stage size & other ?s

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allenblodgett
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stage size & other ?s

Postby allenblodgett » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:56 am

How big is an average (take a wild guess)? WxL

For a church play, would you suggest hanging microphones from the ceiling? If so, how many for adaquate coverage?

For the play that my ward is doing, we have a scene that has lightning & thundering. I already have the thunder sounds, so how would you suggest we do lightning? Please bear in mind that this is a church (very unprofessional) production.

Thanks for your help

techgy
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Postby techgy » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:33 am

AllenBlodgett wrote:For the play that my ward is doing, we have a scene that has lightning & thundering. I already have the thunder sounds, so how would you suggest we do lightning? Please bear in mind that this is a church (very unprofessional) production.

Thanks for your help

As you stated, the LDS plays are very simple and done by the members, so you don't have access to a lot of the professional "stuff". Depending upon how long your lightening has to be you can get a good simulation by firing off 3-4 strobes in the curtains to either/both sides. The more you can get the more realistic and the longer you can sustain it. Remember the lightening happens a few seconds before the thunder!

In regards to the hanging microphones, I've seen this work and not work. It really depends upon the style of microphone and to some degree your actors. A professional actor learns how to project their voice and annunciate their words so they can be heard and understood. Us amateurs don't do that very well :) One major drawback with a hanging microphone is that it cannot be moved. Microphones placed on the apron can be moved between scenes so they're closer to the action.

Our stake just finished another round of roadshows and we placed microphones on the apron. Each roadshow cast was responsible to place them where they would do the most good and the result was good. We held a tech review following the shows and although we had a few things that we could have improved on, sound wasn't one of them. The apron microphones worked well.
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Postby lajackson » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:20 am

AllenBlodgett wrote:How big is an average (take a wild guess)? WxL

For a church play, would you suggest hanging microphones from the ceiling? If so, how many for adaquate coverage?

I already have the thunder sounds, so how would you suggest we do lightning?


In our remodeled buildings, the stages have been closed off and converted to classrooms. And the newer buildings did not come with stages. So the size of our "stage" is the amount of the cultural hall we decide to reserve opposite the audience.

I am with techgy on the mics. Hanging mics do not usually work well. Apron mics, or even all the way in front of the stage on stand mics, if they are good mics, work well. I prefer the mics on stands in front, since they do not pick up the foot thumps on the stage floor as the actors walk around.

Another thunderstorm approach is to cut the stage lights and bring them back on immediately at the time of the thunder. I live in thunderstorm country, and while we sometimes see the lightning before we hear the thunder (5 seconds per mile), more often we are inside our homes and hear the thunder as the power drops and then comes back on and the computers all start to reboot. So, depending on the effect you need, the lights flashing off and back on at the same time of the thunder would make any of our audiences feel right at home in the summertime. If the script calls for distant indications of a storm, you would want to go with the light flashes offstage (you could use white light(s) in the ceiling for this), followed a few seconds later with the subtle sound of rolling thunder.

And, though you did not ask, I miss roadshows.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:45 am

Unless you can put mics on the actors themselves, your best bet is to tell them they are on their own for getting the sound to the first few rows of the audience. The mics are just there for the rest of the hall. Hopefully that will encourage them to speak loud enough for he mics placed at the front of the stage to work.
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Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:53 am

We had a roadshow a few years back and I gaff taped a pair of chior mics to the basketball hoop, that worked fairly well, but the youth generally spoke looking down (not up at the mic) and the speakers in the ceiling prevented me from turning up the volume.
Last Christmas I put a single boundary mic on the lip of the stage and that picked up the primary VERY well. I will do that next time I am recruited to mic a production on the stage.

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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:03 am

Keep in mind that more microphones doesn't necessarily help unless you have a way of turning off the mics that are not useful at that moment. The more microphones that are on, the more you have to turn down the overall volume to prevent feedback.

OTOH, too few mics placed too closely will tend to "spotlight" the actors closest to them.
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JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:37 pm

As to stages themselves, some buildings have a sign by the door that now refers to it just as the 'Platform'. Size will vary with the size of the building. Most will be raised a few feet up from the floor, and the front normally has space for chair and table racks.

I've not seen buildings without stages, but I found a meetinghouse off 37th North in Provo that has a room not referred to as the 'Stage' off the opposite end from the chapel from the cultural hall. It is not raised, but has a curtain, and doubles like almost all stages do, as a classroom.

This building is also unique from my perspective is that right above the stage are several classrooms, you get to them from a set of stairs that is on either side of the 'stage' room.

Thunder is an easy sound trick, just get one of those 'Environment' recordings for a thunderstorm. And another poster was right, you can have thunder before lightning at any point after the first strike is depicted, because of varying distances between strikes and your location and the resulting thunder, so a clap of thunder from a distant strike may be arriving while a new strike is taking place.

Lightning is more tricky, as noted strobes can do the trick, there may be a lighting device available at a theater supply company that can also do it.

rpyne
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Postby rpyne » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:58 am

Too bad you aren't in the Provo, Utah area. I own two carbon arc "lightning" machines that I would gladly let you use.


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