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General equipment recommendations?

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Jonny Harris
General equipment recommendations?
on May 12, 2009 at 11:29:50 am

I'm working on a business plan for a comedy club. Many of the shows will later be available on DVD (and possibly Blu-Ray), so production quality is very important.

Can anyone give me some idea of what sort of lighting I'm going to need? I know this is a *total* noob question, but I need to put together a list of equipment (and the cost for said equipment) for my business plan.

Also, what is the proper term for the "scaffolding" (I'm sure that's not it!) that's installed around the stage and used for mounting the lights?

Can anyone recommend a good website where they carry everything I need (and I can get pricing)?

Thanks for your time and indulgence!


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cowcow
Michael Palmer
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 12, 2009 at 3:19:00 pm

I really think it would be a huge benefit for you and this club to consult (hire) a professional DP, LD or Gaffer who has years of experience with lighting and shooting video. You will find answers to general questions here but not everyone will be able to give you all the details necessary to really save you money.

Scaffolding..... Lighting Grid

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Jonny Harris
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 12, 2009 at 7:08:23 pm

I'm sure you're right, Michael, and I plan to do just that when the time comes, but I'm months away from that. For now, (for the business plan,) I just need a listing of the hardware needed and estimate the cost.

Thanks for the correct terminology on the lighting grid.


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cowcowcow
Mark Suszko
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 12, 2009 at 11:02:04 pm

I'm not a pro LD either so I'm not going to give you too much advice. But I'll point out that lighting for a live stage and lighting for great TV can be and often are two very separate things.

What looks good to a live audience around a stage may look horrible to a camera. What looks good to cameras may lack the "punch" and "drama" you expect of a live stage. There are issues of color temperature and white balance. The interface between stage lighting people and video lighting people is not always a very smooth one, because they often have contrary jobs to do. So you'd want to decide early on: is this a comedy club that also shoots video, or a video stage set in a comedy club? How you look at that will have some influence on the budget, I'm sure. You are not yet at the stage for pricing out lighting grids or trees.

And yes, you need a pro consultant to put all this together for you. This is not a good DIY project for the uninitiated: ask the guys that DIY'd the setup at that club where Great White played that fateful gig.



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Jonny Harris
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 12, 2009 at 11:42:56 pm

Great info, thanks! I had no idea that lighting requirements would be so different. The emphasis will definitely be on the cameras and subsequent DVD production. Live audiences are there primarily because the comics need them to be there. (They feed off of their laughter.) If the lighting is sub-optimal for the live audience, that's OK. (Though hopefully it will at least be acceptable for them.)

I'm not familiar with the Great White gig you referred to, but I have no intention of trying to DIY this. Which brings up another good question...

For a job of this size/scope, how much should I expect to pay for a pro LD to set this up? Obviously, I'll need to include such costs in the business plan.


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cow
Dennis Size
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 13, 2009 at 5:00:22 am

If you try and cost this out without involving profesional consultants in the various disciplines involved you will most assuredly fail. Regarding lighting specifically, you're worried about lighting instrumentation, yet I'm guessing you haven't even contacted an EC (Electrical Contractor) to determine how much power you have available..... and how much more can be brought in. You can't expect the cart to move properly if you put it in front of the horse.
You plan on installing a lighting grid, yet I'm guessing you haven't considered a structural engineer -- or at least a qualified rigger --to determine if the ceiling can sustain the weight loads necessary to suspend lights, speakers, etc. above an audience. There are countless things to consider, and without bringing in someone with experience in systems and facilities you are setting yourself up for a fall.
DS

P.S. The Great White incident refers to a club in New England (if I remember correctly) that burned down a few years ago due to improperly planned lighting and pyrotechniques -- which set fire to poorly installed soundproofing. The space went up in minutes ....killing many people.



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Jonny Harris
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 13, 2009 at 6:54:19 am

You're right, Dennis, I haven't contacted an EC about available power, nor a structural engineer to determine the capabilities of the ceiling.That's because I have no building! I'm still months away from that! I do, however, have the cart before the horse. It goes something like this...

