Cinematographer Thomas Rist prepared to shoot a promotional video for Monari Italia fashion stores, he tested different brands of LED lights and ultimately chose Area 48 Remote Phosphor LEDs by BBS. “What I liked most about using Area 48 lights was the color temperature behavior and strong light output,” says Rist. What Monari executives liked most was the increase in the company’s social media and web presence after the video’s release during February’s Fashion Week.
The promo spot, shot mostly in a Los Angeles studio, highlights the Italian/German-based company’s 2015 spring and summer collection of women’s apparel. The task was to produce the look and feel of a high-fashion interior photo shoot that ends with exterior footage captured at downtown Los Angeles venues. “I needed lights that would provide even light distribution with a nice contrast and brilliant skin colors,” Rist continues, “so I used two Area 48 CRI 5600K lights, which was perfect for the neutral skin color reproduction.”
The cinematographer cabled Area 48 lights throughout the studio while taking advantage of their portability when possible. “I used two SmallHD AC7 OLED monitors and shot with an XDCAM and Fujinon lenses in high-definition,” says Rist. “To save time on quick shots — like on the staircase — I switched from the cabled lights to battery-operated by installing high-capacity SWITs. I put them on Matthews light stands and shot with a Canon 5D on a slider and a larger variety of Canon lenses.”
According to Rist, Area 48 lights are a step ahead of traditional LEDs when it comes to output. “Normal LED lights don’t have the light output of HMI 200W/575W,” he explains. “Each individual Area 48 was significantly higher than regular 1×1 LEDs, which was exceptional — whether I wanted daylight to break through the windows or needed to quickly produce a large amount of illumination.”
For the fast-paced, busy shoot, convenience and the unique versatility of the BBS lighting package prevailed. “I liked how the dimming option allowed me to make very quick — yet precise — adjustments in high and low illumination levels,” Rist Adds. “Another benefit I enjoyed was the ability to place the lights in a practical distance from the objects and people I wanted to film then capture wide-angle shots without having the lights shown in the scene.”
Rist points out the unique remote phosphor design, which is conducive to accurate color rendering. “It was easy to change with the removable remote phosphor panels, and I was able to shoot with the color temperature preset on the camera,” he says. “I dropped the usual white balance adjustment on the camera, which makes the grading and color correction in postproduction much easier.”
After renting Area 48s, Rist was so impressed that he purchased two of them. “Now, they have become my universal light source for celebrity interviews, documentaries and commercials.”
Monari apparel is sold on its website and in its retail stores located throughout Germany. The video, shot by Cinematographer Thomas Rist and produced by Martina Novak, can be viewed at https://monari.de/pages/films