Many would remember Theatres and Productions that employed cue lights as one of the primary methods of communication between a stage manager and other members of the production team.
When wireless voice communications systems were uncommon rather than the norm, cue lights were often used to communicate with performers, flymen or conductors when to ‘standby’ and ‘go’.
These days the use of cue lights in production environments is less common, but when a stage manager needs to give a cue to someone who may be in camera shot and who cannot wear a headset, or where audible communications may not be reliable due to excessive noise, then a cue light system may be a good alternative.
Such was the case in the Ceremonies for the recent Baku Games where the stage management team identified a requirement to cue a large number of performers emerging from trapdoors all over the stage area. The construction of the stage meant it would be difficult to get stage managers close to each of the performers to cue them accurately so the team included a comprehensive cue light system in the Ceremonies Communications package.
“Our entire comm’s package is IP network centric so we are always on the lookout for theatre technology that operates in a networked environment. All of our intercom systems, cameras and timecode displays operate over an IP backbone” commented Chris Dodds, Managing Director of The P.A. People. “When we saw the documents for Baku, I immediately recalled seeing a cue light system at a trade show a few years earlier which I knew would fit the bill. We contacted the guys from GDS in the UK and were delighted to learn that they had just released a new IP endpoint for their CueSystem. We are very pleased to have added CueSpider’s and various controllers to our Event Comms inventory”.
The GDS CueSystem is able to be configured and operated either from a traditional set of push buttons for basic ‘standby’ and ‘go’ functionality, or from a fully featured playback controller replaying predefined cues, or from a comprehensive touch screen enabled computer interface, or a combination of all three, and is available for short or long term rental from The P.A. People now.