Over Saturated?

I have posted the content below on my own page as well. But I thought, this is a matter of greater interest for us lighting and theatre people. And this is why I will also place my ideas here:

We all have a certain style of lighting as production. Yes, the show dictates probably a lot about time and place of the story. And the director also has a high influence on the final product. His style and the way he imagines the show will ultimately determine the way it has to be dealt with lighting wise.
But we all tend to have our own style that is usually reflected in the way we approach the design. Some people tend to go for a lot of white lighting and layer different shades of white on top of each other. Some designers might be heavy on the side light or have a very special lighting position they want the light to come from. For me, I think I am definitely a fan of the deeper saturated tones. You will also find some lighter colours in my rig, but usually there will be some quite bold colours around.
With strong, saturated colours, I always felt quite comfortable to set the general mood of the scenes. The lighter ones come into place when it comes to lighting the actors. There I feel that the key light should not be too colourful. This is why I usually don’t have a lot of saturated colours front of house.

Now, it seems we are about to close another chapter of technology in theatre- and event lighting. The one of tungsten light sources. The incandescent light bulbs for our homes have already been banned from the shelves in the supermarkets and been widely replaced with questionable “alternatives” that don’t bring us the same quality of light in terms of colour temperature and spectrum, but are a lot more energy efficient. I won’t go into details about the disadvantages of these revolutionary replacements and the given fact that this has been a very clever lobby movement – this article is about something else.

Of course, us, working in the entertainment industry also get affected by this. It is only a matter of time until the halogen light sources are banned (not only in homes, but also for entertainment purposes) as well. The manufacturers have started years ago with the development of new, compact and lightweight LED fixtures to eventually replace the now common ones. We gained a lot of new tools out of this. As always when there is new technology developed and shaped, there is a lot of crap products around. But time usually helps for a natural selection of the useful things.
We gained much faster lights, lower power requirements, lots of little dots that light up, extreme brightness, lower costs and so much more. What we didn’t gain is a better quality of light. I feel that over the past years, every event I attended and where a large amount of LED fixtures were used, the overall feel of it was quite sterile and in a way cold. I cannot describe it better, but for me, the feel of any colour coming from an LED source is quite cold. And it is highly saturated. I also feel that we lost variety. As people don’t really know how (and if) you can get subtle tones out of the pixelated fixtures, they simply tend to go for full saturation all the time. Think about it. I think the most commonly used colours lately were deep blue (100% Blue), some strange type of amber/yellow (100% red, 100% green) and a lot of magenta (100% red, 100% blue).

Don’t get me wrong. This is not meant to say we should get rid of LED lighting. But I think it is also wrong to completely ban the incandescent light source. It is a given fact that the spectrum of this light source is good for us. And I don’t mind selecting colour gels for a fixture. In fact, I always like doing this. And I also don’t mind that the colour changes when I dim down the light. Maybe this is even an effect I want to have…?

LED will be the future. Period. But there is an awful lot to do before I accept it as a perfect replacement for the tungsten light we are still used to. The charm of a tungsten show is unmatched by modern LED fixtures. And I really feel we are loosing something by blindly following the LED way. I don’t expect the manufacturers to build brighter lights or faster lights. How much brighter and faster do you want to go? I expect them to build fixtures (and I know there are products around already that can do some of this to a certain extend) that offer:
– NO visible pixels. LED as a light source and not as visible “dots” everywhere.
– proper dimming. No further explanation needed.
– in also in the dimming section: Maybe it makes sense to build a light that behaves like a tungsten fixture? So that when you dim it, it changes the colour temperature according to a tungsten light source. But then, probably the spectrum will always remain in the way.

But then, there is a lot to say about the positive aspects of LEDs. I leave this to everyone else. If you want to contribute, then feel free to do so.

You can’t play on broken strings…

… that is certainly true. When you have a guitar and the strings are broken it becomes rather difficult to play a tune – or at least to play an harmonic one. My guitar is my life and the strings are all broken. I was never very good at playing before they broke, but since they are broken, the tune that I can manage to play is everything but pleasant.

