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Is there a career in professional lighting events?


drums114
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I have been working in the IT industry for over 8 years and have my MBA.  My job is good, however whenever I work on my light display, I get such a high and would love to do this for a living.  This will be my 3rd year doing a house light display using LOR and RGB.

 

Is there a career in professional lighting events?   What do you need to know?  Who do you need to know?

 

Just a thought.  Let me know yours - I am in IL and would love to do this for a living.

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I have been working in the IT industry for over two decades...

 

Pretty sure you would hate your seasonal job as much as you hate your everyday job.

 

Taking down the lights sucks worse than putting them up. Even more so when you have to take down lights for thirty houses in 18* temps.


I forgot to add, this topic pops up every year. Try searching for it and you might be surprised by all of the comments and the cost.

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I would actually like to do shows for events like big name music events for the stage.  I wouldn't want to start up my own company, just work for one.  But one that does the big events for shows and music.  Not really house lights.

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Sorry to be blunt, but no. Not with LOR software. I have a really good friend who's a big professional lighting designer. His beef is that LOR software does not allow for the quick changes that clients ask for. He's had to clean up a lot of issues for shows run by hobby lighters turned pro but still using LOR for big shows. I've had to consult with him a few times as he mopped up issues. I'll explain more later when not on phone.

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I second the previous post. LOR is not great for quick fixes and mid-show changes. It also has difficulty supporting live input and complex DMX items such as intelligent lights. It's not LOR's "fault," it was just never designed for that kind of operation.

 

I do concert-style lighting with a traditional console and it's a very different beast. Fun, but very different.

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Ok, on my real computer now.  So, my friend started out doing theatrical lighting and I used to help him with it.  He's been in lighting for about 20 years now.  He's worked in all manner of settings, from working at Walt Disney World, to working with small and large private lighting companies.  As a third person I get to see in from the outside.  I know, like all of us there are things he likes and things he hates about his job.  He loves the sparkle of the lights, but hates the politics and demand for perfection.  Think about it, last time you were at a big event, if the lights went out for even 20 seconds unexpectedly you'd remember that more, than an hour and a half of perfection.  The problem with that is that when there are mistakes or technical glitches, client don't like them.  And unless they paid you ahead of time, it will probably cost you.  He's warned me several times not to enter the field.  It is just too high stress and tons of travel, and not the good kind.  He'll be in LA then Florida, then New York then Chicago  you in fact stand a great chance of seeing some of his work if you've been to any major event recently from concerts to corporate meetings, he's all over the country.  Yet one thing remains the same each event he is rushing to fly the lights, rushing to strike. Spending hours and hours programming for just one 1 to 2 hour event. 

 

If you love lights, don't make it a career, make it an intense hobby.  Spread your display out to the neighborhood.  Add houses, add neighbors.  You'll get the experience and fun of lighting, build your community and not have the worry and stress of not getting paid cause the lights blew out.

 

Just my two pixels about it.

 

I'll go back to sequencing now.

 

-RainyOregonchiStmaS

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I will put it another way.. and this is from experience... When I played with high power lasers it couldn't wait to retire the first time and do it all the time.  Got a warehouse and office, got all my gear together and started in making my hobby my business.  After only a couple of weeks I came to the realization that your hobby is more fun on "stolen moments".  When you can do it all the time, or even if you have to do it to make a living.. it is not as fun as when it is a "hobby". 

 

Advise... keep your hobby as your hobby.  That way the high will still be special and will still get you the effect you want.

 

Craig

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To get started at just messing around, you should look at Light Jams. Another (not quite as advanced, but free) version of software is Q light controller. After those, there are lots of high-cost live light control software, but I would start learning with those.

For all things technical and career focused, the right forum to really seek help and also learn on is http://www.controlbooth.com.

Edited by jlowe
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