Author Topic: Cue lights and monitors- very small budget  (Read 8338 times)

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ABennett

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Cue lights and monitors- very small budget
« on: Nov 27, 2009, 07:48 pm »
My high school's theater is a little over a year old. It's an amazing space in terms of technology, but it was built out of the old gym, so some things are lacking (no fly space, very little offstage space, etc). Two things we need (and things I've been dying for as an SM)  are cue lights and a stage video monitor.

I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what to do.

The monitor system: we could probably do only one (maybe a second for overstage)
      - what are the best cheap cameras/ monitors?
       - color is preferable
       - I've seen that some cameras are day/night (switches to infared automatically). Do these work?
      - what kind of cable is necessary for these?

Cue lights:
      - this system would be very basic, so no advanced system is really necessary
     - is it possible to make a system (if so, how?) , or would it be better to buy something?


Thanks

AB
     

loebtmc

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Re: Cue lights and monitors- very small budget
« Reply #1 on: Nov 27, 2009, 09:10 pm »
(wow, cue lights and a videa monitor - tnat's the lap of luxury!)

cue lights and audio monitors are easy rigs for your lighting and sound depts - small hosues do them all the time - but is there a reason for video/IR work? I don't have them in half the professional houses let alone in scholastic venues...


KMC

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Re: Cue lights and monitors- very small budget
« Reply #2 on: Nov 27, 2009, 09:50 pm »
Cue light systems are most often used for rail cues or deck cues.  If we've established that you have no flyspace and very little wing space, it seems unlikely that you'd be doing the scene shifts on the scale that would require cue lights.  Is a cue light system really necessary?

As far as a camera, there are loads of options.  If you're on a tight budget I'd recommend something like the two cameras below.  They are in the "pro-sumer" range - not quite commercial grade so they are more affordable, but not your radio shack piece of garbage that will fall apart in two months.


If you absolutely need something day/night this Elmo camera should be a viable option.  I do not believe this is actually IR as these cameras get more expensive.

This other Elmo camera has better zoom range and is a higher resolution but is not a day/night camera.
« Last Edit: Nov 27, 2009, 09:56 pm by kmc307 »
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ABennett

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Re: Cue lights and monitors- very small budget
« Reply #3 on: Nov 27, 2009, 09:55 pm »
loebtmc- no real reason for IR. I'm just looking at everything to see what makes sense

Does anyone know how to rig one of these systems? I'm sure we could figure it out but our crew consists of 4 students and one technical director with no free time so any help would be appreciated. 

loebtmc

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Re: Cue lights and monitors- very small budget
« Reply #4 on: Nov 28, 2009, 01:54 am »
I use cue lights for sign language theater, for cuing music directors at key points (like top of show) and/or for ASM cues where there is no headset, so it's worth thinking about a simple basic system

great suggestion abt the camera!

Tempest

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Re: Cue lights and monitors- very small budget
« Reply #5 on: Nov 28, 2009, 02:42 pm »
Cue lights can be rigged very simply by someone with basic knowledge of wiring.  You need a light socket everywhere you need a cue light, a labeled switch in the booth for each light, enough wiring to connect the two, and, of course, a power source (probably an outlet).  One of my cue light switches, right now, is a power strip with an on-off switch that the light is plugged into.
There is an added benefit of cue lights: if you're not using them in a particular production, that power/control can be routed to something else.  This show, my "cue light" switches turn the TwinSpin on and off and run the power for the motor of the dsico ball!
Jessica: "Of course I have a metric size 4 dinglehopper in my kit!  Who do you think I am?"

missliz

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Re: Cue lights and monitors- very small budget
« Reply #6 on: Nov 28, 2009, 04:20 pm »
we have homemade video and cue lights rigged (honestly, i haven't used them anywhere else and been fine) and it was pretty simple:

the video camera is mounted HR, as the booth is HL and it covers what i can't already see. the video cable goes from there up through the grid into the booth window and plugs into a small tv. camera, tv, and cord are all hand-me-downs.

the cue light takes a little more work, but we basically wired a couple bulbs offstage, then connected it all to a basic 4-switch box. i know less about lighting, so i can't tell you how, but i know it was only about a half-day to put them all in.
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco