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Let's get smoky in here

Well hello there. The last post that I have written here is a late Christmas post from last year. I am clearly not very good in keeping this up am I. But hey what you gonna do, I had a busy first month.

I just shot three different things back to back all of them used the style of 1920's film cameras. But one of those films had a character having an idea which I really wanted to underline with a visual element. Let me paint you the picture.

The character was suppose to leave the scene but before she does that she has and idea and goes back to flip a sign and we track with here from the idea point in. The framing is WS to a MS center on the talent with the sign visible in the background, right of frame. So what I wanted to do is to have a light cutting through the atmosphere smoke and hit the sign - you know that classic gag with the light bulb coming on when someone has an idea. But I wanted to see the beam coming in frame from top left.

For all that I got my self a parcan. Just the one with a narrow CP61 1k bulb (different bulbs different beams and spread of light). Turns out that parcans are pretty simple lights to have, a lot of people have arrays of like 5 or 6 of those together. The main difference of those lights are the bulbs that they come with. Here is a super inteersting article that gives good information about par can light bulbs - Now I know that those guys are great for narrow beams of light just cutting smoke usually for background sun light beams in a space. Sort of exactly what we needed. But now it was time to do some light tests of beams. So I got in the studio and build myself a test rig that sort of looks like this:

Well now we just smoke the studio up and we have a look. The main thing that I was looking for was the shape of the beam and how wide get and how does it keep up for some distance.

The 300w Fresnel:

1K Parcan with CP61 bulb:

A red head:

And here at the end I will put down the 300w and the Par together. The redhead was in the mix for something special that I wanted to prove. I really wanted to use it for decoration in the background- to create pools of light in the smoke in a specific place. It turns out that this can't be done with just a redhead and a dimmer but didn't have any space to put a cookie there so I just had to drop the that idea. But having it there give me another idea - red heads would be really nice on a pinch for some background color and general space lighting when there is smoke or any special atmos.

Now I wonder if I am going to use this par can for anything else but than I just shot a promo video in which I use it to reflect it from a mirror through the set, had it on a dimmer and we were simulating lighting of a raging storm. So even it is much more theatrical tool than cinematic but for me the right tool is that ever gets the job done. And turns out there are not that expencive.

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