Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Art of The Lighting Board Operator

Has the art of the lighting board operator died?

It is no longer the art of the lighting board operator but the art and skill of the lighting desk programmer.Being in the industry for a fair few years I have noticed this change. In fact I noticed this change in roles about 15 to 20 years ago, when I first used a Strand M24. Suddenly the possibilities opened up to me. This is thew way of the future and now with desks like the vista, you are literally painting with light. But all this fancy equipment is no good without a decent lighting design and a understanding of what is going to be achieved.
How many of you have gone and seen shows where the lighting looks similar, all of the intelligent fitting all seem to do the same sweeps and patterns. And you think to yourself surely it is not the same designer, well it is not. The desk can be the culprit. These new high end desks have a variety of patterns and palettes stored in them, ready for you to use and the some people are to lazy to modify and sometimes there are time constraints on programming, so people take the easy way out.
For those of you that have not used these high end desks with intel's they do take a fair bit of time programming time. That is why the advent of visualisation software is a god send. At least you can program and have a rough idea of the look before the plotting session.
So we are now having to learn new desks and programs. But if we perserve and learn hese new skills the end result should be great.