This review in Arts & Culture Texas made me smile - the lighting is briefly mentioned, with a positive reference to the "tasteful use of fog machine." I know that lots of lighting designers use fog machines frequently, but I always hesitate before using it, questioning if it's really necessary for the piece. I was approached earlier this year about designing a show, and during the conversation with the director she mentioned that she did not want to use fog in her show, saying that she knew that according to a previous designer, "fog makes the lights look better," but it wasn't what she wanted for this show. I had never heard that as a reason for using fog - to me, a design element has to NEED to be present. This means that I don't use every effect at my disposal for every show just because I have it. I need to understand why, in this case, we need the fog. Or the strobe. Or the moving lights. That was something I struggled with in grad school - after two full semesters of automated lighting classes, I didn't really understand why we would NEED to use moving lights in a play until I was assisting at Cincinnati Opera. I've just never been a fan of lighting effects for the sake of effects.
|That's some tasteful fog right there. (photo by Stephen Pruitt)|
(And, as an unrelated feminist side note on "Gravity" - when we complain that there are no good roles for women in movies and theater, THIS is what we are looking for. "Gravity" is a film with a female lead who is not defined by her relationship to the men in her life and is not, in any way, romantically involved with someone else in the film. Spoilers, sorry. This is, to my mind, a film where the lead role was written to be the normal male protagonist that we always see in these parts and then given to a woman. I've heard a few complaints about the gender politics of the film, specifically in how George Clooney relates to / flirts with Sandra Bullock, but as someone who actually LOOKS HARD for these things in every film and play she sees, it did not bother me at all. So, as far as I'm concerned, halle-freaking-lujah. Please make more movies like this.)