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What's a good light kit for greenscreen, interviews, narrative


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#1 matthewb

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 01:07 AM

I was hoping to get people's opinions on what would be a good all round light kit for greenscreen, interviews, and narrative. My budget is not huge, but i don't mind paying for quality gear that will last me for years. At the moment i am looking at a 1K Arri Fresnel, 3 x 650 watt Arri Fresnels, and a 150 watt Arri Fresnel (boomed as a hair light), all with coollights softbox attachments (except for the 150watt) and scrim kits.

What are everyone's thoughts, would such a kit get me out of trouble in most situations, or is there something better for the same sort of money?
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 06:55 AM

I was hoping to get people's opinions on what would be a good all round light kit for greenscreen, interviews, and narrative. My budget is not huge, but i don't mind paying for quality gear that will last me for years. At the moment i am looking at a 1K Arri Fresnel, 3 x 650 watt Arri Fresnels, and a 150 watt Arri Fresnel (boomed as a hair light), all with coollights softbox attachments (except for the 150watt) and scrim kits.

What are everyone's thoughts, would such a kit get me out of trouble in most situations, or is there something better for the same sort of money?



My kit of choice that gets me through most non-greenscreen AND greenscreen interviews is:

one ARRI 1K openface with small or medium chimera (for the key)
two ARRI 650w fresnels (for the greenscreen or other background elements)
one ARRI 300w fresnel for backlight (hung on the outstretched arm of a C-stand)

In my experience (after lighting hundreds of these kinds of interviews) is that this kit is really the bare minimum you can get away with before you run into trouble. The way I go about lighting this setup is to start by setting the frame. The greenscreen goes up first, a 9-foot seamless green (paper) mounted on a backdrop stand (I use the stand from Calumet). If there's enough room, I'll place the interviewee chair roughly eight feet from the green to eliminate splashback. The camera goes about 6-feet from the subject to give "comfortable" space between the interviewer and the subject without being too far away. All of that, of course, varies depending upon the space I have to work with.

Once the screen direction is determined (looking to camera left or to camera right), the ARRI 1K goes to the interviewer side of the camera.

The backlight is hung from the outstretched arm of a C-stand which keeps the stand itself out of frame while placing the light itself roughly just behind the subject. A dimmer is placed on that to be adjusted later when levels are finalized.

Now, the two 650w units go on either side of the subject, as far back and as straight on to the screen as possible. You need to get them as far back as you can in order to maximize the spread of the light across the green. If they are placed too close, then the green that is in your frame will "fall off" on the edges. Note: with this setup and these units, you really cannot light the entire green evenly but you can get a perfectly even light across only the area that you need. Once I'm happy that the light looks even, I'll whip out the old Spectra (with the moving needle) and just move it across the green (that is in the frame... I turn the monitor so I can see where I'm at in the frame) and I can very quickly and visibly see the needle move as the meter passes bright or dim spots. If those exist,I can make adjustments on the 650s, moving them forward or back.

If the 650s are so far back (from the green) that they are in line with or slightly in front of the seated interviewee, I put blackwrap or set c-stand/solids to keep them from spilling onto the subject.

Once I'm happy with the spread, I'll then work on the levels. The 1K for the key is generally a couple of stops less than what the green is kicking back, so I'll take a footcandle reading on the key then scrim down the 650s until I get to that level or close. Then, finally, I'll adjust the dimmer on the 300k to generally a stop or two below key.

That gets me close with a sit-in. When the real-y sits in, I may have to make a quick adjustment on the key and backlight, but always around where I've set the green levels so I don't have to mess with all of that again. On some occasions, I'll have to take the key down a little, I might toss a scrim in if I can't (or don't want to) physically move the stand back.


That basic kit gets me through 99% of situations I'm tossed into, including greenscreen. I do carry an additional 500w OMNI that fits nicely inside my AKS/Grip/Electric pelican case as a "just in case I need one more light" light.

