HES Sola makes film debut in Le Mans ‘66
Thursday, 2 January 2020
The Sola Series fixtures served important functions in the factory scenes
USA - High End Systems SolaFrame fixtures made their US screen debut in the 20th Century Fox film, Ford v Ferrari. The film is released under different titles worldwide such as Le Mans ‘66 throughout Europe, and Contra lo impossible in Mexico and Argentina.
Los Angeles-based Lux Lighting was the first to purchase 12 SolaFrame Theatre High-CRI units last year, and when the SolaFrame 3000 launched last summer, they quickly ordered a dozen of those as well. Both were deployed in the filming, which started in July 2018 in Los Angeles.
Actors Matt Damon and Christian Bale play starring roles in the real-life 1966 battle between auto manufacturers Ford and Ferrari in building a superior car for the 24-hour Le Mans race in France.
Although there were plenty of loud racetrack scenes, Lux Lighting owner/LD Mike Bauman - who served as gaffer in the film - chose the SolaFrame Theatre for its completely silent operation. No fans means no noise - which Bauman says it critical in his industry. “Sound is as equal to picture in the film business,” he notes, “so this fixture is a perfect fit.”
Bauman adds: “Sola Frame Theatre really functions on two critical pieces: dead silent operation and high CRI white light engine. On a film set with today’s digital cameras, maximum lumen output has become less of a criteria and colour fidelity is much more critical. During prep, we tested both the SolaFrame Theatre and the SolaFrame 3000 with the High Fidelity engine. Ford V Ferrari’s cinematographer Phedon Papmichael was impressed with the light quality and the amount of flexibility we had using the fixture. They became a critical tool in lighting the film.”
He also likes the SolaFrame Theatre optics, and how a frost filter can be introduced into its path and still retain the characteristics of the framing shutters. “This really is a unique signature for a moving head fixture.”
Bauman chose the SolaFrame 3000 with the High Fidelity engine again for its colour rendering capabilities. “The SolaFrame 3000’s above-95 CRI engine renders excellent colour for skin tones with plenty of output for the Cinema market,” he notes.
Lux Lighting general manager Hans Gelpke says the Sola Series fixtures served important functions in the Ford factory scenes, hanging from the roof to give the assembly line of cars a glow. Their bright beams were also heavily counted on in the night-time racetrack scenes.
Bauman adds: “The SolaFrame 3000 were essential for lighting the night exterior work on pit row. Our average throw was close to 200 feet and we had plenty of light. We could use them as backlights, as bounce sources and, with help of the shutters, lighting the large amount of bluescreen that were placed around the set. We certainly plan to increase our inventory of these fixtures.”
(Jim Evans)

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