Litepanels Sola ENGs Change How Petramale Shoots Commercials

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Mon, 10/28/2013 - 11:56 -- Nick Dager

Lightpanels Sola ENG lights.When Camrin Petramale won a coveted honor at this year’s Local 600, Cinematographer’s Guild Emerging Cinematographers Awards, one of the perks he received was a set of Litepanels Sola ENG lights. “It was an honor to present Camrin with the Sola ENGs as part of this year’s ECA Awards. We are happy to be able to provide new tools for today’s up and coming cinematographers,” says Chris Marchitelli, vice president of global marketing for Litepanels.”

Petramale was anxious to try out his new tools. “I remember taking the lights back to my hotel room after the awards and plugging them in. I was shocked at their size and performance. I knew right away they would be perfect for my next commercial because they can be run off D-tap and can be mounted virtually anywhere.”

His project was to light a spot was for automotive engine giant Lindenfelter Performance Engineering. Because the client performs work for Chevy Corvette, Camero, and Cadillac, Camrin had to be prepared to work with a number of vehicles. He shot with a Red Epic, Cooke lenses and Century zoom as well as Zeiss primes to allow for close focusing. “Our biggest challenge was shooting and lighting inside the cars while they were being driven,” he explains. “That meant lighting drivers while they were going at speeds over 100mph.

“These lights fit the bill because they are small and compact but are true Fresnels,” he says. “The set of three with all the accessories comes in a small Pelican case for easy transport. The wide array of mounting brackets and accessories come in handy. And they even come with precut diffusion and CTO inserts that allow for quick changes for an on-the-go environment.”

All this came in handy when he was lighting stunt drivers in a tiny sports car. “Being as small as they are, these lights gave me the freedom to place them in all sorts of areas,” he explains. “Unlike LED strips, in my opinion, or other small lighting fixtures, the throw and quality of the Solas is unmatched. Even in the sunlight they were powerful enough to give me the little edge light I needed. Also, the Corvette we shot was one of the first C7s off the production line, so we had to be extremely careful. Using larger traditional lights with a series of flags and nets could have damaged the car and created an obstacle course around the car that would have slowed us down and cost more money with a larger crew. I was able to get the look I needed with much less.”

Petramale’s spot for Linderfelter is airing nationally. He says he will be using Sola ENG lights on his commercials, television, and independent and narrative feature work in the future.