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Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] costumes and lighting

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  • Sylvia Rognstad
    Funny you should mention blues and pinks, because I got the impression last night the lighting designer was thinking of those colors for the show, and I m
    Message 1 of 15 , Sep 12 9:39 AM
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      Funny you should mention blues and pinks, because I got the impression
      last night the lighting designer was thinking of those colors for the
      show, and I'm using minimal blue and no pink. The one costume I do
      have in a royal blue, (and I actually didn't want to use it because all
      the other colors had some yellow in them, but the director loved it),
      the lighting designer loved as well, obviously because it goes with her
      gels.


      On Sep 12, 2008, at 8:47 AM, Susan Cassidy wrote:

      > I had a similar experience when costuming "Ragtime" of all things-I'd
      > costumed it once already, with no problems, but on the second
      > production the
      > lighting designer (who was used to lighting concerts, by the way)
      > used a gel
      > called "bastard red" or something like that-it turned everything
      > purple
      > hued. Plain gray pants were suddenly purple, and I had to replace
      > them and
      > one or two other pieces. I wouldn't want to have to build all new
      > stuff.
      > There is nothing inherently wrong with the colors you have chosen,
      > unless
      > you have too many colors on the opposite end of the color wheel (like
      > blues
      > and pinks), and then no matter the gel choice, the colors will
      > distort. In
      > some time periods it would be okay to have the distortion-rock opera,
      > maybe?
      > A more natural gel choice wouldn't distort, but a rock concert/opera
      > usually
      > doesn't call for natural lighting.
      >
      > I hope things work out.
      >
      > Susan
      >
      > _____
      >
      > From: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
      > [mailto:TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sylvia
      > Rognstad
      > Sent: Friday, September 12, 2008 10:16 AM
      > To: thecostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] costumes and lighting
      >
      > I had a very unfortunate experience last night with the lighting
      > designer on the rock opera I'm costuming and would like some input
      > from
      > other costumers who are perhaps more knowledgeable than I on lights. I
      > admit it's always been my weak spot. My designs have been finalized
      > for weeks, fabrics purchased and work underway. Last night was the
      > first run through so both I and the lighting designer were there. She
      > took a look at my swatches and said a lot of them wouldn't work,
      > specifically the rusts, coppers and yellow greens, of which there are
      > quite a few. Now I have to buy all new fabric for several costumes.
      >
      > Obviously my question is--why can't she change her gels to make them
      > work? Are these just colors that shouldn't be put on stage ever or
      > what? I don't get it. Can someone enlighten me--no pun intended? In
      > retrospect of course we should have had a meeting several weeks ago
      > but
      > I think both I and the director assumed she would be working with what
      > I had designed but she seems to be making it sounds like those colors
      > just won't work at all, period for anything at any time.
      >
      > Sylvia R
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • barneshaesemeyer
      Sylvia, Unfortunately, sounds like a case of where you and the director should have sat down to review designs and fabric swatches earlier, before you ordered
      Message 2 of 15 , Sep 12 10:24 AM
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        Sylvia,

        Unfortunately, sounds like a case of where you and the director
        should have sat down to review designs and fabric swatches earlier,
        before you ordered fabric and started work. The director's vision
        appears to be different than yours, and, ultimately, the director
        makes the decision.

        You bring up an important issue for directors and costumers alike,
        though. Test the fabrics under the lights, particularly if other than
        natural lighting effects are being used.

        Scream and then get on with the show. Good luck!

