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Beginners lighting kit?


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#1 Vito Huizar

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 09:26 PM

I am an aspired cinematographer. I make many short films with my friends and do side jobs such as weddings and parties. I currently shoot on a DSLR and plan to make the huge leap to a Red Scarlet X within the months. I understand it is a very big leap but I'm not as new as I sound and with the small fortune I picked up I figured this opportunity wouldn't last forever so I am deciding to upgrade my gear and get more serious. I am only 17 and Cinematography for big production film making is my dream job and like I said I have decided to make a huge upgrade not knowing if the money will be around forever so now with that aside I need a decent lighting kit to start. I am looking to buy not rent as I do way too many projects back to back to continuously rent. I mainly shoot short films and plan to do full length films pretty soon as I have written many feature films myself already. So considering my side job (Weddings, parties, and such) and my current hobby which i'd like to turn into a full time job (making films) what would be a nice starter or standard lighting kit? I'd like these lights to last me a very very long time only having to expand on my kit and not upgrade. Budget around $5,000. Not exact but around there. Sorry for the "noobiness" but much help would be appreciated thank you!
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#2 Matt Dennie

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:15 PM

http://www.ebay.com/...=item564a372e0e
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:42 PM

That's a tough one; because what'll work really well for weddings (small/cool/soft lights) really might not be what you want for features/shorts where you need punchier lights.
I certainly wouldn't but lights which house CFLs, as they have a noticeable green spike (then again what doesn't these days).

I would maybe go with an LED on camera light for the weddings; something you can change from daylight to tungsten-- and it's something you'll find a use for on bigger films too despite it size, such as on dashboards in cars ect.

I would also pick up a few PAR64s with VNSP bulbs-- for a really punchy light (for cheap) for features work.

I also started off with an Arri Soft-Bank D4 kit which gave me all I needed for interviews, and I still use the heads on every shoot I'm on for something. This can be great for setting up beauty shots at the wedding to. My kit had 1x650 1x300 and 2x 150s. It's a good kit and will cover you in a lot of situations. Mixed with the PARs you can do some quick damage with 'em.

I personally like harder lights to start because I can soften them when/if I need to. You can't make an inherently soft light hard, though.

But in truth-- the best place for that money is in savings, because film is feast or famine. You'll need some set aside for when/if work dries up. Ideally, the shoots should be paying for the rentals-- you can factor them into your quotes. And if you're working for free, then why are you spending money on lights anyway? You'll be loosing money on them till you start getting paid and being able to tell production-- hey, I need to rent some lights. You'd be surprised how affordable it can be.
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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:49 PM

First, don't buy any crap off ebay.

You don't say what your preference is for lights, but if you want tungsten lamps, I'd say buy Arri Fresnels. You could get 2 1kw, 2 650w & 2 300w with stands, a case and various softboxes for around $3000. that will leave you plenty spare for lighting grip equipment like flags, nets, silks frames etc.

If you want Fluorescent, Kino Flo is the obvious choice, but it's not cheap, and just a couple of Select Heads and ballasts will eat up your budget pretty quick. The are other budget alternatives.

Never underestimate what you can do with basic work lamps from home depot and a little ingenuity.
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#5 Vito Huizar

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:59 PM

I appreciate the comments. I ended up going with this kit My link just waiting on arrival. I agree on the punchy lights and I also have an LED to mount on my camera already so hopefully this kit will serve me well, which im pretty damn sure it will.
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#6 Rex Harris

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:47 PM

I appreciate the comments. I ended up going with this kit My link just waiting on arrival. I agree on the punchy lights and I also have an LED to mount on my camera already so hopefully this kit will serve me well, which im pretty damn sure it will.


Good choice, those lights have served me well during many a shoot. In fact in four years of use I've only ever had one major problem with them which I suspect was caused less by the fixture and more by abuse from an incompetent crew member.

Don't forget to get a set of scrims, I can't stress how useful they are (or have been at least to me).
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#7 Vito Huizar

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:39 PM

Good choice, those lights have served me well during many a shoot. In fact in four years of use I've only ever had one major problem with them which I suspect was caused less by the fixture and more by abuse from an incompetent crew member.

Don't forget to get a set of scrims, I can't stress how useful they are (or have been at least to me).

Yes, I did get a few scrims with c stands, and some gels. Thanks:)
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#8 Oliver Walton

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 08:48 AM

Yes Arri set is great anything else just hire in. 2.5k Hmi or 5k Hmi are great for lighting large areas of bouncing say off Muslin..

But the Arri 150, 300, 650 and even 1k are great for interview lighting (1k may be overkill)

But its all about modifying the light using flags, nets, scrims and much more.

Congrats on your new lighting set up :)
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#9 Vito Huizar

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:20 PM

Yes Arri set is great anything else just hire in. 2.5k Hmi or 5k Hmi are great for lighting large areas of bouncing say off Muslin..

But the Arri 150, 300, 650 and even 1k are great for interview lighting (1k may be overkill)

But its all about modifying the light using flags, nets, scrims and much more.

Congrats on your new lighting set up :)

Thanks:) Yea, its just a set to start with. Definitely plan on expanding.
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Metropolis Post

Technodolly

Visual Products

CineTape

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

Opal

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio