NEW YORK— For the past 20 years I have designed and consulted on more than 120 international and national news sets.
Lighting for television news studios can be challenging. Although the environments are often small, clients demand that major market-network look.
I recently completed lighting two studios for the MNC Group in Jakarta, Indonesia, primarily using BB&S LED remote phosphor fixtures. The main reason I chose BB&S Pipelines is the shape of the light’s aperture.
FITTING THE NEED
State of the art news sets are visually dazzling venues dense with flat-screens and reflective branding signage. The presenters however, are often the main reason a viewer tunes in. The creative team at MNC wanted to be sure their on-screen talent stood out and were the main point of interest. This calls for large areas of controllable soft light that makes the talent look great and does not create unwanted reflections or spill light onto the background.
The BB&S Pipeline fixtures offer 16,000 lumens, allowing for the lights to be placed against the ceiling and still provide the proper intensity. (Set by Broadcast Design International) BB&S Pipeline fixtures are long and narrow with several choices from individual pipes to light banks in various lengths with a number of light shaping accessories. I went mainly with the 4-foot 4-banks that are 10 inches tall and just under 50 inches long. They put out a great deal of light—16,000 lumens. I can wrap the set, creating a base light with the big long fixtures, and then use the BB&S Area 48 fixtures to pick out faces. Plus, going with BB&S meant no chasing color differences between lights. The pipelines are rated at 98 TLCI so there was no need to worry about green/magenta shifts between fixtures. I mainly light studios with daylight color temperature, but if bicolor is required, I can lamp half the fixture with 3200-degree K and half with 5600-degree K and dim between them.
I need to be resourceful with small studios, so we often go into places that are just a cement slab with 10-foot ceilings that need to look like massive studios. MNC wanted to be able to put a 4.3mm lens on a jib and fly around and look like the majors. With the Pipelines, I can tuck them right against the ceiling, pull them back a bit and still get the soft quality that I want with the intensity that I need, even in compact spaces.
The MNC anchor desk presented another tight space issue. In news broadcast I need lights within the desk to up-light presenters for cosmetic purposes. It opens up the eyes and under the bangs, so the talent looks younger and more energetic. Finding a fixture that’s small and lightweight was the challenge; I used to make them myself or had them custom built because every desk is different.
This time I used 1-foot 5600-degree K Pipeline Raws, off the shelf. At 1-inch in diameter and 1-foot long they worked perfectly. We simply ran them in fours, connected to their own DMX controller inside the clear glass desk. They match the overhead lighting perfectly without tweaking and the talent loved them.
When you do what I do, you’re attached to the success—or the failure—of the fixture that you recommend. You’re telling people to spend several hundred thousand dollars on your recommendations and if there are problems, it’s on you. The BB&S fixtures are reliable workhorses. I have never had a failure after installation.
Nicholas Hutak is a lighting designer and director of photography with more than 40 years experience working in television, commercials and feature films. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please visit www.bbslighting.comor call 1-800-820-6610.