        Donna
        --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Sylvia Rognstad
        <sylvia@...> wrote:
        >
        > Funny you should mention blues and pinks, because I got the
        impression
        > last night the lighting designer was thinking of those colors for
        the
        > show, and I'm using minimal blue and no pink. The one costume I do
        > have in a royal blue, (and I actually didn't want to use it because
        all
        > the other colors had some yellow in them, but the director loved
        it),
        > the lighting designer loved as well, obviously because it goes with
        her
        > gels.
        >
        >
        > On Sep 12, 2008, at 8:47 AM, Susan Cassidy wrote:
        >
        > > I had a similar experience when costuming "Ragtime" of all things-
        I'd
        > > costumed it once already, with no problems, but on the second
        > > production the
        > > lighting designer (who was used to lighting concerts, by the
        way)
        > > used a gel
        > > called "bastard red" or something like that-it turned everything
        > > purple
        > > hued. Plain gray pants were suddenly purple, and I had to
        replace
        > > them and
        > > one or two other pieces. I wouldn't want to have to build all
        new
        > > stuff.
        > > There is nothing inherently wrong with the colors you have
        chosen,
        > > unless
        > > you have too many colors on the opposite end of the color wheel
        (like
        > > blues
        > > and pinks), and then no matter the gel choice, the colors will
        > > distort. In
        > > some time periods it would be okay to have the distortion-rock
        opera,
        > > maybe?
        > > A more natural gel choice wouldn't distort, but a rock
        concert/opera
        > > usually
        > > doesn't call for natural lighting.
        > >
        > > I hope things work out.
        > >
        > > Susan
        > >
        > > _____
        > >
        > > From: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
        > > [mailto:TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        Sylvia
        > > Rognstad
        > > Sent: Friday, September 12, 2008 10:16 AM
        > > To: thecostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
        > > Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] costumes and lighting
        > >
        > > I had a very unfortunate experience last night with the lighting
        > > designer on the rock opera I'm costuming and would like some
        input
        > > from
        > > other costumers who are perhaps more knowledgeable than I on
        lights. I
        > > admit it's always been my weak spot. My designs have been
        finalized
        > > for weeks, fabrics purchased and work underway. Last night was
        the
        > > first run through so both I and the lighting designer were
        there. She
        > > took a look at my swatches and said a lot of them wouldn't work,
        > > specifically the rusts, coppers and yellow greens, of which
        there are
        > > quite a few. Now I have to buy all new fabric for several
        costumes.
        > >
        > > Obviously my question is--why can't she change her gels to make
        them
        > > work? Are these just colors that shouldn't be put on stage ever
        or
        > > what? I don't get it. Can someone enlighten me--no pun intended?
        In
        > > retrospect of course we should have had a meeting several weeks
        ago
        > > but
        > > I think both I and the director assumed she would be working
        with what
        > > I had designed but she seems to be making it sounds like those
        colors
        > > just won't work at all, period for anything at any time.
        > >
        > > Sylvia R
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Kate
        Hi Sylivia, Have you both sat down with the director?  Whenever there is a conflict, no matter how amiable it might be, it is the director who makes the final
        Message 3 of 15 , Sep 12 3:15 PM
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          Hi Sylivia,
          Have you both sat down with the director?  Whenever there is a conflict, no matter how amiable it might be, it is the director who makes the final decision.  The director might have a reason to use those particular gels and ask you to change the colors, the director might also decide that those colors are important and ask the lighting to change.  If you are on a tight budget, it is especially important to bring in the director since purchasing new fabric will add to the bottom line.  A question... if those particular colors are not good, is there anything you could do with dye to deepen or change the colors enough to make them work without starting all over from the beginning?

          Kat
          Massachusetts

          --- On Fri, 9/12/08, Sylvia Rognstad <sylvia@...> wrote:
          From: Sylvia Rognstad <sylvia@...>
          Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] costumes and lighting
          To: thecostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Friday, September 12, 2008, 10:16 AM











          I had a very unfortunate experience last night with the lighting

          designer on the rock opera I'm costuming and would like some input from

          other costumers who are perhaps more knowledgeable than I on lights. I

          admit it's always been my weak spot. My designs have been finalized

          for weeks, fabrics purchased and work underway. Last night was the

          first run through so both I and the lighting designer were there. She

          took a look at my swatches and said a lot of them wouldn't work,

          specifically the rusts, coppers and yellow greens, of which there are

          quite a few. Now I have to buy all new fabric for several costumes.



          Obviously my question is--why can't she change her gels to make them

          work? Are these just colors that shouldn't be put on stage ever or

          what? I don't get it. Can someone enlighten me--no pun intended? In

          retrospect of course we should have had a meeting several weeks ago but

          I think both I and the director assumed she would be working with what

          I had designed but she seems to be making it sounds like those colors

          just won't work at all, period for anything at any time.



          Sylvia R





























          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Sylvia Rognstad
          Yes, we definitely should have. Unfortunately the director has not had much experience so I guess she never thought of the need to get us together, but I
          Message 4 of 15 , Sep 12 3:29 PM
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            Yes, we definitely should have. Unfortunately the director has not had
            much experience so I guess she never thought of the need to get us
            together, but I should have. I think my problem is that I have only
            done straight non-musical theatre for quite awhile without any special
            lighting and never had any problem. I didn't realize the director
            wanted red and orange lights for a few of the scenes.


            On Sep 12, 2008, at 11:24 AM, barneshaesemeyer wrote:

            > Sylvia,
            >
            > Unfortunately, sounds like a case of where you and the director
            > should have sat down to review designs and fabric swatches earlier,
            > before you ordered fabric and started work. The director's vision
            > appears to be different than yours, and, ultimately, the director
            > makes the decision.
            >
            > You bring up an important issue for directors and costumers alike,
            > though. Test the fabrics under the lights, particularly if other than
            > natural lighting effects are being used.
            >
            > Scream and then get on with the show. Good luck!
            >
            > Donna
            > --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Sylvia Rognstad
            > <sylvia@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Funny you should mention blues and pinks, because I got the
            > impression
            > > last night the lighting designer was thinking of those colors for
            > the
            > > show, and I'm using minimal blue and no pink. The one costume I do
            > > have in a royal blue, (and I actually didn't want to use it because
            > all
            > > the other colors had some yellow in them, but the director loved
            > it),
            > > the lighting designer loved as well, obviously because it goes with
            > her
            > > gels.
            > >
            > >
            > > On Sep 12, 2008, at 8:47 AM, Susan Cassidy wrote:
            > >
            > > > I had a similar experience when costuming "Ragtime" of all things-
            > I'd
            > > > costumed it once already, with no problems, but on the second
            > > > production the
            > > > lighting designer (who was used to lighting concerts, by the
            > way)
            > > > used a gel
            > > > called "bastard red" or something like that-it turned everything
            > > > purple
            > > > hued. Plain gray pants were suddenly purple, and I had to
            > replace
            > > > them and
            > > > one or two other pieces. I wouldn't want to have to build all
            > new
            > > > stuff.
            > > > There is nothing inherently wrong with the colors you have
            > chosen,
            > > > unless
            > > > you have too many colors on the opposite end of the color wheel
            > (like
            > > > blues
            > > > and pinks), and then no matter the gel choice, the colors will
            > > > distort. In
            > > > some time periods it would be okay to have the distortion-rock
            > opera,
            > > > maybe?
            > > > A more natural gel choice wouldn't distort, but a rock
            > concert/opera
            > > > usually
            > > > doesn't call for natural lighting.
            > > >
            > > > I hope things work out.
            > > >
            > > > Susan
            > > >
            > > > _____
            > > >
            > > > From: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
            > > > [mailto:TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
            > Sylvia
            > > > Rognstad
            > > > Sent: Friday, September 12, 2008 10:16 AM
            > > > To: thecostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
            > > > Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] costumes and lighting
            > > >
            > > > I had a very unfortunate experience last night with the lighting
            > > > designer on the rock opera I'm costuming and would like some
            > input
            > > > from
            > > > other costumers who are perhaps more knowledgeable than I on
            > lights. I
            > > > admit it's always been my weak spot. My designs have been
            > finalized
            > > > for weeks, fabrics purchased and work underway. Last night was
            > the
            > > > first run through so both I and the lighting designer were
            > there. She
            > > > took a look at my swatches and said a lot of them wouldn't work,
            > > > specifically the rusts, coppers and yellow greens, of which
            > there are
            > > > quite a few. Now I have to buy all new fabric for several
            > costumes.
            > > >
            > > > Obviously my question is--why can't she change her gels to make
            > them
            > > > work? Are these just colors that shouldn't be put on stage ever
            > or
            > > > what? I don't get it. Can someone enlighten me--no pun intended?
            > In
            > > > retrospect of course we should have had a meeting several weeks
            > ago
            > > > but
            > > > I think both I and the director assumed she would be working
            > with what
            > > > I had designed but she seems to be making it sounds like those
            > colors
            > > > just won't work at all, period for anything at any time.
            > > >
            > > > Sylvia R
            > > >
            > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            >
            >
            >

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Sylvia Rognstad
            Of course it is the director s call, and in this case, after speaking with her yesterday, I realize it is all three of our faults, for each of us not insisting
            Message 5 of 15 , Sep 13 6:43 AM
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              Of course it is the director's call, and in this case, after speaking
              with her yesterday, I realize it is all three of our faults, for each
              of us not insisting on getting together from the beginning. I was
              taking too much of the blame on myself, forgetting that the lighting
              designer should have been considering costumes as much as I should have
              been considering lighting, and for the director not knowing what the
              lights she was requesting would do to the fabrics.

              Fortunately I don't have to start over. It is mostly just the first
              act which the director wants in reds, golds and orange lights and is
              turning the fabrics all to browns and mostly impacts four actors whose
              costumes I hadn't started but had purchased the fabric for. So I will
              have to buy new fabric which is an additional expense and unfortunately
              at a loss of about $100 for some gorgeous iridescent silk, but it's not
              a catastrophe.

