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How did we light before Kino's?


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#1 George Odell

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:20 PM

Sent my lighting package list to a prospective client. Received a reply back asking where my Kino's were? I said I don't own any but will rent if need be.

 

I can remember a time before Kino's where you lit a scene with bounce cards and flags to control the spill. It took a bit more time but it worked and worked well.

 

Kino's are great especially where space it tight. Using a bounce takes up some room for the card and the light... but it can be done quickly and effectively if you know how.

 

I wonder if we are too tied to using specific "name brand" fixtures today and not as open to allowing the gaffer to light the scene based on his/her skill using what is on hand.


Edited by George Odell, 03 May 2013 - 03:22 PM.

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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:24 PM

Same holds true for all areas these days in film-- camera, audio ect. I blame the internet in a lot of ways. People are becoming armchair experts by googling .


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#3 Matthew Kane

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:54 PM

It hurts to watch someone trying to light a wide shot with a naked 4 bank twenty feet away, and see them wondering why their "soft light" is so dim and hard.


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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:56 PM

In truth; I hardly ever use Kinos, except in those situations that I cant cram in a nice and wonderful tungsten head.


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#5 Oliver Hadlow Martin

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 07:18 PM

It hurts to watch someone trying to light a wide shot with a naked 4 bank twenty feet away, and see them wondering why their "soft light" is so dim and hard.

 

 

I shouldn't laugh but I have seen this a lot. heh

 

I guess I shouldn't everyone learns some way. 


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 07:56 PM

Here I was thinking that clients were going to start thinking of Kinos as being old-school and wondering where your LED litepanels were...


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#7 George Odell

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 09:01 AM

Actually, those I do have. Had a need to rent them for about a year and buying a pair of 1' x 1' was less

than renting that many days over several months.

 

Maybe I'll just paint Kino-Flo on the side : )


Edited by George Odell, 04 May 2013 - 09:05 AM.

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#8 timHealy

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:32 AM

It's just a case of equipment snobbery. must ... have ... the ...latest ....and ....greatest ....to ....brag ....to ....my ...friends.


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#9 timHealy

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:40 AM

But speaking of older ways of lighting, I was recently watching old episodes of the original series of star trek on netflix. And enjoyed how they once used fresnels to light everyone. Some shots are really beautiful. especially close ups. wide shots get a little sloppy. And just a few weeks ago I met an older electrician who worked on the show and at Paramount. His dad was a gaffer but I can't remember if his dad did star trek. I'll have to look up the name on IMBD.

 

Best

 

Tim


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#10 George Odell

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:23 AM

 

... enjoyed how they once used fresnels to light everyone...

No disrespect to those working today, but I too liked the older way of lighting for TV using focused ligiting. We can go back to B&W shows like Outer Limits or Twighlight Zone or even color series like Kojak. Not a bid fan of this one-source soft lighting used in many shows today.


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#11 George Odell

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:36 AM

... let me add to that list The X Files and the superb work of DP John Bartley and gaffer David Tickell. The look of that show, still to this day, is the one that comes closest to lighting and camera perfection IMHO. The best crane work I have ever seen. I lost weight watching that show. I could not leave the room to go get food.

 

Newbees out there. Get the series on DVD. Learn from one of the very best.


Edited by George Odell, 06 May 2013 - 11:38 AM.

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#12 David Desio

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:42 AM

I dunno, I quite like the one-source lighting, lke the old masters of painting.  Horses for courses I suppose.  I too have watched some try to go for a soft source by:

1. Using a 4-bank but from about 15 feet away to light the wide, not an array of banks, but ONE

2. use a smaller unit marched in (the smaller the unit the softer the light was their thinking) and then diff the crap out of the light and wonder why their 650  is barely putting any light out for the key.

 

If it is my place I will quietly fix the light and gently suggest a better way.  Hard to do if those doing the lighting also sign the checks.


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#13 Dustin Supencheck

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:06 AM

Sometimes people confuse "dim" with "soft." Mustn't be afraid to go a little bigger.
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#14 Matthew Kane

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:18 PM

I really like the look of a pair of fresnels--one as a sidey key, and the other filling in from the front. Two hard sources become soft when they're dialed in right, while still carving out details dramatically--an actress's cheekbones, for example. As much as I like (well done) soft light, that old hollywood lighting can be a really nice change of pace.

 

The X-files is really a beautifully lit show--since I started watching it on Netflix for nostalgia, I've really started digging the hard light in a lot of scenes.


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#15 Dennis Hingsberg

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 10:38 PM

... let me add to that list The X Files and the superb work of DP John Bartley and gaffer David Tickell. The look of that show, still to this day, is the one that comes closest to lighting and camera perfection IMHO. The best crane work I have ever seen. I lost weight watching that show. I could not leave the room to go get food.

