Welcome to the Mod Scenes podcast podcast, where we talk about stage design, uh, specifically the church stage design corporate event design and, uh, anything and everything to do with modular scenic. Uh, today I’m really thrilled to talk to you specifically about something that’s really tied into a church stage design and stage backdrops design scene in general. Uh, and that’s the lighting. So for those of you who know I am a lighting nerd at heart, um, I have, um, I have about 10 years experience in the lighting world. Uh, I used to be an LD for a house of blues down in Orlando. Uh, I’ve worked with numerous churches across the country, um, and, uh, done a little bit of touring and, um, loved to every minute of it. I love lighting. It’s great. Turn all the fixtures towards your eyes and make the most stroke. It’s awesome.
So, um, one of my favorite things though, uh, especially the more and more I got, uh, the more advanced I got in the lighting world is, uh, not necessarily looking at just a lighting design, but more specifically looking at a holistic design perspective. Um, and that’s part of the reason we started Mod Scenes. Um, mod scenes is an extension of your design and your lighting design, um, makes it easy. And especially if you don’t have a lot of lighting, uh, the mod scenes pull, uh, uses the lighting, uh, that you do have existing to make it look much larger and make it look much more impressive, uh, with its reflectivity. Um, all of our different plastic products are incredibly reflective. Um, they take light really well, and they, um, even like a cheap, cheap led, they look amazing when we have, uh, we bought some Chinese LEDs for just testing in the shop.
Um, and we use those all the time to light our scenic because they’re relatively lightweight and they look beautiful even though the LEDs aren’t very good, the stage to the stage backdrops scene, it looks beautiful. The a hundred dollars led, which is a, it says a lot for, um, for a product to be able to do that because of not many cans. Um, so let’s dive into the lighting part, cause I’m super thrilled to talk about it. Uh, as I said, I’m a lighting geek, uh, to give you an idea of the level of lighting geek. I am, uh, so some lighting geeks, they think about lighting a lot. Some of them, they might even have like a moving light in their garage, cause they’re like that committed to like the lighting realm. They’re like, oh, I have to have a movie line in my garage because you know, who doesn’t want to be all six in the garage?
Um, me, I am like next level lighting geek, church, lighting geek, uh, you name it. If it has lights in it, I’m a geek about it. Um, to give you a level of the lighting geekness I am one of those guys that has a [inaudible] sitting in his garage because why not? Um, I’ve also got, uh, our front room by my wife is incredible by the way, as you’ll know, by this next statement, uh, our front room is, has the lighting all the way around it, uh, around the ceiling. Uh, it’s got led, uh, one foot led segments that are individually controllable, uh, via, um, via a laptop and wifi, which is pretty awesome. Um, I have Cove lighting above my, uh, above my kitchen counter above my kitchen, uh, Fisher cabinets. Um, that’s all of course RGB. It couldn’t be just white. Um, yeah. So, um, and if you’ve ever seen one of our trade show booth at, you know, WFX or LDI or salt conference, or pretty much anywhere we go, um, even our small trade show booth looked pretty impressive.
Um, because again, back to the, uh, first statement, I’m a lighting gig. So I use that lighting geekdom, uh, to make stage stage sets look. Awesome. So, um, whenever I’m designing a stage set, um, I’m specifically thinking about where I’m going to put lights, how those lights are going to reflect, um, and my limitations on lighting, because most of the time, uh, actually let me rephrase that all of the time when you’re a lighting person, you never, you quote unquote never have enough lights. Um, I’ve been on stages where I’ve had like 200 lights. I’m like, I don’t have enough lights. I need six more over here. So, um, that’s the inner lighting guy and me speaking. Uh, so whenever I’m creating it, for example, a church stage design, uh, I want to create, um, create a visual that is really incredible, that has, um, that has multiple, um, multiple layers of possible.
