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black light books  (Read 29570 times)
gompie
« on: May 26, 2009, 01:31:17 pm »

are there books about black light performance. A book with tips on how to make the lamps, what kind of lamps, stage materials, clothing of the puppeteers. I know the book "Let there be...black light" are there more. Are there more?
jomama
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2009, 04:22:50 pm »

The only book I know about is "Let There Be.. Blacklight". I have done a lot of blacklight puppetry and have actually designed a large light. Hmmmm, maybe I should write a book. But for now you need to have several blacklights. You need to have sufficient lights to cover your stage area. You need to light from the front  as well as above. Your stage curtains need to be mat black, not shiney, and either lined or thick enough to stop any light from showing through. The puppeteers need to be dressed entirely in black. Almost any black will work EXCEPT black denim. The white weave in the fabric will flouresce. Black hoods, which you can either buy at halloween, or make yourself, are an essential part of BL puppetry. Don't forget that all parts of your skin must be covered or it will show up in blacklight.

Blacklight can be an outstanding special effect and it hides a lot of basic puppetry mistakes, BUT there is no substitute for good puppetry. It is fun and exciting to do blacklight but don't do it just to do blacklight. Use blacklight to enhance your performance and do the things you wouldn't normally be able to do in white light.

I think I'll start on that book.

Sue
gompie
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2009, 12:14:18 am »

and your glasses how do you do that ? I have one.
First I have to learn more about puppetry. This Autumn we start a new and different children's work in our church. (promise land maybe you know it) And we begin with puppets too, as a part of the kids work. (in all kinds of puppetry) I want to set up the puppetry (exciting an fearful)
What I'm thinking now is to use black light as a part in the performance. For a sample when the puppet  is dreaming in the night.
But for now I want to know how it works, what we need. When we are going to do we need preparation first.
Thanks for your answer. Here in Holland we don't know it so let me be the first one.
And if you write a book or just put it on paper and sell it on your site let me know....
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 12:28:48 am by gompie »
jomama
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2009, 06:22:55 am »

and your glasses how do you do that ? I have one.


I'm not sure exactly what you mean by this question. 
Using blacklight in a dream sequence is a great way to start. I'll help you in any way that I can.

sue
gompie
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 01:19:34 pm »

I have glasses for my eyes. I can imagine that light reflects on glasses too
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2009, 03:21:38 pm »

If you are doing blacklight work gompie you should be wearing a black hood over your head. The black hood has a see through screen (light weight black fabric) on the face.  That should keep your glasses from reflecting.
gompie
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2009, 10:53:24 pm »

I never seen it here. And you are a little bit to far away to came and see. I saw the video's on you tube and I love it........
Na
No Avatar
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2009, 08:54:36 am »

Gompie, if you've ever seen the Japanese puppetry, bunraku, they also use these black hoods. (I also wear glasses, and have used these hoods before. It's a good idea to make the top of the hood stick out a bit in front of your face, because I found that the material was uncomfortably brushing against my face the whole time)
gompie
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2009, 02:37:10 pm »

No I haven't but I think I seen something like the hood in films here on tv.
LSNELL
No Avatar
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2009, 12:52:48 pm »

Hi I'm Linda.  I head up my church's Puppet Ministry.  We are starting into black light puppets.  I love to get free patterns and more info on black light puppets.
lovable puppet pals
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2009, 08:55:25 am »

We have put together our own blacklights, without having to spend a lot of money on professional ones.  Of course some day... Smile ...but for now this works.

1.  48" shop light from Menards or other
     *  spray paint entire outside of fixture with black paint
2.  2, 48" blacklight bulbs

Having your lights up above the stage is the best way to not have shadows, but we used them for years, simply propped up on the floor.

If you can have them up higher, you can make a simple stand to mount them on.  This is what we made, although, we only used wood for now, until we can afford something better:
http://www.puppetproductions.com/blacklightessay/howto.htm

Hope that gives you some ideas!  Smile
Sara
Angel in Tx
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2009, 08:21:01 pm »

Sara;

We are doing blacklight shows with our lights on the floor.  I looked at your essay, but I don’t understand where the stand is placed.  In the stage?  In front? Behind?  Which way do the lights face?  The audience or the puppets? Undecided
We don’t really use many traditional puppets in our shows, but a lot of props and costumes. 
Also, if you have this stand in front of the stage what about it getting in the way of things we toss or “fly”.