I am so fed up with it all. Where the hell is my place in this world? When will I find it and will this ever happen? Somehow I missed out on a real and proper life over the past 25+ years. And now? I am hunting behind it every little second. Always getting myself in my own way. Nothing works, nothing shows its truth and I have no idea how to go on. In any way. Always sensible, rational and calm. Blabla…

I am standing at the loudest place in a crowd, the music cannot be any louder. Me, the person who always had problems with loud music simply because I cannot stand it… I find myself looking for the one place where it is louder than anywhere else. I keep myself awake for hours and hours only to know what it means to feel something. I was wandering around today in the heavy rain we had for over 12 hours. I went from one place to the other, not knowing where to go. Sat alone watching the other people go by. Having fun. I drank too much. And it didn’t help. I tried to reach some friends and all I found was superficial advice and rejection. Wow. How great it all is.

For god’s sake! This is so annoying. No purpose, nothing to look forward to, no aspiration. I am screaming at the top of my voice – only that you cannot hear me. I don’t want any of this any more. But where is the emergency exit door? It probably didn’t get built in at the beginning. And now? Do I need a sledge hammer?

I was wondering how long it actually takes for one to climb out of the valleys of life back up the hill. But I realised as it never rains – it pours, you can actually climb but still dig yourself deeper into the ground. How amazing!

Get away bloody lighting gels! Leave me alone moving lights! I don’t wanna see a CAD drawing any more! Leave me alone loud music and party people! Leave me alone pride! Leave me alone rainbow colours and everything that comes with it! Leave me alone Europride! My memories: leave me bloody alone and let go on things you cannot change! Leave me alone and accept that there are things that you cannot change, bring back or fix! Some things are lost for good! Leave them alone! So why the hell does it not work? Why why why…? I just wanna have peace from myself! Not to think about it all. Not to miss what you cannot have. Not to worry about tomorrow. Not to sit here alone. I just want to be happy for once. For one simple moment. I wanna be able to say: This is my favourite moment. And if I can only have one moment it should be this one.

Fuck off destiny and faith. I lost the believe in everything I ever believed in. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is no predetermined path we walk. It is all just a lot of crap.

Holidays of Life.

I am…

… my mum, who always showed me the way
… my brothers and sisters… we conquered the world…
… all the people who believed in my crazy ideas…
… and all the ones who didn’t…

This is an excerpt from a recent commercial campaign of a mobile phone company here in Switzerland. I always liked the commercials. In the cinema, on TV or on the radio it kinda made me think into the same direction as Eyal pointed with his post. What they say is that we really are shaped because of all the people we meet, the people we are with and the people that influenced us the most.

Of course, we are different depending on who we meet and with whom we spent time. It makes sense. Some people are our friends, and with them we share different memories and they know us differently than someone we just have our first date with. And parents are the ones who brought us up. They taught us most of the thinking patterns and ways of living we now follow. We are aware of this and therefore know the expectations of them as well, thus we behave differently than we would with our partner and friends.

What I think is interesting in this discussion is one point: Does the fact that we do in fact behave differently mean, that we cannot really determine who we are? It is just logical that if we wanna impress someone we hold back on certain things and try to shine the best light on us whereas this is not really necessary with our close friends. But I think, as long as we are true about ourselves we will always be the person we are when there is nobody around. An example: My favourite colour is blue. Now… I can be with my parents in the city and we talk about our favourite colour and I will tell them mine is blue. Another time I am with you guys and we talk about the same thing and I also tell you that it is blue, the same with my boss or on a first date. My favourite colour is blue and as long as this does not change depending on the people I am with at a certain point, I will always know who I really am. Because my personality does not change. People only see different parts of it and I think this is a good thing…

Raining at night in Switzerland…


take all your swatch books…
go outside…
look at the sky
now try and find the same colour
just one, the best and most perfect one you can possibly find
take your time and make it right
if you’ve found the right colour just look up and double check it again…
surely it’s not the right one anymore – is it?

Life is all about the moment.
Sometimes you are the colour,
Sometimes you are the sky.
So try to find good moments instead of the best colour,
The colour will change again.
But you can keep the moment for ever.

Take care.
The time is working for you . . .