Lighting….. The Easiest Part of Creating an Alternative Media Space
by Paul Distefano, Northeast Regional Sales Manager, I Light USA Corp – DeSisti & Coemar USA
A few years ago, while still with a lighting system integration company, my boss introduced a new term to me….. the “Alternative Media Space”. Basically, this was a place…. an office, a lobby, a conference room, a newsroom, a foyer…… anyplace that could be lit and used to record media. These were rarely permanent installations. Crews could come in, set up a couple of chairs, one or two cameras, shoot an interview or some other content, and leave…. closer to an ENG shoot than a studio production. Given the choice, the one thing that our customers wanted to be somewhat permanent was the lighting. This made sense. If there were no need for stands and cabling, the overhead lighting was clean, efficient, and would allow a crew to come in and shoot on battery power and leave without even unspooling a cable.
I always thought this would be a great time saver for the PEG community. If a space such as this could be set up in your municipal building, or other appropriate locations, would it make it easier to record announcements or interviews with your town’s administrators in a central location, rather than needing them to come to the studio or setting up and breaking down a remote? I know that some of your studio facilities are in the municipal building, but I know that some are in a different location….. and some may not even have a studio!
Also, in the past, I had been asked about providing entertainment-type fixtures to record outdoor events. More often than not, these took place regularly, and in a single location…… such as a park, in something like a band shell or gazebo. Outdoor venues were always a challenge. There were usually limited power sources requiring lots of cabling, creating trip hazards. Lighting stands on uneven ground are always risky, especially tethered to power cables. Add to this the crowds of people, especially children, and there are plenty of things to worry about on top of the quality of your production!
Our Coemar line debuted some great solutions in November at the Lighting Dimensions show in Las Vegas. Our new line of Mini-LEDkos provide great output at very low wattages, and are available in many configurations, including track-mount. A variety of control options are available, such as on/off, on-board dimmer pot, DALI, Bluetooth, DMX and (soon) wireless DMX. Inexpensive Smart Track can be easily and, unobtrusively, installed anywhere. Fixtures can then be mounted anywhere along these tracks and provided with power and control. These fixtures can be left there, or taken down after the shoot. We even provide them in white, or in custom colors, to make them more architecturally pleasing. If more power is needed, the DeSisti 3”, 4.7” Fresnel, as well as our SoftLED1 & 2 can also be track mounted.
For those outdoor venues, we now offer a small, 50W, IP65 rated ellipsoidal, the LEDko EXT-M. This provides gobo projection, framing shutters, and a zoom optics in a compact, weather resistant housing in a much smaller, and less expensive package, than the full sized LEDko EXT. All these new fixtures are available in various color temperatures from 2700° – 5000° K and in variable white from 2800° – 6000° K. I look forward to demonstrating these great new lights to you at the January JAG meeting. My goal is to offer a solution you may not have considered before. Let’s put our heads together and think outside the box……. Or in this case, outside the studio!