Sorry if this is too many questions.  Just trying to understand how to use this.  I want our shows to look as good as possible.

God bless! wave
Angel in TX
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2009, 08:16:42 am »

Angel,

I am sure that Sara will be by to answer also but thought I would chime in. Smiley  The lights must be in front of the puppets/actors and pointed toward them.  If you think in the terms of traditional theater then the lights would be your proscenium and they would face upstage toward your actors.  If this can't work for you then you can also hand the lights vertically and place them stage right and stage left on your proscenium line and point them toward your actors/puppets. In fact a combination of both or all three locations (top. side and floor) gives you the best coverage if you are actually lighting a full stage with actors although could be overkill if you are working with puppets on a smaller scale.
Angel in Tx
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2009, 03:16:57 pm »

Shawn,
This make perfect sense to me.  Which is why I can't visualize how she is using the stand she made.  It is so tall.  The only thing I can think of is that it stands on the ground – audience level – and lights upward if the show were being performed on an actual raised stage or platform.  And if that is the case, I can't understand the difference of them just being on the floor, as far as position of lighting goes.  I can see how the stand could keep the cords and things out of the way.  

My first thought after looking at the lighting frame was that is was supposed to be behind the puppet stage curtain, and it seemed as if it would still be in the way and no different than hanging the lights from the actual curtained stage pipe with “s” hooks or some other method.

We perform many times just on a gym floor or on the level of the audience, so we aren't elevated on a stage.  It can be a bit confusing because in my previous post I refered to “stage” and I was thinking of a puppet curtain stage, not an elevated platform stage.

A little confusing.  I need a larger vocab for this stuff!  I had to look up “proscenium”.  Thanks for teaching me something today!

Angel in TX
Billy D. Fuller
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2009, 04:10:50 pm »


A little confusing.  I need a larger vocab for this stuff!  I had to look up “proscenium”.  Thanks for teaching me something today!

Angel in TX


What does it mean?

Billy D.
jomama
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2009, 05:16:07 pm »

When we do performances in schools on the gym floor we use a variety of lights. It is important to light from above and below to eliminate shadows from the blacklights. I use two four foot lights on the floor 10 -12 feet away from the curtains, three or four 18" lights hung on the front bar of the stage and also on the back bar. Then I put two to four 18" lights out front on tripods as high as I can get them to light from above. The vertical lights are generally evenly spaced across the floor area. They don't interfere with sight lines of the audience if you have them high enough. Usually 7-8 feet high.
Below is a basic idea for the layout of the lights we use. The x's are the tripods, the o's are the blacklights and the _____ are the 4 foot blacklights horizontal on the floor shooting up at a 45 angle. The o's out front are the vertical lights on stands. Hope this helps. You may have to experiment. A lot of the things we do with blacklight we don't use the stage for the puppets. Blacklight allows you to get away from the confines of the stage and do things that you wouldn't be able to do in normal light.

 x---o----x----o--------o----x-----o-----x
                 l                       l
                 l                       l
                 x--o--o--o--o---x



o         __________   o  __________          o
Angel in Tx
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2009, 06:04:53 pm »

Billy,

Here’s what I found for proscenium from wikipedia-
“A Proscenium theatre is a theatre space whose primary feature is a large frame orarch (called the proscenium arch even though it is frequently not a rounded archway at all), which is located at or near the front of the stage. The use of the term "proscenium arch" is explained by the fact that in Latin, the stage is known as the "proscenium", meaning "in front of the scenery."



Jomama,

We do a lot in front of the curtains also.  Mainly the curtains are the place to go to get the next prop, but we do use them to have different levels of things going on.
Your diagram and explanation helped very much!  Thank you!
Na
No Avatar
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2009, 12:44:01 am »

Shawn,
This make perfect sense to me.  Which is why I can't visualize how she is using the stand she made.  It is so tall.  The only thing I can think of is that it stands on the ground – audience level – and lights upward if the show were being performed on an actual raised stage or platform.  And if that is the case, I can't understand the difference of them just being on the floor, as far as position of lighting goes.  I can see how the stand could keep the cords and things out of the way.  