 

Newbees out there. Get the series on DVD. Learn from one of the very best.

 

I too very much enjoyed the look of the X-files, and the camera moves. Is there a lot of behind the scenes on the DVD's that goes into the lighting, etc.. ? Would love to see some of that...


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#16 George Odell

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:45 AM

 

Is there a lot of behind the scenes on the DVD's that goes into the lighting, etc.. ?

 

I don't have the series on DVD so I cannot say one way or the other. YouTube has outtakes from the show and some interviews but none I've seen with the crew.

 

Saw it when it ran originally and re-runs diring the summers back then. I do remember reading an article describing some of the lighting "tricks". One was their use of these powerful flashlights (for the key) for scenes whenever the actors entered dark unlit buildings. The grips held bounce cards just of out camera range to reflect that hard light from the lanterns onto the actors faces.

 

Sounds simple but again, up until that time, you never saw that done on TV... at least I never did. Up until that show it always appeared there was this TV network law that said you had to have so much (a minimum amount) of light in a scene regardless of the nature of the shot to meet viewing standards. The X Files was the first show to completely break that rule. Low light and even no light if that's what the scene called for to make it work.

 

The other thing X Files did was offer up exceptional camera work that you just did not get....or rather were not getting... in shows during that era. We used to see some of it back in the 1960's with shows like Perry Mason, Outer Limits and Twilight Zone are good examples. That deep cinematography look the "old masters" were fond of using. Back then (the '60's) cameras were so bulky... the old BNC's with their huge blimps... moving the camera during a shot was a three person job. But they did it and it made the shot that much more interesting. The X Files built upon that tradition and took it many steps forward. Framing shots to take into account both foreground and background elements. They did these intricate shots with their crane that I had never seen before or since. Certainly not in a TV show. It's not easy to do, takes much more time and requires the crew work that much harder.

 

I remember reading an article about another TV show on about the same time. I will not say which one it was. It was very popular and ran for several years. They asked the DP about his style for the show and his response was "This is a meat and potatoes show. We don't get into any of that fancy stuff". To me that just sounds lazy. Sort of a "crank 'em out and let's move on" attitude.

 

The X Files gave us a little bit of caviar each week and, for a time, it was fantastic


Edited by George Odell, 17 May 2013 - 09:48 AM.

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#17 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 10:05 AM

Depends on funding, really.

 

I recently shot a moderately ambitious (for me) sci-fi web episode in which we tried as hard as we possibly could. What limited us was not intent, or even equipment, or even crew, but time. Plotting and rehearsing all these little tricks is time-consuming. I'm not really happy with the results, to be honest, but all that could really have fixed it is time, and that's the most expensive thing.


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#18 Brian McCann

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 09:12 AM

I'm glad this was brought up.

The Kino from 15 feet away, I might have tried that once or twice.... I really want to try the two fresnels to create soft light. Could someone elaborate more on that? Maybe that's for a separate thread.

 

I own a quite a few lights and I get people asking about Kinos pretty frequently. I think I'm going to break down and buy my frist one any day now. I do think they are good and versatile lights but not necessarily worth the price you pay for them. If I got them it would really just be for marketing. Like it or not I feel like people see your gear list and if you have kino flo's they are like "this guy knows what he's doing". I've found that to be true not just for clients but for DPs as well.

 

I am still using super cheap Chinese fluorescent soft boxes that were the first lights I ever owned in college. I sometimes feel self conscious taking them out of my van but people are always impressed with what they can do. They have certain limitations where Kino flos would probably be better but there are perks too. For example they always advertise kinos as being "lightweight" . Lightweight compared to what? rocks? Arming out a Kino turns into such a production, especially in a tight space. My cheap softboxes are probably half the weight and offer the same amount of punch. If I'm gonna arm out a light I'd rather use these.


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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 11:55 AM

That's one of my biggest concerns with Kinos. They're not light and they're not small. Two 4x4 kinos will fill many cars. I made some homebrew stuff a while ago and it still goes out because it packs down so small that it's just more convenient.

 

P


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#20 JD Hartman

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 04:11 PM

Where are your Kinos?  That's a conversation that should be happening between DP and Gaffer.  I own a largish Tunsten package with some Kinos.  I get asked how many HMIs do you have?  My answer is usually something like, "I'll light the scene with the fixtures that the DP and I think are appropriate for the look."  Producers, writers, directors get too hung up on equipment, "In the latest move from Director xxxxxxxxx, they used all ????, I want this film to look like that.


Edited by JD Hartman, 07 July 2013 - 04:14 PM.

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