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Old November 10th, 2010, 03:20 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 4
Need Help Figuring Out Light Kit Config

Hi peeps,

I'm going to be shooting my first short in a couple months and I'm trying for a chiaroscuro / "Road To Perdition" style (not asking for much, am I?). It will be a mix of indoor / outdoor, in shade and near total darkness (except for an apparent single light bulb).

Here's my current minimal kit:

1 x Mole Richardson Baby Solarspot Type 407 / 1KW Fresnel
2 x Mole Richardson Midget 2351 250W Fresnel /w 4-way Barn Doors

Before I spend a wad of hard-earned cash, I thought I'd ask you people what you thought I might be missing, unecessary or more economical alternative in the following list:

3 x Avenger AVA2030DCB Turtle Base Century Stand, Grip Arm Kit (Black) 9.75' (3m)
3 x Avenger E200 5/8" adapters
1 x Avenger Foamcore Fork
1 x Manfrotto 1004BAC 12' light stand
1 x Manfrotto 003MFBacklite stand (better alternative for low / back lite for the little 200w?)
1 x Mole Richadson 4-way Barn Door for Baby Solarspot
1 x 5-in-1 Collapsible Silver/Gold/Clear Reflector
1 double scrim for each fresnel
1 gel frame for each fresnel (would a gel connected to barn door with clothes pin be better?)

Hope that's not too much overload. Any favorite lighting books would be welcome.

best regards
Jim Burnes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2010, 04:10 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lowestoft - UK
Posts: 3,765
I suppose the obvious omissions are cabling - you have the kit, but plugging it in needs cables, adaptors, distros etc - much depends on where you're shooting.

As for the list - the Moles are workable with gel in the proper frames - I like to attach it to the barndoors on things like Redheads because they're so hot, so getting it away from the lamp is critical. In Fresnels, much less of a problem. I'd also add a few safety bonds to the list, not really because you're planning on suspending things, but because they're handy to attach to anything likely to overbalance - if there's a suitable thing to attach them to.

I'd also add a little spun/diffuser to the list, always comes in handy. The actual shopping list of two low power and one higher is perhaps open for debate, but only you know what you're planning?
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 4
Thanks for the recommendations and pointers, Paul. Your help is a great example of the wonderful on-line community here.

Thanks for reminding me regarding the cabling. I sort of assumed I'd need to pick up the correct power and distribution boxes.
That certainly becomes really important if my power requirements go any higher. My interior location should be able to supply
the 14 amps of 120v power that all of the lights would require if running simultaneously. Good point though.

Time to start designing all of the cables, stingers etc.

A couple questions came to mind:

1. Safety bonds: The only overhead lighting I might be using would be one of the Midgets mounted on the C-Stand boom. In either case I don't have any overhead rigging in my primary location to attach to. It a large Victorian home, but good point regarding attaching it to something. I'll see if I can find a creative solution.

2. Spun diffuser: Does this give a similar effect to a softbox? If so I was wondering if shooting one of the fresnels into a muslin or nylon sheet hung from a C-Stand boom would achieve the same effect?

3. The spun diffuser also apparently cuts down on the heat from the quartz halogen lamps and thats good. Don't want the talent sweating through their makeup. I was thinking of another alternative. Convert the fresnels to metal halide. Don't know if I'll have time before the next shoot, but I know where to get all of the upgrade parts to convert to high CRI metal halide at 1/4 the power consumption (per lumen). Poor mans HMI sounds attractive. I can get a 5500K 150W Metal Halide with 95 CRI for about $78, sockets are inexpensive and the ballast for about $130. The 150W has about the same number of lumens as a 650W quartz halogen. The reduced power consumption would also keep me away from distribution boxes etc. A 400W MH has almost the same number of effective lumens as a 2K quartz (because of a 4.33x generation efficiency and the perceived brightness of light color shifted towards blue).

That metal halide light would be cool to the actors, but most of the MH bulbs are 6500K and I'd need to use a 1/8 CTO gel to take them from 6500K down to 5500K. Sounds like a fun project, but probably won't have enough time to complete and test before we start shooting.

4. Last but not least. The remark about one high power and two lower power has me a little stumped. Do you mean you think that I'll have a rough time with a 1K and two 250w? I won't be shooting with a lot of fill light so I think I might be able to get away with that light setup for a more Conrad Hall style design.

Thanks again for your help.
Jim Burnes is offline   Reply

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