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Lighting Designers

The greatest misunderstanding about lighting is that it is a purely technical role – the technical aspects are vital, but most important is an awareness of the creative power of light and the difference made to a production by using it effectively.

Despite rarely being noticed by the average audience member until it goes wrong, a lighting design can make or break a production, and producing it is a fun and creative process. Lighting is a fascinating medium to work with: by combining colour, intensity, angles, timing and even movement, the possibilities are limitless. Some shows will appear similar but each will have its own requirements and subtleties.

A plan which specifies the exact position, orientation and colour of each lantern needs to be developed long before the show get-in, since time in the venue is limited. The lighting designer (LD) starts work early during the production process, combining his own ideas with those of the director and set designer to produce a technically feasible lighting plan. A good LD will get to know the script and attend as many rehearsals as possible.

It can often be informative to work as a production electrician before attempting your own design. This allows you to see how the design process is organised before giving it a go yourself. Just seeing as many shows as you can is another great way to gain ideas. It’s worth visiting many different venues in Cambridge, as they are all have very different lighting rigs.

Those new to lighting design may find [www.lampie.org/adc/LampieCribsheet.pdf] a useful reference to the lights commonly found in the ADC; most of it applies equally to other venues.

Last edited Mon 24th Oct 2011 by Stuart Moore

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