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Old May 27th, 2003, 01:44 AM   #1
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My New Arri Kit - some questions

Just got my new Arri D1 fresnel kit. I've been playing around with the lights for the past two days and I love the quality of the light. These lights are great! I've run into a few problems here though...perhaps Ken or someone who owns Arri fresnels could help me out.

I am VERY new to all this lighting, so my questions might sound basic.

1. The Chimera Lightbank. Ok, here is something that is confusing me. I was able to assemble the lightbank correctly, but it comes with two pieces of cloth like material I assume goes in front of the Chimera. Yet, these two pieces of cloth are much shorter than the width and height of the box, and they don't fit. ie, they don't cover the entire front of the box, and light spills everywhere. Also, one of the cloth pieces is even smaller and has velcro strips that don't seem to fit anywhere on the Chimera. The instruction are confusing on this.

2. The Scrims. OK each light came with two scrims. They each came with a metal ring. No instructions here. I can't for the life of me figure out what the purpose of the metal ring is. It doesn't seem to fit anywhere on the lights, not even in front or behind whatever scrim I put next to it. Also, whenever I attach a scrim to the lights in front of the lens, the wire on the scrims starts smoking. Um...is this normal? ;)

3. The ceiling scissor. As far as I'm concerned, this is just a strange piece of metal. I have no idea how to use it and there are no instructions for mounting your lights on the ceiling with this. Can someone clue me in here?

thanks in advance.
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Old May 27th, 2003, 02:09 AM   #2
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Did you put the scrims in the barndoor? They shouldn't be smoking if put there. Sorry don't know about the rest on top of my head.
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Old May 27th, 2003, 02:34 AM   #3
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Brad,
Congratulations on your new Arri lights! I'm no pro, but I think I can offer some answers.

1. The white sheeting for the Chimera is the diffusing material that creates the soft look. The sheets don't fit over the entire front of the box but, rather, a bit down inside the cone of the unit, with the outer edges of the box itself acting to contain the light spill just a bit. The smaller piece fits deeper and is meant to provide a slightly narrower field of light than the larger piece which mounts further out. I think you'll find the Velcro mates in the assembled box to make these work.

2. New scrims will, indeed, smoke a bit when first used. This is normal and is just residual manufacturing oil and grease burning off of the wire mesh. It should subside after the first sustained use.

If I am correctly interpreting your question concerning the "metal ring", it should be a gel holder frame. If you look closely I think you'll discover that it's actually hinged. You can use it to hold a lighting gel or cookie. It mounts in the same bracket as the scrims. Be sure to secure the bracket with the spring-loaded clip at the top of each light.

3. The exact use of the "ceiling scissor" is a bit of a mystery to me, too. I believe that it's indended to somehow enable mounting of a light on an overhead frame, perhaps in a studio.

I hope this helps.
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Old May 27th, 2003, 03:24 AM   #4
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awesome. Thanks Akos and Ken. Ken, you're right about the Chimera. I don't know why I didn't think of that. Your response about the scrims makes sense to me. Thanks for that. I love the quality of the lights. I noticed they are quite strong! I bought some frost diffusion and that has a nice effect. I'm reading Ross Lowel's book right now. Hopefully I can learn something before I have to shoot in two weeks. :)
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Old May 27th, 2003, 09:09 PM   #5
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Brad, to add to Ken's comments (which are, as usual, dead on):

The scissor clip is used to attach the lights to a drop ceiling (such as you'd find in most offices). Rotate the spud (the pin section) to loosen the assembly, and spread the end out like an "x". Then, maneuver the clip around one of the metal crosspieces on the drop ceiling and squeeze it closed so that the clip is surrounding the crosspiece. Rotate the spud the other way to tighten, then hang the light off the spud. You should have a safety cable either on the light or loose in the case, make sure to wrap that around the crosspiece in the ceiling in case the light falls out of the clip.

It's a very handy way to get your backlights up and out of the shot.
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Old May 27th, 2003, 09:11 PM   #6
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In the interest of disclosure, I should point out that I once set a ceiling panel on fire using one of these clips!!! You won't have any such concerns with your Arri's, but I thought (at the time) that it would be a great idea to hang a Lowel Tota light off the ceiling spud, facing up into the ceiling as a bounce. Well, it worked great from a lighting standpoint, but the heat was too concentrated and it burnt the ceiling tile. So, uh, don't do that!
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Old May 27th, 2003, 11:06 PM   #7
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thanks for the advise about the scissor clip Charles. I'll keep that in mind for future reference. . Unfortunately the area I am shooting in right now will be just a regular apartment with a plain flat ceiling...nothing to attach this clip to. Do you know any ghetto ways to attach a light to a flat ceiling like that? :-)
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Old May 28th, 2003, 12:56 AM   #8
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Also, Brad, the double diffusion is an option. If you need a bit more punch from the Chimera, use only the outer diffusion. Two layers makes a softer look.

Hey Charles, I can top your story. A few years ago I was doing a shoot with Cher at her house in Malibu, featuring a motorcycle. Unbelievably, she suggested we bring the bike into the house. I said, no, let's do it in the garage and I'll whip something together to make it look good.

So, we set everything up, fire up the lights, call Cher into the garage, and pow! The lights set off the sprinklers that were recessed into the ceiling. Instant monsoon. Grab the camera, HMI's, motorcycle, and here comes the Malibu Fire Department. Cher, of course is laughing her ass off, while I'm dying.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 09:14 AM   #9
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The metal ring gel holders that come with the Arri kit will help you waste a lot of gel sheets because they put the gel so close to the lens and you "burn" it -- that is, fade the color out of the gel -- rather quickly.

I put the barn doors on the instrument and the use c-47s (aka clothes pins) to clip a 12x12 sheet of gel to the barndoors. Don't have to cut the gel this way and it lasts longer. You can also do this with baking parchment as a quick defuser to match the lightbank.

Be sure to use wooden clothes pins -- plastic won't take the heat.
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Old June 13th, 2003, 10:20 AM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Wayne Orr :
So, we set everything up, fire up the lights, call Cher into the garage, and pow! The lights set off the sprinklers that were recessed into the ceiling. Instant monsoon. Grab the camera, HMI's, motorcycle, and here comes the Malibu Fire Department. Cher, of course is laughing her ass off, while I'm dying. -->>>

So she wasn't pissed? Cool chick!
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