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Protecting lights in shower room


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#1 Maya Bankovic

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 11:52 AM

Hi,

Can anyone give me some advice on the best way to protect lights (and the crew) from the moisture and humidity in a large shower room? I'll be using small HMIs (200W and 400W jokerbugs) and 2 or 3 4' kino banks hanging from 12' concrete ceilings in a public shower (which is about 10' x 6'). What's a good way to protect them and to make sure it's safe in there? The steam will be artificial so that can minimize the actual humidity, but i'm concerned about the water.

Thanks a lot for any input you might have

Maya
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#2 Ralph Keyser

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 12:00 PM

Are the lights going to be sprayed directly with water?
The humidity probably won't bother them too much, but water on the HMIs can crack lenses and short out ballasts. Bron makes waterproof HMIs that are perfectly happy in a pouring rain, so that might be one option. Otherwise sheets of diffusion material can be used to keep the water off the heads. They even make a clear, heat-protective gel if you don't want to alter the light quality. You might look at the light through plastic sheeting, maybe the look will work for you. You'll need more distance if you go that route, of course, to keep from melting the plastic. Use lots of head cable to get the ballast out of harms way. I've had good luck with Kino Flos getting splashed, but once again some gel might help prevent water from reaching the head. The same comment on the ballast applies.

I'd strongly recommend a gaffer with experience around water, and make sure there is budget to GFI all your outlets.

Hope the shoot goes well!
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#3 Maya Bankovic

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 11:23 AM

Hi Ralph,

The lights won't be sprayed directly with water, in fact they'll be rigged several feet above the shower heads, probably not even directly above them. I am actually looking for a diffused top-light look, was thinking maybe opal, so I was thinking of using frames below the lights (which will probably be jokerbugs, which perform pretty well in damp conditions anyhow). I'll definitely pick up some of the clear gels you've recommended as well. Moving the ballasts to another room is definitely possible, but is there a material that's particularly good for wrapping around the connections on the head cable by the lights themselves? I've seen regular plastic sheets used in the rain but I'm not sure whether or not it was something specific.

Anyhow, thanks very much, you've been very helpful!
Maya
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#4 Serge Teulon

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 01:48 PM

Unless there is loads of water going on them the heat generated from the light will evaporate the drop of water before it can cause any harm.
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#5 Ira Ratner

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 07:00 PM

A large shower scene? And no one asked who's in the shower?

You guys have to get out more.

So I'm asking.
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#6 Andrew Koch

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:53 PM

If you want to cover the heads, you can make rain hats out of Celo screen. If a drop of water hits the lens, it is quite possible that the lens will crack. This is particularly dangerous if rigged overhead because the glass could fall on the actors. I would be more concerned about anybody who is standing in the shower (actors, crew) The shock could be fatal if any of those lights fall due to the high conductivity of water. Definitely put every light on a GCFI. I agree that you should consult a very experienced gaffer who has worked in this type of situation. If you can, have the water completely shut off in addition to the knobs in the shower. Make sure you are abiding by all safety regulations, what ever they may be for your area. I know that SAG has it's own rules for working with actors.
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#7 Maya Bankovic

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 05:19 PM

You're right, having an experienced gaffer will help ease everyone's minds. It also sounds like the director is minimizing the action in the shower room (we may just pass by it, for example) for creative reasons, and maybe also for logistical reasons. This is a dance sequence so the actors are actually all professional dancers who will be placed throughout a locker room, shower room and public swimming pool for a long steadicam shot through the space. I was concerned about the lens cracking, as you mentioned Andrew, so I'm thinking of different types of diffusion that I can use on frames below the hanging lights that can also aid in protecting them from any splashing.

Another thing I wanted to bring up is rigging- the space has high ceilings (about 14') with concrete planks across the length of the ceiling, each with about 2' between them. It's a little difficult to describe, but basically they are concrete rafters with no space above them, only between them. Are polecats the best option for hanging lights between these sections? Stretchers are safer, but we can't drill into these slabs. They're each fairly thick (about 6") and I think clamping onto a slab itself would be very risky, so creating some sort of grid system would be safer I think. I know it's vague, but any ideas?

Thanks again.
Maya
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#8 Joe Turrentine

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:06 AM

Depending on how fine or rough the concrete is, a pole cat may or may not work. If the concrete beams are only 6" wide, then you can use a simple 10" or 12" C clamp to rig fixtures, and it would work just fine, so long as you could run safety chain somewhere solid. You could also rig some aircraft cable for a group of instruments. A lot of ways to do it, hard to determine what would be safest without being there.

With a good set of cribbing and a proper safety system, you can rig a C clamp most anywhere that it will fit and have it be secure. Problems occur when you need to be gentle to some drywall or the ceiling is too low.

Just my two cents.
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#9 Maya Bankovic

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:38 PM

Depending on how fine or rough the concrete is, a pole cat may or may not work. If the concrete beams are only 6" wide, then you can use a simple 10" or 12" C clamp to rig fixtures, and it would work just fine, so long as you could run safety chain somewhere solid. You could also rig some aircraft cable for a group of instruments. A lot of ways to do it, hard to determine what would be safest without being there.

With a good set of cribbing and a proper safety system, you can rig a C clamp most anywhere that it will fit and have it be secure. Problems occur when you need to be gentle to some drywall or the ceiling is too low.

Just my two cents.


Thanks Joe, I'm going to check out the place with the gaffer again tomorrow. Yours may be a better idea. We're using fairly light-weight lights anyhow.
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