author 161

Charles I. Swift brings nearly three decades of experience to his work as a lighting designer, educator, and theatre consultant. Mr. Swift has designed a wide range of productions and worked in various capacities on production teams throughout the United States. He has brought his skills to bear in implementing technical systems in theatres the world over and is currently engaged in designing systems for a variety of venues throughout the Southeast. Mr. Swift is an Associate Member of the American Society of Theatre Consultants (ASTC), a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (U.S.I.T.T.), and maintains membership in the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). He received his B.S. in Design and Production (summa cum laude) from the State University of New York at New Paltz and earned an M.F.A. in Scene and Lighting Design from Carnegie Mellon University. Mr. Swift has taught stagecraft and lighting design in the State University System of New York and is currently an adjunct theatre faculty member in the College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University.