Stage Lighting Technician Handbook
In a theater production, lighting technicians work under the lighting designer and master electrician. In video, television, and film productions, lighting technicians work under the direction of the gaffer or chief lighting technician who takes their direction from the cinematographer. In live music, lighting technicians work under the lighting director. All heads of department report to the production manager.
Stage Lighting Technician Handbook
Lighting technicians are responsible for the movement and set up of various pieces of lighting equipment for separation of light and shadow or contrast, depth of field or visual effects. Lighting Technicians may also lay electrical cables, wire fixtures, install color effects or image patterns, focus the lights, and assist in creating effects or programming sequences.
Officially called the electrical lighting technician, or the rigging electrical lighting technician, the technician is also known as set lighting technician, lamp operator, electrician, electric, spark or juicer.
Depending on script requirements, stage and locations bring on their own requirements for lighting and effects. Out of state, or country to get the right look in a script is not uncommon. Location work always brings on its own challenges. Weather is always a factor when going to a location. Technicians are like scouts and have to be prepared for all kinds of weather as per the season.
Working conditions for lighting technicians vary a great deal from one job to another. Lighting technicians generally spend a lot of time on their feet and the pace of work can become hectic. Last-minute changes are often required and safety precautions must be observed when handling hot lamps, climbing ladders or working on high voltage electrical cables and equipment. Lighting technicians are routinely required to lift and carry the heaviest and more dangerous equipment compared to the other departments and office staff.
While some aspects of visual language, lighting and color are eternal, shooting methods, workflow and cameras have changed radically. Even experienced film artists have a need to update and review new methods and equipment. These change affect not only the director of photography but also the director, the camera assistants, gaffers, and digital imaging technicians.
A friendly, hands-on training manual and reference for lighting technicians in motion picture and television production, this handbook is the most comprehensive guide to set lighting available. It provides a unique combination of practical detail with a big-picture understanding of lighting, technology, safety, and professionalism, essential to anyone doing motion picture lighting.
Update 2012: We are adding to this page and compiling a stage lighting reading list on this page, with some detail on specific good books in the subject area. If you have a particular favourite, please add it to comments with some detail about what you regard as good about the book. The original five are further down.
Rob Sayer HND PGDip FHEA is a Senior Lecturer in Technical Theatre Production, mentor, and consultant in stage lighting and education. As a professional lighting designer, Rob designed and programmed theatre performances, music festivals and large corporate events for blue chip companies while travelling all over Europe. With a background in theatre, he combines traditional stage lighting knowledge alongside fast moving lighting and video technology in the world of commercial events.
I am currently a student in my final year of A-Levels. I am studying performing arts and film studies. Thought performing arts i have had the chance to use the school lighting equipment. It has always been something i have been interested in. I would like to get a carer as a lighting technician but have no idea of how to go about learning it or getting experience. Any advice would be very helpful.
Its so amazing knowing that you can get almost everything you need to know on line,I have studied lighting from stages,live concert,films,musicals etc.This books will definitely do a good job on my lighting skills.
This handbook is the most comprehensive guide to set lighting available. It provides a unique combination of practical detail with a big-picture understanding of lighting, technology, safety, and professionalism, essential to anyone doing motion picture lighting.
I was very ambitious and I was fortunate to find co-workers who wanted to help me. At the state theatre in Berlin, I was lucky to be working with directors and stage designers who promoted me and invested the necessary money, because lighting equipment is pretty expensive.
Stage Lighting: The Fundamentals is written specifically for introductory stage lighting courses. The book begins with an examination of the nature of light, perception, and color, then leads into a conversation of stage lighting equipment and technicians. Lamps, luminaries, controls/dimming, and electricity form the basis of these chapters. The book also provides a detailed explanation and overview of the lighting design process for the theatre and several other traditional forms of entertainment. Finally, the book explores a variety of additional areas where lighting designers can find related future employment, such as concert and corporate lighting, themed design, architectural and landscape lighting, and computer animation.
