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Glossary

FILMMAKING TERMS


Term: Xenon Light

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This light was developed by Dick Hall for the film Blade Runner.  Jordan Crowenweth’s inspiration for Blade Runner was moving lights that were tracked in every interior space.  It is daylight balanced at 5600K.  It has a flood and spot function that gives you a beautiful circle of light, but when you flood it out it gives you a donut shape pattern because of the globe being in the center of the parabolic mirror reflector.  They create the most realistic looking SUN LIGHT source on the planet.  I use them for shafts and different water effects.  The head has a very noisy fan so you cannot use them for much sound work that is near the camera, but further away doesn’t seem to be a problem.  Because of the intense heat that the globe emits, the light dances when it is pointed down.  So if tilting down, I aim them into mirrors then pan and tilt the mirror.  BUT realize that these lights project heat and they will explode your mirror if it is spotted in.  I’ve done that way too many times in my career.  They can project amazing hard shadows by bouncing them off of convex mirrors.

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