With the increasing popularity of new forms of media, the roles of the lighting technicians sometimes become misunderstood. Here is a great article to explain the differences between the grip and electric departments; both being an intricate part of photography, they do have separate roles.
The best test for any software or equipment is to just jump right in. I recently finished a show in NY where I used the brand new Luminair 3 to run 10 Vari*Lite VL4000 Spot Luminaires, 52 LED Color Force RGBA, 24 Color Blaster TRX, 196 conventional channels, and 2 Unique Hazers; over two universes.
The new Luminaire software performed well with only a few occasional crashes, which at this time I believe Synthe-FX has already sent out a patch for. Ryan Hisey at Synthe-FX has always been extremely quick about getting back to me with any issues that I may encounter.
We had two very full universes, so we had to take great care in not over lapping any channels. The big issue I did encounter was the combining of conventionals and intelligent lighting in one project. In my universe 1 project, my first group (leftmost,) had about 50 conventional tracks (Standard Faders;) the second group, had about 20 conventional tracks (Standard Faders;) the third, fourth, and fifth groups were intelligent lighting: some of the Color Force RGBs, Color Blasters, and VL4000s; all with mixtures of Standard Faders, Color (RGB) Faders, XY Faders. When I would adjust a conventional fader in the first group, it would zero out all the conventional faders in the second group, but change nothing in the intelligent lighting groups. It was odd that it would only affect the conventionals. The work around for this issue was to keep all the conventionals in one group, separate from the intelligent lighting. We did this with great success for the run of the show.
The Vari*Lite VL4000 Spot Luminaire is a fairly new to the market, so it was no surprise to me that Luminaire 3 software did not have this fixture in it's fixture library.
One of the best new features on luminaire 3 (if not the best) is the ability to create your own fixture profiles, which is invaluable to a designer using these intelligent fixtures in a non-traditional way. Using the Create New Profile, I was able to create specific profiles for each unit. For example, I had two VL4000s that I was using simply for the custom glass gobo we had installed. I was able to create fixture profiles for these fixtures using only the channels I needed and not the ones I would not be using (program, animation wheels, shutter frames, etc.) This made it much easier to navigate through the Luminair control panel to get to the lights I need to adjust quickly.
With the addition of custom scene buttons and color coded tracks, Luminair 3 is a fresh new design on an already great platform.
Do you need help with Luminair, DMX protocol, intelligent lighting? I welcome your comments & questions.
I had the great opportunity to lens the new TLC show, 'Answered Prayers' with Director Erik Weigel. Erik, recently transplanted from NY to LA, brought a fresh new perspective to TLC. Roma Downey hosts this series featuring stories of real people who have gone through incredible and tragic experiences..
As you can see, it is a docu-style reality show. Erik and I were given the task to re-create these angelic moments in people's lives, car crashes, drowning, horrific accidents; within a limited budget. We had to recreate, no, re-think how to shoot these stories. And it was a journey.
I suggested we shoot with Canon C300 & old school Zeiss super speeds. I felt this would give us the depth and color space of a modern day camera with the forgiving Zeiss super speeds. Camera A was small and efficient, similar to the 435 setup. We were able to move fast and get great images with very little support. Eric Maclver at Division Camera set us up right so that we could beat the three sides of that production triangle. When warranted, we kept everything moving with a CinePed Slider (best slider out there in my opinion) and a Steadicam. No time for dolly track.
We had a good amount of water work, cars being flipped, children drowning. For this I suggested 4K, which for a show like this is a hard sell for the cinematographer. My pitch was basic, we have a limited amount of time at the pool, limited divers, limited art; we needed to acquire as much as we could as fast as we could. If we get in the water with a RED wearing a Zeiss 18mm, we could get a lot fast. And we did.
And yes, it snowed at IllusionLuka.
Thanks to our team at United Artist Media Group, Wendy Hinton and Tom Shelly, in particular, for supporting our vision. Thanks as well to Charles Schner for executing 2nd Unit with the same vision.
The trilogy box set will be released at this event. New box set extras include:
- Director & Cinematographer commentary
- New cast & crew interviews
- New Behind the Scenes programs
- All bonus material from previous DVDs
All three films were shot in South Central Pennsylvania. The movies were made by a crew of less than 10 people and is being distributed independently by the filmmaker. By buying this boxset you are directly supporting the film and the artists who made it, and their quest to make more fun movies like it. To find out more about these films please visit: www.route30trilogy.com.
Exclusive Narration by Executive Producer/Writer Galley Molina.