Lighting has the ability to tell a story all on its own. It has the ability to provoke a certain emotion from audience members without having to say anything. With that said, many don't realize the work, detail, and study that goes into lighting a show from behind the scenes. Lighting designers are such a crucial part of any performance and should be praised for their knowledge and skill. Here are the top five books every lighting design student should read at least once!Lighting and the Design Idea (Wadsworth Series in Theatre) 3rd Edition by Linda Essig and Jennifer SetlowUnderstand the design process with LIGHTING AND THE DESIGN IDEA, Third Edition! With coverage of professional theatre practices in both commercial and residential theater, this text emphasizes the process by which lighting designers turn their ideas about a piece into the medium of stage lighting. Design concepts are illustrated by the text's art program so that concepts are easier to apply. A new chapter provides real-world advice, sample resumes, and other helpful tools for making the transition from student to working professional.
Purchase on Amazon Here.Introduction to Stage Lighting: The Fundamentals of Theatre Lighting Design by Charles I. SwiftIntended as a text for those who are developing their craft in the field of stage lighting design, this book also can serve as a reference for drama teachers and directors who wish to expand their insight into the total process of stage lighting design. The focus of this book is on the process of design rather than the latest developments in lighting and control technology. Effective design, after all, relies more on a thoughtful approach to the work than on the ever-expanding capabilities of the fixtures.Twelve chapters are divided into three sections. First, Tools and Terminology covers all of the basics-lighting fixtures, how stage lights work, terminology, and the quality of light. Next, Manipulating the Light addresses the controllable qualities of light-angle, intensity, movement, and color as well as developing the lighting key. The final portion of the book devotes itself to the Collaborative Process since no lighting director should ever work in a vacuum. Enhanced with 40 illustrations and photos, this is an indispensable reference.
Purchase on Amazon Here.The Lighting Supervisor's Toolkit (The Focal Press Toolkit Series) 1st Edition by Jason E. WeberThe Lighting Supervisor's Toolkit guides readers through the Lighting Supervisor's production process with an emphasis on the importance of the collaborative nature of the role.Lifting the veil on a process regularly learned on the job, this book offers a deeper understanding of the role of the Lighting Supervisor and how to take lighting designs from dreams to reality. Readers will learn to communicate with designers, analyze drawings, plan installations, document decisions, supervise crews, and innovate out-of-the-box solutions.Providing guidance for technically focused individuals seeking a deeper understanding of the profession, The Lighting Supervisor's Toolkit is ideal for students and professional technicians looking to take on important leadership roles in theatrical and entertainment lighting.Purchase on Amazon Here.Color & Light: Navigating Color Mixing in the Midst of an LED Revolution, A Handbook for Lighting Designers by Clifton TaylorColor & Light is an essential practical guide to how color works in light. Written from the perspective of a theatrical lighting designer, it discusses how to see color, how to construct effective lighting palettes, and how to make use of both color filters and color-mixing LED fixtures to create compositions that work well with scenery and costumes to tell compelling stories.
For more than thirty years this manual has been the essential handbook for both the beginner and the advanced backstage technician. At a time when theatre, both professional and amateur, is growing and flourishing all over the United States, Theatre Backstage from A to Z provides more practical information, on a wider range of subjects, than can be found in any other book in the field.
Arranged alphabetically with more than 300 drawings, diagrams, charts, and photographs, Theatre Backstage from A to Z is a quick source of information on construction, design, lighting, painting, properties, sound, and stage managing.
A practical guide to the art and technique of lighting for the stage, this book explains the complex mixture of craft, collaboration and creativity behind successful lighting design. The designer paints with light - revealing form and composing a living picture from collections of objects and bodies in a given space. This handbook for professional practice walks you through how to achieve this, from first concept to development of design ideas, planning to realisation and, finally, public performance.Now fully revised, this second edition of Nick Moran's Performance Lighting Design has been brought up to date to consider advances made in the technology used for lighting design for live performance. Alongside this, Moran introduces new concepts and ways of working; includes a section on analysing the finished design; and discusses recent research into contemporary lighting practice, addressing emerging trends, particularly for drama. Combining practical information with aesthetic considerations, Performance Lighting Design is the ideal book for students and practitioners of stage lighting working on the contemporary stage. 041b061a72