A report about the experiences of the SRF shooting “expedition Hölloch” with the Aladdin Flex Lite
At the end of September I received the job as a director of photography to direct the special programme of Swiss TV “Schweiz Aktuell” “expedition Hölloch”. The project consisted of live broadcast, as well as recorded films from the eight largest cave system in the world
The adventure in the dark and the technical challenges of this project interested me very much. Before the first visit it was clear to me that I didn’t want to illuminate the scenes in the cave very bright but I wanted to try creating a mood that conveys the darkness.
On our first visit in the cave beginning October it was clear that we will have to get over physical, mental as well as technical challenges . One of the requirements demanded that our technical equipment can be supplied with emission free power in order not to contaminate the natural environment in the cave with gases.
The climate in the cave is constant throughout the year with an average temperature of 6° C and a humidity of 95% to 98%. In the over 200 km long cave system are some passages which are only accessible with difficulty. An adequate lighting system was required under these conditions.
Therefore I had to find a lighting system which was powered by batteries, was water-resistant, robust, compact, and lightweight. From an illuminator colleague I have heard that a new, highly flexible and waterproof lighting system was on the market – the Flex Lite from Aladdin.
Test shots in the Hölloch should show whether the Flex Lite emits enough light and if it is practical in use under the local circumstances. The test confirmed that the Flex Lites from Aladdin represent the perfect solution for our needs: The luminous efficiency, the low weight, the durability of the lamp and the ease of use have completely convinced me.
On December 6, our reports were successfully broadcasted without any technical breakdown. During the 4 shooting days in the cave the Flex Lites have exceeded my expectations as well as those of our lighting director Roland Koch. The lamps were found to be resistant to mud and wet and none of the 5 Flex Lites broke down during the recording. With the LED’s we could put both a soft light on the people and work out the desired structure and mood of the cave as counter light. Thus the wonder lamps have made a valuable contribution to the programme.
Based on these positive experiences with the Flex Lites, I would recommend this lighting system for a wide range of applications: for extreme situations, where the weight or the durability plays a role, also for interviews in the everyday life of TV, where a soft keylight has to be set in a short time.
Text: Philippe Schnyder, working as cameraman since 11 years for TPC technology and production centre Switzerland AG
Images: Focus Pictures
ALADDIN KITCHEN LIGHTING
With our TV show around Christmas we have been faced with a familiar challenge. The illumination of a kitchen often causes a headache, as the stainless steel surface shines more than the Christmas star itself. In addition, placement and humidity are always a big topic, which is further complicated by narrow spaces.
These times I wanted to leave behind me for ever by choosing my light. The new Aladdin Flexlite should be the answer to a long forgotten question: which light is requested for a clean shooting?
Besides two Aladdin tungsten Flexlites I packed by habit some 800 W and 300 W light heads. I used the two tungsten Flexlites as main light from the front. In order to hide them and to avoid reflexions, I placed them overhead our celebrity chef Pascal Schmutz in the hood. Moisture in the hood is no danger to the Aladdin Flexlite. Thanks to Super clamps and Magic arm they were easily set up. After a short adjustment we started our shooting and the cameras were running. We were able to fully concentrate on our wonderfully created menus without to worry about the lighting. I admit that only the delicious smell of the Star menu distracted us a little bit.
The taking down of the equipment was even faster than the setting up. Take down the Aladdin Flexlites, unplug and pack them in the case. Since the Flexlites hardly generate any heat, they can be packed immediately and off you go. Therefore I recommend the Flexlites to every ambitious movie maker who wants to work independent and mobile. With enough power and a light output that exceeds everything (CRI of 95) the Aladdin Flexlite will remain part of my equipment for ever .
Director: Robert Schelling
Camera: Dario Meier / Oliver Grünig
Make-Up: Raquel Turon
The Story behind the Picture: “Twilight Dream”
A fellow photographer and moviemaker called Tizian recently came running in my office. He wore jogging pants, had sweat on his forehead and was very excited. He started: “Hi André, when I was running through the wood I found the perfect location for a dream scene photoshooting . What you have in mobile light for me?”
He then described the location as follows: It is about a 30 minutes walk in the forest. There is a clearing with a particularly dense forest section behind, dark as the night. In the front section there are growing some single trees with white dots. This place is perfect for a shooting in the twilight.
As a photographer I was immediately interested to realize this project with him. We have to be mobile and therefore the equipment has to be lightweight and find place in a small case. This was the perfect setting for a test run with the Aladdin Flexlite, which we should receive in the next few days. We agreed that Tizian find a model and that I will look after the light.
In the following week the beautiful model Emily Cochran met with me and Tizian in our office. In the meantime I mounted four Aladdin Flexlites on a beam which we will use as keylight and they will be operated from two V-mount batteries. The whole thing could be held in one hand or mounted on a lightweight tripod. As a kicker, I will use a Dedolight DLED2.1 with barndoors, which is operated by an NPF battery, to give a subtle accent in the hair. To bring some structure in the trees in the background, I took a Dedolight DLED4.1 with a V-mount battery.
With only one case in the trunk, we drove to the edge of the forest. From there we walked in the daylight and in the cold through the forest. The set up of the lights was done in no time. To my amazement, our keylight with four Aladdin Flexlites was too strong even in daylight, so I reduced this to two. As a result, the battery life extended by twice.
The shooting went smoothly. The darker it got in the twilight, the more our flexible light setup proved worthwile. The Aladdin Flexlite really did honour to his name and also the CRI-value of 95 convinced me totally. With a clear conscience I can recommend the Aladdin Flexlite to every ambitious filmmaker and photographer. It is the mobile solution everybody has been waiting for.