Monday, May 31, 2010

My email to Selecon

I’ve been working at a theater with Selecon fixtures for the past few years, and I’m writing to offer some criticism and suggestions.

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We have Selecon Pacific zooms and 7” Rama fresnels.



The zooms have a great output and a great cooling system, but are unwieldy and tend to fall apart. The red or blue plastic pieces on the endcaps tend to be mistaken for handles by people used to working with Source Fours and Altmans, and are often picked up by these non-handles and broken, resulting in a lot of not-so-safe black-tacked endcaps in the grid. The end caps are also difficult to seat correctly for someone not accustomed to them (and most technicians in NYC are not accustomed to them). The gel clips are unnecessarily difficult, and the shutters fall out and will not go back in. Most of our zooms have only 3 shutters at this point. Granted, they are about 10 years old, but we have 30-year-old Altmans that are easier to repair. The focus knobs on the side get really tight sometimes and can cause hand injuries when they are finally loosened. I think this is due to the shape, where one side is longer than the other.



Our Rama fresnels are new as of last summer, and already metal pieces are falling off of them (usually breaking off of the dials) without provocation. We don’t use the safety cables that came attached, because they are quicklink and not carabiner, which is simply annoying. The “quick-focus” attachments for these units are sitting in boxes collecting dust somewhere, because they were too difficult to attach, and made little sense when the rest of our units have traditional c-clamps and require wrenches anyway. Good idea in theory, but they just weren’t worth taking the time to figure out. If they had come pre-assembled, we may have been able to use them. Again, these have great output, but the only 1k lamps that work in them die after only 250 hours. We will be switching to 750w next season to save money, but it will be disappointing to have a system that is not as bright.



Nobody I know enjoys working with these units, and I think if you made changes to address these issues, you may find more buyers in the states. I know this is easier said than done, but I wanted to put in my two cents.

3 comments:

Liz said...

I can't wait until the update to follow this entry, regarding what happens when they come to the theater! Although actually, i'd love to be there in person!!!

-lj

Anonymous said...

AND DON'T FORGET THE SPARKLY MIRRORS!

TL said...

Did Selecon ever get back to you after your e-mail?

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About Me

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New York, New York, United States
Tired. Caffeinated. Quietly evil.

I'm a theatre technician, living and working in NYC. Also an aspiring costumer, makeup artist, playwright and dilettante.
I like to rant about things, I swear like a person who swears a lot, and I work too much. Other than that, my time is spent at home with the puppy or in Chelsea bars with friends and co-workers.