1. Business Plan
2. Funding
3. Location
4. Build-out (Consultants and Contractors)

When I'm talking about costing this out, I'm not looking for precision or perfection... just a ballpark estimate. That said, investors do like to see attention to detail, so I'm trying to put together a reasonably solid list of equipment and costs.

Don't know if you've ever written a business plan, but startup costs absolutely have to be included. You can't ask investors for a blank check then fill in the blanks later.

P.S. Build-out costs have been considered and will be incorporated into the business plan. I think, though, that they are beyond the scope of the CreativeCow forums.


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Michael Palmer
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 13, 2009 at 1:05:19 pm

What city is this in?
Are you building this theater or planning a major TI (tenant improvement) to an existing building?

Perhaps you need to take someone to lunch that can help you.
I'm in Los Angeles.
Dennis is in the Bay Area.

I can tell you an approximate business lunch amount for 2 people, $30-$40
Of coarse this will double if there are cocktails involved.

Michael Palmer


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Jonny Harris
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 13, 2009 at 1:44:26 pm

That sounds like a good plan. Know anyone in San Diego?


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Michael Palmer
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 13, 2009 at 2:05:45 pm

No, but I'm not that far away, I shoot an Animal Planet series from the North County area (Bonsall). I live in the Long Beach community about an hour from Bonsall. Find my email on my profile if you want to get together.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Dennis Size
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 26, 2009 at 2:16:38 am

JONNY......
Have you found an "advisor" to consult with in the preparation of the budget for your new facility?

Have you and Michael been able to hook up to provide you with the info necessary for your budget proposal?

If not let me know, I will recommend someone from our company whom we use in Southern California.

DS



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Dennis Size
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 14, 2009 at 3:46:59 am

Actually Michael .... I'm in New York City
-- the Hudson Bay Area! :-)

DS



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John Fishback
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 15, 2009 at 4:27:02 pm

Find a couple of contractors in your area and call them up for a consult. It shouldn't cost anything for a general talk - especially if it might lead to work down the road. Local folks will know local code requirements, etc.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.5 QT7.5.5 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870
ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE Enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
24" TV-Logic Monitor
Final Cut Studio 2 (up to date)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Bill Davis
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 20, 2009 at 10:52:35 pm

I'd be careful about relying on a general contractor.

When I converted my haybarn into a dedicated studio about 8 years ago, I had all sorts of difficulty getting general contractors to accept and understand the unique aspects of a video studio.

For instance, when I explained that I wanted a control room with none of the walls parallel to any other wall for audio monitoring purposes (supresses the development of standing waves and makes it easier to get accurate audio) , they all looked at me like I was speaking Urdu.

Their industry is based on using plumb bobs and framing squares.

My general contractor took one look at my floorplan and had to pull a 70 year old carpenter out of retirement to do my framing because he was the only cat in the area who could take all the weird angles and using a pencil and a piece of scrap 2x4 instantly figure out not just the cut angles, but how to divvy up the lumber so the whole process wasn't insanely wasteful. (Amused the heck out of me at the time - but now I realize how lucky I was to have the old guy available!)

A studio is a weird beast. Lots of companies do AC ducting, few don't get grumpy when you tell them you need 3 extra turns turns in the duct work to supress HVAC air velocity into a room where you'll have open mics.

If you want accurate cost estimates, find folks to talk to who have actually built VIDEO and AUDIO studios.

My (been there and done that) experience.



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Richard Herd
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 24, 2009 at 3:59:23 am

Whoa! I did my thesis project in Linguistics on Urdu.


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Bill Davis
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on May 24, 2009 at 9:56:50 pm

Wanna help me build my next studio??

; )



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Mikael Kern
Re: General equipment recommendations?
on Jun 19, 2009 at 7:29:23 am

How big is the stage?
How big is the audience?
Ceiling height?
Camera sensitivity and what f-stop do you need?
Building new or installing in existing?

Those and other questions need answers before you can plan lighting. Without a floorplan I think its difficult to budget for this. A small place I´d say 15-25000$, and what about audio/PA?

You could visit a club with a stage for entertainment/music and ask how much they have spent on lighting and sound.


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