Ordering Gels

Since the start of the project I have always been debating colour palettes in my head. For my department this is one of the most vital elements to the project, also branching across to the set design and brand representation. As each act has come to perform I have been able to give further thought behind the palette choice. Now I have reached my final selection of colours I have spoken to Beth (Producer) and Dan (Director) in the lead up to ordering to confirm both are happy with my choice of colours.

As I have had experience using Lee lighting gels I have chosen to continue to source the same brand, I also know that Stage Electrics stock this at a really good rate considering the measurements I will required. I have chosen the following colour schemes:

  • Alex – Blue & Orange
  • Saona – Blue & Pink
  • Imprints – Green & Orange

Imprints Colour Scheme

Bristol Vibes – Imprints Colour Palette

This music is strongly inspired by Ska music, something that is a huge personal interest of mine. I have always known Ska music to use bright and bold colours, its a very animatic genre full of energy so its important the palette demands attention. The vivid colours need to be full of energy, using darker tones would become too mellow and counterbalance what the genre is all about.

Ever hearing they were Ska inspired the idea of a vivid green always stuck with me, and after all the time to develop the palette through rehearsals this still remains the case. Green is a positive colour, encapsulating the optimism of yellow tones. It encourages growth, with vivid lime greens associated with youthfulness, naivety and playfulness, all strong connotations of the Ska genre movement. The band themselves are extremely playful, so the depth of the colour makes it a strong back light colour.

This is where orange comes in and the lighter tone to slice through the green and highlight the members. A bright colour is important to illuminate the members sufficiently for the camera. Orange lies as a split complementary to green, instantly creating a strong contrast but reducing the tension in the hues unlike full complementary colours.

Orange is a symboliser for warmth and happiness, combining the energy of yellow with the stimulation of red. Its psychology suggests optimism and rejuvenation, combining with the ideologies of the green hue well. Both together are rich colours and really drive the idea of happiness and playfulness together, amplifying the ideas behind the genre of music and identify of Imprints.

Having selected a range of colours I was instantly drawn in by ‘736: Twickenham Green’ by its description. It is a deeper green and recommended with music or light entertainment, both descriptions matching the use of the gels. With the Orange I was drawn in by 778, 022, and 135 as they all appeared to have more vivid hues than the other shortlisted orange gels. I was concerned by the fire effect of ‘135: Deep Golden Amber’ that it may shift too much into red tones, and the recommendation of ‘022: Deep Amber’ as a good backlight instantly put me off as I was looking for a strong colour in the forefront. In the end I hope the combination of the rich ‘Millennium Gold’ with the vivid ‘Twickenham Green’ will work for Imprints.


Bristol Vibes – Saona Colour Palette

When I think Indie I instantly associate the colour blue, I’m not fully sure why but for me personally it really works for the genre. Indie music can start off very mellow and calm, but suddenly build strength. I think blue can balance these two emotions, deeper tones work as something reserved and chilled, but at the same time it can be the underlying strength behind the power of the song. Through this choice I also wanted to introduce magenta as it compliments the blue hue, but also is a great vivid colour to feature in live events. I have seen it used on multiple gigs I have attended and it always cuts through nicely; once again a personal preference to use this colour in the project, thankfully tying with the deep blue idea nicely.

A deep blue is mellow enough to work as strong backlighting without drawing attention away from the subject matter. It is a confident and reliable colour, being the strength to support its subject. Deep blue is a very emotional colour, the fact it holds so much power is a great symboliser of the genre it is supporting.

The relationship between blue and magenta is somewhere between a triad and analogous colour scheme. Both create comfortable palettes as the colours are located close to one another on the wheel, with one dominating whilst the other can support and accent. The second hue is somewhere between pink and magenta, but the depth of colour makes it closer to magenta.

Magenta holds harmony and emotional stability like its deep blue counterpart. Taking influence from its red and purple origins it inspires change and transformation, representing the developing nature of Saona’s music as it builds up from a mellow beginning to a stronger finish.

When selecting the pink/magenta I was instantly drawn to ‘113: Magenta’ and ‘332: Special Rose Pink’ as they came across as the most vivid gels to project the deepest colour quality. I was concerned the other gels wouldn’t be strong enough to project the right emotion, almost drowning out in the tungsten glow of its fresnel. It was a tough decision but having looking at comparison charts through Lee’s website I swayed slightly towards ‘113: Magenta’.

Selecting the deep blue followed a similar approach as I was drawn to the vivid swatches: ‘713: J.Winter Blue’, ‘718: Mikkel Blue’, ‘120: Deep Blue’ and ‘071: Tokyo Blue’. With the magenta being such a strong colour I felt going for the darkest version of blue would allow the pink to cut through without becoming the darker of the two colours, resulting in the choice for ‘071: Tokyo Blue’.

Alex Mackay

The combination of CTB and CTO started off as reference gels until I made up a decision, however the more I developed the project the more these gels grew on me. They aren’t too theatrical and demanding, the mellow nature and natural composition helps to compliment the raw nature of Alex’s music. An added bonus to this selection is saving on purchasing gels as these are readily available as part of booking the studio facilities.

Ordering Gels

The largest lamps require 16″ x 16″, so I have used this as a reference for measurement on all fresnels. The main stage consists of 13 lamps, meaning 7 requiring back light gels whilst the rest use the alternate colour. With Stage Electrics selling sheets 53cm x 1.2m (16″ = 40cm) it means I can just about cut three gels from each sheet, therefore only needing two sheets for the front lamps and three for the back with some spare left over. I have now compiled the following order with Stage Electrics and will go and collect them over the next week ready for the week of rehearsals in the lead up to the final broadcast.

Bristol Vibes Full Palette

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 22.20.37



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s