Um, but if not multiple layers, at least multiple angles of light hitting the stage backdrop. Uh, so what I’ll do is I’ll, I’ll create my base look. So this is, this is kind of like my concept. Um, so, uh, for example, I’m going to do a suggestion of like, uh, how I’ll do one of my, one of my sets I’ve done in the past. So I made this base look. It was a large expanse of texture. And so what I use for that texture is I used, um, I used Aegon panels, so the monsoons Aegon panels, and I rotated every other one. So that created a, a geometric breakup pattern. Uh, once I created that geometric breakup pattern behind that, um, I put a row of LEDs, led strips, like a pixel strips, uh, that way I could do low res video behind that. Uh, and then in front of this C the agro crack, the stage backdrop, I put, I hung trusses on opposing angles.
So I hung two trusses about, uh, the top core. The top point was about, um, two foot from the top, from my, the bottom of my other moon lights that are in my, my top grid. Uh, so it was on like 30 degree angle, uh, maybe like 20 degree angle. Then the lower part was like eight feet down. And then I mirrored that. So on the below that the next trust, um, was, you know, say 10 feet down from the very top and the other one was sitting on the ground. So that made like a diamond shape. Uh, so there was a like kind of a porthole into the actual design. Um, and then I put moving lights on that. So, um, I use multiple layers there obviously. Um, but let’s talk about how I lit the stage backdrops, because the way you like it, the stage backdrop, um, makes the difference in whether it looks great, good or incredible.
Yeah. And I always want to look in front of him. So, uh, so what, well, what I did is I built a base lighting for, so this is just the stage backdrop part. I built a base wash. So this base wash I use ColorBlast TRX is so they’re a RGB, Amber White led, uh, and they’re a pretty powerful light. Um, but I could have used something, you know, a little less powerful too. Um, and I shot those from the top. So they were like, they were a downlight. I shot those down the, down the scenic, uh, every about two feet. Um, so essentially centered in each row of panels. Uh, and then after that I took another couple. Uh, so I had like 16 of those up top, uh, actually probably not 12 laptop. Uh, so I had 12 of those, um, 12 of those led par led Wego or led not part or Gusto led, uh, they’re bat they’re like battens they’re little led cubes T ColorBlast TRX is, uh, so I took a couple of those.
Um, I tell you a couple of those and I put them, uh, the 12 of those shooting down the scenic and I put, we had another six, uh, that I put shooting up, I’m sorry, eight, but I put on the floor shooting up, but this time, instead of going straight up the scenic, I put them on angles. So I put them on 45 degree angles and I like press cross pattern all the way across the stage design, uh, this made for another really cool element. In addition to that, I talked about the trust as we flew downstage of the backdrop earlier. Well, the moving lights I put on those are Mac one-on-ones. They have a narrow beam, a narrow, narrow beam, so I could swing those back and raise across the, the scenic. Uh, you’ve got a whole another look from that too. So, um, as you can tell, I got a bunch of different looks from being able to from placing my lighting the way I did, uh, additionally, my backlight.
So my movie, I had moving backlights, uh, and I could be, if I wanted to, the way that I laid out the backdrop, I could swing those back and wash the backdrop as well. So sometimes I would swing those back and like, watch the backdrop. Other times I’d have them out front, um, and I could kind of switch and switch different segments that way. I had a lot of, uh, a lot of options for lighting to give me a lot of dynamics, uh, because it’s gonna look different every day from every different angle you light it. Uh, so I want it to look as beautiful as it can, um, as beautiful as it can. Um, so in addition to that, um, I said that I had some led pixel lights behind, uh, so for these, um, they’re pretty bright. They are a GLP GLP CNX, 33.3 millimeter pixel tape.
Um, so those were shooting through the scenic. So they’re super visible in the gaps between where they’re were seen as panels and not, um, but they also gave a nice little glow to the back of the scene and panels when there’s no other white on it. So, uh, that was a great, uh, another great way to utilize what we already had in place. Um, so, um, a couple of I’m going to, before we end this podcast, I want to give a couple of like, uh, big takeaways that you can use on your stage design, because I want to be able to help you with your stations. So, um, whenever you’re looking at lighting your, your Mazzi and seen it, uh, use, uh, use whatever lighting you have, if you have some cheap lighting, try it because realistically, um, most led lighting, uh, if it’s less than five years old is going to light this well, uh, I’ve ran into a couple of, um, a couple of fixtures that haven’t worked great, but then again, they didn’t work great to, you know, to light a dark closet.
