Here’s a simple set up I photographed in the fall of 2019 on a south-facing hillside overlooking the 101 Freeway and Vine Street in Hollywood.  It was a night\exterior that was to open with a wide shot showing the aftermath of an automobile accident.  A variety of issues conspired against the use of a Condor or other device that would allow us to rig a large light in the usual manner – from high and far away.

            Instead, the answer was found in a much faster, cheaper, less labor-intensive approach by mounting an Arri Skypanel about halfway up the utility pole that the hero car was wrapped around.  You can actually see the unit at work as the scene unfolds.

            Absolutely nothing is lost by not using a large source on a Condor in the traditional fashion.  And it doesn’t bother me at all that the unit is in the shot; it fits the context of the scene and looks like any number of streetlights we see all the time.  The only other source of illumination here is from a 1K reflected off an 8’x8′ UltraBounce located on the sidewalk just outside camera right.  It was meant to provide some illumination for the actor as he approaches with the phone to his ear.

            Arri Alexa Mini; EI 1280; 220 degree shutter angle; 3200˚K; Panavision 24mm-275mm Primo Zoom set at 35mm; T2.8; no filtration…


6 thoughts on “LIGHTING DIAGRAM #20 – TOMMY (CBS-TV)”

  1. Hi Richard, always wonderful to read and learn more with your posts.
    I’m curious to know why did you set the shutter angle at 220 degrees? Was it for the police car lights or there is another reason for this decision?
    Thank you so much!

  2. Luigi – Just a matter of taste. For television work I’ve tended to like the look of the 220 degree shutter\1280 ISO settings on the Arri Alexa at night. There’s a little added speed as well, which sometimes helps too. At the time I shot this I was pleased by what I was seeing…but that doesn’t mean I’d automatically do it again. The situation and what you’re trying to achieve always dictates!

  3. Looks great, I love the cyan color! Were you concerned about getting permission to mount a light to a utility pole?

  4. Hey David – it was one of those situations where it was easier to be ready to beg forgiveness than to seek permission. None of the officials seemed upset at the time, so…

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