Open Forum

Follow Spot

  • 1.  Follow Spot

    Posted 16 days ago
    Hello! I am looking to purchase a follow spot for our small theatre and I have no idea where to begin. I've looked at several websites, but thought I'd reach out for some expertise. I have a small budget, but would like to get something somewhat decent. Any ideas for cheap but decent follow spots? Thank you!

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    Courtney Primus
    Theatre Teacher
    Lewisburg TN
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  • 2.  RE: Follow Spot

    Posted 16 days ago
    Try eBay and Facebook Marketplace first, if you're okay buying used. With something as big as a follow spot, delivery/shipping would be a concern, but you might luck out.

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    Josh Kauffman
    Teacher
    Winfield AL
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  • 3.  RE: Follow Spot

    Posted 16 days ago
    Find out the throw distance, since that will make a difference.  W have a throw distance of about 70 feet, and our Altman Comets (around $1500, I think) work very well. If you have a shorter throw distance, you might be able to make do with even a Source Four ERS - there are kits for converting them.

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    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA
    http://mcintoshtheater.org/

    Theater kills ignorance
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  • 4.  RE: Follow Spot

    Posted 15 days ago
    My fav is the Lycian SuperClubSpot for smaller theatres.  They are reasonably priced, easy to learn and operate, easy to replace gels, but mostly because the replacement lamps are only around $16 and not $300+!

    Here's a 'followspot lamp story' for you from my book High School Theatre Operations:

    "There is some equipment should never be ordered for a high school theatre in the first place.  For instance, in one theatre I worked in we had followspots that required a cool down time for the lamp, before turning off the fan (much like a projector).  However the students would just turn off the lamp and fan at the same time despite training to the contrary.  This significantly shortens the lamp-life.  In one year I had to replace the followspot lamps twice (they should have lasted years).  Those lamps cost $360 each.  There are other brands of followspots that do a sufficient job, and the lamps are such that they don't need a cool down time.  These lamps cost about $15 each.  They have a shorter rated lamp life, but they can last up to a year or more.  At that cost, the students could burn out one a month (not that they do) and still not approach anywhere near the cost of one of the aforementioned lamps. I was able to arrange for a trade and an upgrade order, at no cost, in order to rectify this problem.  This is just one example, but without a Theatre Manager running the theatre with knowledge of theatrical equipment and what is appropriate for high school theatre usage, money was being thrown away."

    The moral of the story is, no matter what you end up getting, consider your operating costs as well as your initial purchase costs.

    And yes, look at the spec's of the followspot to check throw distance, and also, consider www.usedlighting.com.

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    Beth Rand, EBMS
    Educational Lighting Designer
    School Theatre Operations Coach

    www.PRESETT.org
    - LIGHTING INSTITUTE FOR THEATRE TEACHERS - ONLINE MINI COURSES (ask for complimentary syllabus)
    - HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE OPERATIONS ONLINE COURSE FOR TEACHERS (ask for complimentary syllabus) - NEXT COHORT STARTS FEBRUARY 18!
    - HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE OPERATIONS BOOKS and COMPLIMENTARY ARTICLE DOWNLOADS
    - THE ECLECTECH SHOPPE

    beth@PRESETT.org
    Westminster, CO
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  • 5.  RE: Follow Spot

    Posted 15 days ago
    There are many things to consider for your purchase of a followspot.

    1) Determine your throw distance, you mentioned you were in a smaller space, what do you consider smaller, under 100' throw or under 50' or less.

    2) Consider that followspots may have and most likely have fans in them, how close are they to your patrons?

    3) Do you need a boomerang(color changing component) on the unit?

    4) Are some units (manufacturers) that have better support in your area?

    Manufacturers which I would recommend to look at are: Altman, Lycian, and Canto for traditional followspots

    ETC along with City Theatrical can turn a Source Four Ellipsoidal into a followspot with accessories.

    Good luck

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    Jerry Onik
    V.P. Theatrical Supplies and Equipment
    Omaha NE
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  • 6.  RE: Follow Spot

    Posted 14 days ago
    This is not one of the major brands, but we have had good luck with these.  Easy to use and great throw. They are a local company to us in Cincinnati with great customer service.

    http://freqcitysound.com/fcs17rfollowspot.html

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    Mike Morris
    Harrison OH
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