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''One man band'' DP Basic Kit


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#1 Jeremie Bouchard

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 03:04 PM

Hi,

 

First time poster and pretty new to this forum. I wish I had discovered it sooner.. so much amazing information and knowledge!

 

Ok, going straight to the point. What should a ''One Man Band'' DP carry with him on most set lighting and gripping wise.

A sort of ''most scenarios'' type of kit or things that are a must on every set.

 

Fixtures, rolls of diffusion, gels, C-Stands, flags and nets, bounce/foam core, 4x Frames etc etc.

 

Any advice is strongly appreciated!!

 

Thank you!

 


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 03:37 PM

It's going to depend on what kind of work you are doing, and how much equipment you can afford, and realistically set up by yourself. When I was shooting documentaries, the most I ever carried with me was a four light interview kit, with an assortment of gels, and a couple of folding bounces. Shooting narrative work generally requires a lot more equipment, and lot more manpower.


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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 03:53 PM

I have 4 lights, few chimaras, reflectors, foam board and that's about it. Where I'd love to invest in more grip equipment, I generally don't have the manpower to get it around.

When I shoot slightly more complex projects, I simply rent what I need locally instead of carrying shit with me. I find the pricing to be very reasonable when renting and some places will let you rent without insurance if you're just nabbing some C stands, flags, frames/diffusion and maybe a few lights.
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#4 Jeremie Bouchard

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 05:50 PM

Thank you for you answers!

May I ask what are those 4 lights? And what size would you recommend for the foam boards?

 

It's true that different projects require different gear and for more complex projects I'm definitely going with rental but it's also nice to own some gear for personal projects and not having to drive by a rental house every time you need a C-Stand.


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#5 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 06:19 PM

I have a 4x4 foam board and I've got 4 1k's, but I'd recommend an Arri combo kit that's two 650s' and two open face 1k's. That kit is my fav, but it's expensive and I got my lights as a trade... so it has little value.
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#6 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 06:32 PM

I had an Arri kit with 2 650w fresnels, and 2 300w fresnels. Occasionally, I'd also have a 2k blonde as well. Obviously, your options for lamps are a lot wider these days, with all the LED fixtures available.

 

Foamcore bounces are great but they get damaged easily, and a 4' x 4' is pretty unwieldy. I'd recommend a folding bounce, like these:

 

https://www.manfrott...or-and-diffuser


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#7 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 06:38 PM

Yea 4x4 is difficult to move around, but I have a production vehicle and the foam board was free. :)
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#8 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 09:39 PM

TBH these days ..OMB... (forget C stands !!).. I,d go with a Bi color LED kit thats already sold in a Pelican case.. I have a couple of Astra kits.... that can be V mount battery operated .. its so much easier ..  DOP choice snap bags.. a lot easier than frames and polly boards .. a couple of fold out reflectors and one negative fill..  styles have changed a bit from 4 light interviews I think.. I often only use one soft key.. nothing else.. depends on the location but with cameras now with s35mm sensors its a lot easier to get a nice looking interview than it used to be in ENG days.. you don't have to light up the background as you used to when it was all in focus..

 

There are even these roll up LED mat lights now .. its the one thing that has got really a lot better for the OMB dp.. your lucky .. carting around Red heads (1K) and Blondes (2K).. and heavy cables, and a box of gels was a real pain..


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#9 Michael Rodin

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 10:03 AM

TBH these days ..OMB... (forget C stands !!).. I,d go with a Bi color LED kit thats already sold in a Pelican case.. I have a couple of Astra kits.... that can be V mount battery operated .. its so much easier ..  DOP choice snap bags.. a lot easier than frames and polly boards .. a couple of fold out reflectors and one negative fill..  styles have changed a bit from 4 light interviews I think.. I often only use one soft key.. nothing else.. depends on the location but with cameras now with s35mm sensors its a lot easier to get a nice looking interview than it used to be in ENG days.. you don't have to light up the background as you used to when it was all in focus..

Really depends on your shooting style.

I'd say these days you stop down more to show the environment :) - if it's a location interview.
And even if it's defocused - 90% of the time, it seems, when you find a perfect (compositionally) BG for your subject, that BG is much too contrasty, more contrasty than your subject will be under your lighting. That's kind of opposite of what you want - drives eye away from the face. There's a good old convention in portrait lighting that BG contrast range should be within the range of the portrait - makes sense to me, in interviews at least. So I light the BG shadows some 2 stops over black, make some "window light" streaks or whatever.

