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Old July 31st, 2005, 09:37 AM   #1
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HDV/DV Filmmaking light kit questions

What do I need to buy to have a great light kit for HDV and DV filmmaking (features and shorts)?

How's this Arri light kit to start, or is this one better? What else do I need, besides C-Stands and flags? Any recommendations on flags?

Thanks,

heath
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Old July 31st, 2005, 09:44 AM   #2
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I would concentrate on sturdy stands. There are also some nifty little gadgets, like the putty knife, for hanging a light on a door jamb. Not knowing what you will be shooting, or where, it doesn't hurt to be prepared for most situations.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 09:53 AM   #3
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I'm planning on directing a movie (drama) that will look like available lighting next spring, then my friend is doing a horror (day and night interiors), then I will do either a romantic comedy (gasp!) or a horror (mostly dark interiors) and follow it up with another drama.

So there are a lot of different lighting scenarios. I wonder if it would be better and cheaper to rent...

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Old July 31st, 2005, 10:17 AM   #4
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Keep in mind, doing interior lighting may not leave you with many options for placement or room to move in. Having a good selection of grip toys will help. Doing exterior lighting, you will have more room, but with wind and Florida's sandy terrain comes another hazzard... lights falling over. The stands that came with my Lowel kit were flimsy, and fell a few times. I was lucky though, no breakage, no fires ;)

I wonder if anybody knows a way to shore up light stands, to keep them upright? Aside from sandbags that is...
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Old July 31st, 2005, 10:24 AM   #5
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Sandbags! But I recommend some 5 lb. bags in addition to 15-20 lbs.

I'll probably buy some nice light stands, but I love Arri's--we use them at the Film School. My old Lowell kit, which I should sell, has really crappy stands.

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Old July 31st, 2005, 12:17 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Heath McKnight
I wonder if it would be better and cheaper to rent...
heath[/QUOTE]

Absolutely! You get to experiment with different equipment to find your personal favorites. Plus, you should get good advice from your vendor. Rentals are usually based on a three-day rental; that is, you pay for three days and you use the gear for a week. This could work out to an even better deal if you can pick-up Friday afternoon and return a week from the following Monday. Most rental houses are very flexible. Some even offer student discounts.

You will still be spending plenty of dough to buy "expendables:" gels, tape, diffusion material, C-47s, etc.

And, you will set up a relationship that may help you buy used equipment down the line. All win-win situations.

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Old July 31st, 2005, 12:24 PM   #7
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It's a little tough in South Florida, since there aren't many rentals down here. But it's definitely worth a shot!

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Old August 1st, 2005, 05:01 PM   #8
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heath I remeber near miami when we did a shoot down there arri had just opened up a CSC branch which had I believe almost all completely new equipment they were pretty nice and I'm sure would be pretty flexible.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 06:27 PM   #9
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Thanks, Nick! I just priced a 5-piece Mole kit, similar to a 5-piece Arri kit, that's nearly $2000 more! If not higher than that!! YIKES!

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Old August 3rd, 2005, 03:09 PM   #10
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I need a lights too

but I am not sure exactly what I should buy. I know I need at least one soft box, probably two, but what else? I plan to shoot a one person lecture in a room appr. 25' by 45' with recessed lights.

Is there a way of purchasing soft box lights without spending $500+ ?

Thanks
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Old August 24th, 2005, 01:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Rankin
but I am not sure exactly what I should buy. I know I need at least one soft box, probably two, but what else? I plan to shoot a one person lecture in a room appr. 25' by 45' with recessed lights.

Is there a way of purchasing soft box lights without spending $500+ ?

Thanks
Try here I found this from another member here.

http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=...ff&oi=froogler
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Old September 3rd, 2005, 04:10 PM   #12
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Name brand or Generic?

It seems like Lowels and Arris are so darned expensive compared to the generic ones. Other than the fact that they have stood the test of time, are there advanages to buying the name brand lights.

For about $1000 you can barely get a kit with 3 low wattage light with Arris, Lowels, etc. I found this kit of Briteks on Ebay For about $1000

2: 650 Watt Focus Adjustable Fixtures
2: 24 x 24 Softboxes for 650 Watt Lights
2: 4 Leaf Barndoors for 650 Watt Lights
2: 1000 Watt Broadlights w/ Barndoors
2: 32 x 32 Softboxes for 1000 Watt Broad Lights
1: 300 Watt Focus Adjustable Fixture w/Barndoors
1: 18 x 18 Softbox for 300 Watt Focus Adjustable Fixture
3: 7 Light Stands
2: 8 Heavy Duty Light Stands
4: Carrying Cases
2: Complete Sets of Bulbs for Entire Kit
5: Power Cables
1: 12 Piece 12 x 12 Filter Kit
1: Roll Gaffers Tape
1: Pair Leather Work Gloves
4: Scissor Clamps

One more question, does focus adjustable necessarily mean "fresnel" or is it possibly some kind of cheaper focus adjust thats not as good?
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Old September 3rd, 2005, 05:50 PM   #13
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A few years ago, Ian, there really weren't any options for people looking for lighting gear on a budget. There were the Lowel kits, and that was about it. Of course, at that time you needed about 1000 watts to make a decent picture, so professional gear was about all you could find, and you paid for it.

Today, the cameras get by with much lower light levels, and they have become so popular that everyone is shooting with a dv camera, and there is a growing market for related equipment, including lighting. Recently, a couple of companies began manufacturing look-alike lighting gear in China, and slapping "USA" labels on it. One such company is JTL Corp. and more recently, Britek. The quality of this gear is not professional level, but then neither is the price. For instance, a softbox is pretty much a softbox, no matter how you slice it. But a brand name like Chimera will give you a great product that will hold up to the rigors of professional use and allow you to amortize your investment over many years, while you make beautiful pictures. A JTL softbox will take longer to set up, isn't as durable, but will still let you make beautiful pictures, and doesn't cost as much.

You're right about the Britek lights: they are not true fresnels, and you won't get the efficiency or true focus ability of a fresnel, but, they cost less.

So, what do you buy? Personally, I would suggest you "limit your exposure" in the low budget market. I don't think spending $1,000.00 on Britek or JTL is a good idea, but I see nothing wrong with buying a JTL or Britek softbox or two at a low price, and add something like a LTM Pepper 420 for a true fresnel. Now you have three lights at a reasonable cost, and one of them is a real pro light that will last for many years, and still be worth something if you sell it. And when the inexpensive softbox falls, apart, you will be ready to step up to the Chimera with the money you made.

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old September 7th, 2005, 02:57 AM   #14
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I have a set of Briteks for interviews. Nice lights, not as easy to set up as the Lowel or Arri lights but they work just the same. I suspect they take more CARE because you can throw around Lowel and Arri lights and they will last forever.
Briteks are cheaper but not CHEAP...


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Old September 7th, 2005, 07:24 AM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
Briteks are cheaper but not CHEAP...
You meant to say they are "less expensive." ;)

Jay
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