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HomeCraftsCameraDorsett Chooses Litepanels for Harry Chapin Tribute

Dorsett Chooses Litepanels for Harry Chapin Tribute


Rhonda Dorsett relied on Litepanels' fixtures to shoot in the cramped quarters of an old New York brownstone.

Creative director/DP Rhonda Dorsett of The Phoenix Group recently chose Litepanels fixtures to light interviews and footage for a documentary celebrating the works of Harry Chapin. Shot in Huntington, New York, the project marked the 30th anniversary of the singer/songwriter’s death.

“Our company does a lot of work in our community, and the Harry Chapin Foundation is one of our favorite projects. My partner shot stills at the concert and I did the interviews,” said Dorsett. “One of the most important was of Harry Chapin’s mother and his daughter, at Mrs. Chapin’s brownstone in New York.”

“In order to do this shoot, we had to have a very compact gear bag and lighting system, because New York apartments are not known for their tremendous size and old brownstones don’t usually have great power sources. It was a small, dark place and not easily lit. And there wasn’t room to set up traditional tripods and lighting. We wanted to do a two-camera shoot, for easy editing. I brought our equipment in with the Petrol Cambio bag; three camera bodies, five lenses, batteries, chargers, filters, and our lighting workhorse – Litepanels’ MicroPros.

“I love Litepanels,” she added. “My product and video shoots require continuous lighting that could be on for hours and hot lights are rightly named; they get hot. Litepanels are extremely useful in still and video shoots. The fact that they create no heat was a plus in the cramped quarters of the apartment. They didn’t overheat our two women. And, because I am able to dim them, I could give the Chapins a soft light without interfering with our shoot. These weren’t professional models and I knew I needed light that would not distract from what the subjects wanted to say.

“Litepanels fit into the tight spaces of the apartment, and because they are battery powered, we could move them around easily,” Dorsett continued. “When you are working with a client on set, time and ease of workflow is of the essence. And, at the end of a long day of shooting, when everyone just wants to go home, it’s easy to put the Litepanels into a tote or our new Cambio bag without worrying about the cool down time required with hot lights.”

The Harry Chapin Tribute, shot for the Harry Chapin Foundation, is now in postproduction and will be seen on the foundation website and other venues later this year.

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