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Brutes? What's in a name?


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#1 Jay Young

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 08:23 AM

I was recently listening to one of the ASC podcasts where the presenter asked the cinematographer how he lit a scene. 

 

"Brutes", he said.  

 

The presenter asked him to explain what a "Brute" was so the younger listeners would know and he proceeded to describe the operation of an Arc Lamp

 

I always understood Brutes to be these: 

 

Mole_9K_maxi-brute.png

 

The cinematographer on the podcast described these as a "9-light Fay" - Except he (as far as I know) wasn't British.  And that confused me greatly. 

 

Type in the words "Brute Lamp" to the internet search, and you get the standard 9K Mole Maxi-Brute.  Type in "Brute Arc" and you get arc lamps. 

 

So when does a Brute become an arc lamp and when does it refer to a multi-lamp "fay" type fixture?  And how is one to describe the type of lamp one needs if the terminology has become mixed? I never referred to Arc Lamps as "Brutes", and now I'll have to think about the types of lights used by some of my favorite cinematographers when they use words like this. 

 

 

Thoughts? 

 


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 09:25 AM

Those are sometimes known as Nine Lights, sometimes as Maxi Brutes, but usually not just as Brutes. The Fay part comes in when they are loaded with Fay lamps which have a color temperature of 5000k rather than the normal tungsten par


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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 09:28 AM

"Brute" seems to mean "brute arc" here, which is a technology that's sufficiently out of date that I have never been able to ascertain what this really means. The arcs that Mole still have available are apparently equivalent to about a 6K.

 

P


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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 10:29 AM

When I hear Brute, it's the carbon arc that comes to mind, the others are nine lights or a product name.

 


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#5 John Holland

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 01:18 PM

The Brute Carbon arc 225 amps needed a DC genny to work .It was the best big lamp ever ! The closest thing now is a 18k HMi , but is crap it's compared to out put of  Brute . It was a cost thing your needed a spark looking after it most of the time triming the two arcs . Miss them big time .


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 01:40 PM

The Mole-Richardson "Brute" carbon arc predates the use of the term "brute" to describe multi-bank tungsten PAR units -- I would hazard a guess that applying the term "brute" to their (then) new line of multi-bank tungsten PAR units was a marketing ploy to sell them as being equivalent in output to an arc lamp.  I recall that units like "Maxi-Brutes" came out in the 1960's -- it was a big deal when James Wong Howe replaced all of his arcs with tungsten 12-lights, 9-lights, etc. for shooting "The Molly Maguires" (1970).

 

I also wonder if technically using the word "brute" is particular to Mole-Richardson.

 

FAY globes have a dichroic coating to convert them from 3200K to near daylight.

 

I don't know if "FAY" is an acronym or just the three random letters the manufacturer uses to identify the product.


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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 03:22 PM

I'm not completely sure, but I seem to recall it's a GE part code that's meaningful with reference to a listing of what each letter means. I think the F may refer to the ferrule base. They make very similar things with a more PAR-style lens without the dichroic coating, and without the extra-hot-burning filament that allows them to achieve the high colour temperature. These are called FCX by GE, which I believe is under the same system.
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#8 JD Hartman

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 05:35 PM

FAY=spot, FCX= medium, FCW=wide


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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 05:52 PM

Yes, but FAY's have a dichroic coating to get daylight-balance but FCX's and FCW's are 3200K.

http://mole.com/medi...s/data/5721.pdf


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#10 JD Hartman

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 07:30 PM

Yes, I realize that.  My intention was to partly explain the designation of the two other common bulbs used in a 9 light.  The last letter denoting beam type.  If I could only find my old lamp catalog.......  I may have to resort to asking one of the theater electricians on another forum.


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#11 Simon Wyss

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 01:43 AM

Coming from a discussion somewhere else I tripped this thread and should like to say something about brutes.

 

The term brute is widely misunderstood in that one hears “primitive“ or “rough”. What it’s really about are two qualitites no other portable light source has. One is its simplest optical concept. We have a discharge arc between carbon electrodes and a concave mirror, nothing more. Some lamps are equipped with a Fresnel collecting lens, some aren’t. The other and essential thing is that the light contains a lot of ultraviolet and violet rays. That shortwaved light brings a unique plasticity and crispness. Silver salts are naturally sensitive to ultraviolet, violet, and blue. Panchromatism of films is achieved indirectly by energy converting dyes closely packed to the silver crystals. Film and the brute arc match like silver salts and sunlight. Johann Heinrich Schulze had discovered that silver nitrate is sensitive to daylight in 1717. That hasn’t changed.

 

I acknowledge that today’s cinematographic production is mostly set with colour imaging and rather a low-key lighting scheme. Money is put into expensive lenses and a more extensive postproduction. 80 years ago lenses were simpler but the artificial light was more elaborate. When Technicolor went triple snow-white light was needed. Brutes deliver switchable sunlight, so to say.


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#12 Tom McGrath

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 05:36 AM

ANSI coded lamps (American National Standards Institute) use completely arbitrary codes, and the letters really mean nothing. I don't believe they ever began with 'A', but begin with B-F, and a few G's have come about in latter years. (and you never find the letter Q in the code)(and 'HPL' is not an ANSI code)

'F' doesn't indicate Ferrule, since that would also include the single-ended FEL 1kw lamp (G9.5 base) as well as the FAD, FDN, FCM, etc double-ended lamps.

With luck, the 1k PAR64's are alphabetical by beam spread (FFN, FFP, FFR, FFS), but that is about it.

The FAY lamp, by pure luck, has 3 letters that are pronouncable in a single syllable.

 

The LIF codes used for most lamps in the industry in Europe are a combination of letters and numbers, and again don't really mean anything.


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#13 Ed Conley

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 03:53 PM

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