If you need to light a larger area of the green, then you need more real-estate to get those units back even farther, BUT beware as your levels start too drop quickly. The above scenario has me shooting nearly wide open (on an F900 or similar0 so dropping the levels even farther means really pushing the limits.


The other reason this kit works for me so well is that it packs nearly everything I need in just two cases. The ARRI light kit case (the big gray one they sell) has all the lights, stands, scrims, etc and the pelican case has stingers, dimmers, grip clips and most everything else that can fit in there. I also carry four NORMS c-stands, a few sandbags, and just a few solids of varying size. If needed, I also have in my truck some duvateen (for windows or floors), two Westcott ScrimJim kits (one large and one small frame) if I shoot outdoors and need to take the background down a couple of stops and/or take the sun off the subject. All of that plus the camera, batteries, monitor, tripod fit comfortably on a Magliner so I'm making just a single trip inside the location instead of needing to take several trips. This gets me inside the location quickly and setting up quickly. Any less gear, and I find myself struggling to "make it work" though I know that the setup could be better and quicker. Any more and I can't get it all in quickly (usually by myself or with the help of the Sound Mixer) and I generally don't need anything extra. Why carry in extra lights or hardware that will just sit there for the duration? It just means that you have to drag it back to the truck which drags out wrap which cuts into your time at home. :)


I took the attached pictures on a stage where I got to set up (mainly because I had room to set up and take wider pictures of the setup) but the same setup works in most office, home, or otherwise "practical" locations.
http://www.dzyak.com/greensetup1.jpg
http://www.dzyak.com/greensetup2.jpg
http://www.dzyak.com/greensetup3.jpg
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#3 matthewb

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:00 PM

My kit of choice that gets me through most non-greenscreen AND greenscreen interviews is:

one ARRI 1K openface with small or medium chimera (for the key)
two ARRI 650w fresnels (for the greenscreen or other background elements)
one ARRI 300w fresnel for backlight (hung on the outstretched arm of a C-stand)

In my experience (after lighting hundreds of these kinds of interviews) is that this kit is really the bare minimum you can get away with before you run into trouble. The way I go about lighting this setup is to start by setting the frame. The greenscreen goes up first, a 9-foot seamless green (paper) mounted on a backdrop stand (I use the stand from Calumet). If there's enough room, I'll place the interviewee chair roughly eight feet from the green to eliminate splashback. The camera goes about 6-feet from the subject to give "comfortable" space between the interviewer and the subject without being too far away. All of that, of course, varies depending upon the space I have to work with.

Once the screen direction is determined (looking to camera left or to camera right), the ARRI 1K goes to the interviewer side of the camera.

The backlight is hung from the outstretched arm of a C-stand which keeps the stand itself out of frame while placing the light itself roughly just behind the subject. A dimmer is placed on that to be adjusted later when levels are finalized.

Now, the two 650w units go on either side of the subject, as far back and as straight on to the screen as possible. You need to get them as far back as you can in order to maximize the spread of the light across the green. If they are placed too close, then the green that is in your frame will "fall off" on the edges. Note: with this setup and these units, you really cannot light the entire green evenly but you can get a perfectly even light across only the area that you need. Once I'm happy that the light looks even, I'll whip out the old Spectra (with the moving needle) and just move it across the green (that is in the frame... I turn the monitor so I can see where I'm at in the frame) and I can very quickly and visibly see the needle move as the meter passes bright or dim spots. If those exist,I can make adjustments on the 650s, moving them forward or back.

If the 650s are so far back (from the green) that they are in line with or slightly in front of the seated interviewee, I put blackwrap or set c-stand/solids to keep them from spilling onto the subject.

Once I'm happy with the spread, I'll then work on the levels. The 1K for the key is generally a couple of stops less than what the green is kicking back, so I'll take a footcandle reading on the key then scrim down the 650s until I get to that level or close. Then, finally, I'll adjust the dimmer on the 300k to generally a stop or two below key.

That gets me close with a sit-in. When the real-y sits in, I may have to make a quick adjustment on the key and backlight, but always around where I've set the green levels so I don't have to mess with all of that again. On some occasions, I'll have to take the key down a little, I might toss a scrim in if I can't (or don't want to) physically move the stand back.


