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Old August 1st, 2007, 03:06 PM   #1
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Lighting a bar with homemade light kit?

I am shooting my first "semi-pro" short film at a local bar. My lighting guy has bailed on me and currently the other contacts I have, haven't returned my calls so it looks like I'm going to spending more cash. However my funds are limited and I'm looking to make a decent kit that will be able to light this bar. I live right down the road from Lowes so my selection is not that limited. Does anyone have any recommendations on which lights I should purchase? I also have the resources to fabricate barnyard doors to them.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 03:42 PM   #2
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YOur money might be better spent renting a good kit from a rental house if there is one available? Quality lights and grip supplies can pay for themselves in time saved. The important thing is to make this film look as good as possible no?

If you CAN'T rent a kit, then you'll have to assemble one piecemeal. Again, take a look at EBAY as well - you might be able to buy at least one decent intrument/softbox for the price of trying to cobble one together.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 03:46 PM   #3
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There are no places to rent from around here that i'm aware of. I live about an hour from Raleigh.

As far as Ebay, what do you reccomend me searching for? I am very new to lighting, I know some brand names but thats about it. Total n00b.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 04:03 PM   #4
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Travis,

I'm not sure what "semi-pro" implies, so forgive the shotgun approach.

If you have a budget, Google "Grip Electric Raleigh" and you'll find at least a half-dozen places that rent equipment. Many of them service the entire state of NC. A few phone calls will help you figure out which company would be the best fit for your project. I don't know if your film commission is any good, but that might be another source of information.

If you don't have a budget, you could ask the film commission folks about school programs in your area. Sometimes you can find free equipment and free help. How cool is that? You should also read the sticky thread at the top of this forum for ideas and do some searching on these forums. I know of several films that have been lit with china balls and clamp lights. And don't forget that free, super useful, light source called the sun. Even for interiors.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 04:28 PM   #5
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Travis,

As someone in a very similar situation as yourself i can see exactly where you're coming from. I'm from Cary, and help run a little company called 5 Point Productions here. We come from a post-production background primarily, so lighting is pretty new to us as well.

Depending on the size of the bar, you very well may be able to get away with clamp worklights with an assortment of flood and spot bulbs. Get a good selection of gels, diffusion paper and clips to have some control, and maybe even some dimmers you can plug the lights into for some additional control. Combine that with a bunch of extensions cords ("stingers", apparently), and some good reflecting material, and you should be good to go. Of course it helps to have some higher powered tungsten lights or something, but if you're absolutely on a non-existent budget there's not a whole lot you can do.

Try using the sunlight if there is any - a bar isn't probably the best for this.

But basically (and please, i'm no expert) the goal is to separate your subject from the background, and to "sculpt" the subject to give it some 3-dimensionality. If that makes any sense. If it does, take that one sentence and stretch it as far as you can... again, there's probably a whole lot more to it than that, i too am still learning.

I hope this helps - feel free to ask any other questions if you feel you can benefit from it...

Thanks
Dale
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 01:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses.

Quote:
I'm not sure what "semi-pro" implies, so forgive the shotgun approach.
Not a problem. What I meant was that this is my first project using actual actors and permitted locations with all of my equipment and a crew. It's not professional but its not amateur....if ya catch my drift.

Quote:
If you have a budget, Google "Grip Electric Raleigh" and you'll find at least a half-dozen places that rent equipment. Many of them service the entire state of NC.
Trying to be as cheap as possible. I need lights but don't have the amount of cash they're looking for.

Quote:
If you don't have a budget, you could ask the film commission folks about school programs in your area. Sometimes you can find free equipment and free help.
I've checked with the local community college and the only person available for it is a current student. The only student that I know was our original lighting guy and he bailed on us, thats why i'm looking. The other school in question hardly has lights available as people are always using the kits for weekend projects.


So right now I'm wondering what is the cheapest light kit that I could buy, not something from a home supply store but actual lights? With that I can check my budget and possibly seek donations if anything because thats the only way i'd be able to get anything.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 06:47 AM   #7
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My opinion is that you can use cheap lights as long as you get those that attach to 5/8" "baby pin" stands. If they don't attach to standard light stands, they are going to be a pain to use.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._500W_12_.html

I have one of these lights that I screwed in a 40W compact fluorescent and it is pretty handy. I got the two-leaf barn doors and it is actually useful as it has some control and can go rather soft if I put diffusion gel on the barn doors. I consider this the bare minimum light that you could use. I got mine for about $60 used with barn doors. The barn doors were a separate item in an online auction from the light. The SV lights have similar reflectors so their 12" or 10" barn doors work with any of their lights of the same size. The 500W lamp that is intended for these lights gets very hot, so I never use anything but the fluorescents. The 12" lights are actually large enough to use a Y-adapter and two lamps, but that creates a double shadow so diffusion gel is a must.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 04:09 PM   #8
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I was thinking of using some of these with some fabricated barnyard doors attached to them if needed.

http://www.lonestardigital.com/acces...dio_Lights.jpg
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Old August 9th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #9
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I sent you an email. Maybe I can help . . .

Chris
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Old August 9th, 2007, 07:46 PM   #10
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The worklights are well known DIY solution and many use them everyday.

Here's a free barndoor template from my site if it'll help you.

http://www.coollights.biz/free-clbd4...late-p-48.html

Just right click on the link near the end of the paragraph and choose the Save As function in the menu to save it on your hard drive.

And here's a video with directions for how to attach it:

http://www.coollights.biz/wordpress/archives/21

We also have the barndoor kits for sale too if you're in a hurry.

http://www.coollights.biz/clbd4-halo...door-p-36.html

Hope this helps.
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Last edited by Richard Andrewski; August 10th, 2007 at 12:30 AM.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 01:17 PM   #11
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Great site you've got there Richard! Thanks for the link and the advice. Looks like I'm going to be visiting Lowes this weekend.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
Great site you've got there Richard! Thanks for the link and the advice. Looks like I'm going to be visiting Lowes this weekend.
Yes, Lowes and Home Depot are likely to be your friend a lot during this job. You can get everything you need there for a DIY effort like this including the materials for the barndoor kit. I used 8"x8" squares of 32 gauge sheet metal (which were just the perfect size and only required minor cutting with metal shears) I found in the roofing department of Home Depot but you can use other sheet metal too and actually something more like 24 gauge is preferred for long lasting and durability's sake.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 03:34 PM   #13
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Alright well good news for me and my production company I'm working with. A acquaintance of mine has given me a $200 donation to help with my DIY lighting kit. Consulting with some people in the company along with some close friends that work as grips as to what to get. Any advice from you guys/gals as to piecing together the kit?
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