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What lighting equipment do you own?


Daniel Smith
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HA HA HA HA HA.

 

800W, huh? I could do with one of those. Do you know how much an ARRI will cost? I don't really know any other brands.

ARRI redheads are about 500$ new. Mole-Richardson has been making lights since 1917 and are EXTREMELY well built lights. Matthew, if you come out here to LA, contact me and you can come to a lighting class at Mole-Richardson with me taught by the owner of the company.

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I own a pair of 2K Mole fresnels, 1K broad colortrans, 1K babys, Arri 650,300,150's. China lanterns and softboxes. Plus a whole lot of grip equipment which is all neatly packed in a cargo van. Like some others here, I saw that I wasn't always able to rent everything I wanted on most films so now if I can't get everything I want, I bring my own stuff. I try and keep my rate from slipping below $200 and the package certainly helps in that area. Trouble is, I now have to offer everything that people can get from elefant or lower my asking rate to what elefant is willing to rent they're package for which is insanely low. Elefant is an eastcoast vendor but watch out. They may hit the west coast eventually.

 

I'm currently shooting an action feature with the 100B and the Mini35 adaptor which is about 200ASA and I'm using all of my own lights. I'm finding that I may have to start thinking about either adding some HMI units or some 5K's. Most would say go for the HMI's but they're way more expensive used than a used 5K even with the additional electric gear I'd need. So I'm hitting the point where I have to say enough is enough. I'm not buying a cube truck and I don't like the idea of owning one light that costs $3000. I can rebuild a tungsten unit. I know nothing about the inside of an HMI nor do I want to. Normally I just ask production to rent a few HMI's in addition to what I have but that's not always easy to arrange and it opens up a can of worms once people start going to a rental house for one item. Suddenly they start asking for a quote on everything I'm providing to see if they can get it cheaper. I almost lost the rental of my camera to someone who was willing to rent an HVX with an adaptor for less. It's completely ridiculous how low everyone is willing to go now to make the credit card payments on their camera purchases.

 

I'm glad I went the G&E route. Most of my gear won't depreciate that much. A mambo combo stand is worth the same amount of money 5 years from now. As long as it's in decent shape.

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If you are just interested in lighting your own projects and not getting jobs based off fancy name brand equipment, there are plenty of inexpensive things you can buy. To name a few...

 

 

china balls

photofloods

MR16s (a parabolic reflector with decent throw, color balance to tungsten or close, screw in base, comes in 120v and 12v)

clamp lights

a mirror

 

Why not a cheap parcan? The light will surely cost less than the light stand you will need for it.

 

 

Probably the most important items are expendables...

 

black wrap, gels/diffusion, commando cloth, bounce boards

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Danielle is right, make some foamcore bounceboards, as well as blackboards, gold and silver shinyboards, and a cucaloris. Get muslin, bleached muslin, griff, 216 diff, opal, CT gels, gridcloth, stuf along those lines. Having black wrap wont hurt neither. Most productions skimp on expendables, producers rent lights as if theyre "good enough" and get a roll of CTB and CTO. Make a decent expendable/grip kit and you'll be set. I have a friend who made his own 12x12 and 6x6 frames, they worked great.

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I own 1 Arri 150, 2 Arri 300's, 3 Red-heads, 1 Lowel Pro Light, chimeras, photofloods, several containers of practicals, plenty of 12/3 AC, 1K hand dimmers, chinaballs, etc. Plus grip - stands, frames, clamps, mounts, adapteres, flags, nets, rags, bags, boxes, etc. I even have a Honda 3K genny which I've paid off 2/3 in about 6 months. I normally work as a cinematographer.

 

Owning gear has always worked out fairly well with me. It's nice having all the tools I need at my disposal at any time whenever I need it. Like it's been mentioned here Grip and Lighting is generally a better investment over video gear because of the changing technology. It might take 4 or 5 times as long to pay off a c-stand but something like that is not going to go out of date anytime soon. The decision to purchase gear really depends on what kind of projects you're working on and how often you're working. In general I normally win some and I lose some in terms of getting paid for the gear. But because of the long term re-coupement structure with grip/lighting I'm willing to have some patience with it.

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  • Premium Member

It has been pointed out to me that my previous post in this thread could be interpreted as somewhat negative towards the inhabitants of Los Angeles.

 

This wasn't the intention at all - my one very limited LA production experience was so overwhelming positive that I can't wait to do it again, but that does only serve to highlight what I was actually trying to get at, which is that the immigration and union setup is designed to ensure that the door is, if you're from outside the US, firmly closed. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with that, people have a right to protect their national job market, but that's what I was getting at.

 

So, sorry for any offence. Normal service will now be resumed.

 

Phil

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The door is always open.

 

Not when you add in the cost of the flight, the cost of accomodation, the fact I'm only 15 years, and the fact I get really homesick.

 

 

> The door is always open.

 

It really isn't, you know.

 

Phil

 

Phil, I've not been (intentionally) spamming for several days now, why don't you try making cheerier posts, you'll feel happier, and everyone else will too. :)

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I own just a few pieces that are handy to have like white and half black painted China balls and home made lantern locks. A bunch of 211's, Photofloods etc. Flourescent shop lights with Chroma 50's and home made XLR cabling and switch boxes. I also have some home made difussion snoots for eyelights. Mostly just special and/or handy stuff that you don't have to spend time making up or buying for each production.

 

I'm considering purchasing a lightpanel with obie bracket for eyelight/fill.

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Flourescent shop lights with Chroma 50's and home made XLR cabling and switch boxes.

Are you using the XLR as ballast feeder? If so I'm really curious as to how you did it-- I've been toying with some of my own designs for homemade flos and zip cord is really clumsy.

Sorry if this is too off-topic, just very curious.

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Are you using the XLR as ballast feeder? If so I'm really curious as to how you did it-- I've been toying with some of my own designs for homemade flos and zip cord is really clumsy.

Sorry if this is too off-topic, just very curious.

 

I'm not using it as ballast feeder from the ballast to the lamp head. Though I would be interested in that myself. What I did was take those flimsy metal shop lights with onboard balasts and replace the cable to it with SO 3 wire. I made the fixture ground better added a grommet to protect the cable exit from the fixture and terminated the cable with an XLR connector rated for 120v which I think most of them are. I then made up several 25' extensions and a custom switch box for 4 circuits. I also made up some Edison to XLR so I could just plug straight into a stinger as well. These are basically just a fast way to install color-correct practicals with a little more control. They aren't high frequency or anything, but I've used them in place of a Kino with no problem. The only mistake I made was that I used three pin XLR and now I'm affraid someone is going to plug a Mic into A/C power. So whenever I use it I set it up myself. Probably would be better to use DMX XLR because they provide for power feed through on certain pins and can't be plugged into a Mic.

Edited by J. Lamar King
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Do you have any specs on your homemade kinos?

I bought some light weight 1 x 18w fixtures that have hf-ballast. I have removed the plastic "diffuser" and modified them so that they can be put together as 2 x 18w and in the future as 4 x 18w. I have also added a "pin" on the back so that they can be mounted in a gobohead. I found theese fixtures very cheap at a store here in Sweden. Here is a pic from the store, they are made in plastic and weighs close to nothing. Cost $20 each.

424027_b.jpg

 

Next project is to build myself a fixture with 10 x 32w. But that will be in june when I´m done working on the next feature.

 

Forgot to mention that I haven´t added barndoors to them yet so for now I´m just using blackwrap.

Edited by Hans Engstrom
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