Kneece Chooses Litepanels for ‘Plastic Jesus’

VAN NUYS, CALIF.: This, from Litepanels: “Cinematographer Dan Kneece SOC knew that he would have to be resourceful when he has prepping for the indie feature, ‘Plastic Jesus.’ With a tight schedule and limited budget, Kneece chose his camera and lighting package carefully. Thanks to the suggestion of gaffer John ‘Fergie’ Ferguson, MiniPlus and MicroPro by Litepanels, a Vitec Group brand, became his secret weapons.

“‘With the high sensitivity of modern digital cameras and my desire to really capture the aesthetic of this film, we needed small lights’ Kneece said. ‘I was shooting at the ragged edge of what our camera would do with very low light levels and lenses that averaged around a 3-stop. Fergie was right. The small, easily concealable, battery-powered Litepanels were the best lights for the job. They worked great. I could hide them right in the shot with minimal disguise or handhold them for quick and easy adjustments as the subjects moved.

“‘Plastic Jesus,’ directed by Erica Dunton, is a simple story about three children and their dog, it’s a dark film with much night and interior work. ‘Many times we were dealing with very small spaces as well as tight frame line restrictions,’ Kneece said. ‘The Litepanels fixtures easily fit the bill for size, weight and power requirements and didn’t require separate power supplies so hiding cables wasn’t an issue either. They helped our film move smoothly, quickly, and efficiently.’

“Kneece is no stranger to Litepanels. He’s worked on many shows where Litepanels fixtures have been an integral part of light set ups. ‘Before I became a DP, I was the A-camera/Steadicam operator on ‘The Number 23,’ among other films,’ he said. ‘We had a huge abandoned ballroom set where Jim Carrey was lying on the floor with Virginia Madsen. We had a very wide shot with nowhere to hide anything except for a pile of clothing on the floor. But that was all we needed to conceal a battery powered Litepanels unit in the perfect place at the perfect time. That always stuck with me, so I squirreled the memory away for future use.’

“‘Plastic Jesus’ is in post-production now, and is slated to make the festival circuit in 2012.