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Old March 22nd, 2005, 12:29 AM   #16
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I don't know quite how to respond, since there isn't much written in the prior couple of posts that disagrees with what I said in my original post. Rush states that when he was refering to "sets," he was refering to smaller, lower budget productions. Fair enough. If he had stated that in his original post, I would not have bothered to place my response in the first place. I just felt that maybe some new people were getting the wrong impression about who is using the Tota lights.

There are a lot of companies out there trying to get a bite of your hard earned dollars. Some try to intice you with advertising, others do it with product placement. (Whose gear is on the cover of John Jackman's DV lighting book?) And others do it with endorsements from people you hope you can trust. Just remember: who pays for advertising and product placement? (You, the consumer, in case you missed it) As far as endorsements, it gets trickier. Some are genuine, and others have a motive that might conflict with your best interests.

I have nothing against Russ Lowel. I just don't care for his products, based on my personal experiences, and I always have said that is strictly my opinion. When it comes to buying a car, I suppose there are some of you out there who would never buy a Kia, and you have your reasons. Doesn't mean you're out to "get" anybody. Just a matter of choice, based on your experience.

Do I only recommend the "Cadillac" of equipment? Absolutely not. Those of you who have been following these threads know that I bought with my own money a JTL Everlight kit, tested it, and said, in my opinion, this is a decent light kit that will work well for beginners. But I also said it was definitely not the quality of a Chimera set-up. I tried to give you a fair balance of the good with the bad. To this day, all I have received from JTL is a cheap tee shirt for my troubles. Not that I am looking for anything else, because it would compromise my position. I also told you how to upgrade the JTL kit with a LTM Pepper, to make a real kick-ass package that will introduce you to real professional lighting. And in case you missed it, I was the one who first suggested Mark put his Tota in a softbox where he can get some worthwhile use out of it.

I have been in this business a number of years, and during that time I have learned a lot, and I also have made a lot of mistakes. If I can save some of you from making mistakes, I think that is a good thing. If I can teach you a few things, that is great. But I am not out to win a popularity contest; I will give you the "no bullshit" message as I see it. And when I am wrong, I will eat my words.

We all need to learn to be an intelligent consumer. Or, as Deepthroat said, "Follow the money."

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:23 AM   #17
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I figured out putting a Tota in the softbox all by myself, quite a while ago :~) . Like you, I've been doing this professionally for a while.

Your experience and knowledge as a professional are valuable, it's just that your tone, at times, can be a bit overbearing. You blasted me once about Lowel gear and I was afraid to post about lighting for while. I think we're suggesting that you relax and not be so vehement.

We do want to hear what you have to say, because your experience is appreciated and valued.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 11:39 AM   #18
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"I figured out putting a Tota in the softbox all by myself, quite a while ago"
I am sure you did, Mark, and I never insinuated otherwise. I merely pointed out in my previous post that I was the first person in this thread to suggest to Matt that he do the Tota in a softbox gag. But it appears you took it as a personal slight. Not my fault. And despite Chris Hurd's testy comments, I was offering Matt a suggestion on how to use his equipment.

Believe it or not, I re-read everything I write to check for grammar, spelling, and yes, even tone, before I hit the "send" button. Sometimes I slip up and a clunker gets through, and anyone is welcome to call me on it. But please don't give me an "F" for giving my opinion, just because it may differ from yours.

As far as me "blasting" you personally, I would very much appreciate you pointing out the offending post to me so I can issue you an apology, if I feel one is warranted.

Peace?

Wayne
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 02:35 PM   #19
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The whole concept of "professional" versus "amateur", movie sets versus...well pretty much everything else, is kind of a blurred open ended discussion these days. Rush laid out a list of uses for lower end lights that pretty much spanned every paying and non paying gig except for the next Speilberg film <g>.

Seriously though, I've always been a big believer and preacher of the "get what you can afford and don't rent" (obviously on small to medium projects). I've been of that mind set as a musician and producer, director and producer, creative director...pretty much any medium, the basic concept is the same.

It goes back to something I learned a long time ago as an amateur astronomer. The expression is something like: you'll see a lot more stars with a 4" refractor than with a 16" Schmidt Cassegrain, the idea being that if it's something you can grab and use quickly as opposed to something you have to laboriously tweak or rent, you'll achieve your ultimate goal faster and better.

