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Re: costumes and lighting

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  • 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 1 of 15 , Sep 12, 2008
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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 2 of 15 , Sep 12, 2008
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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 3 of 15 , Sep 12, 2008
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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 4 of 15 , Sep 13, 2008
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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 5 of 15 , Sep 15, 2008
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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 6 of 15 , Sep 16, 2008
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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 7 of 15 , Sep 16, 2008
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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 8 of 15 , Sep 16, 2008
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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 9 of 15 , Sep 17, 2008
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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 10 of 15 , Sep 17, 2008
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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 11 of 15 , Sep 18, 2008
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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 12 of 15 , Sep 18, 2008
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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.
                            >
                            >
                            >

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