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Lighting design : a creative, technological and collaborative pursuit
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by S Dwyer
The lighting design is often the most compromised element of a theatricalproduction as it is traditionally the last of many designs to be realised beforeopening night. Lighting, however, is vital because without artistic lighting, aproduction, regardless of how ingeniously and skilfully it is devised, will remain,if not in literal, then at least in figurative darkness. The lighting design is also theaspect of a production most constrained by time: the script lies waiting to beredeployed or re-imagined; the director’s notes are archived or reused; sets andcostumes are put on display or into storage; sound is remixed or replayed; andthe actors are photographed for advertising and programmes. In sharp contrastlight is cued, it illuminates, and then it is gone. The creative processes thatunderpin lighting designs are changing. This paper highlights some of thetechnological changes the discipline has witnessed over recent years to providean overview of the praxis of lighting designer’s craft and, in the context of theseinnovations, to ask how this has impacted upon creative processes. Are lightingdesigners more, or less, creative as tools become increasingly advanced? Doesconflict between traditional and modern approaches to lighting facilitate a newtype of creativity?