Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

  1. #1
    Member theGold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    517

    Default Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

    I'm not a very technical person, so these may come off as a silly question. I'm mainly asking out of curiosity and for a younger family member who is interested in this topic.

    First question: for concerts that have very detailed, intricate lighting setups- tons of LED panels all over the place that display clear pictures and patterns (Bassnectar comes to mind) - are the pictures projections, or do those LED screens actually show pictures that clearly?

    Secondly, I know the lighting designer usually sits in FOH, that tent that's placed directly front and center to the stage. I know lighting designers decide the colors, rythym and sequence of the spotlights, but are they the ones who design the visuals on the screens? If not, who does this (their title)? Really curious to know who it is that decides that there should be pictures of space, sacred geometry, random cartoons, dancing triangles, etc and who actually has to create these images.

    Finally, what type of education do lighting designers have? Is this something that is usually self-taught or is it done through trade school?

    I've tried Google searches but the wording gets tedious pretty quickly. I can't even hook up a DVD player much less digest information about million dollar concert equipment.

  2. #2
    Coachella Junkie Drinkey McDrinkerstein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    DTLA, CA
    Posts
    21,172

    Default Re: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

    Lots for these questions have different answers. For example, sometime there are LED screens that actually bring up the images, and sometime there are projections. Sometimes the lighting designers create the visual shows, and sometimes not. More likely the creation of the actual visuals are going to be done by a team - graphic designers/illustrators come up with actual designs, motion graphics guys/animators handle animations, directors/editors will figure out how everything will work in the context of a show/with the music. So the simple answer is there is no simple answer. it's going to vary from act to act to show to show.
    last.fm
    6/15/14 Failure - Glasshouse // 7/9/14 Cloud Nothings/Metz - Roxy
    7/16/14 Planes Mistaken For Stars - Echo // 8/23-24/14 FYF Fest - Expo Park //8/25/14 Nine Inch Nails - Hollywood Bowl // 9/12-14/14 Riotfest - Humboldt Park, Chicago, IL
    9/18/14 Neutral Milk Hotel - Hollywood Bowl

  3. #3
    Member theGold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    517

    Default Re: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

    Thanks, Drinkerstein. I guess this is a far more complex subject than I imagined.

  4. #4
    Milkshake suprefan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Burbank CA
    Posts
    43,940

    Default Re: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

    Go buy the book Bulletproof which has almost all the work from Andi Watson, the guy who does Radioheads lights. Tons of technical info and design specs in it. And also how they got their ideas for the stage set ups. And yeah, this is a subject that can consufe you pretty fast if you don't put a little time into it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Bullet-Proof-W...of+andy+watson

  5. #5
    Member theGold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    517

    Default Re: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

    Quote Originally Posted by suprefan View Post
    Go buy the book Bulletproof which has almost all the work from Andi Watson, the guy who does Radioheads lights. Tons of technical info and design specs in it. And also how they got their ideas for the stage set ups. And yeah, this is a subject that can consufe you pretty fast if you don't put a little time into it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Bullet-Proof-W...of+andy+watson
    Thanks, Supre! Just ordered it on Amazon... giving a copy to my lil bro for graduation and ordered a used one for myself.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

    Quote Originally Posted by suprefan View Post
    Go buy the book Bulletproof which has almost all the work from Andi Watson, the guy who does Radioheads lights. Tons of technical info and design specs in it. And also how they got their ideas for the stage set ups. And yeah, this is a subject that can consufe you pretty fast if you don't put a little time into it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Bullet-Proof-W...of+andy+watson
    I agree, it's a fantastic book.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

    Thanks for the book suggestion! I'm also trying to research lighting and how to get into it. It's been a little bit of a struggle but I'm slowly starting to grasp which direction I should be heading.

    In case any of you have any other suggestions, I just signed up for a training course at ACT Lighting that teaches how to operate a grandMA2 lighting console. I am definitely brand new to the game but figured this would be some good experience before seeking out some internships/apprenticeships. Would you guys happen to know what type of lighting console is typically used at Coachella? It seems like the grandMA is pretty state of the art.

    Also if you have any other suggestions on places or people I could talk to regarding this topic I'd greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks!
    Coachella '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '11 '12
    Upcoming Shows:
    7/26-28: Fuji Rock Festival
    8/3-4: HARD Summer
    8/9: Grizzly Bear @ Hollywood Forever - Pryda Friends @ Create
    8/24-25: FYF Fest

  8. #8
    Milkshake suprefan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Burbank CA
    Posts
    43,940

    Default Re: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions


  9. #9
    old school
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Innerspace
    Posts
    3,292

    Default Re: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

    Quote Originally Posted by avhua View Post
    Thanks for the book suggestion! I'm also trying to research lighting and how to get into it. It's been a little bit of a struggle but I'm slowly starting to grasp which direction I should be heading.