That basic kit gets me through 99% of situations I'm tossed into, including greenscreen. I do carry an additional 500w OMNI that fits nicely inside my AKS/Grip/Electric pelican case as a "just in case I need one more light" light.

If you need to light a larger area of the green, then you need more real-estate to get those units back even farther, BUT beware as your levels start too drop quickly. The above scenario has me shooting nearly wide open (on an F900 or similar0 so dropping the levels even farther means really pushing the limits.


The other reason this kit works for me so well is that it packs nearly everything I need in just two cases. The ARRI light kit case (the big gray one they sell) has all the lights, stands, scrims, etc and the pelican case has stingers, dimmers, grip clips and most everything else that can fit in there. I also carry four NORMS c-stands, a few sandbags, and just a few solids of varying size. If needed, I also have in my truck some duvateen (for windows or floors), two Westcott ScrimJim kits (one large and one small frame) if I shoot outdoors and need to take the background down a couple of stops and/or take the sun off the subject. All of that plus the camera, batteries, monitor, tripod fit comfortably on a Magliner so I'm making just a single trip inside the location instead of needing to take several trips. This gets me inside the location quickly and setting up quickly. Any less gear, and I find myself struggling to "make it work" though I know that the setup could be better and quicker. Any more and I can't get it all in quickly (usually by myself or with the help of the Sound Mixer) and I generally don't need anything extra. Why carry in extra lights or hardware that will just sit there for the duration? It just means that you have to drag it back to the truck which drags out wrap which cuts into your time at home. :)


I took the attached pictures on a stage where I got to set up (mainly because I had room to set up and take wider pictures of the setup) but the same setup works in most office, home, or otherwise "practical" locations.
http://www.dzyak.com/greensetup1.jpg
http://www.dzyak.com/greensetup2.jpg
http://www.dzyak.com/greensetup3.jpg


Thanks for the detailed post Brian, it really helped me clear up a few issues i had. The photos helped tremendously. Do you think that soft box attachments for the 650's would give a more even screen light and possibly a more even key?

When you say you dim the 300watt, does that change the colour temp at all?

Should i consider a third 650watt as a just in case light/fill light/ or another background light?
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#4 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 11:13 PM

Thanks for the detailed post Brian, it really helped me clear up a few issues i had. The photos helped tremendously. Do you think that soft box attachments for the 650's would give a more even screen light and possibly a more even key?

When you say you dim the 300watt, does that change the colour temp at all?

Should i consider a third 650watt as a just in case light/fill light/ or another background light?


I've seen some people use chimeras on the background lights, but I think that softboxes knock the levels down too much.

Dimming the backlight does warm the color temp up a bit, but I prefer, in a most cases, a warmer look so it does the job of a gel without using one. But honestly, it's neglible.

It's always handy to have an extra light laying around just in case. I tend to only use the 1K with Chimera with no fill for a key, but on occasion, I'll put up a bounce card and let the key do the fill for me or I'll set up the extra light and bounce that. It really domes down to the look you want to achieve and your personal preferences. I've seen guys do what I do but use a 40 footer and a whole crew. Those are generally Cameramen who come from a narrative film background and don't know how to downshift. Other guys who are on this level still bring in "too much" stuff and put up twice the number of lights and stands to get to the same place. On the other hand, I also know a few guys who arrive with half of what I use and pull off similar shots, albeit with a few compromises, but "good enough" for their clients. So it really comes down to personal preference. If feel that the basic package of stuff that I carry is A) enough to do the job right without going overboard or underboard and B ) provides enough "show" for clients and talent so they know that this isn't just some lame-o quickie news shoot with a sungun. It is ultimately about what's on screen, but there's a bit of "show" that needs to go on too within the parameters of time and budget. Everyone has their own ideas about what is the "right" package that they are comfortable with, but I think I've found the right balance.
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#5 Michael E Brown

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 11:19 PM

Def stick with Arri on a kit like this. The Softbank I kit has everything (except C-stands, etc) that Brian mentioned wrapped up in one kit. 1K open face, Small Chimera, (2) 650 fresnels, (1) 300 fresnel. I'm not going to say anything about the other softbox brands, but let me just recommend to stick with Chimera. Mainly for the same reason I would stick with Arri. It's standard gear that is built well and will last.

