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PixelFLEX goes on set with MediaLight Inc
USA – With over 22 years of experience in motion picture production, MediaLight Inc. is a New York City-based lighting and video design firm in the Motion Picture industry who has seen a number of revolutionising technology innovations. As LED video has continued to evolve its technology, designer Frank Blasko has been creating unique and exciting applications that range from dynamic LED video backgrounds to LED video lighting. Now needing a solution that can work within all the parameters of his lighting and video designs, Blasko and MediaLight Inc. have made an investment in FLEXLite NXG 3.9mm and 8.9mm LED video technology becoming the newest PixelFLEX production partner.
“I’ve been working in the motion picture industry for over two decades and we are now seeing multiple opportunities emerging for the application of LED video lighting, so we wanted to be at the forefront of that technology,” began Blasko. “Typically when you create effects for motion picture, it’s shot on blue or green screen and then all of your CG is done in post-production. By using the high-resolution FLEXLite NXG LED, we are now able to record all of the background effects on camera in real time which gives the production a more dynamic and cost effective final result.”
With one of the highest resolution displays on the market, the FLEXLite NXG is available in two panel sizes with 2.6mm-6.25mm pitch options for an even deeper layer of creativity, plus a 6.25mm full outdoor, IP65 version as well. For optimum performance, preview test modes allow video designers to be confident in the output of the FLEXLite NXG before full deployment and the LED tiles are calibrated directly out of the box to ensure perfect colour and brightness. With serviceability in mind, easy access to the back of panels allows for quick and simple on-site repairs.
“During our research we looked at the different products and resolutions that PixelFLEX offered and one of the key elements was that the technology of the LED allowed it to be flicker-free on camera,” admitted Blasko. “When I initially met with the PixelFLEX team we did a few technical tests in their factory, but then they sent me sample LED panels to use on-location for additional camera tests and to evaluate the stability of the product line. When all of our testing and research was complete, we found PixelFLEX to be the most stable technology and it has been outstanding.”
“From a design perspective, I also wanted to use the FLEXLite technology as a lighting element on set as a moving, motivated source,” continued Blasko. “This was a new technique that I had been working on as LED video technology evolved and I finally have a product that makes it work. Previously, the individual RGB diodes in LED created colour shading, shadowing and separation making it unable to achieve a full colour spectrum wavelength. I needed a product with a full spectrum video signal so that I could use it as a lighting source to achieve any colour needed through additive layering, and then also use the content as motivated lighting for our subjects. With the FLEXLite NXG technology we are now able to use the same content in the background as an actual lighting source and it gives our shots a very authentic feel on-camera and it has been a huge success.”
With the FLEXLite NXG LED video technology now in stock, Blasko and his design team immediately began putting the new system to work. Excited about the various video applications and lighting nuances the FLEXLite NXG LED video would now offer, he has experienced nothing but success for his clients on their productions.
“So far we have put the FLEXLite NXG technology to great use working on projects for NBC’s Saturday Night Live, Stella Artois, Le Perla and many more,” added Blasko. “For Stella Artois, they had a couple of ideas for concept that included the use of projection, so in our initial meeting I brought the FLEXLite NXG 3.9mm to the tech scout and did a presentation with their content from the treatment. They were so blown away that they decided to use it as the main background for the video shoot.
“With La Perla, we introduced our new video lighting concept with the FLEXLite NXG lighting the entire video shoot with LED video content. To do this we used two 3.9mm panels as the back light, two additional 3.9mm panels for the key light, and then we used two 8.9mm panels that we bounced off a 12x12 white for our fill light. For the content, we ran a fire effect on each of the three groups of panels and then slowed down the speed of the fill light panels to give them a slightly different dramatic lighting effect.
“On the multiple Saturday Night Live shoots, we constructed 8’x16’ screens with our FLEXLite NXG 3.9mm to create high resolution back drops with active content, instead of traditional green screen. All of the background effects were shot real time, in camera which saved time and post production cost while providing a fully controllable background for the shoot. The results were phenomenal.”
As new technology is introduced into any new market, it often takes a little time to understand its full potential. Believing that LED video lighting is going to be a staple of the future for the motion picture industry, MediaLight Inc. along with IATSE Local 52 have created new positions within the Electrical Department as “MediaLight” LED technicians and programmers. Together they have implemented a training programme specifically for these lighting technicians using the FLEXLite NXG.
“We want to keep the electrical department at the forefront of lighting technology and continue to push the boundaries of Cinematic Lighting,” concluded Blasko. “Looking forward, the potential of LED video lighting in the motion picture industry is unlimited and the wide range of PixelFLEX products can fit into any application, which is a tremendous advantage. PixelFLEX, has done a great job of supporting any unique or specialised applications we have developed, and you’re not going to find a better group of individuals who are dedicated to supporting their integrated partners.”
photos: Frank Blasko, MediaLight Inc
4th October 2016
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