This is incorrect. If the light is placed on the floor, then you are lighting from the floor upwards, and can create overly large shadows above the performers' heads. Likewise, you are unable to focus the light in a way that sufficiently covers all areas of the stage (that is, you would easily light their feet, but it's harder to light everything above the hips).

If you place the lights on stands, then you have more flexibility in what areas of the stage are lit and how. You put the lights on the stand, and then aim the beams on a DOWNWARD DIAGONAL direction. (If you have the lights on a stand on the floor where the audience is, and are performing on an elevated stage, then yes, the lights will be pointing upwards. Again, not the best effect) You can adjust them so that the feet are less lit, whilst the puppets and performers are more lit. Etc. Even if you only have the lights on a stand (sometimes known as a 'tree'), there is a great difference in having them placed on the floor. For front lighting, it is best to have them on stands. Even better if you can rig them from a lighting rig from the ceiling, but this usually isn't possible when touring shows. If you have them on stands, then your lighting is easily set up for any kind of venue, whether you are performing on an elevated stage or performing on the floor where the audience is sitting.

This is a basic concept of lighting design, and I highly recommend you visit your local library and borrow some books on lighting design. It isn't as simple as plugging in some lights and turning on the power, it requires a little bit more knowledge. (I studied lighting design, so I know all of this can sound complicated. The best way to understand what I mean is to take a torch at night, lie it on the ground, see what you light up. Then put it on a chair, and see what lights up; then put it on a high bookshelf and see what lights up. Play with the angles of the beam of light, and you'll notice a great difference in ease of lighting objects in the room, between the torch on the ground and the torch on the chair.)

It's also a good idea to actually find an image of these lighting stands, as that will give you more of a sense of how they work.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2009, 12:47:14 am by Na »
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2009, 07:04:40 am »

Well with blacklights you don't normally have the shadow issue that you do with regular lighting but the concepts that Na mentions do still apply. It is just harder to see since there is no shadow. Smiley 

Touring is always difficult when it comes to blacklight.  Just the simple fact that you need a blacked out room can be a hassle. It well help if you can get the lights up off the floor. If you can at least position the tube lights vertically on each side of the stage it would make a big difference.
Angel in Tx
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2009, 02:07:34 pm »

I understand a bit about lighting, and we’ve done shows before with no real problems.  Although we have had to deal with slight shadowing on the back tier of our stage, repositioning our puppets/props easily solved it.  We had to work with what we had... $$$ you know.  But now we are adding some more lighting.

I posted originally trying to figure out the specific stand that Sara had made (the site no longer seems to be there) and understand where she was using it.  In my mind, with the curtained puppet stage we have and the props, costumes and choreography we are using, stands such as that one could possibly be in the way.  We would have to fiddle with it and see where the best positions would be.

Shawn, I like the idea of some lights vertically on the side.  That might be doable for us.

Thanks for all the info.

Angel in TX
Billy D. Fuller
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2009, 03:32:58 pm »

Billy,

Here’s what I found for proscenium from wikipedia-
“A Proscenium theatre is a theatre space whose primary feature is a large frame orarch (called the proscenium arch even though it is frequently not a rounded archway at all), which is located at or near the front of the stage. The use of the term "proscenium arch" is explained by the fact that in Latin, the stage is known as the "proscenium", meaning "in front of the scenery."



Jomama,

We do a lot in front of the curtains also.  Mainly the curtains are the place to go to get the next prop, but we do use them to have different levels of things going on.
Your diagram and explanation helped very much!  Thank you!


Thank You ! I don't know how I missed this. That explains things.

Billy D.
MsPuppet
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2009, 10:12:52 pm »

Check One Way Street for DVD's about Blacklight Puppetry. Lots of great ideas. I bought all three, but  "How to start a Blacklight Ministry" was redundant if you have the other 2.
http://www.onewaystreet.com/category/blacklight_puppetry

Or if you go to   http://www.outoftheboxpuppets.com
she has them on sale. 
John Coen
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2014, 08:24:19 am »

The DVD, "How To Start A Blacklight Ministry" (available from Out of The Box Puppets), covers the basics, including lighting, lighting placement, costuming, staging, and puppet creation. The DVD's "Neato Blacklight Ideas Vol. 1-3" simply show at least 50 ideas (per volume) of puppets or props that you could make to spiff up your show. Neato DVDs DO NOT discuss lighting, costuming, staging, etc. only ideas for props.
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