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Old October 31st, 2013, 11:51 PM   #1
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Assembling a lighting and grip package, thoughts?

Hi Guys,

This is a bit of a long one I warn you, but I'd really appreciate any advice or suggestions people might have.

I've reached a point in my career where I want to focus more purely on lighting and camera, and move away from the various ancillary creative freelancing jobs that have (till now) supplemented my film work. I'm pretty good at what I do now (and perhaps more importantly - I'm good enough) so I want to put together a small lighting and grip package that will allow me to gaffer on projects when I'm not shooting others (and basically just spend more time on sets).

Now I am limited by the amount of space I have in the back of my ute (that's a "pickup truck" to my international friends!), but the following package is something I can get away with once I install some custom shelving.

In terms of the lighting package my primary goals are speed, precision and control. Any time I can save setting up additional flags/cutters, means more time spent on takes (where it belongs), it's also more efficient - and I like that. Which is why I'm thinking I'd prefer these particular fixtures.

The Dedo units offer more control than anything shy of a Leko, so it's easier to get the effects you want with them (having larger 650w units, and a daylight balanced 1.2k HMI version simply extends the scale of what I can do with them - relative to the standard 150w Dedos).

I just picked up my first Area 48 Remote Phosphor softlight yesterday after comparing it directly to a Kino Flo Diva 400 (the standard softlight that I'm most confident and familiar with using) and it beats both the light output and colour accuracy of the fluoro unit by a considerable margin (by eye, I'd guess it's got about 1/2-stop more output), and the Area 48 offers the added benefits of being battery operable, lightning fast to switch from daylight to tungsten, and has no colour shift as you dim the unit (so your not having to add +green gels like you often do when you dim a Diva with tungsten tubes - so there's time saved there as well).

Now obviously this kit is a fair bit different from the standard small lighting package you get these days - which seem to generally consist of a couple of HMIs, Blondies, Redheads, Tungsten Fresnels, Kino Softlights & a couple of 150w Dedolights. So what I'm most interested to hear, is whether people would actually want to bring in a gaffer with a package like this?

I feel pretty confident that I could light everything that I'm used to lighting with a conventional small package, faster and more precisely with this package - but that's irrelevant obviously, if no one wants to hire me with a package they're not familiar with.

So what do think guys, is this a solid package? Would you want to work with it? And if not, what would you want to be different and why?

This is going to be a substantial investment for me obviously, so any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated!

Cheers,

Mark


(items in bold are the things I don't own yet)

Lights:
1x 1.2k HMI PAR
1x 1.2k HMI Dedolight
2x 150w HMI Fresnels (capable of 5600k and 3200k, 650w tungsten equivalents)
2x 650w Halogen Dedolights + dimmers
2x 150w Halogen Dedolights
2x Area 48 Remote Phosphor Softlights (capable of 5600k and 3200k - they're Kino Diva 400 alternatives)
3x Z96 Small LED Panels

Grip:
5x 40" C-stands + Grip Heads + Grip Arms
6x standard light stands of various sizes
2x 4'x4' Floppies + assorted blacks
2x Gel/Diffusion Kits
4x Umbrellas (white, gold, silver)
1x 2'x3' Digital Juice Flag Kit (nets, silks, black block etc)
1x 6'x6' Overhead Butterfly (with silk, and ultrabounce)
3x 4'x4' Diffusion Frames (216, 250, 251)
3x Scissor Clamps (for ceiling frames)
2x 2'x3' 4-in-1 Reflector Frames
3x Cardellini Clamps
6x Super Clamps
2x Magic Arms
10x Shotbags

Power:
1x 3.5kw Portable Generator
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Old November 1st, 2013, 11:02 PM   #2
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Re: Assembling a lighting and grip package, thoughts?

You need more small grip items, maters, super clamps,pin adapters grenades as they are called. You need more c stands, however they need to be modular, like Kupo.s that way you can have more uses with the bases, remember the grenades I mentioned. Hi hats, cheese plates, apple boxes, they have a set that tucks inside the full apple, your too hmi heavy, in a world that is going away from small hmi fixtures.
Why are you stuck on pricy dedos? What type of jobs are you marketing yourself as being the best at?extra heads and arms, room for expendable a , gaff tape rolls of gel, black wrap, you charge fy the foot, don't Pre skin frames, hi amp v lock batts and charger, you charge extra for battery power, also the cam department might sub batts from you. 4step ladder,
1x1 led panels
1.2 him is obsolete. Arri 1.8 or nothing. Umbrellas? Really?
3.5 Honda very good, but for what?
Folding carts? Mag liners? You gonna carry this into room two shot bags at a time?
Can you pull a small trailer?
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Old November 2nd, 2013, 03:25 AM   #3
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Re: Assembling a lighting and grip package, thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Chartier View Post
1.2 hmi is obsolete. Arri 1.8 or nothing.
3.5 Honda very good, but for what?
M18 can't always be fired off house power, since most household outlets are 15 amp regardless of the 20 am breaker behind them. I love the unit but I can't rely on it in that situation. In fact I'm shooting in a house tomorrow and requested a 1.2 vs the M18. Would love the significant extra oomph, but can't take the risk.

