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#1 Tobi Freeman

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:50 PM

Hello All,
I am just starting out as a director/producer (mainly music videos, but also some event coverage) and looking to invest in some good ligting. Basically, i am limited by the available power from the mains supply (for australia ~ 240 V, @50Hz, rated to ~15 A, thats around a total of 3.6 kW available, as i do not intend on renting a generator.

I have done a bit of reasearch and found that:

- HMI lighting, though expensive, gives the highest lux per unit power and allow greater flexibility in terms of light control (spot to flood, through a window, bouncing off reflectors etc)

- LEDs are versatile, with variable temperature and ability to power with DC, ideal for close up shots on location but not that flexible with distance.

with a budget of about $12,000, My question is therefore do I buy one (1) Arri M18 (baby max)kit which could use a 1.2 or 1.8 kW bulb / a set (2 - 4 panels) of LEDs / one Babymax and 2 LEDs (around $15,000 :( ) (as you can probably tell, I am more inclined to getting just the babymax)

any other suggestions in terms of lighting are also welcome

Thanks for your input
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#2 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:35 AM

Hi Tobi,
I would be considering investing in a completely different direction. The package you are talking about isn't exactly flexible and has a limited range of applications.

I would be more looking at a more diverse kit of smaller gear to handle day-to-day run and gun and smaller jobs, then if you need a couple bigger things, just hire specifically what you need for the day. Outside of that if you have a larger job come in just hire an experienced gaffer with a van/truck to take all the worry out of things.

The problem with going HMI is there is really quite high ongoing costs in terms of maintenance, repairs and globes. We have had repair bills for HMI gear running into the thousands.

The problem with investing in LED is that your gear will be obsolete significantly before you make it's value back.

I'm based in Sydney, Id be happy to chat with you in more detail, just PM me.
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#3 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:37 AM

Also before one of the moderators ask, as per the rules of the forum could you please change your display name to your full name.
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#4 Tobi Freeman

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:26 AM

Hi Tobi,
I would be considering investing in a completely different direction. The package you are talking about isn't exactly flexible and has a limited range of applications.

I would be more looking at a more diverse kit of smaller gear to handle day-to-day run and gun and smaller jobs, then if you need a couple bigger things, just hire specifically what you need for the day. Outside of that if you have a larger job come in just hire an experienced gaffer with a van/truck to take all the worry out of things.

The problem with going HMI is there is really quite high ongoing costs in terms of maintenance, repairs and globes. We have had repair bills for HMI gear running into the thousands.

The problem with investing in LED is that your gear will be obsolete significantly before you make it's value back.

I'm based in Sydney, Id be happy to chat with you in more detail, just PM me.


Hi Matthew,

Very valuable advice there, however, there is currently nobody in Perth that has HMI lighting up for hire.
Normally, I would have rented and tested them out to see which combination suits most of my work.
I have used LEDs, tungsten frensels, some Fluoro lighting as well as normal halogen lamps (used by construction workers) and from the kind of illumination I am after, from the BTS of most videos I prefer/like, it appears HMI lights played a significant role.
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#5 Jorge Alarcon Swaby

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:25 AM

You should check out Tom Antos on youtube, he has amazing step by step tutorials on lighting music videos.

Here is his channel. http://www.youtube.com/user/polcan99

Good Luck,

Hope that helps.
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#6 Tobi Freeman

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 07:26 PM

You should check out Tom Antos on youtube, he has amazing step by step tutorials on lighting music videos.

Here is his channel. http://www.youtube.com/user/polcan99

Good Luck,

Hope that helps.


Thanks, this definitely gave me some direction. Turns out you dont need to give a leg and kidney to light up a scene well!
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#7 Ian Carleton

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:27 AM

Hey Tobi,
I'm not sure if you have made your purchase yet but I can share my experience. I use a 1.2K HMI at every opportunity I get, especially for corporate and music video projects. The quality of light is great and the output gives you a lot of options on how you would use it, bounced, diffused, through windows, even just popping it to bounce off a ceiling to add ambient light. Although it's helpful to have a gaffer to run lights for you, I have done a lot of projects with the 1.2 k all on my own. This perhaps comes with experience but if you are confident with what you are going after and have a plan its no hardship to work it with a small crew or solo.

The maintenance costs are something I don't encounter as I always rent this type of light, but I can tell you if you invested in a good HMI it would be a tool you will use often and for a long time.
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#8 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:07 PM

Hello All,
I am just starting out as a director/producer (mainly music videos, but also some event coverage) and looking to invest in some good ligting. Basically, i am limited by the available power from the mains supply (for australia ~ 240 V, @50Hz, rated to ~15 A, thats around a total of 3.6 kW available


You have a max of 3.6Kw on each wall socket circuit to the fuse box. The total available wattage in for example a house is a lot more. For example, my home here (Auckland NZ) I have five cicuits for wall sockets, plus a stove (32A). The mains tripps at 63A (15Kw). You can do a lot without a generator, or HMIs if you don't have or can't rent.

Do you have something like TradeMe over there. People will be selling used Tungsten and HMi lights in Melbourne and Sydbey? You would not need $15K.

Cheers,
Gregg.
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