It’s one of the best-kept secrets in the armory of American lighting designers: the SC Johnson Ziploc® Easy Zipper gallon-sized freezer bag. Now, this "essential" lighting tool is available from White Light in the UK, thanks to the arrival of The Producers on the West End and some fast grocery shopping by Gary Fails of City Theatrical.
"It’s remarkable, given the huge range of frosts now available from the various color manufacturers, but many Broadway LDs use the ‘baggie,’ a plastic freezer bag, as a frost to give a gentle soft-edge to their followspots," comments White Light hire and technical director Dave Isherwood.
For the lighting design of The Producers at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Peter Kaczorowski is using the freezer bags in front of Lycian 3K followspots. When Kaczorowski’s original supply of freezer bags brought by the American creative team ran out, the city of London seemed to be at a loss for the proper freezer bag brand.
Unable to source the exact type of freezer bag required in the UK, Isherwood got in touch with industry colleague Gary Fails at City Theatrical in New York. Fails’ replied immediately with an offer to "wander the plastic bag aisle of Shop-Rite and get some off to you tomorrow." Fails was as good as his word: the correct freezer bags were located and dispatched to White Light in London, and then on to The Producers’ ongoing sold-out run on the West End.
"We are, of course, now in Gary’s debt, and on standby to pop down to the grocery store for any weird UK stuff that he might need," Isherwood says. Mushy peas, anyone?