3500W putt-putt is obviously limited as a power source for lighting, although you can work a good amount of LED and Kino off them. Otherwise, they are great for providing power for camera needs like battery chargers, director's monitors, worklight at wrap etc.
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Old November 2nd, 2013, 04:40 AM   #4
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Re: Assembling a lighting and grip package, thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Chartier View Post
You need more small grip items, maters, super clamps,pin adapters grenades as they are called. You need more c stands, however they need to be modular, like Kupo.s that way you can have more uses with the bases, remember the grenades I mentioned. Hi hats, cheese plates, apple boxes, they have a set that tucks inside the full apple, your too hmi heavy, in a world that is going away from small hmi fixtures.
Cheers Craig, appreciate the suggestions. What do you mean by a world moving away from small HMI fixtures? What are people moving too? I'm seeing more and more small productions forking out for 1.2k and 575w HMIs where in the past they'd just insist on you making it work with Blondies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Chartier View Post
Why are you stuck on pricy dedos? What type of jobs are you marketing yourself as being the best at?extra heads and arms, room for expendable a , gaff tape rolls of gel, black wrap, you charge fy the foot, don't Pre skin frames, hi amp v lock batts and charger, you charge extra for battery power, also the cam department might sub batts from you. 4step ladder,
1x1 led panels
1.2 him is obsolete. Arri 1.8 or nothing. Umbrellas? Really?
3.5 Honda very good, but for what?
Folding carts? Mag liners? You gonna carry this into room two shot bags at a time?
Can you pull a small trailer?
I suppose I'm stuck on Dedos because I can hit the bounce boards I'm positioning above or beside talent more easily with them, I can control my backlight and kickers more easily with the Dedo lenses, and when I'm blasting light through windows to cast shutter blind shadows across walls or talent, the straighter beam gets me there faster.

Also, in the last two years of shooting, I don't think I've ever once used a fresnel directly on talent (except as a back light - and most times that I have used a fresnel as a backlight, I've wished I had the beam and control of a Dedo that could do a better job of it). So when I do use fresnels, they're always bounced off an umbrella or reflector (I prefer bounced light to firing directly through diffusion, so I'm not a big fan of softboxes generally), and Dedos allow me to bounce light more accurately than fresnels, so they seem like the obvious choice for me in many ways.

As for umbrellas, I prefer the directional wrap you get from them to compared to softboxes or firing directly through diffusion.

I despise 1x1 LED panels, the multi-point sources don't look or feel like anything in nature or civilisation - I firmly believe remote phosphor is the future as far as LEDs are concerned as they remove every issue that conventional 1x1s present (that's why I'm getting a second one and will probably skip fluoros entirely).

The gennie doesn't offer an awful lot of power obviously, but it can run at least one 1.2k HMI (I'll have to test it with two, I'm in 240v land so there's a chance I might get away with it), and a couple of smaller units, so it allows some light in remote locations (out on the beach, up in the mountains), and it's compact enough that I can fit it in the ute with everything else.

I'll be putting all of my gear (everything I can get away with at least) into standardised stackable carry boxes, so that I can throw them on a folding trolley for transport.

I could pull a small trailer, but for starters the plan is to have a 'small' package, so I'll avoid it for the moment if I can.
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Old November 2nd, 2013, 11:19 AM   #5
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Re: Assembling a lighting and grip package, thoughts?

Hi Mark. Any photometric tests that indicate how many lux at 6ft. (2m.) the remote phosphor unit has at full brightness ?? The only thing I see is that it is a 1000W softbox equivalent, which is vague at best. I searched all over for the LUX rating and cannot find any true photometrics of it. If you have a lux meter, can you place it at 6 feet and get a measurement ? I greatly appreciate that.
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Old November 2nd, 2013, 11:34 AM   #6
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Re: Assembling a lighting and grip package, thoughts?

Mark, I found the specs.
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Old November 2nd, 2013, 06:11 PM   #7
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Re: Assembling a lighting and grip package, thoughts?

Hi Arthur, I'm going to run some more tests myself to compare and confirm the photometrics of the Area 48 against other softlights (the next time I have some kinos around) and I'll post them up here. Here's the official photometrics for the Area 48, the 2' and 4' 4-bank Kinos, and the 2' 4-bank Kino Diva.

So basically the Area 48 is giving you a little more output than either a 4' 4-bank Kino or a 2' 4-bank Kino Diva at up to 3m (actually at 6' it's practically double the output of the Kino Diva and Kino 4' 4-bank), and then pretty much levels out with them at greater distances.

The colour rendering and complete lack of colour-shift on dimming certainly goes a long way in the Area 48's favour (as does the fact you can just throw a battery on the back of it(!), but the fact that it's a physically smaller fixture does make the bare light a little 'harder' than the fluoros, you don't get quite as much wrap (though it's surprisingly close). I also suspect the Area 48's 5600k panel is actually a bit closer to 5000k than 5600k (it's a bit warmer than the 5600k tubes in the kinos).

I'll have to test this further, but I suspect the Area 48 will really shine when fired through larger sheets of really light diff (1/8 and 1/4 white) to provide a larger source.
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