Lighting becomes one of the most essential elements to running a successful event. With the proper lighting techniques, it can change the overall feel to your room while keeping your audience’s attention to where it needs to be. You need to bring to light only what you want your audience to see, and lighting with intention ensures that your guests focus their attention where you want and that the unnecessary elements remain unseen. Even the slightest variations in lighting quickly change the ambiance of any event. So how exactly do we start or what steps should we focus on? Building on years of experience lighting up events all over the country, Advanced Staging Productions’ Lead Lighting Designer, Jonathan Futty, knows exactly how to turn your visions into reality and shares his thoughts on the 5 impactful lighting solutions to make your event shine.
1. Lighting For Audience or Camera
Before you start mapping out your lighting plot for the event, you first need to understand what is the main purpose? Is the intention for an in-person audience or are you using cameras that will be the main focus of the show? Lighting for an audience or camera can require a much different solution for either set up. One piece to keep in mind is that the camera is far less forgiving than the human eye, and more even and consistent lighting is required for cameras. Where as if you’re lighting just for an in-person audience less lighting is required and the human eye will naturally adjust to dips in lighting while the presenter is moving across stage. This can be very distracting and off-putting for people watching the camera feed. So, understanding what the main purpose of your lighting is for will help you determine your next step in planning out your stage wash.
2. Stage Wash
Stage wash, even though is simple, can be a major part that makes or breaks your event. You can control what audience members focus on easily with the use of light. So, by drawing attention with your stage wash, you need to understand the size and height of your stage to ensure you are correctly framing your shot and only lighting what you want your audience to see. Framing becomes an essential piece for your stage wash to make sure other scenic elements, like a video wall, do not get washed out by the light but instead pair well and compliment one another throughout the overall stage. Lastly, focusing on the overall stage becomes an important point, having an even stage wash throughout the entire stage allows for presenters to move across stage with no dark spots or changes in intensity. To achieve a balanced stage wash you need to ensure you have the proper angles for you lighting, following the rule of 45s. As a presenter you want to have lighting 45 degrees from your left and right, while having lighting above you as well from a 45-degree angle.
3. Understanding Your Scenic
Once you have your stage wash created, you need to consider the scenic elements of the show and what will be on-stage with your presenters. For example, if there is a video wall or projection on-stage, the lighting color temperature will need to match. Matching color temperature adds to the aesthetic of the show and blends the color on the presenter to what is on screen, allowing for a better image on camera or even still photos. Also considering the background of your shots is just as important as the person on stage. Because without lighting your background, and just focusing on your foreground will cause the presenter to get lost in the shot. So, adding additional lighting to your background, like up lights, will add depth to the shot and fill out the stage. Lastly, another step is to match the company colors that will appear on-stage with the scenic. By not matching the company colors, it can draw the audience’s attention away taking away from the overall feel of the show. So, it’s important to have cohesive looks throughout the entire room by matching your lighting with the overall scenic elements being used.
4. Having The Right Lighting Director
It’s not only important to have the right equipment for the show and placement of the gear, but having the right lighting director will greatly impact the overall feel. Someone that can take a meeting, and make it an event. Not only does the right lighting director know what to bring and where to place it, but they understand the show flow and know how to read the room and anticipate both the audience and the speakers finding those moments to really make an impact with your lighting. Additionally, the best lighting directors will be proactive with their planning and set up to provide suggestions for the show flow that can better suit the overall feel and enhance the audience’s experience. By having the right lighting director, means you have someone who knows the intricate details to make your show come to life.
5. Think Outside the Stage
Yes, the stage is the most important area for the show and should be the main draw, but when we look at other lighting opportunities outside of the stage it can break up the monotony of a show and add movement to a venue. Consider extending the lighting solution outside of the event space creating an intro into the room. Up lights and moving lights can really add depth to a show and create a more dynamic entrance for your audience. Another piece to consider is the use of gobos to project company logos. By taking a blank wall or section of space to use a company gobo can add a more unique feel and extend the overall theme of the show throughout the entire venue.
Lighting should be looked at as an element to light up the life of your event with unique solutions that will leave a lasting impact on your attendees. By following these steps, you can ensure the lighting elements for your show will set the scene and make your event shine.
Want to Know Even More?
Let Advanced Staging Productions be your guiding light. Whether your event calls for automated moving lights, conventional lighting fixtures, LED lighting, or any combination thereof, our lighting designers follow the Advanced Way expertly guiding you through the different ways we can highlight your intentions. Put the creative innovations and design capabilities of Advanced Staging Productions’ lighting designers to work creating a custom lighting solution that makes a lasting impression on your audience.