    In case any of you have any other suggestions, I just signed up for a training course at ACT Lighting that teaches how to operate a grandMA2 lighting console. I am definitely brand new to the game but figured this would be some good experience before seeking out some internships/apprenticeships. Would you guys happen to know what type of lighting console is typically used at Coachella? It seems like the grandMA is pretty state of the art.

    Also if you have any other suggestions on places or people I could talk to regarding this topic I'd greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks!
    Hogs are widely used as well as the grandMA series. More and more I'm seeing custom built boards some of which fit in a briefcase for easy travel. Its one thing to program a board its an entirely different ordeal to figure out how any circuits are running, labeling & running all of the socapex cable, running all the dmx to the proper universe, running the power to the dummer racks, & other shit. All of which I'm doing right now.
    "Oh this uncertainty is taking me over"

  10. #10

    Default Re: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

    Quote Originally Posted by shoegazer76 View Post
    Hogs are widely used as well as the grandMA series. More and more I'm seeing custom built boards some of which fit in a briefcase for easy travel. Its one thing to program a board its an entirely different ordeal to figure out how any circuits are running, labeling & running all of the socapex cable, running all the dmx to the proper universe, running the power to the dummer racks, & other shit. All of which I'm doing right now.
    The course I took on the grandMA was extremely informative but definitely got me realizing how much more there is to learn. If you or anyone you know working in the field could use any help just let me know! I'd love to get some more experience in the field.
    Coachella '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '11 '12
    Upcoming Shows:
    7/26-28: Fuji Rock Festival
    8/3-4: HARD Summer
    8/9: Grizzly Bear @ Hollywood Forever - Pryda Friends @ Create
    8/24-25: FYF Fest

  11. #11
    old school
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Innerspace
    Posts
    3,292

    Default Re: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

    ^
    You really need to live in a place like Vegas, L.A.,NYC, Chicago, Austin, Miami, or any other city with steady work if you want to make it a career. You can start by working for a production company like PRG or Bandit. It just depends where your at and where and what you're trying to do.
    "Oh this uncertainty is taking me over"

  12. #12
    Coachella Junkie HunterGather's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    8,220

    Default Re: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

    I always thought the lighting people sit on the side of the stage, rather than FOH, which is just the audio people.

    I know in the case of Madonna for her last tour, she had a person who created the imagery for the LED screens and he was on the tour as well as a visual director or something, but there was someone else doing the lighting for anything that wasn't a video piece.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

    Quote Originally Posted by shoegazer76 View Post
    ^
    You really need to live in a place like Vegas, L.A.,NYC, Chicago, Austin, Miami, or any other city with steady work if you want to make it a career. You can start by working for a production company like PRG or Bandit. It just depends where your at and where and what you're trying to do.
    Thanks for the leads! Just applied for an entry level postion as a Stage Hand for PRG. Sounds like the best way to go at this point.
    Coachella '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '11 '12
    Upcoming Shows:
    7/26-28: Fuji Rock Festival
    8/3-4: HARD Summer
    8/9: Grizzly Bear @ Hollywood Forever - Pryda Friends @ Create
    8/24-25: FYF Fest

  14. #14
    old school
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Innerspace
    Posts
    3,292

    Default Re: Stage Lighting/ Lighting designer questions

    Production Resource Group is a great company to work for because you'll be working with all the latest state of the art gear. Pay will probably be meager to begin with but the more you learn to do the more pay you'll be able to negotiate and the more gigs you'll get.
    "Oh this uncertainty is taking me over"

Similar Threads

  1. It's Raining Iconic FLips Stage Lighting.
    By lunatic core in forum Music Lounge
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-06-2011, 10:34 PM
  2. Can we please get awesome lighting in the Sahara tent?
    By digitalmau5 in forum Rumors/Gossip/Wish List
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 04-22-2010, 12:52 PM
  3. Lighting ????
    By keepnupncali in forum Misc. Babble
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-17-2009, 09:37 AM
  4. Lighting ????
    By keepnupncali in forum Questions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-16-2009, 09:41 PM
  5. Daft Punk Lighting Design
    By shotglass75 in forum Music Lounge
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-13-2007, 05:41 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •