Some pioneering productions are going one step further by completely decentralizing their grids. A Vancouver-based indie production, The Victim, used only Voltstack® electric generators to park power wherever they needed it for everything from their video village and catering, to balloon lights and HMI lamps during a day and night shoot.
“I had no problem convincing the producers this was a great idea. As far as producers are concerned, no cable, no noise, and instant power on demand is like a dream come true” – Kerri Coombs, gaffer on The Victim.
This simply required a shift in their approach to energy budgeting. “The industry regularly uses 18,000 watt lights for night shooting, which is why most of the night scenes you see nowadays look weird and unnatural, with blue light where all the darkness should be,” explains Kerri.
Instead, they swapped conventional fixtures with LED Skypanels, a staple lighting solution that uses a fifth of the power while achieving the same effect as conventional fixtures. Consequently, not only did decentralizing their grid create huge cost savings on cabling, mats, fuel and production manpower, it also ensured they achieved a powerful creative vision.
“The lighting looked great – we didn’t have to sacrifice production value to scale down our power needs. There were a lot of high fives.”