Often when we are displaying a LIGHTBOX, the scenery we put inside is intended to attract attention, give an example of a set design but try to shift the imagination towards what YOU COULD DO with a LIGHTBOX.
This past weekend I was honored to attend LDI and present a LIGHTBOX at the Darklight booth. The night before I flew out to Vegas I decided to make a new model to put inside. I guess I thought I had time so I might as well. But really the impulse was related to video and color.
The show business industry has evolved in the last five years to the extent that two design elements are now a given: imaging, moving and still; and RGB LEDs. LIGHTBOX is a prime way to explore these new tools for designers.
And Gantom (formerly Darklight) has these sweet little RGBW LED wash fixtures that are DMX and 12v easier than anything I have seen before and I was dreaming about how to best show them off.
As you can tell from the picture above, I figured it out. I built a cut drop Cyc and slipped my iPad in the back of the poster board. Then I hung one of the GANTOM fixtures on the stage left and right high sidelight pipes. Then I daisy chained the DMX using an 1/8th inch headphone extender cable and started writing light cues.
All in all it took me 3-5 hours. Oh I forgot to mention, that includes the time it took to download some video backgrounds on to my iPad. I love www.videoblocks.com. I pulled a half a dozen clips in to IMOVIE on the iPad, put them in a sequence on my timeline, made them each really long and slow motion and played the slideshow.
And for the set design I knew I wanted something colorful to illuminate the capabilities of the RGB fixtures. So I banged out three flat cut drops of super sized flowers in bright red and orange leaves with blue centers and green trunks. I outlined them in a heavy black sharpie and packed up for the show.
The thing I noticed this morning was how washed out the colors were. Steve Shelley made fun of the set on the show floor and I joked that it was Tennessee Williams' NIGHT OF THE IGUANA (he didn't think that justified the poster board that had warped and fell over...oh well). But to learn, so quickly, in scale, what the RGB additive color mixing would do to the scenery was awesome nonetheless.
Steve may be right but so was LIGHTBOX. Observe in the picture the downstage proscenium flowers. They are a true representation of the painted scenery renderings. They are lit by the work light on the show floor because they are applied to the front of the ModelBOX.
And observe the upstage border of flowers. They are scenic painted the same way but look totally washed out by the red wash light from stage right. If I saw our lighting designer for my imaginary production of IGUANA pumping those to such a high level in the model I would definitely be able to explain what needed to happen before we began cueing in the full scale theater. I'm sure the director would too.
Really interesting. Thanks to Darklight for the opportunity to put up another LIGHTBOX and see the light in a whole new scale.