Chimeras on the 650s will cut your light significantly. If you need to cut a bit of light and even out the green a little, some diffusion across the doors of the fixture should do the trick. You may have to flag a bit more for spill, but no worse than with a Chimera. 650s will not fill a standard Video Chimera either, and no sense in jumping to Quartz or Daylight banks that cost more than the fixtures.

Now, let me throw another idea at you. I would seriously consider a Kino Flo option. You may spend a bit more, but I think the ease and reduced power & heat would be worth it. A setup as simple as a Diva 400 for key, two Barfly 400s or 200s for screen, and a Barfly 100 for backlight would be awesome. You can get green (or blue) tubes for the Barflys which make it considerably more effective for lighting the screen, plus you can put them much, much closer to the screen. You can plug all of this into a single circuit, probably with all your video gear.
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#6 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 07:49 AM

I've also used KINOs, but have since opted out of them because to get a large enough spread for the size setup I use (the green), it takes at least 4' four tube banks to do it. 2' banks are more portable, but can't light enough of the green which forces your shot to be tighter than most interviews should be. So, 4' KINOs are a good option, but taking everything into consideration, using them meant a second trip to the truck because I still need the ARRI units for lighting the subject and 4' KINOs and their ballasts/cables (in a separate crate) don't fit well on my magliner. I needed a second cart to make that work plus two additional C-stands and bags that I otherwise don't need when using the fresnels.

There are certainly many ways to do this, but taking all of my parameters into consideration, sticking with the ARRIs has been the best option whether I'm just shooting in town using my own truck or having to fly the gear somewhere exotic. More gear means more time and more cost. If I can get to the right place with fewer things, then I'm spending less money and I'm home a whole lot quicker. :)
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#7 matthewb

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 06:00 PM

@Brian - i completely agree that its all about personal preference. Atleast with the basic Arri kit i have a good starting point with room to grow my lighting kit.

@Michael - The Kino option would be great, but a little out of my price range (the Diva 400 is nearly the cost of the softbank Arri kit).
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#8 Michael E Brown

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:33 PM

@Brian - i completely agree that its all about personal preference. Atleast with the basic Arri kit i have a good starting point with room to grow my lighting kit.

@Michael - The Kino option would be great, but a little out of my price range (the Diva 400 is nearly the cost of the softbank Arri kit).


You may have looked at a multi fixture kit. A single Diva 400 kit is $1100, the Arri Softbank I is $2800. However, the complete Kino option would be at least $1000 more expensive than tungsten Arri.

Nothing wrong with the Arri tungsten stuff, I have quite a few of them :) If you want a few more options, you might consider the Softbank IV kit also, which is my most popular rental kit. It's a 1K w/ Chimera, (1) 650, (1) 300, (2) 150. You would need to add another 650 to the mix, but the 150s are nifty little fixtures. Very small and light - easy to rig up on a suspended ceiling when shooting in corporate offices, etc. If you decide to look at a used kit - check to see if the case has wheels or not. Arri only started putting wheels on the kits a few years ago. They do help to get the case around, plus you can tell how old the kit is.
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#9 matthewb

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 06:57 AM

If you want a few more options, you might consider the Softbank IV kit also, which is my most popular rental kit. It's a 1K w/ Chimera, (1) 650, (1) 300, (2) 150. You would need to add another 650 to the mix, but the 150s are nifty little fixtures. Very small and light - easy to rig up on a suspended ceiling when shooting in corporate offices, etc. If you decide to look at a used kit - check to see if the case has wheels or not. Arri only started putting wheels on the kits a few years ago. They do help to get the case around, plus you can tell how old the kit is.


Thanks, looks light a good kit.

What kind of a gel kit would you recommend (aside from 1/4, 1/2, and full CTB)? What sort of colour effect gels would be best for general corporate shoots and interviews?
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#10 Michael E Brown

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 08:24 AM

Thanks, looks light a good kit.

What kind of a gel kit would you recommend (aside from 1/4, 1/2, and full CTB)? What sort of colour effect gels would be best for general corporate shoots and interviews?


Are you thinking colors for shooting/slashing across the background? If so, anything bold and rich IMO is prefect for that - sometimes you have to decide what matches when you see the location's decorations. Blues, Magentas, and Purples always look great. You need a powerful fixture with super saturated colors, probably would want to use one of the 650s instead of the smaller ones.

I wouldn't bother with full CTB since it makes a tungsten light basically worthless. It cuts most of your light out when you need it the most - competing with daylight. I would look into gelling the windows with ND/CTO when needed so you cut the daylight down and your tungsten lights will be more effective. For outdoor shooting, you need more output than any of these lights has anyway.

Now, I'm a Lee Filters dealer but I'm sure all the brands have something similar to Lee's pre cut lighting packs. These packs have a bunch of 12x12" cuts of various gel that lets you try them out without buying full sheets or rolls. The Master Location pack has lots of color correction and diffusions along with some colors - 36 cuts I think. You might want to check those out.

http://www.leefilter...Lighting Packs/

Also check with your local expendables dealer for partial gel rolls, these can be had for way cheap. Full CTB can have a usable life measured in minutes if placed close to a hot light. Using larger cuts like 24x36" in a frame will lengthen the life, but make it a pain to carry around. So if you plan to use lots of something like that close to the lights, you might want to look into a partial roll. Even clipping the gel to the barn doors instead of using the gel frames on the lights will help lots.
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#11 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 10:16 AM

Thanks, looks light a good kit.

What kind of a gel kit would you recommend (aside from 1/4, 1/2, and full CTB)? What sort of colour effect gels would be best for general corporate shoots and interviews?


For most "serious" topics, I stay away from the party gels. The bold colors can add an instant "cheesy" factor that a lot of clients aren't keen on. Instead, I shoot most interviews trying to minimize depth-of-field in order to pop the interviewee out of the background and work toward a "natural" look in terms of lighting. In order to add some kind of pizzazz to the background, I'll generally aim to work a corner of a window into frame that I may or may not have time to ND gel down so that I can see outside. But generally, I look to put the camera in the farthest corner of a room that I can, shooting back toward the opposite corner (never shooting toward a "flat" surface) so that I have something interesting behind the subject that can be lit using a window to motivate shadows or other highlights that are interesting but don't compete with the person in the chair.

So, as far as gels go, if I ever do put any color on a light, it tends to be just a little CTO (1/4 or 1/2) just to warm it all up a bit. If I have absolutely nothing to shoot behind the subject and am shooting a featureless room or against a black, white, or gray backdrop, then it's all about getting as much texture out of what's there as possible and cutting light off of most of the background to minimize any ugly or uninteresting stuff.

But that's just me. :)

Edited by Brian Dzyak, 26 August 2010 - 10:17 AM.

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#12 matthewb

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 12:43 AM

Thanks for all the help guys, i have decided to go with the 2x 650's and 2x 300's, and then add a 1k and a 150 for times when i need the extra light.
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#13 JD Hartman

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 12:03 PM

Take at look at fixtures from B&M as well: http://bmlighting.com/site/ Maybe consider some used Mole(s). In his posts, Brian makes a number of excellant points. You wan your basic kit to have a much versatility as possible, while minimizing the the quantity and weight.

Edited by JD Hartman, 30 August 2010 - 12:08 PM.

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#14 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 08:40 PM

Thanks for all the help guys, i have decided to go with the 2x 650's and 2x 300's, and then add a 1k and a 150 for times when i need the extra light.


So you're thinking of using the 300s for the green and one of the 650s for the key? Or are the two 650s for the green? That would leave you with only the 300s for the key and backlight.

Let me just reiterate that anything less than a 650w fresnel won't give you a wide enough spread to light enough of a greenscreen for the standard head & shoulders interview shot. You could back the 300s up to get that spread, but you'd lose intensity quickly not to mention that to get the light even, you'd have to shine the units directly into the subject you're interviewing.

I suppose you might get away with using a 650w and a 300w to light the green, using the 650w on the lead-side and the 300w on the short side of the frame, but you'll still be having a hard time.


If anything, you'd do better with 3 650s and one 300. Or give up a 300w and add the 1K. The extra 300 and the 150 won't be very much help in most cases, in my experience. Yeah, those extra lights do come in handy from time to time, but for a general all-purpose kit for most interview situations including greenscreen, you really need at least 2 650s and then something comparable or better for the key.

Just my humble opinion. :)
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#15 matthewb

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 05:32 PM

So you're thinking of using the 300s for the green and one of the 650s for the key? Or are the two 650s for the green? That would leave you with only the 300s for the key and backlight.

Let me just reiterate that anything less than a 650w fresnel won't give you a wide enough spread to light enough of a greenscreen for the standard head & shoulders interview shot. You could back the 300s up to get that spread, but you'd lose intensity quickly not to mention that to get the light even, you'd have to shine the units directly into the subject you're interviewing.

I suppose you might get away with using a 650w and a 300w to light the green, using the 650w on the lead-side and the 300w on the short side of the frame, but you'll still be having a hard time.


If anything, you'd do better with 3 650s and one 300. Or give up a 300w and add the 1K. The extra 300 and the 150 won't be very much help in most cases, in my experience. Yeah, those extra lights do come in handy from time to time, but for a general all-purpose kit for most interview situations including greenscreen, you really need at least 2 650s and then something comparable or better for the key.

Just my humble opinion. :)


What i meant was getting the 2x 650's, the 2x 300's, and a 1K, but also a 150 as a just in case. I have since decided to scrap the 150 for another 650, as i can always ND a light down but can't brighten one up. So i will still have the 1K as a key and 2x 650's lighting the greenscreen like you suggested earlier.
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#16 matthewb

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 05:34 PM

Take at look at fixtures from B&M as well: http://bmlighting.com/site/ Maybe consider some used Mole(s). In his posts, Brian makes a number of excellant points. You wan your basic kit to have a much versatility as possible, while minimizing the the quantity and weight.


Thanks for the suggestion JD.
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#17 virendrakhanna

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 07:43 AM

First of all thanks to Brian for his detailed presentation. This will help a lot to understand the complexity of simple 1 man green shoot.
The picture I am attaching is not the great one like Brain’s. This I clicked with someone’s hotshot digital camera. With the space constrain, you won’t be able to see the light from right side of the picture so that I marked that. Here I have used 2 nos. Of 600 Watt Open face Schtler lights, 1 no of Sachtler 300 Watt Open face light, 1 no. of 4 X 4 Kino Flo and 1 no. of 2 X 2 Kino Flo.
This works for me, client was happy so do I.
@Brain: I am completely agreed with you that a lot depends on personal choice. I like the idea of your kind of lighting.
Now I have few questions to you which are not related to lighting technique but on practical side.
1) How much time & man hand you’ve got for this setup? As lot of things depends on time & man power.
2) Was this a local shoot for you in your city & you have the privilege of having large lighting cases with you OR your producer doesn’t had problem of paying excess baggage to Airline.
As I was shooting in 2-3 different cities & carrying big lights was out of questions as now a day’s budget is always low.


On the other hand I am also looking to make my own kit which almost the same light you suggested to carry with me in different kind of locations. Any idea of what size of case I should look which can fit all my stuff?

Thanks in advance.

Virendra Khanna
D.o.P./Cameraman
New Delhi, INDIA
+91-98102 74375
virendrakhanna@hotmail.com

Attached Images

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Edited by virendrakhanna, 24 September 2010 - 07:47 AM.

