Unit 5&6 – Task 9

Evaluation For Lilies on the Land 

In Lilies on the land I was the lighting designer. When I first got given this role I was nervous at first because I didn’t think i would be good at it. For a lighting designer you would have to be creative and have good problem solving skills, which I improved on during the progress of Lilies.

My roles before the show, was to make many lighting plans and to co operate with Bent because our shows were intwining, which I thought would have been the most difficult process because the shows have complete different feelings. We also have to rig and focus the lights, which became difficult towards the end of focusing because we didn’t have enough channels for both of our booms. This led to us having to solve this problem, without wanting to changing the rig. So the idea was to grelco more lights together that didn’t make a big difference towards our ideas for programming. However, this did lead to having more lights up than we might have wanted during a certain time of the plays. Another trouble that appeared during this was we didn’t have as many extension leads as we wanted. This also meant we had use a few little ones, but we made it work and everything worked out and we were able to start programming.

During pre-production week, I was doing the lighting however when we finished that and Bent was programming on Monday, I was sorting out the set for Lilies. I started off with the hay bails but then lead to getting the steel deck out and starting to paint that. Also we were thinking about materials we could use around the steel deck because there was a problem with the one we were going to use because it got damaged. This followed onto Tuesday, however this was the day that I started programming. I have programmed before, but only for ‘the tempest’ and that was a basic lighting plan, with cool or warm washes. Then for this, it is an entire play with an average amount of cues. Luckily Leah was beside me on the book, but she also helped out with teaching me how to program. I now know how to program, edit, insert more cues, delete cues and save everything. The only thing I think I could have learnt about is how to do a chase. This is because we did use a chase in the play but only a short one for the gun shots, and I just don’t feel confident enough to program a chase. We were able to finish programming on Tuesday, making Wednesday all about getting the set up. On Wednesday, many of the Bent crew are in maths and the fence wasn’t completely made. So a group of us started off with the fence, which was a fast process and we finished attaching all of the wiring. When all the Bent crew came back from maths, I was still helping out with the fence, however we moved onto the barb wire. This was a problem because the barb wire was real and kept getting stuck in clothes and we just had to be really careful because how much it sprung back. Once all the barbed wire was up the boys finished it off with some string and spray paint. While they were doing this, I was trimming the material around the steel deck so people were able to sit on the steel deck with anything poking into the costumes. Then after this we just had to make sure that everything was ready for tomorrow because it was Lilies tech run.

Lilies first tech run and dress went really well, and we were finally certain to where the lighting cues should come in, to make it look more natural. The thing with the lighting is, some of the play is realistic and some was more memory world. We only had to add only one or two lights to make the feeling different and for it to carry on the story. The only problem we had in the tech was Tanya not understanding when her cue was. She didn’t understand when to go when Leah cued her, so we rearranged for Lucy to do sound and Tanya to see what she is doing. This was our first tech run, and the cast done well, they just needed to try not to say line because the show was next week. On Tuesday, our second dress, went much better because we had an idea for lighting for when it comes in and we had all the projections and sounds sorted and was ready for our opening night today. Also before the dress, we went over levels for the sound with Erica to make it right, which is another factor that make the dress better for this day. Before the show started, Leah and I were playing around with the lighting to try to make the change from a warm to cool wash or the other way round more subtle. This is because every time we changed cue there was a slight blackout which we didn’t want. The way we solved this was bringing the fade down on longer than the fade up, so the lights over lap for one second.

Our first show, I thought was our best show because everything was ready and the other production that was going on came and supported, which made the audience react to what the cast were saying. This did lead to the cast, at some points, maybe not realising they would get a laugh in places, which made them talk over the laughs and missing out on what they were saying, which could of easily thrown Leah or anyone off. However, even for the tech side, there was nothing that went horribly wrong. On thing with lighting, was a character did not stand in her light, but she saw us waving our arms to more slightly to stage left. We learnt from this and marked for her to stand in the next show. Even though i was waiting for Leah to cue me, I still knew where the cues were, meaning if anything went wrong with communication or Leah forgetting I could easily carry on the show. A comment we got from Erica was the arrow on the projection, we must have knocked the arrow onto the screen, however it wasn’t that noticeable but Erica saw it so just before we started the other nights, we made sure that the arrow was out of the way. Our second night, went well again we didn’t have any problems except when Leah cued Lucy and I for the gun shots, the sound had a little delay of about two seconds, which was weird because it didn’t happen on the first night. However, apparently no one noticed, so it seemed fine to me. Another thing we thought about during the show was the projections were to sharp going on, so before Saturday, Leah changed all the projections to fade on and off, so it would look better with the lights. This is because the lights fade up as well. On our last night, we came in and we started off with getting the Lilies set in and ready, which was done with about an hour and a half before the front of house opened. I then had to do a rig check and during this, because I had lost a cue on the Tuesday I had to change it back but we only lit up a specific area for this, which I ended up changing to a full warm wash because it just seemed like it fitted the moment and because it stayed on that cue for a while. During the show we could hear a buzzing noise from the speakers and it took us a while before we realised that there was a noise coming through. However, when we did realise there was a noise, after changing from cues Lucy had to mute the projection cord which was connected to the laptop and only put it on for when the sound on the projection was needed.

In conclusion, overall all the nights went very well for my part especially with the lights. I got many congratulations for the lights and they were very shocked that this was my first show doing the lights. Over the whole process of doing lighting i was impressed on how fast I got the hang of it. I done about three lighting plans before the final lighting plan that was the Bent and Lilies one. Then when we had done that there was only slight changes we had to make because of channels. Luckily enough Alex and I had sorted out the lighting plan about a month before the production, so we had the idea there and could easily progress on that idea. When it came to rigging and focusing, we were able to do the whole process in two days, only making slight changes when we needed to refocus something or add the mirror ball etc. Then I was able to program everything in one day, however coming back to that inserting more cues and adding the floods I had on the floor for when there was broadcasts. Overall, with the rest of the show there were only slight difficulties that were not noticeable unless you were looking out for them and we were able to fix them all before the last night. However, there was feedback on the last night that hadn’t appeared before so we just had to sort that out on the night. I was very pleased with my performance and I am now confident to do lighting again if needed.

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