So, uh, those are typically, uh, LEDs that have been around for 10 to 15 years. Um, American DJ carries a few there’s, um, uh, or did carry a few. I mean, this is we’re talking, uh, these are older than me led, so maybe not that old, but, uh, older than the time I’d been in lighting at least. Um, so yeah. Um, so use your LEDs use what you have to be able to create your visible, uh, go take, and don’t be afraid to put angles into what into your lighting is on it, you know, have definitely have a base wash to give you a color. Uh, but if you only have four or five, uh, you only have, you know, say four or five led fixtures, spread them out randomly and make it look cool, make it look intentional. Uh, if you, if you use symmetry, it’s gonna help you make, make it look intentional, even if you don’t have enough lights, uh, if you do it symmetrical, light it symmetrically, uh, it’s gonna make it look a lot more impressive.
Uh, so that’s a one big suggestion. I’d definitely take away from this. Um, and then, um, and then don’t be afraid to experiment. That’s another one that, alright. I know these are a lot more concise than how I said earlier, but don’t be afraid to experiment because that’s where, uh, that’s where you find any of the mistakes and the stuff you’d never want to do again. And to be the things that are, uh, that work out really well, that you’re like, man, I have to do this every time. So, um, check that out. And, uh, and yeah. Um, so this has been the MATSITI podcast. Um, I’m going to actually, you know what, let’s, let’s not into it. We’re going to do, uh, we’re going to do a long podcast today. This will be part two of the podcast. So, um, part two lighting. Okay.
So lighting with moving lights. So I’m gonna talk a little bit about lighting with moving lights, uh, because again, background, I’m a lighting geek. I love stage backdrop, but the reason I got into stage backdrops is because of, uh, is because of my lighting background. I love lighting. I love creating great stage backdrops, great designs for churches, uh, the best church stage designs. Um, I always want to be creating something new that people haven’t seen before. And, uh, uh, Montse really gave me a really good outlet to do that, but also more importantly be helps her not only the church, but also, um, our friends in the corporate industry with a really great stage designs that are, that don’t don’t break the bank. Um, so yeah, so let’s talk about lighting, lighting your stage scenic with moving lights. So there’s a couple of great ways that we’ve experimented at him.
We’ve lit, um, Matise with moving lights. So, uh, let’s start with, uh, the pretty simple ones. Um, obviously, uh, you could use any moving light, any wash, moving light, just like you would would’ve led wash, you know, shooting lights straight down the wash, uh, straight down the backdrop, uh, the stage backdrop, um, or you don’t want angles, but with the moving light, you have the flexibility to be able to do both. So let’s say, uh, a one-to-one that’s what Mac one, one is one of my favorite movie lines because it’s a super tight beam. Um, I actually love my, a trick of the day is to take a little bit of [inaudible] and put in the lens holder of the, um, the Mac one-on-one cause it just softens the beam just enough, but it’s still got a pretty tight, uh, tight culmination. So, um, yes, Mac one-on-ones.
So a lot of times, if I, if the budget allows I’ll take and I’ll put a Mac on a one or an aura or like an X for, um, I’ll put one of those moving lights, uh, into my stage design, uh, with the purpose or multiple of those moving wise, I should say, um, with the purpose of lighting the stage backdrop. So like I’ll take eight of those and say, I have a 16 foot, or let’s say I have 20 foot wide backdrop, I’ll take 10 of those. And I’ll put one every two foot sort of lined up with every, um, every column of panels. Um, if I, if I’m in a place where I don’t have a lot of money budgeted for that specific design, uh, I’ll do like every other. So I’ll do like a led par and then knock 1 0 1 led par and math one 11 led bar math 1 0 1, making sure it’s symmetrical in its layout.
