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Old July 20th, 2004, 12:09 PM   #1
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DV Creator Kit 55, enough light for night shoots?

Hi,
I'm planning to shoot a 10minute thriller which mainly revolves around a couple driving on an isolated highway and I was wondering if this kit is good enough for night shooting?

http://www.lowel.com/kits/DVpro55.html

Lastly, anyone have any recommendations on a generator? Perhaps the 5000W Honda generator?

I plan to shoot on the DVX100. Thanks for any advice.
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Old July 20th, 2004, 07:25 PM   #2
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I saw a Coleman 5500 generator at Costco the other day for $499. Seemed like a good deal.

The DV Creator 5 looks like a good kit, but if you could through on an extra 1k and/or 500, that would be good. For a cheap 1k, you can find a Lowel D (not DP) light on eBay for under $100 usually. The more light, the better.

My 2 cents
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Old July 20th, 2004, 09:36 PM   #3
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First, let me admit my prejudice: I am no fan of Lowel lights. OK, now we have that out of the way.

Second, you need to think what you want this project to look like. For instance, where is the light coming from? Isolated highway, dead of night, equals no light source. About all you would have would be headlights illuminating the highway, or whatever they point at. Then there would be light from the instrument panel in the car interior. Plus the accessory lights in the roof when you open the doors, or turn them on. Then maybe you have flashlights for your couple. None of these lights make sense with the kit you are looking at. First, most of the units in the kit will have a hard time imitating the look of the actual lights I just described. And they will be difficult to rig in the car interior. The best lights for car interiors are small fluorescents, such as Kino Flos. Check out 12 volt systems http://www.kinoflo.com/site_map/12v_systms/001.html
Think rental instead of purchase. These lights are great, and easy to stick up in car interiors. Add in one or two larger units, and you are good to go. You can actually drive the car with the lights on, since you won't be tethered to a generator. A very noisy generator. You will very likely end up looping all your dialogue if you use a consumer generator. You can rent Kino Flo battery sources where you rent the lights.

If you can't get Kino Flo lights, there are small fluorescents available at your Home Depot that you can use with an inverter attached to a car battery. That would be an extra battery, not the car's working battery.

That's enough to get you started. You might also consider shooting all exteriors of the car driving along the highway while there is still some twilight in the sky to give you a sense of space. If you wait till midnight, you just have two headlights moving through a black hole.

I can't urge you enough to pass on the Lowel kit for this project.

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old July 20th, 2004, 09:44 PM   #4
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Thanks Wayne, why should I pass on the Lowels? The people at www.dvcreator.net highly recommend it....

Thanks.
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Old July 21st, 2004, 12:21 PM   #5
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Nick, dvcreators.net is not a charitable organization. They make money selling workshops and tutorials, such as their new "dv" lighting video. (As if there is some difference in lighting techniques for "dv".) If you view the video, you notice that all the gear is Lowel. Now how do you suppose that happened? Does Lowel make such great gear that they just had to have it for their video? Or, do they have some arrangement with Lowel, which is beneficial to both parties? (This sort of arrangement is often refered to as "product placement.")

I don't want to go over my objections to the Lowel product line here. It is one way to go when you are starting out in lighting, but I don't feel it is the best use of your hard-earned dough. There are plenty of posts listing the various problems with the Lowel gear, which you can find by searching this site. You will also find posts recommending their products.

Just not from me.
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Old July 21st, 2004, 02:34 PM   #6
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No problem, I'm probably gonna go with Kino Flos and some Tota lights after all. Thanks.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 01:55 PM   #7
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the dv creator kits are fine and there is def enough light in the 55 kit for your needs, but I do think wayne makes some good points.

If you like all the lights in the creator kit then just buy them seperately and then buy c-stands or air stands. The stands in those creator kits suck, especially for an exterior location. It's not lowell's fault, they are pretty standard stands, but they are accidents waiting to happen.

I just finished a project with a creator kit 55. It was a feature length indie. The lights did the job we needed, but those stands had to go. The good thing about the kit is that it comes with basic CTB gels, gel frames, a flag or two and an umbrella. I was really pleased with the rifalite soft box.

The tota lights throw an amazing amount of light for their size, with little control though.

I do think you will get a ton of use out of the creator kit and some of the lights will support 12v bulbs, though don't remember which one.

Oh, the case just barely holds everything. There is one way to get everything to fit in there and you'll spend half the night trying to get it right. If you take out the stands you'll be fine.

Also for night shooting your going to want to gel the lights. The blue "moonlight" gels are still a mainstay and do a great job. Also consider some CTO's to duplicate the sodium vapor lamps in most street lights etc...
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