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Lighting Budgets.


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#1 John Holland

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 05:31 AM

David , i am interested in what your lighting budgets where for "Akellah" and "The Astronaut Farmer"and how they compare to past films you have shot and the tv series you are now shooting , thanks, John Holland ,London.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 12:30 PM

Of course the packages keep increasing in size, but I'm not sure what the lighting budgets are actually! The Gaffer and I submit what we feel is a reasonable and responsible lighting package request based on the locations, schedule, artistic ideas... and usually the Line Producer comes back and says "What can you cut? We're over-budget".

So I tell them what I could live without and then the Gaffer and Line Producer has out the details and somehow I usually get 80% of what I need and workaround the difficiencies.

The Gaffer on "Astronaut Farmer", Steve Litecky, was great at arguing with the production for things that would make his department more efficient, along the lines of "Look, if you give me an extra 18K on this day, we can have the crane pre-rigged for the night exterior while we are shooting those day interiors with the other 18K's..."

It helps on my shows that I don't go crazy when ordering equipment, sort of a holdover from my low-budget days. One thing I've learned though is to always carry two minimum of every important lamp because it sucks to light a big set-up and then have your only lamp of a certain type go down and replace it with a light that does something different, like trying to swap an 18K HMI fresnel for a 6K HMI PAR.

That and I've learned that Tweenies burn-out more regularly than almost any other lamp design.

I don't keep many old bids in my files, but I see one for the stage work on "When Do We Eat?" (mostly tungsten) that came out to about $9000/week for the electric package.
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#3 John Holland

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 12:38 PM

Thank you David for that , seems just the same over there as here , i do like to use large light souces , seem to spend a lot of time trying to justifying them . { why do you such a powerful lamp when you are using 500 asa stock } Anyway thanks again . Have a good new year , John Holland ,London.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 12:59 PM

The budget-killer is usually that I like to carry one odd lamp like a 4K Xenon and then have to justify it to the production because it is less versatile than other lamps like an HMI PAR. I've always been interested in trying the KinoFlo 6'x6' "Blanket-light" but have never been able to keep it on the list because it's the first thing I can live without so it always gets cut. Same goes for many other unique lights.

Bill Wages had the production on "Big Love" rent a couple of Source-4's with HMI Jokers in them (I think some people call them "Joe-Lekos"), which I've found very useful on location.
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#5 John Holland

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 01:07 PM

I know them as jokers as well fantastic lamps , we dont get "Big Love" over here , didnt know you shot on location , just thought it was all shot on stage , what % on location ? . John Holland.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 01:17 PM

50% of the schedule generally is off-stage.
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#7 Hal Smith

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 01:34 PM

Bill Wages had the production on "Big Love" rent a couple of Source-4's with HMI Jokers in them (I think some people call them "Joe-Lekos"), which I've found very useful on location.

That's quite an idea, Source Four's with Jokers plugged into them. Why ETC doesn't have an option to run S4 HID's with 5500K HMI's instead of 3000K Phillips Master Color discharge lamps is beyond me. I guess they make enough money selling the S4 HID's for architectural installations to bother investigating film markets.
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#8 chris kempinski

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 02:58 AM

I've always been interested in trying the KinoFlo 6'x6' "Blanket-light" but have never been able to keep it on the list because it's the first thing I can live without so it always gets cut.




The "Blanket-light" is a nice and large soft source but from a technician's side.... a crazy pain to set up and tear down, or move around in tight quarters. No offence David or to Kino but you may be better off with a fresnel behind a 5X5 soft frame.

Cheers Chris
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