Sarah Leckie has a full plate these days. While teaching fulltime, shes filming a project dealing with the true life story of an ex-cocaine processor who is now helping transform prisoners through art. This short documentary entitled Despues is her Asbury College MFA digital cinema thesis project.
My main shooting package is the Canon C300, with lighting from my new favorite LED lights, Litepanels 1x1 and Sola 6, she says. These lights are amazing. Ive had to deal with fighting and/or shaping the natural light of the setting in Colombia. We were essentially filming a third world situation where sunlight floods in from windows in every direction and the yellow florescent lights fill in the gaps. So, needless to say, using available light was not a good option if I wanted this documentary to look pretty. Plus, the majority of the story happens in the past so I had to rely on creating emotion with my shots as opposed to recreating events.
Leckie chose Litepanels because she needed low-wattage, high-powered lights. I didnt have access to generators, she explains. This was a third world situation, so the electricity is never reliable. The daylight balanced, battery-powered Litepanels 1x1s and the Sola 6 were perfect for her needs. The 1x1s are, to me, a staple light for most any project. When I added the Sola 6s, however, I found them to be my most used fixture. They were always my direct light, an easy-to-shape source. And the 1x1s gave me an absolutely beautiful soft light so I was constantly using them to fill the room with light when I needed it.
Leckie found Litepanels invaluable when creating artistic lighting for her subject, Carlos, as he was carving wood. Without the Sola 6, it wouldnt have been such dramatic lighting, she says. In the interviews, I was constantly setting up the Sola 6 as the hair light and the 1x1s as the beauty lights. I covered them with black wrap and muslin to give some texture to the light. If Id been shooting with hot lights, I wouldnt have been able to texture the lighting. It would have burnt right through my cloth.
Due to her subjects schedule, Leckie was constantly shooting at night. So, I bounced the 1x1s off the ceiling to give me a beautiful ambient light for the whole room. Without those, I would have had to rely on the ugly fluorescents and my project wouldnt have been so beautiful.
Leckie is currently editing this project and plans to submit it to film festivals when it is completed.
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