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Individually dimming lots of practicals


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#1 Josh Silverlock

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 07:12 PM

Hi,

 

I'm DPing a music video and the director's come up with an idea which in theory sounds pretty cool but I have no idea how to achieve in practise. 

 

The set up is essentially our singer, surrounded by all sorts of various household lamps all of varying shapes and sizes etc. (but presumably all the same colour temp. ie tungsten - otherwise it'll look awful). As the singer performs, lip syncing but keeping still, the lights will dim in different patterns around him casting different shadows on his face, changing his face shape effectively whilst also creating a rippling effect that should look pretty nice. 

 

My query is basically how do I control all of these practical lights individually whilst on location? 

 

Is there some way of pre-programming a sequence like you might do in theatre lighting so that we can arrive on set and not have to worry about complex dimmer choreography?

 

Thanks for the help!!


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 07:54 PM

In short, yes there is. You'll need a theatrical lighting board and a dimmer pack. If your local lighting rental house doesn't have one, you should be able to rent one from a DJ supply store. It's fairly simple then to program a simple chase pattern.


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#3 Jean Gonzales

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 07:18 AM

DMX is the way to go for this.


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#4 Josh Silverlock

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 12:44 PM

Thanks! That was I was thinking - how would I go about connecting standard household practicals to a dimmer board? What connections do they use? Thanks again
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#5 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 03:05 PM

Something like this might be simplest:

 

http://www.thomann.d...tex_mpx405v.htm

 

It's an integrated controller and dimmer. Gives you 4 channels and built in chase patterns. If you need more channels, get two of them.


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#6 Josh Silverlock

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 05:23 PM

Thanks Stuart, that's really helpful and has pointed me in the right direction. How would I go about connecting up the standard 3 prong uk plugs from the practicals into that? Is there some sort of converter I can use or would I have to rewire them all in some way?
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#7 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 05:37 PM

That would depend on what's underneath those four safety sockets. It could be that they are just weather covers for standard 3 pin 13a plugs, in which case there's no problem. However, Thomann are a german company, so it's more likely to be a continental plug, which coincidentally is listed as a related item on that page.

 

You may be able to find a British version at a stage lighting or DJ outlet in the UK.


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#8 Josh Silverlock

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 06:41 PM

Would those sockets not be made to fit the standard three pin round fittings used on theatre fixtures though?
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#9 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 07:08 PM

You'd better off asking them than me, I'm afraid. Thomann have fairly good customer service from what I remember, so why not email them?


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#10 Josh Silverlock

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 04:50 PM

Ok will do - thanks for the help! 


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