Chapter 6
Cuts and Changes
This chapter examines some of the events that take
place after the shop order has been sent to the light-
ing rental shops. In some cases, changes are some-
times necessary to a preliminary light plot in order
to make it fit within predetermined budgetary con-
straints and receive the producer’s approval.
When the shop order is sent out, each lighting
rental shop responds by producing a quote, or a bid.
Once the quotes are sent back to management for
consideration, each one is analyzed and compared to
the original shop order and each other.
If all of the bids are too high, either the pro-
ducer has to increase the size of the electrics bud-
get, or the light plot has to cost less. In order to
cut costs, the equipment specified in the rental
needs to be exchanged (or swapped) for alternate
brands, older gear, or removed altogether from the
order; the light plot gets cut. Cutting the plot usu-
ally involves downsizing the equipment list and
perishable list, and then resubmitting the shop
order. When the producer accepts a shops adjusted
quote, based on those changes, the two come to
an agreement. The producer then awards the bid
to the shop, publicly declaring it to be the ven-
dor supplying the equipment and perishables for
the lighting package. While there will be numerous
changes as the light plot is finalized, the lighting
rental shop that received the bid will now be the
exclusive resource for lighting or electrical compo-
nents for Hokey.
Preparing, researching, and selecting a bid are time-
consuming processes. Choosing the best lighting
rental shop, and finding the right fit for the show
takes attention to detail, and a knowledge of lighting
equipment. In some situations the lighting designer
may not be directly involved in this portion of the
process. Other times, if no one else is representing the
lighting designer’s interests, he or she may be drawn
into active participation based solely on the instinct
of self-preservation and defending the integrity of his
or her design.
This next section is a quick overview of the
typical events that take place between sending out
the shop order and awarding the bid. All too often,
these events take place in less time than one would
prefer. Timeliness is desirable, and late is expensive.
Understanding the process, and knowing the cap-
abilities of similar types and brands of equipment,
are two tools that can help the lighting designer suc-
cessfully negotiate the best possible lighting package
in spite of cuts or changes.
The Shop Order Arrives at the Shops
When the shop order arrives at each lighting rental
shop, it’s then assigned to an account rep. For that
matter, preliminary phone calls with the lighting
designer or production electrician may have already
allowed the shop to decide which account rep to
assign to the anticipated show. All the information

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