Lighting is one of the most beautiful, and at the same time subtle, arts that is a big part of every show you go to. From concerts to plays, every kind of spectacle has a lighting design that will bring the performance to a whole new level. If you want to get started on the job or if you’re curious about how it works, keep reading! We’ve compiled the 5 essential tips and tricks of the trade.
1. Type of performance
Every stage is different, and every performance is different, be it a small play or a big show And they will all require that the lighting is set up with their specifics in mind. For starters, think of what kind of “feel” or atmosphere the performance should transmit to the audience. This will give you an idea on which lights to use, how many, where to place them, etc.
In order to create the best atmosphere for each act, scene or moment, there are a number of tools that will greatly help in creating a unique feeling and bring out the important details. One of them is coloured lights: for example, blue tones can be great for a night ambience, and you can contrast them with yellow to give the idea of artificial lighting. LED lights are one of the best and, actually, most practical tools you can use to colour the stage. Brands like Advatek Lighting offer many variants!
Once you get to know the stage and the facilities, you can begin to plan how many lights you’ll include, and most importantly, where they will be placed. This also means that you can customize where they will point to. Don’t be afraid to experiment with this! The direction a light comes from or points to changes the atmosphere drastically. Remember each of them casts a shadow, so be careful: for instance, a potent light from above or from below both can form deep shadows on the performers’ faces.
As we said above, the quantity of lighting tools will also change the scenery. If the performance requires some mystery or drama, it will be somewhat dimly-lit, and one of the easiest ways to achieve this is by using less lights. If the atmosphere is bright, or if it is extra important that all performers can be seen clearly, then you might want to add a few more. Keeping all this in mind will make people immersed and enjoy their theatre night in a new and different way.
5. Zones of the stage
Last but not least, a very important tip that everyone who works with lighting knows is that the stage can be divided into different zones, and they can be illuminated individually. If you have a home theatre, you know how important this is the audience needs to be able to see the stage (and not the people sitting beside them); the stage itself has to have depth in order for everyone enjoying the show to see it as something real and dynamic.