              Sylvia

              On Sep 12, 2008, at 4:15 PM, Kate wrote:

              > Hi Sylivia,
              > Have you both sat down with the director?  Whenever there is a
              > conflict, no matter how amiable it might be, it is the director who
              > makes the final decision.  The director might have a reason to use
              > those particular gels and ask you to change the colors, the director
              > might also decide that those colors are important and ask the lighting
              > to change.  If you are on a tight budget, it is especially important
              > to bring in the director since purchasing new fabric will add to the
              > bottom line.  A question... if those particular colors are not good,
              > is there anything you could do with dye to deepen or change the colors
              > enough to make them work without starting all over from the beginning?
              >
              > Kat
              > Massachusetts
              >
              > --- On Fri, 9/12/08, Sylvia Rognstad <sylvia@...> wrote:
              > From: Sylvia Rognstad <sylvia@...>
              > Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] costumes and lighting
              > To: thecostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Friday, September 12, 2008, 10:16 AM
              >
              > I had a very unfortunate experience last night with the lighting
              >
              > designer on the rock opera I'm costuming and would like some input
              > from
              >
              > other costumers who are perhaps more knowledgeable than I on lights. I
              >
              > admit it's always been my weak spot. My designs have been finalized
              >
              > for weeks, fabrics purchased and work underway. Last night was the
              >
              > first run through so both I and the lighting designer were there. She
              >
              > took a look at my swatches and said a lot of them wouldn't work,
              >
              > specifically the rusts, coppers and yellow greens, of which there are
              >
              > quite a few. Now I have to buy all new fabric for several costumes.
              >
              > Obviously my question is--why can't she change her gels to make them
              >
              > work? Are these just colors that shouldn't be put on stage ever or
              >
              > what? I don't get it. Can someone enlighten me--no pun intended? In
              >
              > retrospect of course we should have had a meeting several weeks ago
              > but
              >
              > I think both I and the director assumed she would be working with what
              >
              > I had designed but she seems to be making it sounds like those colors
              >
              > just won't work at all, period for anything at any time.
              >
              > Sylvia R
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • John
              And, just last night, catching a Martha and the Vandellas number on PBS, caught another lighting designer do the same thing to Martha. Turned her several
              Message 6 of 15 , Sep 15 7:58 PM
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                And, just last night, catching a "Martha and the Vandellas" number
                on PBS, caught another 'lighting designer'do the same thing to
                Martha. Turned her several shades of metallic yuck. Since Martha's
                still a striking,lovely woman, I wondered why this crap in a program
                which could have been should have been fixed before the thing
                taped. Martha can't (and oughtn't) change her skin (the outfits
                came thru ok), but yes, the 'designer' could definitely SHOULD
                DEFINITELY have re-gelled. It would seem that 'rock concert
                lighting designers'have, in part, developed rockstar egos but not
                learned their craft (yes, I have re-gelled). I'd definitely take
                this up with the director; you are responsible for more of the time
                and trouble to mount the show than the lighting designer, and NOT a
                lesser being.

                Forgive, please, any offensiveness, I know not all lighting
                designers are like that. Tho, I have worked for a couple who....

                and my inbox has way too much pseudopolitical canarding with no
                substance, so smoke and mirrors is on me mind.

                --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Sylvia Rognstad
                <sylvia@...> wrote:
                >
                > I had a very unfortunate experience last night with the lighting
                > designer on the rock opera I'm costuming and would like some input
                from
                > other costumers who are perhaps more knowledgeable than I on
                lights. I
                > admit it's always been my weak spot. My designs have been
                finalized
                > for weeks, fabrics purchased and work underway. Last night was
                the
                > first run through so both I and the lighting designer were there.
                She
                > took a look at my swatches and said a lot of them wouldn't work,
                > specifically the rusts, coppers and yellow greens, of which there
                are
                > quite a few. Now I have to buy all new fabric for several
                costumes.
                >
                > Obviously my question is--why can't she change her gels to make
                them
                > work? Are these just colors that shouldn't be put on stage ever
                or
                > what? I don't get it. Can someone enlighten me--no pun
                intended? In
                > retrospect of course we should have had a meeting several weeks
                ago but
                > I think both I and the director assumed she would be working with
                what
                > I had designed but she seems to be making it sounds like those
                colors
                > just won't work at all, period for anything at any time.
                >
                > Sylvia R
                >
              • Cheryl McCarron
                Hi Sylvia, In an ideal world, there should be compromise on both sides.  I once picked an irridescent chiffon for a veil that looked like mud onstage. I
                Message 7 of 15 , Sep 16 7:09 AM
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                  Hi Sylvia,
                  In an ideal world, there should be compromise on both sides.  I once picked an irridescent chiffon for a veil that looked like mud onstage. I blamed myself for a poor fabric choice, but my lighting designer immediately said, "No problem, I can make that look better." He said he could easily change a gel to a slightly different shade which would make the costume look better, but still keep his original intention with the lights.  (I love working with that lighting designer!). 
                   
