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Guy Holt

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    Custom Honda generator systems for motion picture production including paralleling systems with 100A output.

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  1. I agree that job protection is written into the Code, but not the type you think. NEC Section 530.6 is, to my mind, one of the most important code articles because it creates our job. Without that single article, what we do would likely be the jurisdiction of some International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local and require a state license. But, unfortunately, the NEC is not the final word on this issue. Despite its authoritative position and national title, NEC standards are merely a template local government uses to create and enforce their own electric code. Since the NEC provi
  2. While that is true, paid professionals are more likely to use equipment that warrants safety training than do unpaid amateurs. NEC Article 520 makes a similar distinction between what is and is not safe for an amateur to use – just in a different way. Section 520.53(P) permits an untrained person to use only listed plug and cord connected distribution systems of less than 150A. The operative words being “listed“ and “plug and cord connected.” A listed plug and cord connected system is a turnkey system whose components are compatible by design, equipped with over current protection sized to
  3. Clearly Article 530 hasn’t been updated in a while. In fact, there is a proposed update making its way through the approval process that will be part of the 2023 edition of the NEC. The intent of Section 530.1 then as now is to distinguish between professional and amateur productions and align Article 530 with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) CFR Regulations. After all what distinguishes professionals from amateurs is that professionals get paid. Paid by whom? By their employer. According to OSHA regulations the employer is responsible for worker safety and providing
  4. In my opinion, the two best introductory books for set electricians are The Set Lighting Technician’s Handbook by Harry Box and Electricity for the Entertainment Electrician and Technician by Richard Cadena (an ETCP certified trainer.) For more advanced reading on the use of power in motion picture production I recommend a series of articles I have written for Protocol (the quarterly journal of ESTA.) Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting rentals and sales in Boston
  5. No. In the codes and standards world, language is used very precisely. The qualified person requirement of NEC Section 530.6: Portable Equipment pertains to the use of “Portable stage and studio lighting equipment and portable power distribution equipment” outdoors, not someone plugging in a laptop in the production office or hair and make-up plugging in a hair dryer. And as it states in its beginning, Section 530.1 Scope: “The requirements of this article shall apply to television studios and motion picture studios using either film or electronic cameras, except as provided in 520.1, and exc
  6. As we all know producers would squeeze Lincoln off a penny if they could, so they cut corners where-ever they can, including when it comes to worker safety. As Phil suggested in his OP, let’s litigate this issue as it would be in a court of law. Every province, state, or municipality has a body of law that pertains to this question and it has nothing to do with common sense. I highly recommend that anyone handling or energizing lighting equipment familiarize themselves with their local laws. That being the case, it is simply wrong to say: “General Liability Insurance here doesn't requir
  7. Not being familiar with the Yongnuo YN1200W LEDs I can’t speak specifically regarding that light, but I can speak to lights with electronic power supplies in general. With light sources that use Switch Mode Power Supplies (HMIs, Fluorescents, & LEDs) it matters not only what type of generator you use but also what type of power supplies the lights use. The poor power factor and harmonic noise that non-power factor corrected Switch Mode Power Supplies (SMPS) draw can have a severe adverse effect on the power waveform of conventional generators, but not inverter generators. Under the best o
  8. Given the inherent danger in using electricity in and around water, I am surprised no one has yet mentioned that the National Electrical Code requires the use of GFCIs on all 15- and 20- ampere, single-phase, 125-volt receptacles located within 6.0m (20 ft._ of the inside walls of a pool (Section 680.22 (A)(4). This creates a problem for us because many movie lights (HMIs, Kinos, & LEDs) generate residual currents of sufficient magnitude to nuisance trip most GFCIs. The source of residual currents in these devices can be intentional or unintentional capacitance. Some sources of unin
  9. I don't have a url for the Film Florida Guidelines, they were sent to me as a pdf by a friend, so I had our web designer upload it to our server and establish a link from our website. You will find the link below the links to Protocol articles I have written over the years. Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting Rental & Sales in Boston
  10. I would not try to enclose a construction style generator like the DuraMax XP12000EH in a sound blimp - it is likely to catch fire. Inverter generators can be enclosed because they are designed for air flow traveling through the generator from front to back and so can work in enclosures designed with front air intake and rear air exhaust (there are several enclosures on the market for this purpose.) The air guide of the Honda EU7000’s triple-chamber construction is part of what makes it so quiet. Put it in a properly designed enclosure and you have a dead silent generator.
  11. It depends on the type of ballast. Because of the constant improvement in HMI technology over the years there are several types of HMI ballasts available and if you are not careful how you power them you can get stuck. In ballast design you have a choice between magnetic and electronic ballasts; and to complicate matters even more, you have a choice between Power Factor Corrected electronic ballasts and non-Power Factor Corrected electronic ballasts. Magnetic ballasts draw more current during the striking phase and then they “settle down” and require less power to maintain the HMI Arc.
  12. Finally we have a glimpse of what set lighting will look like in the era of Covid-19. As active discussions continue about setting industry guidelines for a safe return to production amid the coronavirus pandemic, Film Florida has released the most comprehensive set of such recommendations yet. Put out on Thursday, April 30, the six-page document by the statewide trade association features 161 recommendations for “clean & healthy” film, TV and digital production sets. According to a recent article in Deadline Hollywood "it spells the possible end of the signature canvas director’s ch
  13. Time to get back to the original purpose of this thread: to share the tricks of the trade that will add more to your film’s production values than all the big budget toys found on bloated Hollywood productions. In this thread Varju Chapan asked how to light daylight interiors without 18ks. M Joel W suggested the use of mirror boards, to which Miguel Angel responded " I learnt the hard way that it is better to place a mirror with a light bouncing in it so you don't have to keep adjusting it every 2 minutes.." Working in New England I too learned the hard way that it is better
  14. Working in New England I too learned the hard way that it is better to put a light into mirror boards than count on the sun. Mark Twain once said "if you don't like the weather in New England , wait five minutes and it will change." A smaller light, like a 4k, into mirror boards is a great way to replicate the feel of an 18k on an aerial lift. The objective to putting an 18k Fresnel on a lift at a distance is to replicate the angle and hard parallel rays of the sun. As you can see from the production stills of a Bose commercial below, you can accomplish similar results by bouncing a 4k A
  15. Don’t overlook this forum as a resource. I started a thread a while back as a place where we can share indie tricks-of-the-trade for realizing big budget production values on a modest budget. Or, as Phil Rhodes so eloquently put it “by the application of hard-won and exquisitely-realized skill.” It takes more skill to make an indie film than a big budget studio picture. Where a Hollywood production can throw money at a problem, an indie production must work smart. The emphasis of this thread is FILM CRAFT. For the more technically inclined I have posted on our website articles I have wri
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