Stage lighting might appear very complex, especially to those who are starting out in the industry. But it doesn’t mean that you need to become an expert first before you can light a performance effectively. If you’re new to stage lighting, below are a few basic principles that may guide you in learning the ropes.
Get Acquainted with the Role of Lanterns
All black lanterns somehow look the same, but each of them has their own unique functions. Floodlights produce an intense lighting with a soft wash. Profile spots are the traditional spotlights, and they are ideal for highlighting lone performers. If you want a spotlight with a soft edge, use Fresnels as they allow you to have control over the beam angle. For concerts, par cans are the usual option as they produce a strong oval pool of light with hazy edges. So, before you hire lighting equipment, make sure you know their roles on your stage.
Always Tailor the Lighting to the Performance
Every performance genre requires different kinds of lighting. For instance, side lighting and black drapes work well in dance productions. In dramas, front lighting is essential to make the actors’ expressions clearly visible. With music festivals, you can play around with coloured lighting, but remember to tailor it to the style of the musicians.
Work with the Script
If you learn how to work with the script, you’ll be able to make smarter lighting decisions. Think of the things that the director wants the audience to see. Understand the mood of certain scenes or acts, so you could match them with appropriate lighting. You’ll be able to help the director, actors, and performers convey their messages if you’ve read and understood the script.
In any stage production, lighting is an essential aspect. If done well, lighting can enhance the visual, as well as the emotional, aspects of the performance. If done poorly, it can ruin the whole production.