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Old July 17th, 2005, 07:21 AM   #16
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Thanks for that Shane! Always nice to hear from someone who has actual
experience with this kind of stuff. Perhaps the book was not talkig about
dimmers that are made for this but more like the home depot onces? I don't know.

Rob Lohman,
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Old July 17th, 2005, 02:06 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=Shane Matich]Interesting that people say dont use dimmers, because the reality in big budget "green screen" films is quite the opposite...>>>

A slight misconception here. I did not say not to use dimmers on
instruments for lighting the *screen*. What I said was that dimmers
(especially those 'on board' a florescent instrument) add to the cost
. . . significantly.

The experience you relate is that of a BIG Company who
paid for TONS of lights and dimmers.
Why not, if they have SUPERMAN as a client?
The questioner was concerned if *he would need "on board" dimmers
an instrument or two*. That answer would be no.
He will need those few lights
up full. Yes, dimming is nice, but when you only have a 1 or 2 lights
with which to light the screen, you need to invest in MORE lights first.

<<Last month i prepped sixty 32amp hp12 dimmers for just one sound stage on superman returns. Green screen Movies like matrix, stealth, superman returns are also using huge banks of ordinary rock'n roll PAR cans with halogen bulbs & large silks in front. The Matrix sequels used over 2,500 par cans [1000w].>>

From what you state here, it seems obvious he will need more instruments
than 1 or 2. In addition, depending on over all power draw, a 32 amp dimmer
is TINY. 32 AMPS is will only power 4 1000W lamps at full power and you
usually try not to run a dimming channel at max load.

<<<With studio setups it pays to use dimmer systems with dmx control from a lighting desk, even for cyc's and fluro's. I would recommend you have 3 truss runs. One in front of the talent with a light on either side of center, one truss behind the talent with light on either side of center, and one lighting truss above the green screen with 3 lights to light the screen.>>>

I prefer stand lights for the front and side lighting. Trusses mean
you can not adjust the light angle unless you have a way to lower and
raise the truss. 3 lights for a 12'Hx24'W screen will not really be enough
in my experience. High angle lighting on the actors also produces
many shadows on the floor . . . not good.

<<Run all cable from lights to the one side and then run it upstage to a 12 channel dimmer[$500-1000].>>

Can you give us a website that sells a 'real' 12 channel dimmer for $500?
I think a Leprechon 12 channel dimmer @ 2.4Kw per channel lists for over $3K! After that, you will still need feeder cable, camlok connectors etc.
It all adds up to lots of $$$. Heck, even a single channel Stand dimmer
@ 2.4Kw costs $1,000 at B&H

<<With your basic & every easy to use 12 channel lighting desk[$100-200] you can grap a coffee and sit down & relax. Each channel on the desk controls one light, so creating the key, fill & back light loooks is easy. The dimmer and desk do all the leg work for you.>>>

Hmmmm. From my experience, nothing is ever easy, especially if you
go to the next level and try to match the character lighting (green screen)
with the back ground scene he will be composited on top of.
That said, YES, if you can, you should buy dimming. No doubt!

<<<The cheapest option for your lights is to buy second hand quality theatre fixture [fresnals] they will come with clamps to hang off bars. Theatre lights are designed to be used in studios & for the light to be controllable. Expect to pay around $100 - $ 300each for 1000w fresnals.>>>

You can buy a BRAND NEW 1K Altman fresnel for around $300 at B&H.

But, I don't recommend fresnels as a first choice
for green screen work. To much hot spotting as I said before.
Florescents are smoother and produce less heat
with MORE light given the same wattage.
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
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Old July 17th, 2005, 05:14 PM   #18
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Like Stephanie said, this is a very helpful thread, and it's great to hear the perspective of both the big studio and the less expensive setup.
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