                  Honestly, I have never had a lighting designer tell me flat out that my choices just won't work and I have to change them. I have had them tell me that things might be difficult and we have worked out a comprise where sometimes I have made a change and sometimes they have.  I think your lighting designer went about it poorly in assuming that her choices were more important than yours and therefore yours would just have to change. 
                   
                  At least you don't have to rebuild anything.  As others have mentioned, meetings with the full design team and the director early on can usually help head off stuff like this.  In the absence of that meeting, I usually send a swatch package or a scan of the fabrics to the lighting designer before I start my build.
                   
                  Best of luck with the show,
                  Cheryl McCarron
                  NYC Fabric Finder


                  --- On Fri, 9/12/08, Sylvia Rognstad <sylvia@...> wrote:

                  From: Sylvia Rognstad <sylvia@...>
                  Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] costumes and lighting
                  To: thecostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Friday, September 12, 2008, 10:16 AM






                  I had a very unfortunate experience last night with the lighting
                  designer on the rock opera I'm costuming and would like some input from
                  other costumers who are perhaps more knowledgeable than I on lights. I
                  admit it's always been my weak spot. My designs have been finalized
                  for weeks, fabrics purchased and work underway. Last night was the
                  first run through so both I and the lighting designer were there. She
                  took a look at my swatches and said a lot of them wouldn't work,
                  specifically the rusts, coppers and yellow greens, of which there are
                  quite a few. Now I have to buy all new fabric for several costumes.

                  Obviously my question is--why can't she change her gels to make them
                  work? Are these just colors that shouldn't be put on stage ever or
                  what? I don't get it. Can someone enlighten me--no pun intended? In
                  retrospect of course we should have had a meeting several weeks ago but
                  I think both I and the director assumed she would be working with what
                  I had designed but she seems to be making it sounds like those colors
                  just won't work at all, period for anything at any time.

                  Sylvia R


















                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Sylvia Rognstad
                  Live and learn. I thought I had been in the business long enough to not have to consider this, but I realized I had been doing straight theatre without any
                  Message 8 of 15 , Sep 16 7:35 AM
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                    Live and learn. I thought I had been in the business long enough to
                    not have to consider this, but I realized I had been doing straight
                    theatre without any special lighting for many years and had just
                    forgotten about difficult interactions between gels and costumes. The
                    director wants a warm look for one act of the show and that requires
                    red and orange gels. Needless to say, I will be in contact with the
                    lighting designer early on from now on!

                    Sylvia

                    On Sep 16, 2008, at 8:09 AM, Cheryl McCarron wrote:

                    > Hi Sylvia,
                    > In an ideal world, there should be compromise on both sides.  I once
                    > picked an irridescent chiffon for a veil that looked like mud onstage.
                    > I blamed myself for a poor fabric choice, but my lighting designer
                    > immediately said, "No problem, I can make that look better." He said
                    > he could easily change a gel to a slightly different shade which would
                    > make the costume look better, but still keep his original intention
                    > with the lights.  (I love working with that lighting designer!). 
                    >  
                    > Honestly, I have never had a lighting designer tell me flat out that
                    > my choices just won't work and I have to change them. I have had
                    > them tell me that things might be difficult and we have worked out a
                    > comprise where sometimes I have made a change and sometimes they
                    > have.  I think your lighting designer went about it poorly in assuming
                    > that her choices were more important than yours and therefore yours
                    > would just have to change. 
                    >  
                    > At least you don't have to rebuild anything.  As others have
                    > mentioned, meetings with the full design team and the director early
                    > on can usually help head off stuff like this.  In the absence of that
                    > meeting, I usually send a swatch package or a scan of the fabrics to
                    > the lighting designer before I start my build.
                    >  
                    > Best of luck with the show,
                    > Cheryl McCarron
                    > NYC Fabric Finder
                    >
                    > --- On Fri, 9/12/08, Sylvia Rognstad <sylvia@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > From: Sylvia Rognstad <sylvia@...>
                    > Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] costumes and lighting
                    > To: thecostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                    > Date: Friday, September 12, 2008, 10:16 AM
                    >
                    > I had a very unfortunate experience last night with the lighting
                    > designer on the rock opera I'm costuming and would like some input
                    > from
                    > other costumers who are perhaps more knowledgeable than I on lights. I
                    > admit it's always been my weak spot. My designs have been finalized
                    > for weeks, fabrics purchased and work underway. Last night was the
                    > first run through so both I and the lighting designer were there. She
                    > took a look at my swatches and said a lot of them wouldn't work,
                    > specifically the rusts, coppers and yellow greens, of which there are
                    > quite a few. Now I have to buy all new fabric for several costumes.
                    >
                    > Obviously my question is--why can't she change her gels to make them
                    > work? Are these just colors that shouldn't be put on stage ever or
                    > what? I don't get it. Can someone enlighten me--no pun intended? In
                    > retrospect of course we should have had a meeting several weeks ago
                    > but
                    > I think both I and the director assumed she would be working with what
                    > I had designed but she seems to be making it sounds like those colors
                    > just won't work at all, period for anything at any time.
                    >
                    > Sylvia R
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Bo Persson
                    Light and fabric/costume can be tricky. I am dress historian and photographer. I take photos at fashion shows, reenactment events and museums. Thank godness it
                    Message 9 of 15 , Sep 16 7:48 AM
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                      Light and fabric/costume can be tricky. I am dress historian and
                      photographer. I take photos at fashion shows, reenactment events and
                      museums. Thank godness it is not film but digital.