Um, and by doing that, then I still have, you know, a nice base wash with led pars, and I can have those, um, moving lights shoot down and wash the backdrop too. So I didn’t have just a nice flat wash if I’m looking for that or I can take those one-on-ones and I can tilt them on an angle and get kind of a more interesting vibe where it’s, you know, some straight lines down and some cross lines, and I can change colors to get some contrast between the two, uh, which is also a really cool thing to do, or if I need to, I can swing those moving lights out and use them for backlights, uh, for like a special for example, or for just in the fact. Um, but what I really love to do, probably my favorite thing to do with lighting on a flat or even dimensional scenic set is to use Mac one-on-ones or similar wash fixtures, uh, to shoot down the CNET, but to be able to put an effects on them.
So I’ll build a, uh, I’ll build the pan and tilt where the, um, X axis X axis, the X axis. So the, the pan, so the pan is tilted perpendicular with the, um, the pan is tilted perpendicular with the Mazzi it’s with the stage backdrops. Uh, so that if you draw, if you were to draw it out, you’d see a line where the stage backdrop is and intersecting, that would be the yolk of the moving line. Um, and then with that, uh, I make, uh, I’m able to make, tilt, um, make a tilt effects so that I can have, um, I can have it look like the backdrop is physically changing with the light that’s changing. So the light will move up and down or across the stage backdrop, uh, as I run this tilt effect. Another thing that’s really cool to do is to join this with a, uh, dimmer effect.
So this, uh, a lot of places it’d be called a fly out or fly in on like a, like say a hog. I think it’s a fly out on the Hawk. Um, so you’ve got this movement up and then the light turns off and moves back down. You gotta movement up light turns off and moves back down. So it makes it look like there’s lights and multiple lights, just always going up. It doesn’t look like anything ever comes down because it’s in, it’s in blackout whenever it does that. So that’s a really incredible look, um, really, really cool. Uh, when you implement that into a stage design, um, another way you can light the scenic with Monsignor is with texture. So, uh, I really love to do, uh, texture wash with say like, uh, a lot of the VSLs have really good gobos, um, like the old VL two thousands had some great Goebbels that I loved.
Um, so like in the past I’ve we had some really crappy VLT, two thousands that would work and sometimes not. Um, so we’d put those on the corners of the stage. Like a lot of times I put them on the top of side fills or, uh, I’d make like a sidelight position, like a mid stage ride, mid stage left and shooting up towards the backstage edge of the stage backdrop. So with this, um, I’d shoot those lights across on an angle and then put a gobo texture in there. Uh, and that gives you a whole nother to, uh, which looks really cool. Uh, and then if you’re looking to go really, really like super awesome next level, you can do projection mapping. So, uh, projection mapping is the, like the, um, the process of putting projection onto these panels and then actually designating where the video’s going within the panels.
Um, so projection mapping is pretty, pretty intense stuff. Uh, you can also, instead of projection mapping, you can just project onto the animals with, you know, some base content, whether that be some like stuff from a triple white media or stuff from, uh, jump back loops, he had jumped back loops. That’s like 1990s. Uh, but you get the idea like video, uh, video backgrounds. Um, so yeah, so, uh, looking at looking further at that, um, looking further at that, um, you can also, um, also use mod scenes as kind of like a mask, uh, so you can hide moving lights either inside or behind the, uh, the mod scenes. And whenever you do effects, uh, that bright, they’re going to cry. If you’re behind the mod scenes is going to break up that movement break up that visual, uh, cause every time it moves, it’s going to create a new, like a new hole wherever it hits the, the mod scenes.
Um, or you can hide the moving lights inside of the, uh, inside of the pattern of the Mod Scenes. Uh, and they give you a really cool thing cause you can block those lights out at certain aspects like certain times, or you can have them on. So it looks like there’s white emanating from the stage set. Um, and then you don’t have to see your support structure. Um, so yeah, that’s a really another really good way to do it. So, uh, I hope this has been an awesome eye opening, absolutely lovely, uh, mud scenes podcast for you. I’d love to help you with your next stage backdrop with your next church stage design or your next corporate event design. Um, as I mentioned, we love making stage backdrops and we’d love to make one for you. Uh, touch base with me. You can shoot me an email at Steven at modscenes.com or you can, uh, call me our number is (530) 723-6421. Or you can email us, uh, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see our products at modscenes.com. So I’m thankful for you tuning in and I’m looking forward to serving you soon, take care.