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What kind of lights do you use or rent frequently?

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Tyler Grutsch
What kind of lights do you use or rent frequently?
on Oct 23, 2013 at 5:28:20 pm

The fiscal year is coming to a close and I'm looking to purchase a few new lights for our rentals division. We rent out to mostly interview & reality TV, but would like to look at getting some HMI's. Is there a brand other than ARRI or MR that anyone would recommend? We are leaning towards getting two 4ftx4 kino flos for interviews. Anyone use something different for interviews? I'd appreciate any feedback.

Tyler Grutsch
Wise Foley Entertainment
http://www.wisefoleyentertainment.com
Missoula, MT
406-396-9253


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Todd Terry
Re: What kind of lights do you use or rent frequently?
on Oct 23, 2013 at 5:42:54 pm

My personal lighting methods always seem to be evolving, and continue to do so.

For interview lighting, I went through my tungsten phase, and my flo phase... but now about 90% of the time I will light interviews with LED instruments (a variety of different ones). Cameras have gotten so much more light sensitive these days that where I used to heavily light, I will now light much more minimally... or do subtractive rather than additive lighting. We use the C300 primarily which has up to 20,000 ISO so battery-powered LED instruments are our go-to fixtures (and eliminates hauling heavy stingers and worrying about power sources).

I do still use HMIs though... sometimes you just need that to combat bright windows, or for exteriors to give a little pop or fill. I usually travel with at least one or two 1200w HMIs, but do find that I'm not using them as much any more.

For a rental company, obviously you want to stock the fixtures that clients are asking for... which may vary depending on where you are and what kinds of things the clients there are shooting.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: What kind of lights do you use or rent frequently?
on Oct 23, 2013 at 6:46:26 pm

I think you're always going to have a strong demand for HMI lights, perhaps the Joker Bug series would be handy to have available. Though what Todd says is true, his other point that nothing can match the power of an HMI at that color temp - is also true, and it is EXPENSIVE to own HMI's. No LED bank is going to match an HMI for a big daylight job, or even a medium one. Flos are soft sources that while relatively inexpensive, often are not the right aesthetic choice. That leaves the HMI in a class to itself. You may not need it often, but when you DO, it's really the only way to go, and this is the essence of the perfect gear to rent.



We finally bought one of our own after begging for a full decade and doing the odd occasional rental. And I STILL can't use it, because the $%#^$ vendor shipped the Joker with it's delicate globe pre- installed, instead of packed away in it's own shock-proof sub-container. It made an expensive tinkling sound when it arrived, still in the shipping box. About a $400 globe if I remember it right, and the %^$&% vendor has been dragging their feet to make good with a new globe ever since, so I have an expensive doorstop right now, and a deep-set hate for one certain vendor who shall remain nameless for now.


Obviously, if you're going to stock HMI for rental, you will need extra globes and an insurance policy with the renters.


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Todd Terry
Re: What kind of lights do you use or rent frequently?
on Oct 23, 2013 at 7:02:38 pm

OUCH!... Mark you have a DOA Joker?? Man, I'd be making some loud noise about that... sit on the vendor if you have to. The JokerBug 800 is one of my all time favorite instruments. It's one of the most useful (for interiors) HMIs that you'll find.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: What kind of lights do you use or rent frequently?
on Oct 23, 2013 at 9:02:22 pm

I wouldn't know yet :-P I've already had two shoots happen where I could have put it to use, too. These guys are horrible, but that's often what you get from Lowest Bidders. Took me a decade to get the light, wonder how many months for the vendor to cough up a replacement bulb? It was obviously their fault, too, to not pack the thing right for shipping. There's an obvious custom-cut hole in the foam inside the case where you stash the bulb for long-haul transit. i can see leaving the bulb in the fixture where you're the owner and taking care of the case during transit to the shoot... but when shipping anything inter-state, you have to assume it is going to go thru a rock tumbler, or guys like THIS




















During shipping.


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Tyler Grutsch
Re: What kind of lights do you use or rent frequently?
on Dec 5, 2013 at 4:31:43 pm

Thanks guys. Our fiscal year is coming to an end and I think we are going to try a 1.2HMI from cool lights. I researched it a bit from the posts here on the cow and it seems to be a cost effective alternative to the Mole Richardson or Arri lights I have been looking at. I was real impressed with having the actual owner call me back from China as well.

Always welcomed advice from both Todd and Mark. Either of you guys ever shot in Montana?

Tyler Grutsch
Wise Foley Entertainment
http://www.wisefoleyentertainment.com
Missoula, MT
406-396-9253


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Todd Terry
Re: What kind of lights do you use or rent frequently?
on Dec 5, 2013 at 4:44:18 pm
Last Edited By Todd Terry on Dec 5, 2013 at 4:45:37 pm

[Tyler Grutsch] " I think we are going to try a 1.2HMI from cool lights. "

Well, I have a 1200w HMI from CoolLights (mine is a fresnel, but I think they only offer PARs in a 1.2 now). I'd say it is perfectly fine for use YOURSELF... and yes, Richard is a good guy. BUT... you said you were looking for instruments for your rental inventory. I'd be a bit wary of renting that fixture out. The build quality is not nearly what you will get with a higher-end instrument. Now, I'm NOT knocking it a bit, I actually love this instrument and am a fan of CoolLights. But you do get what you pay for.

A rental instrument really needs to be built like a tank, because we all know how renters treat them. When's the last time you rented a lighting head that looked shiny and new, like it came right out of the box? Almost never... most are pretty beat up. For a rental head I'd buy something that can take that kind of punishment... an Arri, or Strand or something.

The CoolLights ballasts are serviceable (they're Chinese-built Arri knockoffs) but are not A+... I've been through a couple of them. They can tend to blow fuses if they don't get really clean power (or ventilation), and you have to remove several screws and open up the unit to change fuses that are on one of the circuit boards inside. I'm not sure I'd want a renter doing that.

Again, they ARE good units, I'm a fan, and I'm glad they are around and are a good choice for budget productions. I'm just not sure they are the best choice for rental inventory.

Hope I'm not being a wet blanket...

T2

P.S. No, never had the pleasure of shooting in Montana.

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: What kind of lights do you use or rent frequently?
on Dec 5, 2013 at 7:06:45 pm

Not been to Montana yet, but I hear it can be pretty, in a rugged sort of way.

And I've never been to Spain.

But I kinda like the music.


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Tyler Grutsch
Re: What kind of lights do you use or rent frequently?
on Dec 16, 2013 at 5:13:39 pm

Awesome. Thanks for the advice, it is always welcomed. Todd, if you ever shoot in Montana, don't hesitate to call.

Thanks again,

Tyler Grutsch
Wise Foley Entertainment
http://www.wisefoleyentertainment.com
Missoula, MT
406-396-9253


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