How to Become a Lighting Designer

How to Become a Lighting Designer

A great way to become a lighting designer is to become involved with theatre production, and this can be at any level.


Church, community and school productions are a great way to start, and most theatres are eager to accept volunteers of any sort. Involvement in local theatre will help you gain experience, an appreciation for the craft and industry contacts.


Getting involved in other local productions is also highly recommended. Offering your services for local concerts and talent competitions is a great way to expand your network, gain experience and develop your portfolio. 


Success Tip: While you are a student, speak with your instructors and your career counselor regarding your interest in obtaining work experience or an internship. They may be able to help you land such a position.


Having a thorough understanding of lighting effects and overall composition of colour is a great way to strengthen your skills as a lighting designer, so ensure you maintain a relevant knowledge base an understanding of these concepts. Having a great knowledge base increases your marketability and will help you land more jobs.


The contacts you have developed through any volunteering, schooling and internship experience will help you find jobs. You will notice a cycle, the more contacts you make, the more jobs you will get, and the more jobs you get, the more contacts you will make!





Lighting Designer Job Description

Lighting designers design and plan lighting effects for theatre, dance, opera, concerts, television, film and various sorts of video production.


For this they must take into account the shape, size, and technical capabilities of the stage, studio or location, as well as the visibility of the performers and the mood of each scene.



Typical Job Duties

• Consult with directors and other designers to define a stylistic approach for each unique production

• Consult with directors and other staff to create schedules and equipment lists

• Create light plots and light cues

• Read scripts and attend rehearsals to see how the acting area will be used during the production

• Supervise the hanging and focusing of lighting and related instruments

• Plan and build light cues for the production

• Attend dress and technical rehearsals to supervise the lighting and make any required changes


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