The Basic Functions of FOLLOWSPOT That Every Operator Should Know
Lighting is a very important part of any theatre set up. In fact, if you speak to any play director or even actor, he would tell you that it is one of the most indispensable aspects of a play. Amongst the wide variety of lighting fixtures and corresponding lighting effects that have been used in theatres,FOLLOWSPOT fixtures are regarded as the most fundamental or basic. The reason for this is simply that these types of lighting fixtures tell the audience which actor to focus on. Without this lighting fixture, it is possible that the audience would not get the right focus and would, most probably, get distracted by the surroundings.
As this lighting fixture is a major component of any play, the person manning or operating it needs to be skilled and experienced. Here are some basic functions of a FOLLOWSPOT lighting fixture that every operator is expected to know.
1. Steady focus and movement:
The primary purpose of a lighting fixture of this type is to highlight a certain actor or a prop on the stage, depending upon the requirements of the director of the play. Alternatively, in functions and award ceremonies, these spot lights are used to follow a winner or to compare as he moves on the stage. This means that the movement of the FOLLOWSPOTlighting fixture needs to be smooth and stable with minimal jerks.
2. Color change mechanisms:
The color change mechanism of most FOLLOWSPOT lighting fixtures consists of a color magazine or a boomerang. The boomerang would contain multiple gel frames that the operator is supposed to change to get the right color for the light. A proper collection of gel frames in the boomerang combined with an operator who knows how to use them in the best way possible would facilitate the play or show significantly.
3. Intensity adjustment controls:
There are two ways through which the intensity of the light coming from the lighting fixture can be managed. One is the electronic intensity management device or an HID source that is used to manage the intensity of the light and another is where the operator is supposed to manage the intensity of the light manually.
4. Aperture management:
Every FOLLOWSPOT lighting fixture would have an aperture or an iris that is used to manipulate two things, namely the size of the spot of light created by the fixture and the angle at which it falls. Both these things are very important for the success of any play.
While the operation of FOLLOWSPOT lighting fixtures is not very difficult, most theatres like to train their operators before putting them in charge of anything because the FOLLOWSPOT operation also depends upon clear communication between the production and the lighting teams.
Alternatively, if you wish to use the FOLLOWSPOT lighting fixture for amateur purposes then you can easily learn how to use them with the help of instructions that can be found in many websites on the internet.