Traveling Light (yes, light)
Lots of Airports. I have seen what feels like all of them. That’s not even close to true… but I do get a round a lot. And packing for production is something you can not gloss over. Whether its Polecam for a live broadcast or surgery, an interview kit or more, getting gear thru an airport and to set SAFELY is a challenge. And I think I have cracked a big opening in the process.
Traveling with a light kit is difficult as the instruments are often fragile. Bulbs can break and are very hard to find and replace when off base. Expensive too. If you have to ask how much, just… don’t. LEDs have made the travel better. They are smaller, lighter and are getting powerful enough to replace traditional sources. Westcott makes the Flex Lights. They are an LED light that is not in a metal or plastic housing. Its simply the LEDs on a flexible circuit board. Its a wonderful product that I got into last summer. They can be shaped to fit an area because you are not restricted to fitting a housing into a position. They also breakdown to 1/4 inch so traveling is their game.
For my last trip, I needed to create a studio interview setting and travel light. I went with 4 tungsten Flex Lights and they packed incredible well. How well? So well the entire 4 light kit fit in my carry on back pack. Dead serious. Check the pictures. The 10″ x 10″ panels fit in the middle compartment with 2 lenses and an additional light. The light stands and power cords/dimmers traveled in the tripod case. The chimeras fit in the suitcase. Done. I made weight at the airport and had great lighting tools to use on set. Literally a light kit in a bag.
The material we shot is still embargoed so I can’t share screen grabs. In place of it is the test dummy. Its a simple change in the planning and packing process to use the Flex Lights but it saved at least 1 if not 2 cases from being shipped and hauled through an airport to a remote destination. That saves on cost, effort and on my body. And the heat free LEDs made things easier on the talent. Its a win for everybody. Literally a light kit in a bag. I like it.