Lighting Award at Ellerslie Flower Show at
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Old May 11th, 2010, 06:29 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Motukarara, New Zealand
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Lighting Award at Ellerslie Flower Show

I do some volunteer work for "bush telly", a nonprofit conservation film crew. Basically we are a free, volunteer media support service for conservationists. Its a way to further the cause while doing what we know how to do.

Bush Telly sets up a big booth at the Ellerslie International Flower Show each year. They recreate a slice of New Zealand, then create in it a working film set where we interview some 80 conservationists live as the show goes on. The set is built like an authentic rural bush scene (complete with 5 different native ecosystems, 30 endangered and protected plants, the noxious weeds causing problems and a musterers hut and a shortdrop toilet), but the nature set is also populated by cameras and lights and production gear. Its a kind of a way to show people what we do, how we do it and where we do it. (although in the bush we wouldn't actually have a multicam live switch heh.).

There was some confusion as to what lighting gear was being donated for the show (we are a volunteer nonprofit, so its all beg/borrow). In the end we had 8 par cans to try to do all our lighting... only they were welded in groups of 4 to 2 pipes, so we had two "light trees" to position and that was it. We managed to get a nice sunset/golden hour glow across the set, highlighting some of the tussock, but it was useless for the interviews. In a panic before the show started, I dug my video lights (mostly cool lights) out my truck. We set up the 4 bank fluoro on a high high stand and used a pair of the cdm 150s to add definition to the interviewer/conservationist and a 2k blonde above the back of the set as a hair light for both. When we were done my film lights were by far the dominant light source on the set. (although restricted to the "interview area")

I superclamped my led600s to the top of kiosk walls to illuminate our display information and used another pair of cdm 150s to dramatically light up the entryway with its large copper spider sculptures.

We literally brought all the lighting together in 45 minutes and were thinking mostly about how it would work on camera for the interviews. We got a setup that worked (and looked quite good on the monitors) and had to leave the premises for 30 hours (with everything on) so the judges could judge the exhibits.

Much to my shock, our exhibit won the Bronze Award of Excellence for lighting! I wasn't thinking about awards when we lit it, but its cool that a few par cans and my indy grip truck were able to win an award at a prestigious international flower show!

Here's a couple bad photos of the exhibit and how it looked where the talent was. (Eventually our actual interviews will be online.) Unfortunately, the wide shots have the sodium vapour "work lights" on, so you can't really get a sense of how the lighting worked except in the tight shot... which instead of two seated people is behind-the-scenes of us mucking around and discussing how to film a Kiwi burrow. heh.

Nothing spectacular or anything, but I thought it was a fun story.

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