Jump to content


Photo

Advise wanted regarding first light kit


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 B B

B B

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:36 AM

Good afternoon,
I'm a new video producer who is planning to concentrate mostly on promotional/web videos. We've just purchased our first HD camera and are looking at purchasing an initial 3 point light kitto be used for lighting small indoor scenes (interview, b roll, etc.). I have been looking at a few alternatives and have been impressed with some of the basica fluerescent lighting kits available at cowboystudios.com. Our budget is only at around $1500. Does anyone have any advise on what we should be getting for our first light kit. Thanks in advance. BB.
  • 0

#2 David Rakoczy

David Rakoczy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1579 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • USA

Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:47 AM

Mr BB,

Per the rules of this Forum, please go to My Controls and change your screen name to your real first and last name.

The members thank you in advance.
  • 0

#3 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 18 August 2009 - 06:03 PM

Good afternoon,
I'm a new video producer who is planning to concentrate mostly on promotional/web videos. We've just purchased our first HD camera and are looking at purchasing an initial 3 point light kitto be used for lighting small indoor scenes (interview, b roll, etc.). I have been looking at a few alternatives and have been impressed with some of the basica fluerescent lighting kits available at cowboystudios.com. Our budget is only at around $1500. Does anyone have any advise on what we should be getting for our first light kit. Thanks in advance. BB.


My first question is why you, as a PRODUCER, would be purchasing equipment at all? Are you a rental company or are you a Producer?

As a Producer, it's your job to gather the resources (people and gear) necessary to create the content necessary to fulfill the requirements of each project that your clients ask for. Buying ANY gear (Cameras, lighting, grip, electric, wardrobe, sets, etc) may be good for that particular project, but what about the next one that doesn't need THAT specific stuff?

How about worrying more about RENTING appropriate gear and HIRING appropriate crew as each project comes? For $1,500.00 you're not going to BUY much. If you're that interested in saving money. then just drag your "talent" out into the daylight and shoot them no matter what it looks like? But if you're interested in creating great looking projects that will impress future clients and bring in more work, why not hire qualified professionals who will know which specific equipment and resources you'll need as each project calls for? As soon as you buy gear, you'll either be looking for projects that ONLY will be able to use that gear OR you'll compromise other projects in your attempt to only use the stuff you've bought.

EVERY project is inherently different and needs different things. In the past TWO DAYS, I used NONE of my own gear yesterday and used only two lights from my five light kit (and all the other grip/electric stuff I own). Yes, I have lights and accessories for those, but I'm not a rental house. And no Producer should be either lest he make compromises on the projects he creates for a client.

For $1,500.00, you won't be able to buy enough of the lighting AND grip AND electric gear that you really need to make the best images you need. You're better off getting BUDGETS that OTHER PEOPLE pay for and renting the gear on an "as needed" basis instead of having to worry about using gear you've "invested" in and paying for maintenance. Let a rental house deal with that headache.

If you want to be a professional Producer, then do that. Don't open up a rental house. There are already plenty of those in addition to "owner/operators" who own gear that they'll gladly bring and rent to you. The money you thing you'll save by buying all of that will never pay off for a lot of reasons. Just be a PRODUCER and let the crew bring the gear or rent it "as needed."

And in the same vein, because you're likely going to insist that YOUR camera be used for all of your shoots, you've just eliminated a vast majority of the most skilled Cameramen you could have had come to shoot your videos. A LOT of them out there already own their own cameras and lighting gear so they are far less willing to take your lower day rate to use your (likely) crappy gear than to hold out for a job that uses their own gear. There are some Cameramen who will go out and use a company's gear, but that limits the talent pool for you unnecessarily. Paying someone who is QUALIFIED and EXPERIENCED in using his own gear is likely far more useful to you as a Cameraman than someone who doesn't own any of his own gear.

If you're hell bent on buying all of your own gear just to save a few bucks on each shoot, I'm sure that you can purchase a fairly cheap three light package from somewhere without any of the necessary accessories professionals use to control the light. Check out Whitehouse Video or Craigslist for some deals. Otherwise, if you're serious about being a PRODUCER instead of a RENTAL HOUSE, then invest your time and money into PEOPLE who will make you and your company look good instead of trying to save a few bucks by owning things.

Just my .02 cents.

:)
  • 0

#4 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 18 August 2009 - 11:24 PM

The best advice I can give you right now is to read Brian's post twice. Right now, you don't want to limit the quality of your images with the equipment you have. It will be much smarter to rent what you need for the job, make great images, and earn return clients.
  • 0

#5 JB_Letchinger

JB_Letchinger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, California

Posted 20 August 2009 - 03:00 PM

Good afternoon,
I'm a new video producer who is planning to concentrate mostly on promotional/web videos. We've just purchased our first HD camera and are looking at purchasing an initial 3 point light kitto be used for lighting small indoor scenes (interview, b roll, etc.). I have been looking at a few alternatives and have been impressed with some of the basica fluerescent lighting kits available at cowboystudios.com. Our budget is only at around $1500. Does anyone have any advise on what we should be getting for our first light kit. Thanks in advance. BB.


For someone starting a small production company, I think its fine to buy your own gear. However, you may want to wait until you've seen a bit more and done a bit more... Also, figure out who your shooters/sound guys are going to be - - see what gear they have --- see how much it will save you to not rent their gear... sometimes only 50 bucks here or there.. Also, you may really like Arri Kits, Kinos, or something else only after realizing their capabilities.. going Kino only (or knock-off cheapo flo) may not give you the results you're locking for (patterns, shadows, controllability).. Define your style, find your crew, research your gear, THEN buy if it makes sense. That way you won't dump money on stuff you'll outgrow in 6 months.
  • 0


The Slider

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Technodolly

CineLab

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

Opal

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal

Glidecam

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio