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Compact Fluorescents


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#1 tom quinn

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:12 PM

Hello,

I am in pre-production on a super-16 short to be shot on 7218. For some scenes I would like to emulate Harris Savides lighting style in "Birth," but am not sure I have either the electrical experience or the gripping resources to build and rig covered-wagons.

I am thinking of purchasing a strand of 24 light sockets that will take 25w bulbs each and filling them with 23w compact florescents, which will give off the equivelent of 100w incadescent bulbs and burn at 31k. If I buy two strands, that would potentially give me 4800w of overhead light for a medium-sized room. From there, I could hang a silk or muslin to soften the light and duv to flag it (and can remove bulbs where necessary). The added bonus is that it would run at about 12 amps!

The color temperature seems to be within a range I can compensate for, but I would be interested in hearing of other potential probelms or ideas you may have.

If there are no obvious problems with this approach, I'd like to plan a camera test for next week.

Thanks for your time!

Tom Quinn
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#2 greg bates

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:46 PM

That kind of sounds like the covered wagon...I can't remeber who wrote about a fixture like that, maybe on of the gods David Mullen or perhaps Claudio. Sounds doable I also recal a similiar fixture made from foam core on one of those VASST training videos, he even used dimmable fluorescents. I believe they were six light fixtures....you could even daisy chain them in a large china ball.
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#3 Frank Barrera

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:48 PM

4800K for 12 Amps? Well, you know what they say: You don't get somethin' for nuthin'. In this case it would be green spike and flicker. But the test should bear this out.

Do tell.
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#4 tom quinn

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 11:14 PM

Hey frank,

Would I get flicker with the compact fluorescents in a medium socket? I was under the impression that the flicker had more to do with the ballast on tube florescent fixtures. Also, would I get a green spike at 3100 - if anything it would be a bit warm - correct? From what I understand 100 kelvin would barely be noticable compared to 3200 (if I understand correctly, based on David Mullen's explaination of color temperature differences in another post, I think it would require less than 1/8 CTB).

But I am not certain about any of this! Am I way off?

Thanks for your help (liked your reel as well).

Take care,
Tom

Edited by tom quinn, 16 January 2007 - 11:16 PM.

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#5 tom quinn

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 11:27 PM

thanks, greg. i had read about the "covered-wago" idea a few times - New Cinematographers talks a bit about them and several other articles on Harris Savides do as well. I bought some supplies to build a test, but with our meager budget and short schedule, I am looking for other options.

We were also concered about power in the house and thought this may be a way to free up some amps.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 11:43 PM

Certainly the compact flos could work if you can figure out how much Minus-Green gel you should use, but generally a soft box of lightbulbs hanging in a typical house can use ordinary lightbulbs, put out plenty of light, and still be powered by the house outlets without too much trouble.

I'd only mess with the compact flo idea if you were building a massive softbox for a large space but had power limitations.

Now if you need a daylight-balanced soft box then compact flos that are close to 5500K would be practical.
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#7 tom quinn

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 12:19 AM

Thanks for your help, David. I appreciate it.

So, even though they are rated 3100k there would still be green spikes, as Frank stated, due to the broken spectrum, correct?

Take care,
Tom
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 12:54 AM

Depends on the CRI rating in terms of how much green there is. If the bulb's CRI rating is in the low to mid 90's, you probably are fine. The light can be continuous spectrum and still have a green spike.
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 01:01 AM

Would I get flicker with the compact fluorescents in a medium socket?

Flicker shouldn't be a problem, I've taken a couple of CF's apart to see what's inside and they definitely have a miniature electronic ballast in them. I'll hook up a couple up to an oscilloscope when I get a chance and see exactly what the frequencies are, but given the components I've seen inside the ones I've dissected, it's pretty high.
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#10 tom quinn

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 01:57 AM

Much thanks to you both!

I'll also look further into building a softbox.

Hal, if you get time to test further, that's fantastic. If you don't, I'll let you know if we do a film test.


take care,
Tom
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#11 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 02:29 AM

The few compact flo's around the house measure 18-22kHz. There's not enough room in there for a ballast of much lower frequency. There may be a small amount of 50/60Hz superimposed on the output, but not enough to be of concern.
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#12 tom quinn

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 02:37 AM

Thanks for checking, Luke.
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#13 tom quinn

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 12:06 AM

Hey all -

Since you were so helpful I thought I'd post a few stills from the shoot. I should have more soon. I was really nervous because I hadn't shot film in over a year and don't have much experience with it. Fortunately, I had a great gaff and camera team.

We shot on 7218 with an XTR Prod. We ended up using a mix of china balls, kinos, and fresnels instead of the overhead lights. We made one covered wagon and realized that we did not have time to rig each set up.

The aspect ratio may be a tad off (I stretched the exported stills in photoshop) and the color is probably a bit washed out on PC monitors.

Any feedback would be great. I'll post more when I get them.

Thanks!
Tom

http://www.stationho...RTB_Stills.html
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#14 JD Hartman

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 11:17 PM

As was previously posted, "you can get something for nothing." Why were you hell bent on the compact flo route? The cheap ones done list the CRI on the package and the ones with a high CRI aren't cheap, so I don't really see the savings or what you gain.
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#15 tom quinn

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 09:44 PM

i wasn't so much hell bent as curious. I don't have enough experience to know if they were an option. the reason it was worth looking into was that we originally thought about doing a wall of light from overhead and did not have the amps or rigging gear to do it right so we were considering creative alternatives.
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#16 G McMahon

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 12:45 PM

Does the rig weigh much? How did you plan on suspending it? This refers to the the compact tube set up you talked about earlier.

The compact tube you refer to, is that those house hold bulb looking things?

I might do some back searches on this covered wagon.

Cheers, shots look nice.
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#17 tom quinn

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 04:37 PM

Hi -

We ended up skipping the covered wagon option after building one because we had a low ceiling, very short shooting schedule, and no ideal way to rig it quickly. I know on the Sopranos they often bolt them directly into the ceiling, but that was not an option for us. We started looking at different rigging options to get them overhead, but the logistics made it a poor option for our needs.
hope that helps,

Tom
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#18 Jason Robert Tompkins

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 02:08 AM

the night interiors by the window are nice. What was the gel pack used for that?
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#19 tom quinn

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 11:04 PM

Hey Guys!

I will post something in the general thread, but just wanted to let you know the film we discussed in this thread, "Derailed" won the Kodak Eastman Scholars Gold prize - 5k in cash and 5k in film stock! I'm very excited for the director and am really happy to have been involved. In addition, a second film I shot, "Diorama," won the bronze prize! Again, a really great director and I feel fortunate (and pretty darn excited) to have been involved in both. You can see some (rather dark due to final cut pro gamma) stills from that film here: dioramamovie.com

I just wanted to say thanks for all of your help as I prepped the project. This is a really great site for those of us starting out!!

Also, Jason, the coloring of the windows was done in post at Shooters in Philadelphia. The director wanted an exact match to a sunset earlier in the film and since we only had one HMI to shoot from the street, we didn't want to lose light by gelling it on set.

take care,
Tom
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