In the first edition of A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, Steve Shelley cracked open his production book and showed how to prepare a lighting design and create the paperwork needed to mount a production.
In the second edition, he pulled back the curtain and showed the methods and processes that go on before the light plot is finalized and ready to go to into the shop, even dealing with cutting the plot in half.
In this third edition, Shelley throws the door wide open and shows step-by-step how to construct every lighting system in the Hokey light plot. Combining his diacritical analysis, killer drafting, and analytic use of the Slinky Method and Slinky Calculations, he presents the Periodic Table of Fundamental Lighting Systems and shows the basic methods used to create multi-instrument lighting systems.
-Over 100 new topics, including analysis and application of the three categories of collaboration; a detailed examination of production meetings and one-on-one meetings; and meeting checklists with management and the creative team.
-Over 50 new illustrations, including Shelley's Periodic Table of Fundamental Lighting Systems; groundplans, sections, and front elevations that illustrate basic system wash configurations for each direction of light.
-Analysis, calculation, and step-by-step technical construction of each lighting system in the Hokey light plot.
-Explanation of a manufacturer's cut sheet, and how to apply basic formulas to determine the beam size, footcandles, and gel transmission for lighting instruments.
-Updated process of pre-programming computer lighting consoles prior to the load-in.
-Comprehensive overview of archiving paperwork and softcopy for a production.
'Any student or professional seeking to work as a lighting designer in theater or dance should read this book. I've been using this book since the first edition, as it's a wonderful tool for education. This book goes into the details behind the creation of a lighting design. The knowledge you gain by studying this text will free you to create art with your lighting, instead of being caught up in the mundane tasks required to execute a design.'
Stephen Ellison, Lighting Systems Design Consultant
'Steven L Shelley has done it again. After reading the second edition of "A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting" (the only one of its kind), I didn't think there was anything else to say about technically creating a lighting design.
Mr. Shelley has done it! He found more information and better and clearer ways to communicate his ideas. The added graphics help the reader to understand the writing, and they alone are worth the price of the book. He's gone into more depth -- when the reader is finished, they have a greater and clearer understanding of the process involved in creating a lighting design.
They'll also have an easier time working through the process than anyone did before this book was written.
The time Shelley spends with his own stories helps the reader understand why things are done a certain way. They make the reader understand he's a professional and not just someone who is writing a textbook for tenure.
Overall, the third edition of "A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting" is a book that anyone interested in the process of lighting design must have on their bookshelf.'
David Griffith, Educator and professional lighting designer
'…the book presents further value in the latest incarnation. However, be warned…the sheer volume of professional gold within is more than one person can shovel in a sitting…This book could be subtitled "Everything Mr Shelley has ever experienced and thought about lighting in his long and illustrious career."…the whole book is an avalanche of practical advice, notes, tips, pro tips, detail, So much detail. This is the value right here, folks.'
Rob Sayer, On Stage Lighting
'The beauty of A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting has always been that it takes the designer and brings them down to the nitty gritty. The wonder of the third edition is that you now have expanded resources to communicate not only to the beginning lighting student, but to the 201, 301, and 401 levels as well. I have students that carry this book through multiple levels of courses and by the end come out with an understanding that is unmatched in terms of executing a comprehensive design from top to bottom. The expanded sections help clarify complicated concepts seamlessly. I require this text in all of my lighting classes and the students get so excited to go to conferences and meet "the REAL STEVE SHELLEY" in person. He's like a super-star to them and this insightful textbook is the reason.'
'Several months ago, I received a call from a university student wanting advice on a career in stage lighting…We discussed approaches to design and useful software, but when she asked what she should read to learn more, I recommended Steve Shelley's A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, second edition. It was the best book I knew about how to light the stage and earn a living as a lighting designer. Now there is a better book: A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, third edition…I would recommend it for any instructor teaching stage lighting at any level. There is a lot in this book that can stimulate thoughts about what a lighting design should be, how one goes about practically realizing a design, and about working as part of an artistic team in a venture that has to fit a budget…it would be a great gift any time of the year, whether for an ambitious student or for yourself.'
Karl G. Ruling, Protocol
'The scope and breadth of the A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, Third Edition make it equally useful for the emerging young designer needing reference material, the experienced professional looking for new perspectives, and the seasoned designer looking for new tips, reminders of shortcuts, or inspiration to be a little more organized and prepared for the task at hand. The examples of plots, sections, paperwork, cue masters, magic sheets, focus charts, and working drawings are excellent resources. The updates and expansions make A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, Third Edition a valuable addition to your theatre library, even if you have a previous version of the book.'
Ellen E. Jones, Lighting & Sound America
"A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting (Third Edition), by Steven Louis Shelley, has long been a standard text and reference on preparing lighting designs and creating the paperwork needed to mount a production. In the latest edition, Shelly…zeroes in on communication skills, adding ideas (and checklists) for efficient and productive meetings with both management and creative teams. Also new are 'Shelley's Periodic Table of Fundamental Lighting Systems, ' plus ground plans, sections and front elevations that demonstrate basic system wash configurations for each direction of light. Particularly useful is his explanation of a manufacturer's information sheet and how to determine the beam size, foot candles and gel transmission for various lighting instruments." Stephen Peithman, Stage Directions
Acknowledgments for the Third Edition
Chapter 1: A Review
Chapter 2: Paperwork Overview
Chapter 3: Background Preparations and Preliminary Design Paperwork
Chapter 4: The Parameters
Chapter 5: Create the Preliminary Drawings
Chapter 6: Creating the Preliminary Lighting Section and Light Plot
Chapter 7: Compiling and Sending Out the Shop Order
Chapter 8: Cuts and Changes
Chapter 9: The Light Plot, Section, and Support Paperwork Packet
Chapter 10: The Load-In and Focus Packet
Chapter 11: The Cue Construction Packet
Chapter 12: Prior to the Load-In
Chapter 13: The Load-In and Setup
Chapter 14: The Focus Session
Chapter 15: The Light Cue Level Setting Session and Technical Rehearsals
Chapter 16: The Performance
Chapter 17: Archiving and Final Activities