I think it's better to get a cheap knock off guitar and practice your ass of than to wait till you can afford a custom Strat. Same for a $500 camera versus an Xl2 or an XL2 versus a Varicam...same for lights.

Back to the essential point though. I've seen major film scenes shot with a single Kino, and I've scene photo shoots block off entire neighborhoods, using several cranes, run out of lights from the biggest rig from LA and then send a grip to NY to drive out another truck...for a photo shoot!

It's all good. A Tota in a Chimera or a Silverdome (I have a few sets of these in travel cases) is just as smooth and professional a light as you'll find, as long as 750 watts is enough and it very often is. On the same sets and locations we'll have Arri fresnels, Kinos....hell even my favorite new discovery from Home Depot, the legendary $8 par can with attached dimmer (I just added 10 of these in two kits) with a range of narrow flood to narrow spots.

The fact is, 99% of the folks on this board aren't going to be producers or directors on Hollywood sets, but that doesn't mean that many of them don't or can't produce even better work with far, far less production gear.

Going back to Marks comment, I would much rather see a film maker of any stripe given 2- 4k of lights, a camera like the XL2 or DVX and enough time to see what their talent and skills can become, than to see another film maker, with another obscene budget, pedantic script and a hundred stunt men and CG people.

These days less really can be more in music and film etc... especially when the "less" we're talking about is producing some of the most important and memorable work today
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 04:24 PM   #20
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Howdy from Texas,

Mark Sasahara wrote...

<< You blasted me once about Lowel gear and I was afraid to post about lighting for while. >>

This is *exactly* what spurs me to make "testy comments" and sadly it's one of the primary problems with internet message boards that I really don't want to see happening here. I would much rather make a permanent call as to who stays and who goes, than to allow one member to intimidate another into silence... because that sort of thuggery is the death knell of an online community.

Where I take specific issue is with the nonsense that somehow this particular forum needs to be policed with regard to purchase decisions by a zealous member who thinks he knows better and considers his fervant brand loyalties to be "unbiased." Sorry but there is no need for that here, as I have guaranteed that safety mechanism already. It is in fact one of the primary reasons why I started this community. To insinuate that the interests of this message board have been bought by the advertisements of sub-par vendors is a personal slap in the face to me. Of the very few companies that do sponsor this site, I have personally hand-picked all of them because I'm an enthusiastic believer in the quality of their product lines. I can't begin to tell you how much money I've turned away from potential advertisers because they just don't measure up to the demanding requirements I've established for a vendor to associate their name and products with this site. So when I read this statement...

<< As far as endorsements, it gets trickier. Some are genuine, and others have a motive that might conflict with your best interests. >>

...I find it more than mildly hypocritical because it comes from someone who is himself a forum moderator at another online community which is literally saturated with advertising. Now, how many ads do you see on this page? Thank you. What I do not understand is why a self-righteous crusader of advertising morality chooses to conduct his negative-publicity rampages in *this* particular arena, which clearly does NOT suffer from "a lot of companies out there trying to get a bite of your hard earned dollars." I would be a lot less testy if he instead confined his vehement smear campaigns to his own message board, where he can be that site administrator's headache instead of mine. Thanks,
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 12:14 AM   #21
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Peace.

We'll sort it out. I didn't mean for anyone to get "into trouble".
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 01:16 AM   #22
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This is a very old problem which has gone on far too long, but we'll definitely get it sorted out. Thanks,
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 08:11 AM   #23
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I heard an old indian story about a scorpion that wants to cross a river and finally talks a frog into the job... well maybe it's not an old indian story, but that's the way it was told to me... see if Douglas knows it 'cause I'll bet he would find it funny regarding this situation...
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 09:49 AM   #24
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Wayne knows it, and he finds it funny, even though he's not an Indian.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 10:21 AM   #25
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I ALWAYS enjoy reading your posts... even if you do tend to be a bit "abrasive"... I'd say that MOST of the time I agree with your end assessment of a situation... and your input is usually accurate and valuable. I just think you need to find a way to soften your approach to a difference in opinion... but I don't know if you can do that. Hence the analogy.
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