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October 2004
News & Notices
News From:
Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
Commission Distributes Lighting Standard Revision

Rich Dunham
Lighting Co-Commissioner

The latest draft/canvass of the USITT RP-2: Recommended Practice for Theatrical Lighting Design Graphics (revision 3) was recently introduced.

As many USITT members are aware, the current graphics standard needed to be revised because of the introduction of a wealth of new gear to the profession. The actual graphics portion of the document is greatly expanded. Most notably, the Commission has made provisions for new conventional and non-conventional luminaries, moving lights, and a number of accessories such as gobo rotators that didn't exist when the earlier standard was created.

Many issues related to angle specifications are addressed, while the accessories and cyc/striplight portions of the document reflect a much wider range of equipment. This work represents the efforts of a number of individuals from across a diverse section of the profession.

The Commission thanks all those individuals who participated in the earlier canvasses by submitting their comments to the committee. Most importantly, I want to personally recognize the committee of Will Bellman, Vickie Scott, Steve Shelley, Robin Schraft, and Craig Wolf who have contributed many hours to this project over the last several years. Mr. Shelley patiently re-worked the graphics as the group created, modified, and re-modified various symbols throughout the document.

A canvass or draft document is a proposal distributed among members of the profession for comment and input. What is available through this article and on the USITT website is a draft that the Commission hopes will be adopted as it appears in Revision 3.

However, before the draft can be adopted into an official standard/recommended practice, there is another opportunity for public comment and input.

Public comment is sought through two channels. Some individuals are approached directly for their input/response, and the draft is distributed through a general survey of membership through avenues such as Sightlines and the USITT website. The canvass has actually been posted on the web for nearly a month and some comments have already been received.

The mailing to the previously selected canvass list of professionals went out in late August. Those who wish to respond to the canvass, should provide comments through completing and returning the official ballot.

Some issues may have been addressed through prior canvasses of the project, and the committee may have already formed a consensus regarding this issue. Therefore, there is a link to a document relating to comments, discussions, and material dealt with in prior versions of the draft. By using this document, respondents can avoid making comments relating to issues already resolved.

It is important item to keep in mind is that the standard is not going to address every specific concern of each designer, electrician, or other lighting professional. The purpose is to establish general practices that work across the industry. For example, the standard will only designate a luminaire by approximate beam angle rather than by specific beam angle, focal length, or manufacturer, etc.

The final deadline for accepting public comments for the canvass is 5 p.m. EST November 30, 2004. Shortly after that, the committee will respond to the collected comments and, barring the need for any major revisions, the new standard will be established.

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An image from the proposed Lighting Graphic Standard is shown above. Now under review, the standard includes a number of instruments. Information on the revised draft and a ballot on the document (PDF) are available on the Standards area of the USITT web site.