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#1 Ed Moore

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 07:53 AM

Hi all,

Am shortly to be shooting a 'trailer' for a feature which will be shot next summer, but the plan is to use the trailer as proof-of-concept with which to raise funds for the feature shoot. The latter is professional budgeted etc etc, but the trailer is necessarily tight. It's only a four day shoot but even so the £800 I have for lighting rental isn't going to get me as much flexibility in lighting equipment as I'll have for the feature, and obviously the intention with the trailer is to show how wonderful we all are at our jobs so I want to get as close as I can in the few shots of the trailer to how I want the feature to look.

The lighting kit is primarily limited by no cash for a generator so we'll be running off 230V 30A ring mains, which prevents me from using any particularly large sources - this has been taken account for in the location selection, and I've got a 2.5kW HMI PAR on the truck.

My idea to save cash is to have a bash at knocking up some large diffusion frames and pseudo-nets so I can spend the money I do have on things I can't manufacture, i.e. lamps. Was wondering if people would like to share their favourite "homemade" bits of lighting equipment. I have read with interest the various variations mentioned on "box of polystyrene board with photoflood bulbs in" as a quick and easy softlight, but I thought there might be some more cool ideas floating around.

I'm thinking of making some 6'x6' wooden frames for various grades of diffusion; can anyone recommend a particular sort of material that would work well - thinking a really soft muslin effect. What's the minimum distance I could say, get a 2k blonde without causing a fire risk? Is there some sort of fabric I could use as a net with a nice soft edge? In the broadest terms, what groovy and useful things can I make by not worrying about how branded it looks on set and rather, concentrating on getting a lot of bang for my DIY-store buck?

Thanks for taking the time to read all this...

Warm regards,

Ed Moore
DP, "The Glass Cities" (2.35 HD 25P)
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 08:42 AM

Hi,

Being a cheap bastard, I have a collection of stuff that's been, er, custom fabricated, or homemade if you prefer. Fluorescent softlights are a perennial favourite. I managed to pick up five (one for spare parts) 1200x600 suspended ceiling panel lights, giving me a total of just under 600W of fluorescent - which is a lot. I have two smaller ones using compact fluorescents with built in ballasts, each 100W. I have eggcrates for all of these - this was the worst thing, as they're unavailable in black from general suppliers, and painting them is a pain. I have some MR-16 clusters - at the moment, just 6x50W from found components, but with narrow spot lamps in them they're punchier than a redhead over a smaller angle. I'm planning on a 20-lamp MR16 cluster, resulting in a 1K mains lamp. Fabrication here is by clamping the rim of the reflector between two sheets of laser-cut metal.

There's two approaches to yokes - either solder them up out of copper tube and fittings, or if you're doing enough, rent a 20mm conduit bender and threader set and build them out of steel conduit. If you're doing a few, the extreme cheapness of the conduit will outweigh the cost of the equipment to work it.

I have two 6x6 diffusion frames just in the final stages of being painted, which were designed around the 70x70" dimensions of the average shower curtain. White shower curtains are really for bouncing off, as the diffusion would be very heavy, so I've also made voile panels for diffusion and black/silver double sided ones for hard reflection and flagging. The frames are box steel, which is heavier than ideal, but it was free. Rings on the edge of the insert engage with hooks on shock-cord loops around the frame and there's a 12" length of 2" scaff welded on for mounting.

When building stuff like this, don't forget provision for support safeties and proper earth bonding.

Phil
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#3 Ed Moore

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 08:56 AM

Hi Phil,

That's really great stuff, thanks. I hadn't thought of the fluro trick; how do you handle the colour balance using these? I guess you could make up a reasonable facsimile of a kino blanket lite this way.

Good point on the heavy white shower curtain; the maximum I'm going to be able to bosh through these will be a couple of blondes combined so I might go poking around for some sort of intermediate-opacity curtain. I guess a couple of layers of frost on the blondes then bounced off a 6x6 white shower curtain would get it reasonably soft, though.

Never going to quite recreate the effect of a 20K through two layers of 8x8 diffusion for a fiver but we can but try :)

More please!

Ed

Edited by EdMoore, 03 August 2005 - 08:56 AM.

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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 11:37 AM

Hi,

I have seen some shower curtains which are a kind of textured translucent plastic, which would be a kind of Hampshire Frost grade, but I haven't been able to find any that aren't besmirched with little pictures of fish, or whatever.

