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Cutting Overhead needs to start Overhead


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#1 David Cronin

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:56 PM

Little Letter I wrote to LA times... just thought everyone should know where that 10-99 self employment tax is going.

Cutting overhead needs to start overhead.

In reading David S. Clouds, article from the Washington tribune about Secretary Bob Gates cutting military spending I found Chip Somodevilla's photograph on Tuesdays edition of the times pg. A8 to be ironically expository of the current situation in Washington.

The photo taken by Mr. Somodevilla seems oddly angled upward for dramatic flair, or perhaps the photographer knows something that the majority of American's do not?

The ceiling of the press conference room where Gates addressed the media that day shows a grid of 30 1x1ft LED light panels. This light is primarily used as a battery powered energy efficient light for field work in the television and movie industry. It's nice to have one or two on set because of it's superb mobility and color clarity.

The light is a difficult item to get at times because the cost of each unit hovers around $2,000.00 retail. Somodevilla's picture shows 30 individual fixtures, tallying the cost of lighting the press conference room an impressive $60,000.

The article noted that "in inflation adjusted dollars, the administration defense budget request for fiscal year 2011 is at the highest level since World War II." World War II was a time when the government asked the American people to conserve in effort to help supply our troops abroad. The draft also was a sacrifice felt by all classes of society. Today we hide behind our dollar, putting our country in debt, hindering our economy and destroying our working class by offering them few financial options besides the military to receive a less and less valuable education.

I believe that American safety is of great importance and that our involvement overseas is necessary at this point in time. The world is an unsafe place, far more so than it was before 9/11 and a great deal of that insecurity has stemmed from our own action both overseas and with our neighbors in Mexico.

After reading Mr. Gates' book, I believe he is a man who looks at all possible options for both security and fiscal responsibility. I hope he is working hard to keep us safe and cut excessive spending. But I also know he does not have the time or energy to look into the cost of lighting the press room at the Pentagon, someone should.

-David Cronin
Lamp Operator, Hollywood California.

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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 08:15 AM

Cutting overhead needs to start overhead.


The ceiling of the press conference room where Gates addressed the media that day shows a grid of 30 1x1ft LED light panels.

The light is a difficult item to get at times because the cost of each unit hovers around $2,000.00 retail. .


LED's starting to become popular in architectural applications.

What you're not including is the savings from not having to run a high current electrical service to conventional lights, the savings in air conditioning load, the savings from the reduced structural load of LED's versus conventional fixtures, the savings in installation costs from installing light weight lighting, etc. Plus I would hope the DOD plans on being around long enough to see a considerable savings over the years in electricity cost.

Also: $2K is the retail price, contrary to public (uninformed) opinion the Defense Department pays less than wholesale for commercial items. I've got a pretty good handle on what the DOD pays for high end commercially available electronics test equipment. They'll pay around $12K for something that would cost you and me around $18-20K.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 12:57 PM

It's an interesting point: I understand that in the warmer parts of the world, the saving in air con from fluorescent lighting actually outweighs the saving in consumed electricity.

Still, you'd have thought fluorescent ought to be cheaper.

P
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#4 David Cronin

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 12:52 PM

Also: $2K is the retail price, contrary to public (uninformed) opinion the Defense Department pays less than wholesale for commercial items. I've got a pretty good handle on what the DOD pays for high end commercially available electronics test equipment. They'll pay around $12K for something that would cost you and me around $18-20K.
[/quote]

Your probably correct. In talking with a best boy on a shoot a couple days ago he told me that Light Panel was a military company before becoming commercially viable. I guess light panel developed an LED infrared light panel for low key military night applications. That allowed people to be see without exposing them with a visible source of light.
Pretty cool...
Could be fun to light a film with infrared sensitive stock and a bunch of infrared light panels
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 02:13 PM

Wow, what a waste, that's 0.02¢ (decimal cents, not dollars) per person in the United States.


Here I thought you were talking about makeup or wardrobe. What do you want, our government to go without electricity and running water in its facilities? Whale oil lamps and quill pens more to your taste? This is an example of being penny wise and pound foolish. Scrimping on upgrades and expenses will ultimately cost MORE money in the long run. The only place I don't like fluorescents. LEDs, and new lighting technologies are on movie sets, because Incandescents are illegal. That is going too far. . .

Even if you were talking about makeup and wardrobe costs, you're coming from the movie industry. That is someone's job to dress and makeup our public officials. It's not like the Chinese are buying that as a $60,000 bond, it gamefully employs an expert in the field. I only take exception when U.S. taxpayer dollars go abroad when a domestic product of comparable quality is available, or there is a gross waste of money. The U.S. Government should be one step ABOVE a comparable corporate environment, not ten steps below. Look in any corporate conference room and you'll see similar items.

Edited by Karl Borowski, 16 August 2010 - 02:16 PM.

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#6 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 03:48 PM

Now, now kids. Don't get so worked up about this. Next thing you'll demand that Fortune 500 companies' CEOs and shareholders give up their lofty lifestyles instead of downsizing their outfits (i.e. firing employees). :blink:
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