We borrow experience from the airline industry and implement it into the show.
In contrast with technical production, where most of the things are typically done and checked by memory or using any notes, the aviation industry approaches to all stages of production comprehensively and has specific forms with all the points that are important to check. This applies to both production and exploitation. Each producer provides a checklist for verification of all settings and the start.
For instance – Boeing company.
In case of technical production, a producer is a person developing or programming a show file (sound, light, video, etc.)
I’ve created a small checklist based on the example the lightning show files of the tour show in order to forget nothing when I’m in a charge of a new project or when I am working as a console operator.
Empty cells, which are on the right of the name of the preset, indicate that the preset contains data for this group of fixtures (groups of fixtures are indicated in the line above.) Optionally, you can mark corrected presets in empty cells.
Tagged items indicate that this preset does not belong to this group of fixtures.
Presets are arguably the most important and major part that will be necessary to correct when you are working with the programmed show. Especially when there is a replacement of fixtures in different cities.
This applies not only to presets, but also to sequences, settings, and so on…
The checklist can be used not only for understanding which group requires to be corrected in the preset. It may contain the instruction that explains and demonstrate what should be in the preset or how it ought to look correctly.
Symbol “+” is opposite each preset that reveals the line with an explanation or demonstration how this preset should look like.
Depending on the show, each checklist will differ in structure. This applies to all disciplines (sound, light, video, etc.), oriented for work with the show file or for necessary actions on the venue that are important not to forget.
Please, do not hesitate to add and send your variations and ideas.
In this topic, I will tell you about working with the tour show on the venue.
What I do primarily when I come over the venue is checking the correctness of the truss system and the placement of fixtures. I walk around the stage and inspect the correctness of the truss system and the placement of the fixtures.
First and foremost what we should draw our attention are rigging system. Since if they are placed incorrectly, there is the lead time to fix it.
Next step is to correct the location of the equipment on the stage in the following sequence:
1 – Side lighting 2 – Floor fixture 3 – Positions and directions of fog machines, hazes and fans
After we make an arrangement about all the nuances of the stage, I could proceed to FOH.
First of all, It ought to adjust and prepare all settings for further work with show files at the console.
2. Check of the operation of fixtures and the console at the show file of the rental company.
Check of the operation will help you avoid unnecessary questions and inspections of fixtures’s efficiency during transferring data and checking fixtures in your show file.
1. Location and organization of FOH. It ought to place equipment once in FOH for the entire period of work. So that, you will be not distracted by unnecessary rearrangements. It can allow you to concentrate on the other operations and save your time. It is also worth to wipe the equipment from dust and dirt if the rental company did not do it. (Decent rental companies keep their equipment clean.)
2. Check of the operation of fixtures and the console at the show file of the rental company. Check of the operation will help you avoid unnecessary questions and inspections of fixtures’s efficiency during transferring data and checking fixtures in your show file. For instance: directions of adresses, invertations, offsets, mods, and fixture libraries.
3. The coincidence of attribute’s names during the transformation. If the rental company provides custom libraries for unknown fixtures, you need to verify whether the attribute’s names match with the fixture libraries on which the show is programmed. For instance, the “Shutter “attribute in your library is assigned as “Shutter”, however, in the custom library it is assigned as ”Strobe”. These channels will work in both cases. But when you do the transformation of your show to new fixtures, the “Shutter “ attribute will not find the same attribute to copy the data to and will be deleted. Instead, it will have the “Strobe “ attribute that is not registered in your show.
4. Network settings. Pay your attention to the network settings and their stability. In my shows, I often use control of the media server from the console via Art-net and remote access to the console on WI-FI via MA-net. In order not to redo all settings and test their stable, I ask rental companies for setting specific IP addresses on network devices. (With the exception of working in large halls, where a large network is organized.)
5. Assignments of outputs DMX. In some instances, it happens that for various reasons, rental companies reassigns DMX outputs on the console. It is better to specify or check these settings in the show file of the rental company.
When all settings are completed, you can proceed to the cloning, transformation, and setting up of the patch in your show file. When I work with tour shows provided one setup in all cities, I use the transformation system “Change type.”
After transformation of fixtures, check whether all the attributes are programmed correctly in the show.
