Professional Lighting & Production - Winter 2022 - Page 25

performance in multiple locations . The logistics of a lighting rig that must be assembled , utilized , disassembled , traveled , and repeated is unique to this segment of entertainment lighting . Many procedures are unique due to the very nature of touring .
Touring of musical acts is the most common form , but touring can also encompass theater , corporate , houses of worship , television , and sporting events . Whenever the same production occurs in multiple locations , utilizing much of the same gear and staff , it is considered to be touring .
House of Worship Some form of entertainment lighting usually augments religious ceremonies , services , events , performances , and rituals . Many of the same job positions and principles used in other genres apply with house of worship productions . However , there is an almighty purpose for the event that moves beyond a standard performance or presentation .
Often the religious purpose and beliefs will drive the lighting and determine what is appropriate . In some cases the lighting is seen as a part of the ministry , helping to further the message of the religion . House of worship lighting shares fundamentals with theater , corporate , touring , television , festivals , as well as other lighting genres .
Festivals Music festivals have become very popular over the past 50 years . From the classic Woodstock to today ’ s EDM festivals , this type of event often includes multiple stages with various acts performing across several days . Lighting technicians , programmers , and designers must work with different artists , managers , locations , and more while remaining focused on the overall event goals .
Festival lighting rigs differ from touring as they are constructed for a short period of time , yet need to remain flexible for various acts . The rig itself may need to be reconfigured multiple times during the
event . Lighting professionals working on festivals must understand the unique stresses applied to working with a temporary lighting rig and multiple acts . Special Events / Parties This category is rather broad as many events can be lumped into this category . However , there are special events and parties happening all over the world at this moment , and most of them are utilizing entertainment lighting . Almost every lighting company , from small to big , will take part in these types of events . Whether a wedding , bar mitzvah , record release , fashion show , after party , or gala , these events are typically one-off occurrences .
In some cases , very little pre-production will be applied , and a truck of gear and a crew will appear to make the event happen . In others , the event will be expertly planned and prepared . The event industry can be very fast-paced , with multiple changes and decisions coming in from different directions and players . Lighting professionals need to learn to handle the environment and ensure the best event possible given all the parameters and stakeholders .
Television When lighting for television , many facets of our industry change due to the nature of working towards the image on the television screen instead of for a local audience . The response of the camera , understanding of on vs . off-camera locations , shooting practices , color temperatures , and an eye for detail are all essential elements anyone working on television must appreciate .
With a total focus on the final product on the screen , many standard lighting procedures do not apply to television . Everyone , including technicians , programmers , and designers , must conform to the requirements of working within the television genre .
Film Entertainment lighting for film is similar to television in that it is
focused entirely on the picture for the screen . However , entertainment lighting within a film is often considered a unique specialty look , and not the basis of the cinematographer ’ s primary lighting of the film .
There are cases where entertainment lighting products and procedures are used heavily on a film set to achieve the overall lighting . Usually these are handled by lighting professionals focused on the film genre . Rarely do these people cross over into other genres , but it is more common for others to come into film from other facets in our industry . For instance , many Broadway lighting designers have provided theatrical lighting to portions of films .
Nightclubs Nightclub lighting runs the gamut from audio-triggered fixtures to full complex productions . Some venues will employ lighting professionals , while others will simply have a DJ or staff person playback lighting looks . Nightclubs can be a great opportunity for anyone starting out to hone their lighting craft . With larger clubs and venues , a successful career can be had with increases in responsibility and creativity . However , most people tend to move on from club lighting to other genres .
Theme Parks / Cruise Ships Many facets of our industry fall into a far-reaching range of entertainment with varying forms of production . Two common areas are theme parks and cruise ships . Entertainment lighting professionals will find that these venues have production types that cover the extent of our industry . There are opportunities to work in any position and nearly any of the genres within a single theme park or cruise ship .
Sporting Events Hockey , basketball , football , Esports , and other sporting events utilize entertainment lighting to thrill the fans and present the players . Often lighting staff are
employed to install , program , design , and operate this lighting . It is very common to find entertainment lighting products built into scoreboards , stadiums , dashers , and other locations around the sporting event . While the lighting is secondary to the sporting event , often the production is highlighted as an event in itself .
Architectural Installations Buildings are being lit inside and out , and often the tasks of entertainment lighting workers are called in to assist . An entirely different industry of architectural designers exists outside of the entertainment lighting field , but they will often call upon our field to help with specific projects .
Working in the architectural genre is different from others as the timelines , players , and purposes are vastly distinctive . Usually design and programming services are required , while technician work is often delegated to installation contractors . Projects can take many years to come to fruition , and long-term maintenance is usually required once the project is running .
Manufacturer Demos Although not exactly a genre of production , it should be noted that lighting manufacturers often create elaborate light shows and demonstrations . As the focus changes from lighting a production to the lighting fixtures being the selling point , so do the creative and technical challenges . While many of these events are orchestrated within the manufacturer ’ s staff , in some cases they bring in outside designers , programmers , and technicians .
When the production exists to promote lighting fixtures and their features , then the requirements of the lighting design and rig change as well . These demos tend to focus more on the output and abilities of the products and less on the artistic qualities of real-world usage .
Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief of Professional Lighting & Production .
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