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Old November 17th, 2007, 12:06 PM   #16
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The problem isn't just lighting instruments themselves, although they
are expensive (one ETC source 4 Leko is about $300.00), there
are other things you must have such as cables, pipe clamps and
other hardware such as gel frames, safety cables
and connectors. Then there is the time to make
all the above into a workable kit. Then, do you want to turn the
lights on and off? You'll need dimmer racks and a P.D.
(Power distrubtion) system. Basically that's a way to tap into
BIG power. Then a lighting board, DMX wire, more connectors, and
on and on and on.

I would try and find someone who has a lighting kit and try to get
them to do this gig for you. If things work out, maybe you can
team up with them and provide the camera services while they do
the lighting.
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Old November 17th, 2007, 10:13 PM   #17
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I do not need theatrical lights. This is a small dancer show. A few models on a small stage, not Carnegie Hall.

Thanks to all that chimed in.
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Old November 17th, 2007, 10:19 PM   #18
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i also do only theater/ studio shots, and go with all the other postings here.

take the 500 and rent a theater for a night incl the light technician.
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Old November 17th, 2007, 11:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim Swift View Post
I do not need theatrical lights. This is a small dancer show. A few models on a small stage, not Carnegie Hall.

Thanks to all that chimed in.
Hire an experienced lighting technician/gaffer to light this the best that you can with the budget that you have. You are wasting time and money trying to buy lights from Home Depot or wherever.

Most lighting techs will have the lights to do what you can afford.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 12:35 AM   #20
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Kim,

I think you'd get a lot more relevant advice if you'd just tell us a few little details.

For example, how many people, how large a stage area, height of the ceiling, a little better description of the stage setting, ie just a bare stage with a few people moving about, whether they're leaping 12 feet into the air or just kind of standing there, how far they're moving about, backdrops that need to be seen or just a darkish wall, whether it's formal ie the audience would object to a bunch of light stands if they could see them, or informal, ie if there were a couple of light stands off to the sides it would still be cool with the audience, or in fact whether there is an audience or not, whether there's a need to be artistic or if just seeing the performers clearly would be enough, what kind of lighting is already there (if any) whether the walls and ceiling are dark or light colored enough to reflect some useful light, etc etc etc.

Without some way of bounding the problem, people will answer from the perspective of their own experience, and if their experience is lighting Broadway extravaganzas or the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, then you're going to get pretty high end estimates.

I get the feeling that you're frustrated by the answers you're getting, but without a better definition of the problem I don't see any way you could hope for anything better than what you're getting.

Just my worthless opinion.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 02:49 PM   #21
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Hi Jim,

I honestly don't know all of the answers. All I know is I am going to shoot some dancers/models at a show on Saturday night. The event will be held at a club with a stage. I know there will be apptox 8 to 10 dancers/models.

They expect approx 100-150 attendees.

I'm guessing this will be somewhat in the neighborhood of a dance recital, but it's held at night and the dancers are adults.

So, I dont need to rent a studio or hire a lighting technician. I am sure not many did when they lit their first evening, very low light event.

I was simply asking for usable suggestions for lighting.

If others use $10,000.00 lighting systems, that's great. I can not, at this time afford that.

So, if anyone has any suggestions for some affordable lights for a first time dance show shooting, I'd like to hear them. Again, I am not interested in hiring a lighting director or renting a venue. I am hired to shoot this and the pay is approx. $500.00, of which I was hoping to use to buy some lights.

Any suggestions for me, Jim?
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Old November 18th, 2007, 05:59 PM   #22
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Buy two Lowel DP light ($170 ea.) 2 light stands ($60 ea) plus some extension cords and some gaffer tape to secure the electrical cords to the floor. If you have anything leftover add barn doors for the lights ($70 ea.) and some diffusion gel. Fill two gym or any bags with rocks or anything heavy, tie the bags to the bottom of the stand for stability and pray that nobody gets hurt. It will not be a professional lighting job but for $500 is much more that they deserve.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 06:00 PM   #23
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Well if there's an audience then presumably they already have some kind of lighting. Depending on your camera, that might be all you need. Can you do a test shoot there on another night? That might give you an idea which way to go.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 06:32 PM   #24
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Thanks guys! I think I can use Nino Giannotti's advice!
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Old November 18th, 2007, 10:24 PM   #25
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secure the stand with sand bags, or even better with a person right next to the stands. hide and tape all the cables. hopefully the circuits are not overloaded. take spare bulps.
do you have liability insurance? is there an rehearsal?

follow ninos advise ....pray....lol .
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Old November 18th, 2007, 11:35 PM   #26
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Kim, besides your lights, are there any other lights available? If not "stage lights" what about the "worklights" that most any stage has? They might give you some extra fill. Just beware that top lights can give talent "racoon eyes", making the eye sockets look darker. Possibly som diffusion could lessen that effect.

Also, if you have 'wings', (if there are areas of the stage off to the sides that are hidden from the audiences' view by curtains or by the structure itself), you could add some cheap worklights and use them as sidelights. Very common to dance as they emphasize the outer shapes of the dancers. Usually these lights are frome 1' to 5' off the ground, so worklights and their short stands, could be used. $20 or so at Home Depot.

Lastly, in regards to Nino's buying Lowell DPs suggestion. If you do get Lowell DP's, especially if they are using 1,000 watt lamps, you need to check out the circuits at the venue. Theoretically, you could put to 1,000 watt lamps on a 20 amp circuit. (amps x volts = watts). But a fully loaded circuit is really dicey. So should probably find 2 separate, and relatively unused, circuits to plug into. If you have the time, go to the venue when it's quiet and if there is a house tech, ask for circuits you can use. The house techs are usually helpful because they don't want you blowing their circuits.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 01:40 AM   #27
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I use Lowell Omni and Tota lights as a portable lighting system any time I have to set up my own lights. The Omni lights can come with 500w lamps. Most circuit can handle two of these lights. Make sure you're not on the same circuit as the band's amplifier. Use them with the barn doors to limit stray light.

If the stage is small and the lights are fairly close, you can use diffusion paper with the lights. Test with you camera before hand.

Set up the lights from outside the perimeter of the stage, avoiding lighting directly from the front. (Left light to light right side of the stage, right light to light up the left side of the stage. This will reduce hot spots and shadows and avoid blinding the talent. If possible, manually set your camera iris based on the brightest light bouncing off the talents' faces. This will avoid washing out the talents faces because of hot spots.

If you're staying in the business, the Lowell Omni & Tota lights are easy to carry and set up and you will get many years of use out of them. They can be quickly configured for almost any event. This is a solid investment. I would also suggest getting the tallest tripods you can afford. Height is nice.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 11:45 AM   #28
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Three 500W worklights should be just fine (with or without heat-resistant diffusion, depending on what intensity you need)
I'm not experienced in fancy set-ups, but I'm pretty experienced when it comes to quick and cheap ;) ...the customer gets what they want, and if they want cheap, then cheap it is...

The main problem would be to position the lights. Can you reach the ceiling with a ladder? Are you allowed to drill holes into the ceiling? If so, you could fix the worklights there with some installation equipment from home depot. On the other hand, if you do such an installation on your own then you should be aware that worklights pose a fire-risk and you could be liable when the whole club burns down...
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