Julie’s Behind-the-Scenes Blog

Installing Vines of Light in Stonover Farm’s Weeping Willow Trees

Posted by on August 12, 2016 in Special Events, Tools and Methods, Weddings | 0 comments

Julie Seitel in 65 foot Boom Lift at Stonover FarmStonover Farm’s two giant weeping willow trees create a gorgeous visual focal point for the duck pond area of the property.  For my recent clients Josh and Emily I upped the wow factor of these trees by installing dangling vines of twinkle lights throughout their branches.

Vines of light in Stonover willow trees by Seitel Lighting LLC

I used a Genie S-65 boom lift from NES Rentals in springfield to do the installation.  It’s a four-wheel-drive self-propelled diesel lift with a telescoping boom that extends to a max of 65 feet.  The articulating jib can pan, raise/lower, and tilt the bucket relative to the mast.

Julie in S65 boom lift jsfw

Read the rest of this post to see more action shots from the installation, and a night photo of the illuminated trees…

Experimenting with my new LED PARs

Posted by on July 23, 2016 in Special Events, Tools and Methods, Weddings | 0 comments

LED technology as applied to stage lighting fixtures has finally gotten just good enough that if one invests in fairly high-end equipment, one can get LED fixtures that actually mix some pretty natural-looking warm whites and lovely light pastels…

Seitel Lighting LED PARs illuminate a sailcloth tent

…in addition to the impressive saturated colors that almost all LED fixtures can produce.

tournado multicolor design

Sailcloth tent lighting by Seitel Lighting LLC
Read the rest of this post to see more photos of dramatic sailcloth tent lighting with LED PARs…

Custom Muslin Curtains at Stonover Farm

Posted by on July 23, 2016 in Special Events, Tools and Methods, Weddings | 0 comments

The muslin curtain panels that I built in my studio this spring had their debut at Stonover Farm at a recent early summer wedding:
Custom muslin curtains by Seitel Lighting LLC

The barn doors and transom window above are about fourteen feet tall, but I built the curtain panels at sixteen feet tall to allow enough extra fabric to drape the curtains open and pool them attractively on the barn floor to frame the doorway nicely.  The greenery tiebacks are by Michaela Hogarty of Days of May Florals.
Read the rest of this post to learn more about custom curtains by Seitel Lighting…

Meeting Clients in my Studio

Posted by on April 10, 2016 in Weddings | 0 comments

My 2016 clients Emily and Josh and their parents came to my studio this morning to go over revised layout drawings, see a sample of the hanging vines of light that I’m planning for some outdoor trees for them, and check out some possibilities for chalkboard signs.
Meeting with clients in Seitel Lighting LLC studio in North AdamsThank you to Josh’s mom for snapping a few photos for me!

Client meeting in my Eclipse Mill studio

Me and My Skyjack

Posted by on March 28, 2016 in Tools and Methods | 0 comments

So nice to have a decent ride….


Julie Seitel in Skyjack 4WD Scissorlift

Building Custom Curtains for Stonover Barn

Posted by on March 27, 2016 in Theatre, Tools and Methods, Weddings | 0 comments

Grommeting the top edge

I’ve got an upcoming wedding this season for which my client requested ivory-colored curtains to frame and decorate the rustic sliding barn door entrance into the big barn at Stonover Farm, similar to the curtains pictured here, but in a different fabric. Though I specialize in lighting design, my technical theatre skills do include soft goods construction and rigging know-how, so I gladly took it on.

Stonover Barn viewed through burlap curtains

Read more about building custom curtains for Stonover Barn…

Field Angle Math

Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Theatre, Tools and Methods | 0 comments

Field angle math: A lighting designer’s vital tool.  It’s how one decides what fixture is the right instrument for the job, and where to put it.   Sometimes I sketch out a drawing for just a single fixture, perhaps to illustrate the idea for the actors and directors who won’t have the real light to work with until tech rehearsal:


Simple elevation sketch showing the shaft of light through a window

Copyright Julie Seitel



..And sometimes I sketch out every system in the show on a single drawing:


Field angle math for Omnium Gatherum

Field angle math for lighting systems in Omnium Gatherum. Copyright Julie Seitel.


I prefer this method to the old yellow-trace-paper-overlays.  Yes, I know, I just dated myself bigtime. And yes, I do sometimes do it with VectorWorks… but I get a lot out of the mental process that goes with physically drawing the whole line, versus just clicking endpoint locations.  It makes me really think about the beam edges and shuttercuts.

Creating Renderings with SketchUp

Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Tools and Methods | 0 comments

During the early stages of the design process I often create a virtual 3D model to help my clients visualize what the space for their celebration will look and feel like.  Here’s a model for a wedding reception I recently designed, which took place in a small tent filled with white paper lanterns:


Sketchup model of the tent: View 1
Read the rest of this post and see more screenshots from my 3D models…

How do I get up there?

Posted by on October 27, 2012 in Tools and Methods | 0 comments

I like to show off the height of the spaces I light by installing elements quite high up in tents and barns.  Guests at the weddings I light often ask me how I manage to get up that high.  Usually, the answer is: I rent a self-propelled scissorlift.

Here I am using a scissorlift to install aircraft cable rigging up high at Stonover Barn.  The aircraft cable provides infrastructure between the barn’s columns and beams so that I can suspend lighting elements in the wide open spaces.

Julie installing rigging in Stonover barn
Read the rest of this post if you’re interested in scissorlifts…

Remember hand drafting?

Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Tools and Methods | 0 comments

Seitel Hand-Drafted Light PlotAhhh… the old days.  We drafted by hand.  We coveted style and individuality as much as we worshipped clarity and accuracy. We tried not to drip sweat on the vellum while cranking out plates during NYC heat waves.  We lettered, erased, and re-lettered until the spacing was just right.  Our giant drafting tables, spiroliner parallel rules, and koh-i-noor mechanical drafting pencils (.3, .5, .7, and .9) were our trustworthy and loyal tools. Our triangles glided smoothly across our drawings, hovering above the surface via the magic of eraser dust until we gently pressed them down onto the page and made our marks.  Crosshatching MEANT something, dammit!  We drew every line!  None of this “Click… done!”  Pah.  Mmfph.