Anecdote: This checklist was created while putting together the setup for an outdoor stage that would be used for 6 weeks. 5 lighting & sound interns including myself worked together for the better part of an entire morning making sure we got everything on this list.
|Image from Disney's "Tarzan", 1999|
Nothing like having your jungle man tell you what's what.
You'll have received the paperwork (channel hookup, instrument schedule, gel cut list, etc.) from your LD. Compare these against each other to make sure they all line up. Does the instrument schedule stay Unit 1 gets a cut of R39, but the channel hookup says R339? Make a note to ask about it. Check all the channels to unit numbers, dimmers, gel colors, and every last element that's included there.
Then, the Plot
What do you need to make it work?
Compare and contrast the paperwork to the plot. Mark anything that doesn't add up.
Cable? Socapex? Feeder cable? 2-fers? Adapters?
Pipes/Truss/Additional rigging positions?
Gel frames? Gobo holders? WHAT SIZE?
Barn doors? Top Hats? Half hats?
C-clamps? T-bars? Cheeseboros?
Include general notes with your order when you contact the rental place.
ex. "All lighting fixtures to be equipped with 3-pin stage connector, c-clamp, and safety chain."
Take the tech table/booth into consideration, too. You'll need power there, protection from harsh weather, headsets, console & monitor, and some lighting to see your script & console by.
Consider everyone who needs power. Lights, sound, SM, video, hazer positions, LED and moving light positions, etc.
To find out exactly how much cable you're going to need, use a piece of string cut to scale, and mark out 20ft, 10ft, and 5ft on it. Hold one end of the string to a fixture drawn on the plot, and use it to find its way back to the power distributor. This will give you the length of every cable that will be laid out to power your lights. (See figure below!)
Bring your notes to the LD all in one batch to prevent bothering the LD with 5000 phone calls for 5000 questions.