                      Bo

                      Bo Persson, M.A.
                      Independent Dress Consultant & Researcher & Photographer
                      bo_persson@...
                      Skype name: bossep64
                      http://bopersson64.wordpress.com/
                      http://culturedevelopmentandresearch-cedar.freehomepage.com/
                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/76021273@N00/
                      http://www.cig.canon-europe.com/a?i=0sgcbH0TLC


                      16 sep 2008 kl. 15.35 skrev Sylvia Rognstad:

                      > Live and learn. I thought I had been in the business long enough to
                      > not have to consider this, but I realized I had been doing straight
                      > theatre without any special lighting for many years and had just
                      > forgotten about difficult interactions between gels and costumes. The
                      > director wants a warm look for one act of the show and that requires
                      > red and orange gels. Needless to say, I will be in contact with the
                      > lighting designer early on from now on!
                      >
                      > Sylvia
                      >
                      > On Sep 16, 2008, at 8:09 AM, Cheryl McCarron wrote:
                      >
                      > > Hi Sylvia,
                      > > In an ideal world, there should be compromise on both sides. I once
                      > > picked an irridescent chiffon for a veil that looked like mud
                      > onstage.
                      > > I blamed myself for a poor fabric choice, but my lighting designer
                      > > immediately said, "No problem, I can make that look better." He said
                      > > he could easily change a gel to a slightly different shade which
                      > would
                      > > make the costume look better, but still keep his original intention
                      > > with the lights. (I love working with that lighting designer!).
                      > >
                      > > Honestly, I have never had a lighting designer tell me flat out that
                      > > my choices just won't work and I have to change them. I have had
                      > > them tell me that things might be difficult and we have worked out a
                      > > comprise where sometimes I have made a change and sometimes they
                      > > have. I think your lighting designer went about it poorly in
                      > assuming
                      > > that her choices were more important than yours and therefore yours
                      > > would just have to change.
                      > >
                      > > At least you don't have to rebuild anything. As others have
                      > > mentioned, meetings with the full design team and the director early
                      > > on can usually help head off stuff like this. In the absence of
                      > that
                      > > meeting, I usually send a swatch package or a scan of the fabrics to
                      > > the lighting designer before I start my build.
                      > >
                      > > Best of luck with the show,
                      > > Cheryl McCarron
                      > > NYC Fabric Finder
                      > >
                      > > --- On Fri, 9/12/08, Sylvia Rognstad <sylvia@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > From: Sylvia Rognstad <sylvia@...>
                      > > Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] costumes and lighting
                      > > To: thecostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Date: Friday, September 12, 2008, 10:16 AM
                      > >
                      > > I had a very unfortunate experience last night with the lighting
                      > > designer on the rock opera I'm costuming and would like some input
                      > > from
                      > > other costumers who are perhaps more knowledgeable than I on
                      > lights. I
                      > > admit it's always been my weak spot. My designs have been finalized
                      > > for weeks, fabrics purchased and work underway. Last night was the
                      > > first run through so both I and the lighting designer were there.
                      > She
                      > > took a look at my swatches and said a lot of them wouldn't work,
                      > > specifically the rusts, coppers and yellow greens, of which there
                      > are
                      > > quite a few. Now I have to buy all new fabric for several costumes.
                      > >
                      > > Obviously my question is--why can't she change her gels to make them
                      > > work? Are these just colors that shouldn't be put on stage ever or
                      > > what? I don't get it. Can someone enlighten me--no pun intended? In
                      > > retrospect of course we should have had a meeting several weeks ago
                      > > but
                      > > I think both I and the director assumed she would be working with
                      > what
                      > > I had designed but she seems to be making it sounds like those
                      > colors
                      > > just won't work at all, period for anything at any time.
                      > >
                      > > Sylvia R
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >







                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • jilbyfuzz
                      I had a director go balistic when I wanted to put an actor is a white dress shirt, and no jacket. The reson being, this guy sweated more than I have ever seen
                      Message 10 of 15 , Sep 17 1:03 PM
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                        I had a director go balistic when I wanted to put an actor is a
                        white dress shirt, and no jacket. The reson being, this guy sweated
                        more than I have ever seen anyone do. The idea that as the show
                        went along thing got crazier and crazier he got sweatier and
                        sweatier. All the director would tell me was "No white shirts.
                        Lighting guy won't like it" She didn't tell me why. After fighting
                        with her for a week I agreed to put the guy in a waist coat to break
                        up the white.
                        Finally during tech week I tackled the lighting designer. She
                        finally told me white shirts in general pick up the lighting colors
                        REALLY well. That is great if you want to make a spooky costume but
                        not when you want to have a serious character. That being said, we
                        now had a justifiable reason why we needed to break up the white.

                        Since then we give the lighting designer the color pallet of
                        costumes weeks ahead of time. Example, she and I also worked out a
                        white lab coat for this creepy insane asylum guy in our Halloween
                        production. Having a tech team that communicated well and will work
                        together can really make a great production.
                      • Linda Scribner
                        Sylvia, A couple of questions: Did the lighting designer say why the colors wouldn t work? Was it an issue of distortion because of saturated lighting
                        Message 11 of 15 , Sep 17 2:48 PM
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                          Sylvia,
                          A couple of questions: Did the lighting designer say why the colors
                          wouldn't work? Was it an issue of distortion because of saturated
                          lighting colors? The reality is that saturated lighting colors will
                          change any color. Or is it an issue of characterization, which would
                          have to include the director who determines whether a color is right
                          for a character in a scene.

                          When I have encountered these kind of problems, I have always sought
                          for a compromise. For example, from the very beginning a lighting
                          designer will know a skirt is called for in the script, by the
                          director, etc. to be a red skirt. However, the lighting palette
                          makes the skirt glow extremely hot. I can leave the skirt alone and
                          watch an out of balance scene or tint the skirt to kill some of the
                          red, which is usually the solution I will take.

                          However, when a director has approved my designs and I have made
                          fabric swatches available to a lighting designer ahead of their color
                          deadline, I expect the lighting to compromise and accept that in that
                          dark blue night scene, my orange dress will turn brown, as it would
                          in real life.

                          I cannot abide any one outside of the director dictating design
                          choices and find it offensive when we cannot collaborate and find a
                          solution. In the general scheme of things, due to build times, etc.,
                          I have to settle on colors before the lighting designer. If we
                          haven't collaborated all along, I believe the compromise needs to be
                          made by the last in line (sorry if that offends anyone.) But at the
                          same time, I will not allow my work to look like a mistake if there
                          is a need for certain color lighting. My favorite productions are
                          those in which we all generate the designs simultaneously and are on
                          the same page from the beginning. For example, in one production I
                          chose to make the costumes non-descript colorwise for a first act so
                          the lighting designer could do more with color to create location.
                          All I asked is that he respected the color coices for the 2nd act
                          costumes in the same way. And it worked.

                          Sorry, got on a bit of a soapbox but I'm really tired of dealing with
                          this issue myself. Once had a lighting designer and director approve
                          of a color for a corderoy suit - rust. So we built a tailored,
                          1970's suit, color all approved. First dress, the director had a
                          hissy because the suit appeared too hot in certain spots. Rather
                          than have the lighting designer change out a few gels that were a bit
                          warm, we were asked to dye the suit. Now, most of us know dyeing a
                          hand tailored suit is not the best choice to retain a "new" look for
                          the suit. But the director insisted that the lighting designer had
                          worked too hard and she would not ask him to change gels. We did
                          it. The suit looked crappy. Not our fault. Just a stupid choice.
                          Oh well. It is our job to serve the production...