I'd still carry a fill light. Too often a reflector doesn't give you enough and it's easier to shine an extra light  into it than try to, say, double purpose the backlight so it reflects and gives fill.

 

Get a couple show cards. White and silver. Super useful in small interiors. You can have no place for a light but you can always tape a card to a wall.

 

If it's possible to shoot mostly in darkened interiors or at night, tungsten Dedos are the easiest to use. They're the fastest lights to set up as they almost never need flagging and have virtually no spill. No flags means you carry half the grip hardware. Light, dimmable, decent output. Useless for shooting against windows but for that you're looking for a 1,2K HMI at least, for key, and on a bright day 1,2K is pushing it. For day int. in general there's sadly no cheaper alternative to HMI.


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#10 Jeremie Bouchard

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 12:21 PM

@ Robin

 

Yeah the Astras are pretty awesome. That's the only lights I own for the moment with a DOP Choice Soft Box. The combination is perfect for close Interviews though I find the light gets quite hard when the subject is larger and the soft box is further away.

What do you think of the Westcott DP Kit/Booklight kit? Would that be a good investment for larger subjects/scenes? I could use my Astra to shoot through it.

 

@ Michael

 

Sorry for my ignorance but what are show cards exactly?

 

Thank you guys!!


Edited by Jeremie Bouchard, 17 November 2017 - 12:22 PM.

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#11 Michael Rodin

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 01:08 PM

I think in US "show card" refers to a small (less than 4x4) cardboard reflector panel. You can also use styrofoam, depron, basically any white hard foam. You tape it to wall or hold with a clamp.


Edited by Michael Rodin, 17 November 2017 - 01:10 PM.

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#12 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 05:17 PM

@ Robin

 

Yeah the Astras are pretty awesome. That's the only lights I own for the moment with a DOP Choice Soft Box. The combination is perfect for close Interviews though I find the light gets quite hard when the subject is larger and the soft box is further away.

What do you think of the Westcott DP Kit/Booklight kit? Would that be a good investment for larger subjects/scenes? I could use my Astra to shoot through it.

 

@ Michael

 

Sorry for my ignorance but what are show cards exactly?

 

Thank you guys!!

 

 

Book lights are good for small locations as they "fill" the diffusion more evenly .. but in themselves they are not actually "softer" than putting a light through the same diffusion but making sure not to have a hot spot..but basically yes.. larger the object you are lighting the bigger source you need, if you want a soft light..I have the large size DOP snap box.. its good for interviews.. if your shooting anything larger then I think you need bigger lights really .. or 3 or 4 Astra,s through a 8x8 screen..


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#13 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 05:22 PM

Really depends on your shooting style.

I'd say these days you stop down more to show the environment :) - if it's a location interview.
And even if it's defocused - 90% of the time, it seems, when you find a perfect (compositionally) BG for your subject, that BG is much too contrasty, more contrasty than your subject will be under your lighting. That's kind of opposite of what you want - drives eye away from the face. There's a good old convention in portrait lighting that BG contrast range should be within the range of the portrait - makes sense to me, in interviews at least. So I light the BG shadows some 2 stops over black, make some "window light" streaks or whatever.

I'd still carry a fill light. Too often a reflector doesn't give you enough and it's easier to shine an extra light  into it than try to, say, double purpose the backlight so it reflects and gives fill.

 

Get a couple show cards. White and silver. Super useful in small interiors. You can have no place for a light but you can always tape a card to a wall.

 

If it's possible to shoot mostly in darkened interiors or at night, tungsten Dedos are the easiest to use. They're the fastest lights to set up as they almost never need flagging and have virtually no spill. No flags means you carry half the grip hardware. Light, dimmable, decent output. Useless for shooting against windows but for that you're looking for a 1,2K HMI at least, for key, and on a bright day 1,2K is pushing it. For day int. in general there's sadly no cheaper alternative to HMI.

