Do We Still Need Big Lights? – ON THE COUCH Ep. 25 part 2 of 3 – O’Connor Hartnett, Mark-André Voss

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In episode 25 of ON THE COUCH, I was happy to welcome filmmaker O’Connor Hartnett and Mark-André Voss from F&V Lighting.

In this second part of this episode, O’Connor talked about his first larger shoot on which he was able to exclusively shoot on LED lights. He talked about the advantage to have dimmable tungsten lights in form of LEDs, and how to combine them using several of F&V’s Z180 lights, which can be attached to each other and then dimmed and controlled together at the same time, using only the dimmer button of one light.

He mentioned a narrative project using the 2×1 lights, throwing them through a 4×4 silk and lighting an entire room with it. He is looking forward to using exclusively LED lights in the future at some point.

There are flicker issues with HMI’s, even the “deflickered” ones, but there are no such issues with LEDs, so these lights are great for high frame rate shooting.


Mark added that lights really become tools to shape the look, but not to illuminate the scene any more as cameras get more and more light sensitive. I added that cinematography might be more and more about reducing the existing light in the future – and to work with shadows. In the past, the original lights at a location needed to be replaced with stronger counterparts to recreate that mood in a film camera, which was cumbersome and difficult work. Nowadays it’s easier to capture what’s already there – however cameras are already almost too light sensitive for many places.

In the 3rd and final part we talk about F&V’s Spectra HD4 EVF and where the camera accessory industry is heading in general.







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Sameer Antulay Reply
Sameer Antulay August 1, 2015

I don’t understand if this is a question or a suggestion. Sigh

Johnnie Behiri August 2, 2015

Usually in every language if there is a “question mark” at the end, it’s a question.

Toufek Smithee August 2, 2015

Well a rethorical question is rather a way to make an assertion than to elicit an answer. For sure technicaly it takes the form of a question with a question mark but not always as it is illustrated, suprisingly enough, by sameer who let out a sigh probably out of exasperation, but hey who knows (with the implication Nobody knows) i might be mistaken? :-)
I know I am not the expert here, so i shut up and i leave.. Respect for your good work anyway.

Sonja Aufderklamm Reply
Sonja Aufderklamm August 2, 2015

this is great, but still it`s about the whole look or contrast you want to create as a cinematographer…10 000 ISO will look different than shot on 100 ISO with lightning.. and not all films should look the same only because “it`s possible”…sure, in documentary, spontaneous shootings its great to have more than 20 000 ISO..

Arturo Bandini Reply
Arturo Bandini August 4, 2015

I’ll save everyone some time. Yes, we still need big lights. This was never a serious question.

 Seth Holston Reply
Seth Holston February 10, 2016

I can light from a distance with big lights.

Steve Oakley Reply
Steve Oakley September 28, 2015

LED’s CAN FLICKER ! Go shoot your led fixture at 250th – 1000th and with VERY few exceptions you’ll see flicker or rolling bars depending on FPS rate. completely depends on power supply design and many cheap LED panel lights will flicker at 250 or even lower.

there are times when you may still need a large lite – like a big space… like say a sports arena… or I’ve seen huge outdoor areas lit. the matter is you just new fewer of them.