The best takeaway for Documentary Film-makers

One less thing to think about when making your documentary

  • The best takeaway for Documentary Film-makers

Next week’s Open City Documentary Festival promises to be a fun and information filled few days focusing on factual film-making. The organisers are expecting over 150 delegates over 4 days to meet, attend workshops and talks from film-makers and, of course, watch some of the best new documentary films around. It’s a truly international line up which includes Off the Grid, the fantastic documentary on the importance of solar power to a remote community, that we featured in our March blog.

The approach of Open City Docs Fest got me thinking about what is it that documentary makers, particularly those travelling long distances, or working in the field need from film lights? Obviously they need to be portable like the Icelight, or other light, powerful fixtures that run off batteries.

But it also helps if you can do more than one thing with a single light. That’s why I love the Flyer, which can be used either on a Boom Pole or a stand, can run off batteries or an AC socket and, once it’s rigged you can control it remotely. That’s particularly handy if you’re short of crew, or working as a self-shooter.

If you’re in a tight spot, the Flex light does exactly what it says. Wrap it round a pole, tape it to a wall, or use it in one hand as an interview light while you film with the other.

If you need more than one light, but don’t want to lug a load of bits around the Miniburst LED panel kit gives you loads of options. You get 3 panels, 2 larger and 1 smaller, 3 lightweight stands and all the accessories you need in a single kit. Each panel has an onboard dimmer and if you want to switch between daylight and tungsten that’s easy, just slot in the tungsten filters, or soften the light by adding a diffusion filter. It’s like having a total lighting kit in a single box!

Finally if you need a light for documentary shoots that fits, literally, in your pocket you should try the Eye lite. It comes in daylight or tungsten versions and slots straight onto your camera, or can be fixed into the smallest of spaces.

Now I think about it, there are loads of energy efficient lights that are particularly well suited to the challenges of documentary filming. Lower power draw is handy, but cool-operation, robust build and portability are also factors that should make them top of the documentary film-makers list.

If you’re going along to the Open City Docs Fest next week, pick up one of our leaflets which will qualify you for a special offer on film light hire for your next documentary project. If you’re a factual film maker but can’t make it to Open City Docs Fest, get in touch and I’ll help if I can.

  • The best takeaway for Documentary Film-makers

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