This is absolutely crucial if you do not want to suffer from that. If you didn’t notice the wrong function of the attribute and something wasn’t copied and you were continuing working with a show file. It may turn out that the “shutter” attribute will not connected in the show when you start the process. In that case you will have to redo everything or extract data from past shows by using PSR.
After we check that everything is copied correctly then I start setting up inversions and offsets. I always adjust the default position of the fixtures so that while slewing encoder the “Tilt” to the right the fixtures go up towards the hall. And encoders “Pan” are during rotation to the left turn to the left and while slewing to the right – turn to the right.
After I finished settings of the patch, I could proceed to edit a show.
I follow next sequence:
1. Set up positions
This is due to the fact that most often there is not enough time for all processes on the stage. And set up positions may take most of the time when you edit a show.
2. Adjustment of “Beam ” presets”
I store the parameters of “Zoom, Shutter, Prism, Gobo, Focus” in the “Beam” presets.
2. Adjustment of “Color” presets”
After all the presets are corrected, I proceed to verify and configure the video content. If we have got time to spare, I try to play all the songs and make sure that I forgot nothing.
The importance of the proper location of FOH at private events.
Organizers of events frequently like to hide all technical staff from the audience and place FOH anywhere to make sure it is not visible:
– Under the stage – Backstage – On the side of the stage – In the adjoining room
However, it is necessary to place FOH in the centre ( opposite the stage. )
Why do I need FOH in the middle?
1. Setting positions. You can set a console as needed in the centre of the room during setting positions and programming. Nowadays, many lighting consoles have remote access via a smartphone. If you take a WI-FI router on the project it can also help with setting positions and configuration. However, there are some nuances that should not be forget. Singers often forget in an outburst of emotions that they have to stay at a point where one effect or another works on them. In such cases, it is necessary to quickly correct the situation by correcting the position.
2. Front lighting and back light. In order to set the brightness and select the light temperature correctly, it requires to see the light at the facilities of illumination. For instance, one song has a large screen with bright content. You intend to add brightness to the front lighting and back lighting. And the next solo song is in the solo spot. The brightness of the back and front light ought to be turned down exactly here.
3. How to understand the perception of the audience on light scenes and effects. In order to impact on people’s emotions with light-based tools (light effect, light flash, etc…), it requires to understand what the audience pay their attention. In some cases, you have to know exactly whether the light is blinding the audience sitting in the hall or to figure out whether the audience feel comfortable.
In order to perceive the show as a member of the audience you need to be one of them!
Perhaps, you have already thought about many “BUT”… – Technical stuff look unkempt – The control room looks homely, with many wires and so on. – Newlywed or VIP guests or all at once sit across from the stage.
Tell to the company or employees what the dress code is. The classic outfit is preppy black clothing. Every company that is really taking to their work professionally or a self-respecting professionals will not refuse you in this.
FOH should look clean at private events. It is a good idea to set a curtain made from a black fabric or any other colour which is suitable for the room design. Mostly, black is the best solution as it does not reflect light, and thus does not stand out. Occasionally, one of the supplementary solutions may be a “light curtain” that will deflect attention away from FOH and hide it in the dark.
If it is not possible to place FOH directly in front of the stage, I try to follow the next system of placement’s priority
2 – At the edges of the hall, opposite the stage 3 – On the balcony, opposite the stage 4 – On a side of the stage
Occasionally, added to this is a decor, which places around FOH and then leaves a small window.It is sad to see, FOH turns out as a separate room, almost without a view, and does not allow you to properly control the equipment.
Especially when a lot of money was spent on the equipment to make each detail of the event more alluring and comfortable. If the abovementioned situation can not be avoided and you have thought out planning options all to the last detail and held many negotiations by trying to clarify wrong position of FOH. In this case, you need to provide a view by using cameras and monitors on FOH. It is desirable for each employee.
Set a large monitor with the views of the cameras. ( Multiview )
1 – General plan of the stage 2 – Close-up of the stage 3 – Overall plan of the hall
In the case of working with music, you ought to remember that the light is arts and crafts Do not forget when you change the location of FOH, you should set the sound in FOH.
Sound nuances can be solved by using personal systems of ear monitoring “in-ear ” with an individual mix or sound monitors for each member of FOH team.
It is a good idea to place individual sound mixer with a person who will monitor the mix of FOH team or withdraw the necessary channels on small sound mixer for each member ( in similar conditions for a drummer ) so that everyone can set up a convenient sound.