Follow Spot – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Concert Lighting and Stage Effects Glossary

I. What is a Follow Spot?

A follow spot is a powerful lighting instrument used in the entertainment industry to highlight performers on stage. It is typically a large, high-intensity spotlight that can be manually operated to track the movement of a performer as they move around the stage. Follow spots are commonly used in concerts, theater productions, and other live events to draw attention to specific performers or key moments in a performance.

II. How is a Follow Spot used in Concert Lighting?

In concert lighting, follow spots are essential for creating dramatic effects and highlighting key performers on stage. The follow spot operator manually controls the direction, intensity, and color of the light beam to track the movements of the performer. This helps to create a dynamic and visually engaging performance for the audience. Follow spots are often used during solos, key moments in a song, or to create a dramatic entrance or exit for a performer.

III. What are the Different Types of Follow Spots?

There are several different types of follow spots available, each with its own unique features and capabilities. Some common types of follow spots include:

1. Traditional Follow Spot: These follow spots are manually operated by a follow spot operator who controls the movement, intensity, and color of the light beam.

2. Automated Follow Spot: These follow spots are controlled remotely using a computerized system, allowing for more precise and automated tracking of performers on stage.

3. LED Follow Spot: These follow spots use LED technology to produce a bright and energy-efficient light beam, making them ideal for environmentally conscious productions.

4. Moving Head Follow Spot: These follow spots are mounted on a moving head fixture, allowing for greater flexibility and movement during a performance.

IV. What are the Key Features of a Follow Spot?

Some key features of a follow spot include:

1. Intensity Control: Follow spots typically have a dimmer control that allows the operator to adjust the intensity of the light beam.

2. Color Control: Follow spots often have color filters that can be used to change the color of the light beam to create different moods or effects.

3. Focus Control: Follow spots have a focus control that allows the operator to adjust the size and sharpness of the light beam.

4. Pan and Tilt Controls: Follow spots can be manually panned and tilted to track the movement of performers on stage.

V. How to Properly Operate a Follow Spot?

Operating a follow spot requires skill and precision to effectively track performers on stage. Some tips for properly operating a follow spot include:

1. Familiarize yourself with the controls and features of the follow spot before the performance.

2. Practice tracking performers during rehearsals to ensure smooth and accurate movements during the performance.

3. Communicate with the lighting designer and performers to coordinate lighting cues and movements.

4. Pay attention to the timing and pacing of the performance to ensure that the follow spot is in the right place at the right time.

VI. What are the Benefits of Using a Follow Spot in Concert Lighting?

Using a follow spot in concert lighting offers several benefits, including:

1. Highlighting Key Performers: Follow spots help to draw attention to key performers on stage, creating a focal point for the audience.

2. Creating Dramatic Effects: Follow spots can be used to create dramatic lighting effects, such as silhouettes or spotlights, to enhance the visual impact of a performance.

3. Enhancing Visual Appeal: Follow spots add depth and dimension to a performance, making it more visually engaging for the audience.

4. Adding Flexibility: Follow spots offer flexibility in lighting design, allowing for dynamic and creative lighting effects to enhance the overall production.

In conclusion, follow spots are an essential tool in concert lighting, providing a powerful and versatile lighting solution for highlighting performers on stage. By understanding the different types of follow spots, key features, and proper operating techniques, lighting professionals can effectively use follow spots to enhance the visual impact of live performances.