When it comes to providing lighting for the many major feature films, as well as numerous commercials, made in Australia and New Zealand most people turn to Panavision Lighting.
Panavision Lighting are keen to use locally designed and manufactured products from companies that can offer local support and accommodate changes required by the heavy demands placed on the dimmers in this constant duty cycle environment.
“Because of the volume of dimmers we use for film production the ratio of harmonics increases and you get a lot of distortion of the electrical supply,” began Simon Lee, managing director of Panavision Lighting.
“It’s different to rock’n’roll or theatre where dimmers are used on and off for relatively short periods of time with not a great load on the racks. On some of our sets the number of units, and hence the amount of load being dimmed, is phenomenal.
“Also the lights are on for a long period of time sometimes up to 12 hours. A lot of people ask if the lights are constantly on why run them through dimmers. The answer is that productions require the instant control that a lamp controlled via a console offers.
“Large dimmer set ups can and have caused large problems but Jands always work closely with us to deal with any issues that arise, issues that are unique to the film industry due to the extremely large load through dimmers.
Whichever dimmer rack you use, they’re all problematic but Jands have been tremendously receptive to our feedback making modifications when required. When we’ve had critical issues, such as substation distortion, they have been extremely supportive in putting resources into resolving the problem.”
Simon says the production crews particularly like the easy navigation offered by the Jands HP dimmer menu stating that it’s a huge bonus over other manufacturer’s racks. He also describes the Jands HP dimmers as very robust and hardy, an important factor as the film industry is a hard environment.
“They’re not all used in nice, pristine soundstages,” he said. “We end up in many messy location shoots where the dimmers can be exposed to all sorts of elements.”
Jands dimmers have been seen on many major movies filmed recently including the yet to be released King Kong, Stealth, Ghost Rider, Mission Impossible and most recently a film that cannot be actually named but involves a super hero who flies and wears his underpants on top of his trousers.