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Light like a pro with Lights from Home Depot

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    Light like a pro with Lights from Home Depot

    I just got off a shoot where the UPM's husband is a big-time electrician/lighting guy at Paramount. His name is Jack McLean Jr. and he worked on Titanic, Forest Gump, Terms of Endearment, etc... He told me that he's working on a book that shows indie filmmakers how to light solely with lights from home depot. Apparently, he's trying to get a deal going with Home Depot so that the book would include a coupon worth the price of the book so that when you buy $120 worth of lights you get $20 off. In talking with him, and having him on-set for two days, I can tell you that this guy's got some of the most creative tricks for lighting on location and getting lights into places you can't imagine. These techniques would also be included in the book.

    One of the things I like about him is that he's no lighting snob -- he'll use whatever it takes to get the job done, and thinks that there's a lot of over-spending on lighting in the indie/no-/low-budget world. I told him I'd post this note on the boards to see if anyone here is interested. I think it's a great idea.
    "You don't need to follow anybody!" Brian
    http://mrdeity.com
    http://15minuteslatermovie.com/

    #2
    Can I pre-order?

    Comment


      #3
      With the credentials you just gave the book would sell a million copies. I'd buy one for sure.

      Personally I'm nobody... but I do stick by one hard philosophy, and that is, use what works.

      If you get good results with anything then I don't care what that thing is... there are certainly ways to get good looking footage with DIY lighting that doesn't cost much to produce.

      With professionals it's no secret that buying professional tools is often times a matter of control, speed, ease, reliability, portability, weight savings, durability, and versatility... now out of ALL those positives I didn't mention the volume of output or the quality of output. It's entirely possible to mimic the results obtained from professional tools... by using ordinary, inexpensive tools... but in most cases you'll be losing most of those positives that you gain with a professional tool.

      The fact remains that IF you can't AFFORD those professional tools... what do you do? You accept the trade-offs and work around the obstacles in order to get the job done. There is nothing wrong with that... and like I said, I'd be the first in line for that book.

      If you learn to think constructively about everything, then you'll be surprised at just how many ordinary objects have other uses. I suggested this in another thread... but get a roll of flashing and some high-temp flat black spray paint and you can add lighting controls to any ordinary flood light... you may also want to check out the metal ductwork aisle... flat black some of those things and you have ready-to-use snoots, scoops, and other modifiers. Get yourself a muffin pan and drill (or poke) various sized holes and/or cuts in it... now screw that to a 150/250w flood light ($8 at home depot) so that the holes are 3-4" away from the face of the light... BAM! You just made yourself a nice "cookie shooter" (as I call it). If you rivet or screw on some metal tabs then you have a nice way to gel it.

      I've even made a speed-ring softbox flood/mount/light out of a $20 worklight and 4 long nuts.

      I've thought about posting some of my Home Depot tricks on here also... maybe I should... you can definitely get some decent results with virtually no budget... if you accept some limitations and get creative.
      LIGHTING and SOUND AVAILABLE FOR DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OR ON DVD

      LIGHTING for Film & Television DVD Excerpts Reel.................................................. ............................. SOUND for Film & Television DVD Excerpts Reel

      Comment


        #4
        Matt, we've been all waiting for YOUR DVD on audio and lighting for a while now, twenty bucks in pocket!
        Do it, and we will buy!

        Comment


          #5
          I would purchase these books.

          I have a cupboard full of Home Depot type assorted floods, fluoro's, battery fluoro's, matte black engine spray paint, wooden pegs, large aluminum disposable deep dish roasting pans, etc. All waiting for that rainy day when that Homer Simpson side of me wants to come out to play. I will construct the 'Homer Mobile' of lighting. Although, I would be happy to hire a 3 tonne grip truck where applicable.

          Please share your lighting tips Matt, in due course. DIY Flo's interest me mostly atm. We are 240v over here in Australia, so a lot of importing direct is an issue. Thanks
          Last edited by Christopher Barry; 11-26-2006, 06:03 AM.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by vidled
            Matt, we've been all waiting for YOUR DVD on audio and lighting for a while now, twenty bucks in pocket!
            Do it, and we will buy!
            The audio portion is in the pipe my friend... it's coming.