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#18 virendrakhanna

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 07:49 AM

Sorry to all for uploading this big picture

Virendra Khanna
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#19 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:39 AM

1) How much time & man hand you’ve got for this setup? As lot of things depends on time & man power.
2) Was this a local shoot for you in your city & you have the privilege of having large lighting cases with you OR your producer doesn’t had problem of paying excess baggage to Airline.
As I was shooting in 2-3 different cities & carrying big lights was out of questions as now a day’s budget is always low.


On the other hand I am also looking to make my own kit which almost the same light you suggested to carry with me in different kind of locations. Any idea of what size of case I should look which can fit all my stuff?

Thanks in advance.

Virendra Khanna
D.o.P./Cameraman
New Delhi, INDIA
+91-98102 74375
virendrakhanna@hotmail.com


1) For this type of shoot, it's generally just me and a Sound Mixer. I carry all of my lighting and camera stuff in my truck and the Sound person arrives separately with his gear. For MOST instances, I have packed my gear in such a way that I only need one trip into the location. This is important because the Producers usually set the call time to about an hour prior to our rolling time. I don't have a lot of time to lolligag around trying to be an pretentious artist/cinematographer about the shot or spend time going back and forth to my truck for extra things. So, I have my Arri Kit in one of those big gray Arri cases. It weighs in at around 96lbs when I have it fully loaded. My stingers, an extra OMNI light and other grip/electric odds & ends go inside a medium sized Pelican case that weights around 45lbs or so. Those go on my magliner along with a small "cage" that I put four c-stands in along with the tripod. The camera, batteries, and monitor all fit on the pelican. A few sandbags slide onto the handles to finish it off.

In the event of greenscreen as seen in my photos above, it's a rather long unwieldy thing, so my Sound person may carry it in or I'll manage to balance it on top of the magliner. I like using the green seamless as opposed to the fabric types because I can just insert the tube onto my Calumet backdrop stand, roll the paper out, weigh it down with grip clips and it's done. No having to tie it to a frame or deal with wrinkles. With limited time, the extra inconvenience of carrying the seamless is paid back in the actual setup.

Given a room that isn't too problematic (ie, excess furniture, windows, etc.), I can have that basic setup off the cart and ready to roll in 25 to 45 minutes or so with just a bit of help from the Sound Mixer. Most of the work is just getting things out of the cases and roughed in. After that, I go about tweaking the lights and levels for another few minutes. While I'm doing that, the Sound Mixer is setting up his things and bar-ing/toning a tape.

2) I have few cases, but the tradeoff is that they are heavy so flying them "as is" can be a problem. I DO take that basic kit on trips with me after I've taken a few things out to get the weight down to 75lbs or so. Generally, the production will pay those overages. As pricey as it could be, it's still cheaper than renting gear and hoping that they have what I want and need.

Like I said earlier, there's a tipping point of gear you NEED to have before the goal of the shoot is compromised. Particularly with something like greenscreen where you have to have enough light for the screen and your talking-head, there aren't a lot of acceptable shortcuts you can take without upsetting someone down the line in post.
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#20 virendrakhanna

virendrakhanna
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • NEW DELHI, INDIA

Posted 27 September 2010 - 04:02 AM

@ Brain:
Thanks for this.
I think we are in same boat. I usually work with a sound person with whom I am working since last 12 years and we do the same. Both of us do the stuff helping each other. I was wondering about how it goes in other part of world.
As of now I don’t own any kit but in the planning to buy 2-3 nos. of 650 Watts, 1 nos. of 1K soft Bank ( I have this) 2 nos. of 300 Watt, & may be 1 no. of 150 Watt with all stands. My only worry was to have a case which can fit all this stuff so no. of bags can be minimize.
Let me know if you have any thought, recommendation Or suggestion or everything from the lighting deign, technique and equipment side.
Thanks again

Virendra Khanna
D.o.P./Cameraman
New Delhi, INDIA
+91-98102 74375
virendrakhanna@hotmail.com
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