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Theater Lights for Film?


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#1 Fred Neilsen

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 07:09 PM

A friend of mine is offering me the opportunity to borrow ten or so theater lights that he wont be using (fresnels, parnels, par 64s...) So, anyway, I was wondering if there is a major difference between film and theater lights,

Is there a difference between the quality of the beam, and the overall construction of the units?

Has anyone used theater lights to shoot a short film?

Or is it just that a fresnel is a fresnel?

Thank-you in advance,

Fred

Edited by Frederik Nielssen, 07 February 2010 - 07:11 PM.

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#2 Toby Orzano

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 07:52 PM

Par cans and ellipsoidals (leko, source 4) are used all the time in film lighting. I don't know specifics about theatre fresnels but I can't imagine they'd be too different from film fresnels. Especially if you're on a budget, I'd say go ahead and take whatever you can get. It really doesn't matter what kind of lights you use as long as you know what they can do and use them for the proper applications. See if you can check out these lights and see if any of them are comparable to film lights you'd like to have. As long as they are high enough wattage for your needs and you have adequate grip stuff to be able to control and shape the light you should be alright.
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#3 David Rakoczy

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 08:16 PM

Theatre fresnels (like De Sisti) can not handle the rigors and abuse experienced on real Shows! They are made to just 'hang' out with occasional pans and tilts. Mole on the other hand builds them for abuse.
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#4 Paul Bruening

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 11:44 PM

A friend of mine is offering me the opportunity to borrow ten or so theater lights that he wont be using (fresnels, parnels, par 64s...) So, anyway, I was wondering if there is a major difference between film and theater lights,

Is there a difference between the quality of the beam, and the overall construction of the units?

Has anyone used theater lights to shoot a short film?

Or is it just that a fresnel is a fresnel?

Thank-you in advance,

Fred


Better lights are better, if you have the luxury of a choice. If you're on a thin dime and need a lot of light for cheap, those PAR 64, aluminum cans are really useful. You can't adjust the beam except by changing the lamps, which is a pain. But, if you're not terribly picky about your beam and don't mind sliding scrims in and out, they're quite usable. Did I mention that they are cheap? They are the most useful, powerful and flicker-free light by the penny out there.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 05:52 AM

While I'd certainly agree with previous comments that theatre lights aren't often as well built as movie lights, at some point, light is light, and if it puts in it the right place in the right way, what's the harm. They're certainly cheaper.

It probably goes against you idea of said about saving cash, but I quite like the moving-head fresnels. Programmable colour, usually, and the unusual combination of a hard light with a very consistent and nicely-focussed beam. Usually not flicker free, though.

P
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 10:55 AM

One day to day practical problem may be that theatre stands aren't as handy as film & TV stands, but if you're on a budget, just like the lights they'll do the job. Also, check the connectors, they may be different to your other cables and location power sockets.
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#7 Fred Neilsen

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 03:37 PM

Thank you everyone for clarifying my confusion, I guess theater lights seem like a viable option.

So I might be spending more money on renting grip equipment than the actual fixtures, I don't really like the enormous lighting trees.
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#8 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 04:30 PM

One day to day practical problem may be that theatre stands aren't as handy as film & TV stands, but if you're on a budget, just like the lights they'll do the job. Also, check the connectors, they may be different to your other cables and location power sockets.


Frequently theater lights are rigged to pipe clamps to hang from a ceiling grid.

You may need to rent junior pin or baby receiver bail blocks and replace the pipe clamps if you're planning to put the lights on stands.
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#9 Paul Bruening

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 05:46 PM

Frequently theater lights are rigged to pipe clamps to hang from a ceiling grid.

You may need to rent junior pin or baby receiver bail blocks and replace the pipe clamps if you're planning to put the lights on stands.


I've got 9 of those PAR 64 cans. That's what I did to mine. Bail blocks.
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#10 David Rakoczy

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 05:51 PM

..find some Set Lamps... in the end that is what you'll want. You can find them cheap... look hard!
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#11 JD Hartman

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 06:33 PM

I've got 9 of those PAR 64 cans. That's what I did to mine. Bail blocks.


Or a TVMP adapter, which like the bail block, will also allow you to mount the fixtures on stands which have a baby pin.

Like these: http://www.bhphotovi...MP_Adapter.html
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#12 Dominic Cochran

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:39 AM

Make sure they have Edison plugs. It's easy to re-wire them if not, but you might want to ask!
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