Magazine article Stage Directions

Stealing Spidey's Techniques for Scenic Lighting

Magazine article Stage Directions

Stealing Spidey's Techniques for Scenic Lighting

Article excerpt

Lighting Designer Don Holder's innovative solutions to the challenges of the Spidey set are not only beautiful, but also offer new techniques to the industry - techniques you can scale down for your own producion.

Holder had to design and configure solutions using thing from standard LED products to custom-built LED boards, There is 1/3 of a mile of RGB tape light used in the show - 64 feet of white tape light on the telescoping Chrysler building alone. The key to solving the myriad of set electrics challenges was trial and error, testing and mock-ups.

A good approach for designers working on far smaller budgets is once you understand your scenic lighting needs, free yourself to try different approaches and test products. There is a wealth of possibilities in today's lighting market, especially in the LED product range. Be sure to look at the lighting products being offered throughout the industry, not just at theatrical lighting. There are clever products that fit in tight space made for the TV/film market as well as the special events and display markets, often from the same manufacturers you already work with in theatre.

Another area where lighting and scenery often converge, and do in Spider-Man, is the use of backdrops, stardrops and eyes. Holder, a true master of lighting eyes, knew that SpiderMan's massive drops, 50 feet tall by 70 feet wide, were going to be a real challenge. To get the eye evenly lit, as well as create lighting effects on other drops, would require lighting them from directly behind. …

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