The students in the Cinema & Television Arts Department at California State University Northridge (CSUN) recently unpacked the newest addition to their lighting package, Litepanels Sola 6 Fresnel units. “They are a great addition to the lighting equipment we offer our students,” said cinematography department head, Richard Ollis.
Ollis has put the new LED lights to work, demonstrating various lighting set-ups. “We used the Sola 6s with ½ CTO gels for key and fill lights and with ¼ CTB as backlight to emulate moonlight,” he said. “We also set up a practical candle light dinner scene to demo how they could emulate candle light on subjects sitting opposite each other at a table. The Solas 6s provided a back cross key pattern and low front fill.”
“The students quickly began to understand that Litepanels are cool to the touch and heat-free on the talent,” he said. “They saw that scrims aren’t needed because of the Sola 6’s onboard dimming capabilities. And remote control of spot-flood settings as well as the ability to power with battery packs on location helps them light their projects quickly and safely, so that they can concentrate on capturing good imagery.”
In addition to the Sola 6 Fresnels, CSUN also has a variety of Litepanels fixtures both in their equipment room and in the grids of the school’s in-house studio. “Students can check them out and take them on location, or set them on stands in a variety of set-ups at the school,” Ollis explained. “They have been using a wide variety of the Litepanels for their senior thesis projects, which employ both 35mm film and high definition video.
“I tell the students that they are using state-of-the-art lighting equipment which provides high-level, color-correct and very controllable illumination,” he added. “Unlike traditional sources, the Litepanels are light in weight, use sophisticated circuitry, including DMX remote control and run significantly cooler in operating temperatures for both crew and talent.”
Ollis is no stranger to Litepanels. When he is not teaching at CSUN, he shoots his own projects. “I often use 1×1 Bi-Color or MicroPro portable, battery-powered fill lights, for inserts and close-ups,” he said. “And the MiniPlus units are perfect as soft but directional sources to emulate computer screens in close-quarter practical locations. I’ve recently used all of these on a series of high-definition broadcast PSAs done for the FBI and State and Los Angeles County Attorney Generals Offices.”