 

Yes true.. most "location" interviews Im doing is some pokey room.. getting the back ground out of focus is vital !.. I think there are alternative to HMI,s now.. the Astra 6 x is very bright.. and Im pretty sure I wouldn't want to be lugging even a 1.2K HMI around as a OMB.. you want all your lights in one box Wirth wheels :)


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#14 Edward Lawrence Conley III

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 05:32 PM

Showcard types

 


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#15 Haroun Al-Shaater

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 09:53 AM

Ooh show cards looks like a great shout. 

 

As a one-man-band, I have a set of 5 Lowel tungsten lights (2 omnis & 3 totas) that I bought ex-rental (€200!). It has flags, gels, frames & softbox all in the hardcase. Definitely feel like I'm missing 4 x 4 frames with neg fill and diffusion with this set though. I use a 5 in 1 reflector but it never feels quite big enough to do the job. But this set up has given me a great introduction to crafting and modifying light without investing huge amounts of cash.


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#16 Jeremie Bouchard

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 09:59 AM

Ooh show cards looks like a great shout. 

 

As a one-man-band, I have a set of 5 Lowel tungsten lights (2 omnis & 3 totas) that I bought ex-rental (€200!). It has flags, gels, frames & softbox all in the hardcase. Definitely feel like I'm missing 4 x 4 frames with neg fill and diffusion with this set though. I use a 5 in 1 reflector but it never feels quite big enough to do the job. But this set up has given me a great introduction to crafting and modifying light without investing huge amounts of cash.

 

 

Doing some research lately, I found this reflector: https://squarebounce.com

 

3x3', Canadian made (Yay!), Seems quite sturdy, you can use it without a stand in a true one man band scenario, and it also acts as an umbrella since it's water resistant material.

 

Leaving for a 2 weeks shoot in Jamaica in december and was thinking of picking one up. Seems like a better option than a traditional 5 in 1 reflector though it's more expensive.


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#17 Haroun Al-Shaater

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 10:14 AM

 

 

Doing some research lately, I found this reflector: https://squarebounce.com

 

3x3', Canadian made (Yay!), Seems quite sturdy, you can use it without a stand in a true one man band scenario, and it also acts as an umbrella since it's water resistant material.

 

Leaving for a 2 weeks shoot in Jamaica in december and was thinking of picking one up. Seems like a better option than a traditional 5 in 1 reflector though it's more expensive.

 

Looks great! Especially how easy it is to mount. I have endless headaches mounting 5 in 1 at the correct angles.

 

Let us know how it is if you get one.


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#18 Jeremie Bouchard

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 10:16 AM

 

Looks great! Especially how easy it is to mount. I have endless headaches mounting 5 in 1 at the correct angles.

 

Let us know how it is if you get one.

 

Actually just ordered it haha! Will let you know how that was on the field.


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#19 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 10:33 AM

A one man band kit will depend on how far you have take the kit from the car and how often you wish to go back and forwards. The square bounce looks interesting, a Lastolite reflector also does the job, it can be packed into the lighting case and there's an arm that attaches to a light stand.  A case with wheels saves carrying the lights.


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#20 John Dimalanta

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:22 AM

I just updated my "All-in-One" Kit, which I guess is my 'one-man band' kit...the main items below:

 

*1x F&V R300se Daylight Ring Light (this is usually in my camera bag as it can be mounted to camera)

1x Falcon Eyes 18D Daylight FLEX LED Panel (replaced old Lowel Rifa-Light)

1x Yongnuo YN360 BiColor/RGB LED Wand (good as a kicker or back light and also RGB for color effects)

1x Lowel-Tota (the 'oldie but goodie') 

2x 5x7 Collapsible Double-Sided Backdrops (one is Chroma/Gray and the other is Black/White which can be used for bounce or negative fill)

1x 5x5 Overhead Frame w/ Skins

2x Reverse-Leg Light Stands

5x Compact Light Stand (< 30" collapsed height) 

Xx Spring Clips (#1, 2, 3)

3x Drop-down Scissor Clamps

1x Gaffer/Gator Clamp

4x Stingers

6x Sandbags (empty bags that I fill with whatever)

Xx CTB Gel for the Tota, Gaffer's Tape, Trickline, Zip-ties, LED "twinkle" lights, etc

 

All this fits inside this case...I hope to post pics soon on my blog...hope this helps!


Edited by John Dimalanta, 21 November 2017 - 10:25 AM.

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