Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The invention of the HMI did wonders for lighting in Hollywood. Hydrargyrum Medium-Arc Iodide. That is a mouthful. I wonder how many gaffers know that. HMI's use an arc light instead of incandescents so they use less power and run cooler. They require a ballast. They are balanced for daylight. They usually burn at 5600k also known as blue light. We have 6 at Lizardland Film Video HD. If you can afford them these lights work great. They take the place of many smaller lights. My friend Jarrod who owns Pirate Grip & Electric here in town also has a few of these. So they do use these in the Phoenix Video Production community here. More to come from LizardlandVideo.com.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Blondes and Redheads

Wow, this time I was away a long time. Sorry. Lizardland Film Video HD does not have a Blonde or Redhead light. These are made by De Sisti in Italy. You really can't go wrong with something made in Italy. I mean really, can you think of anything that they make that is crappy? This company was founded in 1982 by the famous designer Mario De Sisti. Not to be confused with Super Mario. The Blonde is a 2k, lightweight high intensity, focusing quartz light. You can adjust the beam spread. These are called blondes because they are painted yellow. We have an Arri not a De Sisti but it is still called a Blonde. The Redhead is a 1k light that is painted red, if it is made by De Sisti. Mole-Richardson calls the same light Mickeys. Wouldn't that be great if the grip or gaffer really brought a good looking blonde or redhead when the director called for it? I mean a woman. That would certainly perk up many a dull set. But they might come with babys and you can't keep them quite on the set. So if you are working on the set in the Phoenix Video Production community make sure you grab the correct light. Won't be away so long again so please keep reading LizardlandVideo.com.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I did not go to Lizardland Film Video HD and take a picture today so I am once again going to write about a term. Shoot. We certainly use this word many times a day in our business. Are you going to the shoot? What was your last shoot like? Where is the shoot? Or here in Arizona a good one is Is it a paying shoot? It also means to point the camera and Shoot. Who knows what it is derived from? My trusty partner in this venture had not heard this. The first cameras on the set had a crank handle. The camera operator turned the crank in the same motion as a machine gun. Back in the day, say 1930, the director would shout "Gun It" to cue the cameraman to start filming. I still hear "Speed" today. This is also from the days of yore when the motors in the cameras were completely running. "Up to Speed" I imagine that there are very few industry people in the Phoenix Video Production community that knows this. Or I could be completely wrong. Perhaps this is the most knowledge bastion of film knowledge in the United States. Right. The camera on the right is a Universal movie camera. The crank is not original. The camera below belonged to Frank Hurley. He was an Australian film maker who sailed to the Antarctic on the Discovery in 1929. He made a talkie with this camera titled Siege of the South. This film depicted life on the Discovery and the various animals and scenery of the Antarctic. Very cool, no pun intended. This film premiered in Brisbane in 1931. Keep reading LizardlandVideo.com to learn more.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Today at Lizardland Film Video HD we used a Hi-Hat with a slider to do some tabletop. We have our camera mounted on a Hi-Hat which  in turn is clamped on a piece of wood with skate board wheels. This Hi Hat was made by the infamous Willy Widgets. He actually lives here in Scottsdale so I have met him. I will devote an entire post to him and his company later. In the picture you can see we use Cardellini clamps which I have written about previously. You use the Hi-Hat to mount your camera on a flat surface. You can use your fluid head off your tripod to mount your camera on the Hi-Hat. We use our Hi-Hat the most on our slider set up. You can also use it for low angle shots by putting the Hi-Hat on the ground with a sand bag. It is definitely something you need along with your tripod.  So if you go out into the Phoenix Video production community don't forget your Hi-Hat. You know I can only guess that these are called Hi-Hats because they resemble a man's High Hat from a long time ago. This is  picture of a man at the Wagner Festival in Germany. You can just imagine a camera sitting there instead of the picture of Richard Wagner. Check out LizardlandVideo.com 

Friday, March 19, 2010

"Hollywood It"

I just heard this term yesterday on the Lizardland Film Video HD set. When you first start hearing these terms it seems too absurd that people really use them in everyday speech and don't expect to be laughed at. If you over think this one you might get it wrong. I'm thinking "Hollywood It" means make it look good like they do in Hollywood. Wrong, it means to hold something by hand such as a flag or sometimes a light in a pinch. When I listen to the director spew this vast encyclopedia of nonsensical words it is sometimes hard not to believe I am not in a Dr Seuss book. Definitely my author of choice in my younger years. I belonged to his book of the month club. Wow, sorry to get off track. I find the set an amazing library of knowledge if I keep my mouth shut and stay very alert. Sometimes I wonder if the Phoenix Video Production Community possesses this vast knowledge. I should have snapped some pics yesterday of our grip to post. I will get a picture of a grip in "Hollywood it" mode. Thanks for reading LizardlandVideo.com. Feel free to comment or email.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Honey Wagon

