When cinematographer and co-producer James Mathers signed on for 1000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story he knew it would be a labor of love. Fortunately he had a great crew and terrific cast. His equipment had to be cost-effective and function flawlessly so to not hinder the tight shooting schedule. For lighting, he went with LED pioneers Litepanels.
1000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story is the inspiring true tale of a young basketball star who racked up 1000 points in high school, only to be felled by a catastrophic stroke during his freshman year of college. For his principal form of capture, Mathers chose the RED Epic, equipped with Angenieux and Fujinon lenses, with the OConnor 2575 camera support. But it was the lighting that probably presented the biggest challenge, he admits. We had to cover everything from a large basketball stadium to small intimate shots. There were no resources available to change out tubes or time to relight. So, I opted for a minimum of big guns plus my trusty LED lights from Litepanels.
Whenever we needed light floating on the floor for full and close-ups or for added punch for small interiors, the Hilio was perfect, he explains. Its fairly lightweight and draws only 115 Watts. At one point when we were towing the picture car with a U-Haul trailer we powered two Hilios off a small inverter.
Because the Hilios have plenty of output, Mathers was able to soften the light with Rosco 250 Diffusion, and add Rosco #248 Half-Minus green to compensate for the green tint of a cars windshield, which is a challenge with many modern, energy efficient cars these days, he explains. Inside the car we had a Litepanels 1x1 Bi-Color running off an Anton/Bauer camera battery. This provided plenty of exposure from the fill side, even on the very sunny day we had for the shots.
It always amazes me how close to the subject you can sneak a Litepanels 1x1 when fighting a too bright background as in a daylight car interior, he adds. It can be right off camera, inches from the talent, but I suppose because of the many small source LEDs, it doesnt give away your lighting, and it doesnt torture an actor with hot light.
At one point we were shooting in tight quarters, in a narrow hallway, where Hannah Marks reacts to David Henrie as he portrays Cory Weissman having a stroke on the campus of Gettysburg College, he recalls. I had the camera right down on the floor, but needed to sneak in a little fill. That was easy, I just placed a 1x1 at an angle to the action and that was all we needed.
I love my Litepanels 1x1s, he admits. I sneak them in constantly; they are lightweight, use very little power, are dimmable, color selectable, and stay cool to the touch. If I need, I can soften the light by simply dropping a pre-cut diffusion square into the available slot. I never worry about getting a hot light too close to the actors or crew. Whether Im on a feature, documentary, or commercial shoot, youll always find a few Litepanels in my kit.
For 1000 to 1, Mathers was introduced to another Litepanels fixture, the Inca 6 tungsten balanced LED Fresnel. This one was about the size and output of a 1k Baby-Baby, but drew little over 100 Watts. It stayed cool to the touch. You gotta love these new LEDs.
Litepanels was founded in 2001 by 5 professional gaffers and engineers who saw the future and pioneered LED (light emitting diode) lighting for motion pictures, television and the audio-visual industry. Their Emmy® award-winning technology has now been used on thousands of productions worldwide and is trusted by the worlds leading broadcast organizations.
Backed by the Vitec Groups legacy of 100+ years in the broadcast and production industry, Litepanels continues to expand its suite of flicker free, color accurate, fully-dimmable soft lights that talent and Lighting Directors admire. These environmentally friendly fixtures practically pay for themselves with power savings and long life, setting a new standard in professional lighting. Along with other leading brands in the broadcast and professional videographer industry, Litepanels is part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company. For more information on Litepanels, visit www.litepanels.com