Stage lighting - PAR gel rec's
My band has a somewhat regular gig at a local dive bar. I'm looking for recommendations on how to liven up the stage lighting using our existing equipment. As much as I'd love to own an LED rig, it ain't gonna happen anytime soon. I'm stuck with traditional PARs.
There are 4 PAR cans front-lighting the stage (permanently installed, owned by the bar). I'm pretty sure all of them have red gels. As you can see, the front-lighting is really flat. The 8 PARs behind the stage belong to us -- I angle them down to backlight us and add some color to the dance floor, which is otherwise unlit). There is also a PAR can with a red gel above the center of the stage lighting the drum kit.
I want to purchase some new gels for the front lights. I've read that Bastard Amber is a good choice for natural skin tones. Is there a specific shade of amber that works best (most flexible). Also, what about augmenting the front light with lavender and/or pink gels -- as in, two lights with amber, and the other two with other colors?
Am I getting the most out of the 8 PARs in the back, or should I consider repositioning them? In the pic, they are flying about as high as they can go. There is room stage right, but not stage left. The front of the stage is framed by walls on both sides, so it won't work to fly anything from the mains. What about placing them on the floor and using them to uplight the backdrop (in this case, a painted black wall)?
I'm hardly an expert, but....
I think amber would look even flatter than the red gels. Sometimes you can get a little depth by having two nicely contrasting colors at about 90 degree angles (e.g. red from the L, blue from the R) but incandescent pars are so non-directional as a wash that I suspect you'd just have the blue side of the stage looking dim (since blue seems to block a lot more lumens than red does).
The backlights might add to the perceived brightness of the stage a bit by virtue of being in the eyes of the audience, and it sounds like they might also be needed to light up the dance floor, but if it's a dive type of place I'm not sure it would be worth the time of setting up to me--I'd just use the venue's lights to get out of there quicker at teardown!. If they are going to be there, then because they are so visible, I'd have them arranged in a symmetrical pattern--I'd probably go something like RBBBBBBR myself (keeping with the red/blue theme). I don't think you'll find that trying to light up a flat black backdrop is worth it at all.
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