So I am back and not in the icky way Jay Leno is. I have been busy with a new commercial and some tabletop. Those are just excuses. I was just being a slacker. So who knows what a Honey Wagon is? Well I am glad to say that we do not own a Honey Wagon. We do however own a RV which we take to location shoots in the Phoenix Video Production community for our Honey Wagon. A Honey Wagon is the set bathroom. It sounds like something so nice. The origin of the phrase is from Honey Bucket, a slang phrase for a container or bucket that was used when a toilet wasn't available. Wikipedia states it might come from the honey colored liquid that comes out when it is drained. Ok I promise I won't be this disgusting again in my blog. I'm turning in our taxes today so I will go to the studio tomorrow and find something good to write about. Thanks for reading LizardlandVideo.com

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Baby Senior Solarspot

Ok so I am back on my Mole-Richardson kick. We have a many of these at Lizardland Film Video HD. I suppose I am fond of them because I love old movies and they remind me of that era. This is a picture of our Baby Senior Solarspot. This is a 5k light. That's right folks 5000 watts with a Fresnel lens. It makes a great key light and fill light. We have it on an old Mole-Richardson junior stand. You can't plug this into a socket like you find in your home which are 15 amps.  We have a Bates plug at the studio which is 60 amps which more than covers the 45 amps that you need.  If we are out in the Phoenix Video Production community we plug it in our trusty generator. It is a sweet light to have. Later from Lizardland Film Video HD.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Safety Cables

Today at Lizardland Film Video HD I am going to talk about safety cables. We have several dozen of these hanging in our studio. Our trucks never go anywhere with out them. On a personal note they saved my butt once too. We were working an event at the Anaheim Convention Center and I was taking down our DVD players that we had in the clients store. These were hooked up to big 42" monitors showing their merchandise. Well, the pipe and drape people started taking their stuff down and their drape started falling. This knocked over the trussing I was standing next to. The trussing had the monitor attached about 8' up. I was also standing next to a large glass jewelry case. Well, it all fell, I escaped thanks to the help of my grip Mason who pulled me out. The jewelry case stopped the trussing from falling to the ground. When it was all over the Lizardland Monitor was hanging by it's Safety Cable unharmed. Yea!! I don't suggest a learning curve such as this to anyone but I am safety cable queen now. You should always cable a heavy light if you put it up high. We also use them to hang our speakers in our studio. If they are not using these on the set in the Phoenix Video Production community or anywhere else in the film world you should walk off the set. More to come from Lizardlandvideo.com

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Well this is exactly what you think it is. Wooden wedges are invaluable on the Lizardland Film Video HD set. In a pinch you can use half a C 47 for a camera wedge. We have one legal milk crate filled with small wooden pieces. In the Phoenix Video Production community these come in handy. Wedges and cribbing. Cribbing is a must with C clamps. Signing off, LizardlandVideo.com

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

C Clamp

C clamps are another useful tool we have on our Lizardland Film Video HD taco carts. They come in many sizes from 1" to 12". Most of the ones used in the Phoenix Video Production community have  a 5/8" baby pin or a 1 1/8" junior receiver mounted vertically or horizontally. If you have to use them on wood make sure you put some shims in between so you don't put dents in the wood. Clamps are an absolute must for any taco cart. LizardlandVideo.com will be back tomorrow. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cardellini Clamps

Cardellini clamps are awesome. At Lizardland Film Video HD we have quite a few of these on our taco carts. With the pads they have on them they are safe for even delicate uses. They are made and designed by Steve Cardellini. He is a Key Grip in the San Francisco area. The rating for weight is 20 pounds. If you have used these you know they will actually hold more. The jaws are cast with an aluminum alloy which is stronger than die-cast parts like those used on the Matthellini's. One of the ways we use them is for our high hat when we put it on our slider. In the Phoenix Video Production community they are used often. If you have your choice between a Cardellini and a Mattellini I would pick the Cardellini everytime. They are stronger. See you from LizardlandVideo.com.