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Old October 6th, 2005, 07:10 PM   #1
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Just found - Inexpensive Cookies

Just ordered a set of these "Cookies". Look like they will be really handy to add a little depth/interest to backgrounds. I'll test them out once I receive them and provide and update then.

http://www.cooltvtools.com/cookie.html
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Old October 7th, 2005, 08:48 AM   #2
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Those look pretty cool. I saw this really organic background behind an interview a few weeks ago that looked really nice. I asked the shooter afterwards what he used for it, and he said that he just shined a light through a silk tree that was in the next office. But, a silk tree would be a tad difficult to carry around in your equipment bag!

Dan
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Old October 8th, 2005, 11:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for pointing these out, Rob. I just ordered a set for myself. 12x12 is on the small side and they don't actually tell you what they're made from, so I can only hope that "lightweight" doesn't mean bond paper!
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Old October 9th, 2005, 12:44 PM   #4
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Jack,

Guess they could be bigger, but I'm glad I can just toss them in my gell "wallet" in my run/gun light kit and have something that will help a dull background.

I talked to the manufacturer and they are made out of a heavyweight flat black foil.
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Old October 9th, 2005, 09:18 PM   #5
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Well, with all due respect guys, "Pros" wouldn't buy these, we cut all sorts of patterns out of black wrap all the time. Not to mention black foam core, etc. The concept of paying for someone else to cut basic patterns out of black wrap is baffling.
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Old October 9th, 2005, 10:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jackman
The concept of paying for someone else to cut basic patterns out of black wrap is baffling.
Perhaps John, but I've got more pressing things to do with my time than cut out paper dolls. And my charge-out rate makes it way, way cheaper to just fork over the $20.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 02:34 AM   #7
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Yeah, I am with Jack on this. Every major studio I've been in has used these, and it sure beats burning up the clock with making them. Give me a coathanger and some cloth and I can make flags and scrims too... but I'd rather not.

John, in general I think this is a tough venue to interject with a "we, the pros, do it this way..." statement. There are a lot of "we the pros" here, and they (we) often do things differently. You will never get a positive response from statements like that.
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Old October 13th, 2005, 10:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Gribble
John, in general I think this is a tough venue to interject with a "we, the pros, do it this way..." statement. There are a lot of "we the pros" here, and they (we) often do things differently. You will never get a positive response from statements like that.
Sorry -- I didn't mean it to sound offensive. Mismatch in what venue of "pros" we're talking about. I was talking about lighting pros. Professional film gaffers cut up black wrap all the time to improvise patterns, it's just routine. I'm afraid I don't know a film gaffer that wouldn't snicker at these. Hence my initial reaction.

Jack wrote, my charge-out rate makes it way, way cheaper to just fork over the $20. Hmm, I can cut one of these out in about five minutes. The window pattern, maybe two. And I pay gaffers about $35/hr. Besides, I may want a different sort of pattern in each circumstance.

A real cookie is much larger and cut from plywood, though its still common on film sets to improvise all sorts of patterns with tree branches, gaffer tape, black wrap, and so on. I have a whole set of different cookies (cucalori?), including a bunch made out of material like expanded aluminum (plus a couple of small mini blinds), that we take on full shoots to create patterns. But black wrap is second only to gaffer tape on a set as a major tool for gaffers. One lighting guy I know has a box of antique stained glass (light colors and clear) that can create very unusual pattern effects. Background patterns are a way of life for gaffers.

If you like these, get 'em, they'll certainly work with smaller lights. But black wrap items like these things are regarded as disposable on a set, and certainly wouldn't survive to use in another shoot.

I'm curious -- what "major studios" have these?
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Last edited by John Jackman; October 13th, 2005 at 11:38 PM.
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Old October 14th, 2005, 09:03 AM   #9
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I'm with John on this one. I can use blackwrap or just go and buy a large piece of foam core from the art supply store. I have a stack of them and it only takes a few minutes to cut them out.

Cheers
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Old October 14th, 2005, 10:03 AM   #10
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Guys, chill! They're only cheap little cookies. $20!
We're not discussing changing an industry standard here.
Live and let live. Damn. I'm surprised you're wasting the ink on this.
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Old October 14th, 2005, 10:50 PM   #11
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No offense intended, Jack! If they work for you, get 'em. But some here might benefit from hearing another way to do it -- and I think y'all just gave me a great topic for my next "Craft of Lighting" column!
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