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Documentary lighting package case/bag

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    Documentary lighting package case/bag

    I have most of my equipment in milk crates, but for location documentary interview work this isn't ideal. I was looking at the Kata Maze-4 bag, but I don't know if I'd want to spend almost $400 on a bag right now. Though, it does seem great for what I need. Here's a list of more or less what I will include in my kit:

    2 Arri 650 fresnel
    1 Arri 300 fresnel
    1 china ball with various photoflood bulbs
    3 A clamps
    1 Maffer clamp
    1 Cardellini
    3 Compact light stands
    Various gels and c-47's
    Gaff and paper tape
    2 25' stingers
    1 50' stinger
    2 cube taps
    1 baby plate
    1 grip head
    1 gobo arm
    1 flexfill

    I will also have my tripod bag and my camera bag. If I could find something that could fit all this, preferably on wheels, that would be great. I'm not sure if the Maze-4 will fit the gobo arm, can someone confirm this?
    http://www.TheThrillMill.com

    #2
    Hi Noah:

    I have been considering the same thing so I don't have to haul that damn Arri hardcase around. Have you read Walter Graffe's DV article on his kit he lugs around in the Maze 4? http://www.dv.com/features/features_...2004/graff0404

    Based upon his article and my experience with the Maze 4, you can easily fit all of that although you might want to subsititute some smaller lights for the Arri 650s, they are so big and heavy. I have been on a personal quest much like Walter to streamline my kit. I am so tired of hauling 400 to 500lbs of gear around for simple interviews in LA. I go to all of the movie studios a lot and I am typically interviewing people in screening rooms, conference rooms and offices. Smaller and lighter is better. I am leaving my Arri 650 fresnel back at the studio and instead, I have dug out my old Lowel V-Light. 500 watts versus 650 but when shone through a Chimera, not really a whole heck of a lot of difference and I am at 1/3 of the size and weight with the V-Light.

    I am also experimenting with small fluorescents as well, in a quest to see how small and light I can get away with. It's fun and challenging to try to light an interview with two small 30 lights instead of the usual huge setup I bring. The GE warm white tubes show up as around 3,050 kelvin with a CRI of 90 so I think it's possible.

    The Kata is cool but I would not check it as luggage when you fly. I have these two yellow and black plastic lockable boxes by Contico that I fly with. The are about 30" tall , 20" deep and 24" wide. The support up to 250 lbs with the lids on them so not only do they hold a lot of gear but they can be used as a mini-ladder, stool or I use mine as a little table for my 17" Sony HD LCD monitor and my P2 store and cards. These boxes are built for contractors and electricians but work very well for film and video, they are one of my favorite tools. VERY handy and so far, no issues when I fly with them. Best of all, they only cost $25.00 ea. versus almost $400.00 for the Maze 4. Sure I have to use towels and Duvetyne to wrap up the lights so that they don't get damaged but these boxes really work well. Easier to fit into smaller trunks and back seats than the Kata too. The Kata has the built-in dolly though which is sweet. I will probably buy the Kata for local shoots and use the Contico boxes when I fly.

    Best,

    Dan
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.

    Comment


      #3
      I saw Walter Graffe's article. That's actually what turned me on to the Maze-4 bag. As for the lights, I'm going to continue to use what I have. It works for me and I could not see my package being complete without fresnels. If I have a rolling bag, it shouldn't be much of a problem. I also don't think I'm going to be flying with my kit. Most places I'd be going to do interview work would be places with rental houses. It's much easier to me to just rent when I get there. If I ever do need to fly with my gear, I'll think about it then. But thanks for the heads up on the Contico cases.
      http://www.TheThrillMill.com

      Comment


        #4
        Hi Noah:

        Just out of curiosity, do you use a Chimera? If so, there is no difference between the V-light through a small Chimera and an Arri 650 Fresnel with a scrim or two. If you don't use a softbox as a key, I can see wanting to stick with the Arri. I love my Arris but they are kind of heavy and bulky.

        I like to rent on location but I seem to end up in a lot of locations that don't have ant resources for equipment within hundreds of miles. So I end up lugging a lot of gear. It's a pain sometimes and builds new muscle groups ;-) but it's nice to know what you brought and to know that your own gear is the right stuff for the job.

        Dan
        It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
        G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.

        Comment


          #5
          Hey Dan,
          not using the arri's in a chimera. Otherwise I would use a lighter V-light or just an arri open face. Thanks for the input though.
          http://www.TheThrillMill.com

          Comment


            #6
            have you thought about going to a smaller lighting kit? like a set of Dado lights?

            Comment


              #7
              The original question is not about my lighting kit, its about a bag - I merely typed out my package so you guys could have an idea of what I need to fit in the bag. The lights are not going to change. If anyone has suggestions of other bags that might suit my needs or comments on how the Kata Maze-4 is working for them, that would be great.
              http://www.TheThrillMill.com

              Comment

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