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Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] costumes and lighting

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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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