Alex Rey ’17: the leader behind the lights

photo by <span class="credit credit- "><a href="/credit/"Amy/" title="View all of this person's work">"Amy</a></span>

photo by Amy Wang

Alex (Gyung-Geun) Rey ’17 is a member of the stage technology team at PHS, and specializes in light plotting — the designing and graphing of stage lighting effects. He assists in special effects for both small and large-scale drama productions at the high school. Although he did not come to PHS anticipating this focus, Rey does not regret moving from backstage crew to lighting crew, where he finds satisfaction in the freedom to personally interpret the source material. Currently, he intends to continue light plotting on a recreational level next year at Northwestern University.

What are light plots, and what do you do with them?

Light plots are basically a drawing of the positions of the stage lights throughout the PAC … Depending on where the light[s] are, they create different [lighting] effects … what I can use [lights] for is limited, so positioning-wise, light plots help me to think about [them], like, by placing them in a particular location, what capabilities am I limiting, and what purpose do [I] want these lights to be functioning for. … The drawing itself, after it’s finished, we use it to make sure all the [stage] lights are in the correct position — basically, the position that I want them to be in.

What has your artistic experience at PHS been like?

I had a lot of freedom, just because… I’m given a blank piece of paper and they make me draw whatever I want based on the script I’m given. So it’s been a lot of, like, experimenting, I guess, and trial and error. Just figuring out how the programs work, and what about lighting should I be focusing on. Is it the focus of the scene? Is it the atmosphere that I’m trying to create for the scene? Is it… I mean, there’s just so many things to  consider for lighting, and I was just thrown into that position, kind of. So it was a lot of adventure — a lot of going into this mystery land I had no experience of going into before.

Do you have any last words for others looking to go into light plotting?

[Light] designing looks daunting at first. You have to learn not only how to program [the light plots on the computer], but also … you have to learn and understand the script and the characters thoroughly and understand what [the] focus of that scene is. … So you have to be both artistic [and] very experienced  with technology. But despite the magnitude of what you have to learn, it’s … very fun. It’s … kinda adventurous [in] some points, so don’t be afraid of … the size of what you have to learn. Just enjoy the experience and have a lot of fun.


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