                          Linda
                        • Curtis
                          I can honestly say I don t recall this particular argument being an issue on any of the shows I ve worked on...but that is primarily because the groups that I
                          Message 12 of 15 , Sep 18 12:42 PM
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                            I can honestly say I don't recall this particular argument being an
                            issue on any of the shows I've worked on...but that is primarily
                            because the groups that I work with do production meetings on a
                            regular basis, starting months ahead of the production itself, so that
                            everyone knows what everyone else is doing. The lighting designer has
                            a heads up of costumes, as well as practical lights on stage from the
                            props designer. Props and costumes get a chance to iron out who it is
                            that will be rounding up canes, pocket watches, etc.

                            I have, lately, been having problems with shows at the park, all of
                            which can be traced back to the problem of not having enough
                            production meetings. Ninety percent of the problems any production
                            will run into can be avoided if everyone talks about what they're
                            doing...but some people don't like to work that way. Those are the
                            people I don't like to work with, because invariably, I end up hip
                            deep in garbage that never needed to be there in the first place.
                            These are the shows where I end up working overnight for three nights
                            before final dress to try and fix all the stuff that fell through the
                            cracks.

                            So, I STRONGLY encourage you all, push for production meetings. Don't
                            just sit down with your director and talk about what you're going to
                            do. Sit down with the entire production team, so everybody is on the
                            same page. Have the stage manager take notes, so if there's any
                            question later on, someone can, in fact, say, "The director said
                            THIS," instead of bickering about what was said in one meeting versus
                            what was said in another. If there are particular costumes that you
                            feel are 'make or break' for a character, let the lighting designer
                            know about them, so some kind of compromise can be achieved...if
                            you've got a good lighting designer, they can not only avoid giving
                            you problems, they can enhance what you're trying to do. Be willing
                            to give as much as you ask, though, or else you get a reputation for
                            being hard to work with and people don't want your assistance. Yeah,
                            artistic vision is important...but theater is a collaborative art
                            form, which means everyone needs to have a little give and take.
                            You'll be amazed just how many problems never arise when you start
                            sharing information with the production team well in advance, instead
                            of at tech rehearsals.
                          • Sylvia Rognstad
                            Couldn t agree more. I dropped the ball on this one and am paying the price. The director should have known better too, but she is relatively inexperienced.
                            Message 13 of 15 , Sep 18 12:47 PM
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                              Couldn't agree more. I dropped the ball on this one and am paying the
                              price. The director should have known better too, but she is
                              relatively inexperienced.



                              Sylvia

                              On Sep 18, 2008, at 1:42 PM, Curtis wrote:

                              > I can honestly say I don't recall this particular argument being an
                              > issue on any of the shows I've worked on...but that is primarily
                              > because the groups that I work with do production meetings on a
                              > regular basis, starting months ahead of the production itself, so that
                              > everyone knows what everyone else is doing. The lighting designer has
                              > a heads up of costumes, as well as practical lights on stage from the
                              > props designer. Props and costumes get a chance to iron out who it is
                              > that will be rounding up canes, pocket watches, etc.
                              >
                              > I have, lately, been having problems with shows at the park, all of
                              > which can be traced back to the problem of not having enough
                              > production meetings. Ninety percent of the problems any production
                              > will run into can be avoided if everyone talks about what they're
                              > doing...but some people don't like to work that way. Those are the
                              > people I don't like to work with, because invariably, I end up hip
                              > deep in garbage that never needed to be there in the first place.
                              > These are the shows where I end up working overnight for three nights
                              > before final dress to try and fix all the stuff that fell through the
                              > cracks.
                              >
                              > So, I STRONGLY encourage you all, push for production meetings. Don't
                              > just sit down with your director and talk about what you're going to
                              > do. Sit down with the entire production team, so everybody is on the
                              > same page. Have the stage manager take notes, so if there's any
                              > question later on, someone can, in fact, say, "The director said
                              > THIS," instead of bickering about what was said in one meeting versus
                              > what was said in another. If there are particular costumes that you
                              > feel are 'make or break' for a character, let the lighting designer
                              > know about them, so some kind of compromise can be achieved...if
                              > you've got a good lighting designer, they can not only avoid giving
                              > you problems, they can enhance what you're trying to do. Be willing
                              > to give as much as you ask, though, or else you get a reputation for
                              > being hard to work with and people don't want your assistance. Yeah,
                              > artistic vision is important...but theater is a collaborative art
                              > form, which means everyone needs to have a little give and take.
                              > You'll be amazed just how many problems never arise when you start
                              > sharing information with the production team well in advance, instead
                              > of at tech rehearsals.
                              >
                              >
                              >

                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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