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A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO STAGE LIGHTING
the instruments requiring ladder access have been
focused. Even without the interference of deck equip-
ment, the lack of backstage space may force the legs
to be flown out, so that the ladder can be navigated
into a working position for the focus. To accurately
define the location for any side shutter cuts in that
situation, the spike marks indicating the onstage edge
of the black legs can then be used.
If the booms are tall, their height and balance
can be a safety concern. When the boom is initially
hung, attempts should be made to hang the side-
arms and yokes of the instruments as they will be
focused. When the boom is then tied off, its center
of balance won’t radically change as instruments are
later rehung into performance positions. Hanging the
instruments in performance positions also eliminates
the time-consuming effort of rehanging the instru-
ments during the focus session. It goes without saying
that any stabilization required for the boom needs to
take place before the focus begins; if the vertical pipe
is loose, tighten it before any lights are turned on.
In order to tighten the vertical pipe after the focus is
complete means that the pipe will need to be rotated.
After the pipe is twisted tight, every instrument hung
on the boom will probably need to be focused again.
Since booms are the closest major hanging posi-
tion to the stage, they often become repositories
for many other departments. The position is often
employed as a location for monitor speakers, either
on the ground or hung in the air with the lighting
instruments. Booms may also be asked to support
masking, or perform other totally unplanned-for
structural functions. Although everyone works for
the same goal, communication between departments
will avoid situations where focused booms become
involved in a secondary role that results in a need to
refocus the entire boom.
Boom Sidelight Focus
Before focusing instruments at this position, it’s
worth remembering that almost any boom sidelight
will initially splash light onto the performance sur-
face and the face of the black legs on the opposite
side. The shadows of performers on those surfaces
might conceivably be a distraction from the audi-
ence’s angle of observation. Addressing those shad-
ows, and any shutter cuts, is another choice that is
individual to each designer, and often to each boom
light system.
The shutter shaping may depend on many ele-
ments, including the position of the boom, the unit’s
mounting height on the boom, any scenic legs, or what
the system is trying to illuminate. Although there are
Figure 12.42 The Focused Backlight Pools After Shuttering
C
L
83
87 88 89 9086
82 84 8581
3 PIPE #5
5 PIPE #11 5 PIPE #8 5 PIPE #7 5 PIPE #55 PIPE #13
3 PIPE #8 3 PIPE #4 3 PIPE #23 PIPE #10
BACK ZONE 1
BACK ZONE 2
USL QUARTERUCUSR QUARTER
1 LEG L
2 LEG L
3 LEG L
1 LEG R
2 LEG R
3 LEG R
7' R14' R 7' L 14' LCENTER
PORTAL R PORTAL L

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