            Some of the lighting that I did for this project was done with lights from Home Depot that were modded as per my instructions above... check it out. Totally uncorrected, untouched frame grab:

            LIGHTING and SOUND AVAILABLE FOR DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OR ON DVD

            LIGHTING for Film & Television DVD Excerpts Reel.................................................. ............................. SOUND for Film & Television DVD Excerpts Reel

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by darwinandpaine
              I just got off a shoot where the UPM's husband is a big-time electrician/lighting guy at Paramount. His name is Jack McLean Jr. and he worked on Titanic, Forest Gump, Terms of Endearment, etc... He told me that he's working on a book that shows indie filmmakers how to light solely with lights from home depot. Apparently, he's trying to get a deal going with Home Depot so that the book would include a coupon worth the price of the book so that when you buy $120 worth of lights you get $20 off. In talking with him, and having him on-set for two days, I can tell you that this guy's got some of the most creative tricks for lighting on location and getting lights into places you can't imagine. These techniques would also be included in the book.

              One of the things I like about him is that he's no lighting snob -- he'll use whatever it takes to get the job done, and thinks that there's a lot of over-spending on lighting in the indie/no-/low-budget world. I told him I'd post this note on the boards to see if anyone here is interested. I think it's a great idea.
              Yea, I'd be interested. Bet there would be interest at indietalk.com and indieclub.com also.



              Originally posted by MattinSTL
              The audio portion is in the pipe my friend... it's coming.

              Some of the lighting that I did for this project was done with lights from Home Depot that were modded as per my instructions above... check it out. Totally uncorrected, untouched frame grab:

              Very Kool Matt. In line for this one of course.
              When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk. (Tuco-The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

              IMDb Green Eyed Monster // Waiting 2 Die:A Veteran Affair // Bail Out

              DVX100b / T3i / HMC150 / C100 / Atomos Ninja Blade
              50mm 1.8 / 24mm 2.8 / 18-55 5.6 / 75-300mm 5.6 / Rokinon Cine DS 85mm

              Comment


                #8
                I'm in. I need all the help I can get.
                Laying down the ad wisdom as @leeclowsbeard.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Definitely interested. I'd buy immediately.
                  "You'd better cure all those personal problems that might be holding back something you want to say." -John Cassavetes

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm in too. Looking forward to your project, Matt.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Brian/ Darwin...


                      This is a project that i think should be grabbed and ran with. Why not team up with him and produce a series of DVDs to go along with the book. I'm such a huge believer in the DIY side to filmmaking and or the finding other products from less exploited industries... we are the exploited..


                      Case in point. My buddy jethro takes out his boom pole holder that's in his griphead. Now these a line for ya...


                      Anyway he says how expensive they are... but that this is a fishing pole holder he picked up for 8 bucks. Exactly what I need to have a remote studio boom. I have the C-stand and boom pole and so many times I have to go through the friggin grip jungle to get the mike in.


                      Anyway. BRIAN... Run with this. My white limbo stuff was completely lit with home depot products. I have a new one BTW... 360 degrees/ full body white limbo.


                      BRING THIS ON!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I got a idea from a gaffer at a seminar and he said if you don't have a lot of money you can get some reflectors from home depot and put in some photoflood bulbs in it and some diffusion and it will do just fine. Just make sure the bulbs are at least 3000 Kelvin bulbs. You can purchase them at mole richardson or at a good camera shop.
                        MacPro 5,1, HP Lx2480zx (4) , Adobe Creative Cloud, Lightroom CC, Digi 003, Logic Studio Pro, Pro Tools 12, Presonus Lightpipe & Digimax FS. KRK V6 with V12s and Yamaha NS10's

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Will buy.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Maybe he should market the book himself. I'd buy it also.
                            www.imdb.com/name/nm0566053

                            Comment


                              #15
                              It's interesting how when a newbie posts about their passion for filmmaking and trouble with lighting many of us lead them to $2000-$4000 worth of "professional" lighting equipment and mock them for using lights from local hardware stores such as Home Depot .

                              but when someone who worked on a Hollywood movie talks about lighting an entire set from Home Depot we're all like Yeah! you can do this, this and that.

                              I admire him for doing this
                              and I think we should be a little more careful and optimistic with our direction.

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