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Old September 2nd, 2004, 05:45 PM   #1
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Suggestions for underground lighting (batteries)

We are putting together a budget for a lengthy shoot in an underground location. We will not be within distance of AC power and we will need a substantial amount of lighting.

We will be able to hire people to carry batteries, but I was just wondering if anyone has experience in this area or make suggestions with regard to batteries and battery powered lights.

There will be a limit to how big each individual item can be (because of the size of the entrance), but not to the total number of items. In other words, we can only carry so large of a battery, but we can carry many small ones by using more of a crew.

Any ideas?

Sorry for the lack of specifics but this is still in the proposal stage and we can't afford to give away too much.

Ben
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Old September 4th, 2004, 02:06 AM   #2
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Budget?

Dedolight has just released what looks like an EXTREMELY cool light. Scroll down to see the ballast.

http://www.dedolight.com/dlh200.html

It is a 200watt HMI with a ballast that operates off Anton Bauer batteries. This might be an ideal choice. Extremely bright and efficient optics. Compact. A couple of these and some reflectors and you could probably light beautifully for any situation underground, even fairly large caverns.

Downside: pretty expensive.

Heads are around $1500

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=329019&is=REG

Regular ballast is around $1600. Not sure how much battery ballast would be.
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Old September 4th, 2004, 02:19 AM   #3
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If you have a reasonable budget for the project why not hire someone to handle the lighting for you rather than trying to buy the right gear yourselves. The results will likely be far better.
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Old September 4th, 2004, 09:21 AM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ken Tanaka : If you have a reasonable budget for the project why not hire someone to handle the lighting for you rather than trying to buy the right gear yourselves. The results will likely be far better. -->>>

We plan on hiring a DP or Gaffer with experience lighting in these locations, and I definitely will get their input, but as Producer I always make sure I know ALL the costs that are involved, regardless if someone else is handling that part of the project or not.

Also I have to be able to figure out the economics of buying vs. renting for this project.

Anyway, thanks for the input.

Regards,

Ben
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Old September 4th, 2004, 02:57 PM   #5
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Ben,

Is this a caving shoot?
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Old September 4th, 2004, 07:31 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Robert J. Wolff : Ben,

Is this a caving shoot? -->>>

Ok, you got me :)

Yes.

Ben
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Old September 4th, 2004, 08:29 PM   #7
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Dumb question.... would it be an option to rent or buy a few hundred feet of heavy cable and run it out to a generator above ground? Might be cheaper and give you more options. Just a thought.
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Old September 4th, 2004, 10:59 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff : Dumb question.... would it be an option to rent or buy a few hundred feet of heavy cable and run it out to a generator above ground? Might be cheaper and give you more options. Just a thought. -->>>

That is an option we are exploring, and it is a technique that has been used before (the Amazing Caves iMax film was lit with this technique).

However, it would be pretty much a last resort for us considering the parameters involved (i.e., the distance being traveled).

Ben
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Old September 5th, 2004, 04:31 AM   #9
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Ben.

Am I to assume that you are going to attempt this shoot in a wild cave? As most tourist caves have sufficient power for your needs, you probably only need to supplliment a modest amount of juice for your shoot. Also, in a tourist cave, you have graded paths. Some caves like Mammoth, have an elevator, that you can use to take your equipment & personel, several hundred feet below the surface.

If it's wild, you will have your hands full: translate as expensive.

We, (members of the NSS), tried taking some movies during the very late '60's, and eary '70's. A massive amount of personel was needed to haul in the equipment. It worked……, but it was bone breaking. And, it took many week ends to complete.

Results? For all of the input, I would describe the results as mediocre. (In our case, unlike yours, the shoot was handled by a "committe".)

I would look up the National Speleological Society website, (if you haven't done this already), and see what's up to date on the subject.

I am not trying to be negative about your shoot. But, as a caver since 1962, (NSS 6575L), the realities of entering, living in, exploring, exiting, a cave, are things not to be taken lightly.

Good luck with the project!

*To all who read this dispatch: I am not responsible for typos, or gramatical errors, until after my first cup of tea. Which will occur shortly.
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Old September 5th, 2004, 04:41 AM   #10
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Also take a look at this (old) thread on a similar topic:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...&threadid=6996
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Old September 5th, 2004, 12:56 PM   #11
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Robert: you are correct in your assumption, and we agree it will not be easy (or cheap). So far we are estimating a budget of $250k or more.

Ben
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Old September 5th, 2004, 03:46 PM   #12
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Ben,


I think that you may be substanially under what your budget shoud be. If all of your time equals, for instance, 20 days of shooting, you are looking at a cost of @12K/day. At 200 c notes/day/hire, that equals a very small crew.

I repeat from my previous notation, try the National Society's of the US, France, & Britain, for updates on whom is doing the latest in this area. The US France, & Briitan, have always had an interest in photo/video. (I do not keep in contact with other countries).

(Ben. You need not reply: If you are planing to shoot in LaGu…………, from what my tiny knowledge is of this SW cave, you will need to re-evaluate your high end cost. This could be very lengthy, via high infussion of power, & deployment of personel, Personally, I would look to shooting a good deal of it in commercial caves. Merely my own thoughts.)

For the beneifit of the assembly, there are certain problems, that Ben is probably solving with various government agencies. And, they can only be left to his adroitness with the various entities.

Again: My thoughts are not negative. Hopefully, I am wrong, about the cost.
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