The blanket light is a good thought. It's possible to get lastolite-style reflective fabric and you could buy Futurlec shattersleeved tubes, attach them with cable ties and there you go.

You can get very high CRI tubes, or just buy kino tubes, but for video it never seems to notice.

The expensive bit is ballast connectors. Most of them will tolerate 6ft or so of cable, although it should be screened against EMI, but finding suitable plugs and sockets can get expensive.

Phil
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#5 Tim J Durham

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 12:22 PM

Hi Phil,

That's really great stuff, thanks.  I hadn't thought of the fluro trick; how do you handle the colour balance using these?  I guess you could make up a reasonable facsimile of a kino blanket lite this way.

Good point on the heavy white shower curtain; the maximum I'm going to be able to bosh through these will be a couple of blondes combined so I might go poking around for some sort of intermediate-opacity curtain.  I guess a couple of layers of frost on the blondes then bounced off a 6x6 white shower curtain would get it reasonably soft, though.

Never going to quite recreate the effect of a 20K through two layers of 8x8 diffusion for a fiver but we can but try :)

More please!

Ed

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


OK, I'll say it..

Why don't you just hire Phil and all his goodies for the 800 lbs (can't make the little $pound$ symbol on my keyboard)?

You guys are in the same country. How far away could he be?
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 04:45 PM

Hi,

> How far away could he be?

Up to 974 miles, in theory.

Phil
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#7 Tim J Durham

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 06:07 PM

Hi,

> How far away could he be?

Up to 974 miles, in theory.

Phil

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's a weekend getaway here in the States. Leamington Spa? Could that be anything like Palm Desert?
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#8 Ed Moore

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 06:22 PM

That's a weekend getaway here in the States. Leamington Spa? Could that be anything like Palm Desert?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Possibly the best Leamington Spa related quote I've seen for a long time. I shall forward it to the Mayor's office :)

I would love to hire Phil, hell I would love to just *meet* Phil after a good year and half lurking around here - and I'm sure I will at some point but for this gig I actually signed an agreement with ProVision in Leeds to supply the £800 of lighting. Whilst I'm going to have a right good go at building one of Phil's 6' shower curtain diff frames, I'm not sure he has so far invented a way to manufacture a 2.5kW HMI PAR out of sticky back plastic and loo rolls, so there has to be a little rental company involvement.

Having said all that, we're filming in Birmingham between the 2nd and 5th of September inclusive, so Phil, if you're around I would pay several pints to meet you and your banks of MR16s :)

Seriously, thanks for the tips, I've been finding them very useful. I have also discovered, after a lengthy trip around Focus, Homebase et al, that you are quite right about the unfortunate blight of goldfish-covered shower curtains.
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 07:21 PM

Hi,

Find an el-cheapo place like Wilkinson's. 70" square white for £7 apiece.

Phil
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#10 Tim J Durham

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 07:24 PM

I would love to hire Phil, hell I would love to just *meet* Phil after a good year and half lurking around here - and I'm sure I will at some point but for this gig I actually signed an agreement with ProVision in Leeds to supply the £800 of lighting.  Whilst I'm going to have a right good go at building one of Phil's 6' shower curtain diff frames, I'm not sure he has so far invented a way to manufacture a 2.5kW HMI PAR out of sticky back plastic and loo rolls, so there has to be a little rental company involvement.


If anyone can produce an 800lb 2.5K HMI, it's Phil. Not sure why you need it to be so heavy but the customer's always right, as they used to say, and Phil's very resourceful as I understand it...

...what do the loo rolls do in this application?

Seriously, thanks for the tips, I've been finding them very useful.  I have also discovered, after a lengthy trip around Focus, Homebase et al, that you are quite right about the unfortunate blight of  goldfish-covered shower curtains.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I happen to have a clear, textured shower curtain that-when you have a fan on it- the light through it looks like reflections off a swimming pool. It's of limited utility for me but I'll ship it to you for $900.00. Let me know soon as I have one other interested party. Or you COULD get one (or two) of these:

http://www.amazon.co...283137?v=glance
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#11 Juanita Rodriguez Onzaga

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 02:26 PM

I get what you want, I once got the effect by using a mirror-like reflecting surface made of a kind of aluminium material that I crumbled and then attached to a reflector, so that when I reflected a 1k it gave these water-esque texture.
Then because i wanted it to move I asked an electric to pan slowly the c stand and it worked perfectly.
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