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Getting Good Flicker w/ KINOS


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#1 James Mann

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 08:16 PM

My friends,

I would like to hear what some of you have done to get good florescent flicker. Something that would be repeatable and somewhat controllable (I want to be able to start and stop the flicker).

In the past I think I have put kinos (the ballasts) on hand squeezers (putting them under voltage). I thought that this worked well. But it really has been a while and I can not quite recall.

Also, we will be shooting over a few days so if I am going to destroy these bulbs/ballasts/fuses, I would like to know about it upfront (so I can order more or try a different technique).

I look forward to your responses.

Thanks,

James Mann
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#2 Mike Williamson

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 09:22 PM

I've used the same technique you have, putting compact fluorescent bulbs on hand dimmers. It's not the most repeatable thing from what I've found, as dialing it in can be very touchy. I had one shoot where I actually couldn't induce flicker at any point on the dimmer, so I had to have somebody gag it which wasn't quite as effective.
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#3 Matt Garrett

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 03:08 AM

Has anybody hooked up kinos to a type of strobe system?
How difficult is it to pull off?
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#4 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 11:51 AM

Not sure that would create as much of a flicker effect as it would just looking like the bulbs are slowly turning off and on. Even if the speed of the strobing is sped up, the bulbs still take a moment to "ignite."
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#5 timHealy

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 02:07 PM

Has anybody hooked up kinos to a type of strobe system?
How difficult is it to pull off?



How would you hook up Kino's to a strobe system? Or were you possible referring to a dimmer board and dimmer system?

Best

Tim
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#6 James Mann

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 12:55 AM

Just thought that I would do a follow up here...

I ended up making strip lights that we built (recessed) into the set. The strips lights (containing btwn 5 and 9 household flood/spot fixtures) were put through flicker boxes and we were able to find a setting that looked like some genuine florescent flicker.

We did however take some time to experiment with a set of florescent fixtures that the production designer had bought for one of the rooms on set. After a good deal of patching and repatching we discovered that we were able to get the florescents to flicker considerably and consistently by cube tapping them onto the same line as any tungsten unit (xmas lights also worked) on their way to the flicker box.

I can not explain why this works, I can only ensure you that it does work. So for those of you out there looking to make your kinos flicker as though something is wrong with the wiring or power or whatever effect you feel this would be good for, make sure you cube tap the units along with any constant source (standard light bulb, xmas lights, incandescent unit, etc...) and then send the line to a flicker box...

James
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#7 Michael Nash

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 02:51 PM

We did however take some time to experiment with a set of florescent fixtures that the production designer had bought for one of the rooms on set. After a good deal of patching and repatching we discovered that we were able to get the florescents to flicker considerably and consistently by cube tapping them onto the same line as any tungsten unit (xmas lights also worked) on their way to the flicker box.

I can not explain why this works, I can only ensure you that it does work. So for those of you out there looking to make your kinos flicker as though something is wrong with the wiring or power or whatever effect you feel this would be good for, make sure you cube tap the units along with any constant source (standard light bulb, xmas lights, incandescent unit, etc...) and then send the line to a flicker box...

James


That's a simple matter of the voltage being too low. Cheap commercial fluorescent ballasts are very finicky about getting enough voltage, and will flicker or not strike at all if you cube-tap too many together. A simple dimmer will produce the same results, if you can set it accurately enough.
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