Shorts IV
West Linn High School, April 2003

Photos - Lighting Plot (PDF)

As my final show at WLHS, I set out with the mammoth task of designing the lighting for Shorts IV, our traditional collection of one-acts. If you look at the production photos below, you'll find that I actually managed to pull this off! In addition to my duties as lighting designer, I was conscripted as an Associate Technical Director for The Project, the one-act that was presented as a short film. Aside from looking (feeling?) important and providing the ever-critical FRS radios, I covertly placed microphones under lunch sacks and made sure that the shining voices of the actors could be heard. And, being a lighting-type of guy, I also illuminated dark situations. Unfortunately, these endeavors were not as covert as my sound ones (if you've seen the video and paid any attention to the background, you'll know what I mean). And for all this work, I made a few cameo appearences in the film; remember the guy bending over to pick up the box of Kleenex? The funny-looking guy walking by in the hall? Yep, that's me! Truth be told, I'm in the actual film more than the bloopers.

Lighting the stage performances was interesting because they all used the same set, but in different contexts. So aside from the furniture, the only indication that the location was different was the lighting. Here's a little technical/artistic information on each show. If you're easily bored by such things, skip to the pictures.. For information on the cast, crew and for pictures of each performance, click the appropriate link at the top of the page or scroll down to it. Unlike the pictures, these synopses are in order of each show's appearance.

The Project (Short Film): Because it was filmed on-location, we didn't have the means to bring in fancy lighting. Armed with two 6" fresnels on floor bases and some cable, I set out to illuminate the film. This was especially useful in the classroom scene where the floresecent lighting is headache-inducing, and in the cavernous living room. With exception of these two scenes and the "lunch" scenes, everything was lit "naturally".

Such Things Only Happen In Books: Nothing particularly special about the lighting for this show. Very basic lighting, using R02 and R05 to give the actors that healthy glow. These colors gave the set a rich brown tone, reminiscent of wood paneling. The cyc was used a bit to show the sunset and the progression of the day, but not as noticeable as in Moon of the Caribees.

Hello Out There: Lighting for this show was very controlled. I lit only the actors and the areas they were using in each scene, hiding pieces of the set and stage not in use. One area that was always lit was "the cell," where the young man stays for most of the show. The cell was framed from above by two Altman 4.5 x 6s and complimented by a barred gobo from an Altman 6x9 on the FOH. The director decided not to have bars or a cell as a physical set piece (also due to budgetary and logistical concerns) but the feeling of isolation needed to remain intact. Coloring was subdued and almost nonexistant; I used odd combinations of L201, L202 and R97. The effect was virtually colorless light that fit with the mood of the show. One thing that I noticed on the director's collage, was the prominent use of black, white and gray with vibrant red-orange, representative of the arridness of the Texas desert. To make this happen onstage, I used striplights on the cyc, during the intermission and the beginning of the show to help convey this feeling. It went away during the scenes, so as not to be a distraction and because the action was set indoors.

Moon of the Caribees: The show was set on a ship at night, so I used medium-blues (R65, R67) to give the illusion of night. The cyc was also a dark blue wash (G845) that made a nice cloudless sky, and helped to give the moon gobo a nice white/yellowish tint, without any additional coloring. Just for brightness, I conservatively used some R02 on Source 4 PARs. One thing that I totally hadn't expected was how the set turned out with all the blues I used, the platfoms came out a dark brown/gray that nodded towards an aging ship. As the show (and the evening/morning) progresses, the cyc starts to turn slightly pinkish, hinting that sunrise is just around the corner. The rate of this increases as the show winds down, and the show ends in an early-morning sky, with the moon less intense but still visible.

So, feast your eyes upon the photos (courtesy of Jon Ares, thankyouverymuch) and send me an email if you're absolutely confused or encounter problems.

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Click on each image for a larger version.

The Project - Such Things Only Happen In Books - Hello Out There - The Moon of the Carribees

The Project
by Yugi Tsuruta
Directed by Andrea Nowack

project 1.tif (1010608 bytes)

Can you spot the mic in this picture? I didn't think so.

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Take 12,358: The pudding actually hits him in the face, and nobody cracks up. Goooooaaaaaallll!

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"Go ahead, say it! I dare ya!"

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"Huh? I can't hear ya!"

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It's okay, they're nontoxic.

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"You want some coffee, honey?"

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Such Things Only Happen In Books
by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Holly Heridia

such 1.tif (979688 bytes)


such 2.tif (973104 bytes)

"You wouldn't detain me, would you...?"

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"Come now, can't you both stay and have a cup of cocoa? It won't take a minute."


Hello Out There
by William Saroyan
Directed by Lizzy LeRud

hello1.tif (839976 bytes)

"Nobody out there."

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The Girl and the Young Man discuss their future together

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"You're afraid of your pals, that's all"


Moon of the Caribees
by Eugene O'Neil
Directed by Andrew Gilbert and Nicole Tabbal

moon 1.tif (891208 bytes)

Driscoll and crew await the arrival of the "contraband"

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Fruit, liquor and... entertainment for everyone

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"I'll trouble you not to pry into my affairs, Donkeyman."

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"Don't you like me, pretty boy?"

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"Pals is pals and any pal of mine can have anything I got, see?"


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