Bill Cook is a friend, and talented magician, with performances on Fool Us, Masters of Illusion, and most relevant to this post, cruise ships. Recently Bill shared this lighting hack online and when I read it I immediately messaged him asking, “Can I share this on my blog?”
He graciously said, “Yes.”
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Tech Words In A Foreign Language
This cuts through tech jargon and language barriers. It’s simple and brilliant. Bill has a pic of how he wants his stage to be lit (it can be an actual pic or one created virtually). He then says,
“Here, this will give you a look into what
I would like the stage to look like.”
Boom! Truly, a picture is worth a thousand words. The simplicity of it is its genius.
That’s the summary version of it. Here’s Bill in his words:
This may be a bit nerdy, but… Here we are. Welcome to the nuthouse.
I don’t have many light cues in my show (I counted four different “views” and a ballyhoo to start/end my show). Most ships I get onto have my cues saved, but I recently boarded a ship I have not worked on before. I spent a while with the light tech explaining what I wanted, and it came out fine, but it wasn’t what I was used to. I wondered if there was a way to sit down at my computer, render out exactly what I wanted my show to look like, and print it out, so if/when I get to a new venue who hasn’t worked with me before, I can hand the light tech a couple of pictures and say “here, this will give you a look into what I would like the stage to look like.”I found what I wanted. It’s a software called “Capture.” I learned about it of all places from the QLab website. I am using the student version (Not all the bells and whistles, but free) and I’ve rendered what I want my stage to look like. It took about an hour of watching tutorials to be comfortable making it, but dammit, it looks great. Hindsight: I could also just take pictures of my cues and have them on my phone… but…. here we are.
To be clear, and I know Bill would agree, this method isn’t 100% bulletproof, as there still can be human error on the part of the tech, but this definitely increases the odds in the performer’s favor.
Thank you, Bill!