I've been out of the business for quite a few years, but am now working at a community theater as their lighting designer. Back when I was working at this (when dinosaurs ruled the Earth), we only had Lekos and Fresnels. The theater I'm working in has a ton of PARs, and I'm not sure why/when I would use PARs instead of Fresnels. Actually, since we don't seem to own a single barn door, I'm not sure I want to use either, but I can't light an entire show with just 750W Lekos. Can someone give me a brief tutorial on the difference between Fresnels and PARs when it comes to lighting a stage set? Thanks in advance!
I'm sure you know and appreciate how the pattern of a fresnel is round, adjustable and even (circular). The Pars on the other hand are focused by choice of lenses; wide, medium, spot and narrow. They allow a punchier light when required and an elliptical pattern without doors or gobos. With the spot and narrow the light becomes very shafty and strong, even at long throws.
Once you become familiar with the benefits of these units, which I suggest you do by experimenting with the different lenses, you'll find a use for them in your lighting designs.
Thanks so much for a quick response! This theater is going to be quite a challenge. Their "indoor" stage is a black box (formerly a skating rink) with lots of wood beams obstructing the grid (such as it is). There's no plan of the grid, no way to figure out what patches to what, and we open on Friday! (Sounds typical to me, doesn't it?) I'm hoping to have some time tomorrow to just sit in a dark theater and look at the PARs and Fresnels to see the difference.
I do gel them just like Fresnels, yes? Lots of basic blues and bastard ambers? (We're keeping it simple....)