A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting / Edition 2

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Construct and Implement Your Own Lighting Designs with the most trusted guide to stage lighting!

An entertaining and educational read, author Steven Louis Shelley draws from his 35+ years of diverse experience to bring you the step-by-step technical tools for getting the job done along with real-life examples of projects from start to finish. Learn why some techniques are successful while others fail with 'Shelley's Notes' and 'Shelley's Soapbox,' all with a humor that guides you through complex problems and concepts.

Some of the topics covered:

* Deduction of the research, production meetings, and personal choices that result in evolution of the core lighting design documents
* Chapters analyzing technical specifications, advancing production facilities, and turning that information into accurate draftings
* Illustrated step-by-step construction of some of the systems in the preliminary light plot
* Examination of the processes involved in construction and submission of shop orders, and reacting to bids, cuts and changes that affect the light plot
* Discussions about preparations prior to the load-in, including prepping the lighting rental package, creating truck packs, and watching run-throughs

This enlightening reference is a necessary addition to anyone serious about stage lighting.

Audience: Students enrolled in technical theatre programs, especially students earning their MFA's in Lighting Design. Professionals working in lighting design.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is hands-down the best book I've ever read regarding the process of designing and executing a lighting design. Other books do wonderful jobs of discussing instruments and electrical aspects, or how to create a design, but very few discuss the day-to-day paperwork and personal interactions involved in getting that design executed." —Steven Haworth, Lighting Designer

"...this 2nd edition has answered all your questions and a bunch you didn't think you needed to know. You have got to have this book if you consider yourself a professional, period." — James Moody, author of Concert Lighting

"A practical guide that will, better than any other book on the subject, help the LD get his or her design realized in the most professional and efficient manner." —Peter Maradudin, Lighting Dimensions Magazine

" The best parts of the book work because they rely on understanding concepts, not remembering good advice. You don't have to remember, because you have understood." — Nick Hunt, Focus - The Journal of the Association of Lighting Designers

"Finally! Shelley has taken the basic concept of focus coverage and given it a name: The Slinky Method! Bravo, Mr. Shelley." —Ms. Martha Mountain, George Mason University

"This is a must read for any student who is seriously interested in lighting design." —Cindy Limauro, Carnegie Melon University

"In 2002 I began to search for textbooks to cover the course I was developing on Lighting Technology and Lighting Design for the live stage. I discovered "A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting."

Steve Shelley had done what I feared was impossible. He had distilled the art and science of stage lighting into one comprehensive book. He had concentrated on those timeless objectives and principals that remain the same regardless if you are using a 50 year old leko or the latest LED fixture.

"A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting" has been the base textbook for my course ever since. .It is the student's reaction to this book that is quite remarkable. They have constantly commented on how easy it is to read and understand. That in itself makes it a most valuable asset." - Prof. Kenneth Salah, Cambrian College

"This is a must have book to have on the shelf....this book is very entertaining and educational. It is also great as reference material for practising professionals. I thoroughly recommend this book for all lighting people. You will find yourself referring to it again and again." - Stephen Dean, CX Magazine

"[A] great text for students, but it is also likely to be useful, or at least entertaining, for lighting designers who have been working for decades.. [A]dds substantially to the first edition, published ten years ago. [N]ew material throughout the book. made what was always a practical guide even more grounded in the real-life work of a professional lighting designer.. [T]his book is exhaustive; almost everything seems to be covered."—Protocol

Addresses the theory, tools, and methods of lighting design for students with basic knowledge in the field, emphasizing the importance of accurate initial analysis of the project and solid, appropriately planned use of tools throughout the project's timeline. Includes a glossary. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240811413
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/5/2009
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 488
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Shelley has worked in theatre for over 35 years as a lighting designer, production manger, and stage manager in New York City, throughout the United States, and on four continents. His lighting designs are included in the repertories many dance companies, and he's designed lighting on Broadway, Off-Broadway, as well as concerts, television, regional theatre, and regional opera. Steve is the author of numerous articles in trade magazines and has conducted multiple seminars at theatrical lighting conventions and major universities around North America. He's also the inventor and patent holder of the award-winning Field TemplatesT and SoftSymbolsT (www.fieldtemplate.com). He lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Review
Chapter 2: Paperwork Overview
Chapter 3: Background Preparations and Preliminary Design Paperworks
Chapter 4:The Parameters
Chapter 5: Create the Preliminaries and Send out the Shop Order
Chapter 6: Cuts and Changes
Chapter 7: The Light Plot, Section, and Support Paperwork Packet
Chapter 8: The Load-In and Focus Packet
Chapter 9: The Cue Construction Packet
Chapter 10: Prior to the Load-In
Chapter 11: The Load-In and Setup
Chapter 12: The Focus Session
Chapter 13: The Light Cue Level Setting Session and Technical Rehearsals
Chapter 14: The Performance

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 10, 2010

    Completely Enlightening!!!

    Shelley has done it again. I read the first edition when it first came out. I loved it. I learned a lot from it. But THIS edition is in an entirely different league. This book immediately became a REQUIRED text book for every student I have. It can be used by anyone from the beginning student to the masters level and beyond into the professional world. The text itself is well organized, the writing is humorous but incredibly informative and easy to read, his graphic aids are phenomenally helpful, and the manner in which he shares his experience and knowledge is unparalleled. He shares his personal anecdotes and lessons learned in small doses called: "Shelley's Notes", "Shelley's Soapbox", and "Tales from the Road". These short narratives alone are worth their weight in gold. This is the single most comprehensive and inclusive text written on the subject of lighting design today, and everyone who wants to know anything about our field should read it - cover to cover. Jennifer E. Griffin Lighting Designer Visiting Professor

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    You actually know something after you read Steve's book.

    As far as I am concerned, there are about five things you need to do when you begin learning about entertainment production:

    1. Read "The Dramatic Imagination" by Robert Edmund Jones
    2. Learn how to use CAD
    3. Read a lighting book by each of:
    a) Steve Shelley
    b) Jim Moody
    c) Richard Cadena
    d) Richard Pilbrow.
    4. Learn how to operate a lighting console
    5. Learn how to be pleasant

    Steve Shelley's book "A Practical Guide to State Lighting, Second Ed" is one of the texts that you just need to read. Steve understands lighting and management, and his experiences on the road as a dance LD/SM are like life guides for young designers to follow. Steve understands the way our industry operates - and for students to learn the standard ways through Steve's explanations and analogies makes their education pertinent and relevant.

    It's probably a pretty smart idea to order Steve Shelley's book, especially if you want to learn the right way in the entertainment lighting industries. It's even priced well. Enjoy.

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

    "A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting" -- An Incredible Resource.

    The second edition of Steven Louis Shelley's A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting is a substantial upgrade from the first edition. In pages alone, that's about 200 pages or a 65% increase. Given the amount of useful information packed onto each page of this book, I would suggest that owners of the first edition add the second edition to their libraries.

    In the Introduction, Shelley notes that his book is not only written for students, that it also intended as a useful reference for practicing professionals. I agree. Shelley also notes that he uses his own text as a reference. I think I will also certainly be using A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting as a regular reference.

    Buy this book and/or read more on my blog at http://klad.com/blog/?p=1167

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