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Flashlights and Film


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#1 Lee Young

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 08:03 PM

I have a scene that takes place in a small cemetery in which I need two characters to have flashlights. I've been doing a little research on what flashlights to use, but unfortunately none of it has addressed cinematography.

It seems that most movies (Jurassic Park or X-Files for instance) are using maxabeams. I can't afford maxabeams (2500 big ones). But I have also noticed that television shows are using high powered led flashlights like surefires.

I was think of using something like the tiablo A9. Here's some videos showing what its capable of.




I know these videos aren't too helpful, but its all I have to work with at this point. The reason I am leaning towards this flashlight is its power and also its long throw pencil beam like that of the maxabeam.

The other option I was considering is the cyclops CYC-S6X.
http://www.amazon.co...&pf_rd_i=507846



The 2nd video is not the same as the one I am looking at, but its the same type of flashlight. The quality of light seems a lot better on these, buy these lights only last 30 minutes and take 18 hours to charge, which scares me a little bit. I would probably end up buying four.

I would like to get your guys' thoughts on this. I will be smoking the set and I will be hiding a smaller flashlight on the side of whichever one I buy to give a little light on the actors faces. My budget is is $75 per flashlight. Thanks a lot.

*BTW I am shooting in black and white, so color temperature in not much of an issue.
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#2 J. Lamar King

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 06:10 PM

Well you don't say what type of film stock you are using or type of digital camera. Most of the Surefire type flashlights have plenty of power to register at say ISO 320 and probably much lower. How much reach you get out of the beam is dependent on the particular flashlight and how well it's charged. Testing is needed if you have to have a certain throw out of it. If you set it up right, the actors can light themselves with their own or each others flashlights by directing them at each others body or bounce cards off screen.
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#3 Lee Young

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 07:35 PM

This will be shot at 200 ASA. Ideally I would like to shoot at an aperture no higher than 2.8. I looked into the surefires but they don't give that extra thin, long throw beam I am looking for. Don't get me wrong, I see why they are useful in certain applications, but I am shooting in a large area and I want the beams to show up from far away. I am going to use smoke to bring out the beams as much as possible. Has anyone tried using the high candle power incandescents or HIDs.

Also, my plan for illuminating the actor's faces as they are walking forward:
Put diffusion over a low powered flashlight and gaff tape it to the side of the flashlight not seen by the camera facing the actor. I did some test with this and it looked pretty damn convincing.

Once, they start talking I am definitely going to do the strategic flashlight placement you are talking about.

The general set-up is a 5K backlighting them (moonlight) and then the flashlights doing the rest. There will probably be some accent lights and some other supplemental light, but that's the general idea.
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#4 julie kain

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 02:45 AM

Hello Lee,

Try this 2 Led Squeeze Flashlight. Handle repeatedly to charge everday uses 2 super bright. Can get right now and available more lighting products.

Thanks
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