Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lowel Tota

Today I found these at Lizardland Film Video HD. They are Lowel Tota lights. They come with a gel frame or you can add diffusion. They have doors that shut completely so they are good for travel and you can double stack them. They are tungsten halogen lights. The gulf wing doors have reflectors on them which create a smooth and even background light. You can also point it toward the ceiling to raise the ambient light level of a room. I have not seen these used much in the Phoenix Video Production community. Not much more from

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


These are Frezzi Mini-Fill lights. We just have a couple of these at Lizardland Film Video HD. They were originally made by Frezzolini for the first Mt Everst climb. The have traditionally been used in the broadcast industry but are now used by many in video.It is a quartz-tungsten light that mounts on your camera. You can get them with dimmers but ours just have an on/off switch. You can put a little piece of diffusion on it to soften up your subject. They actually have a soft box you can buy and the newer ones have dimmers. That's all for today from from the Phoenix Video Production community.


Beadboard is basically rigid panel insulation made out of a plastic foam material. This is easy to pick up at Home Depot or Lowe's. You can also use it to make reflectors. Just by some Rosco 3902 and use gaff tape to attach it to the beadboard.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Base Camp

I am very familiar with Base Camp when we are on location for Lizardland Film Video HD. It is usually one of my jobs to watch the equipment. The Base Camp is where all the grip trucks are parked. I love how the grip looks like a monkey in our truck. On location we usually have our taco carts staged next to the grip trucks. With the economy the way it is there are definitely sticky fingers out there. has been very fortunate to do work on many MLM (network marketing videos) the last few years. These companies always demand the highest quality and have the budget to get it done. We have set up Base Camps at carnivals, office buildings, parks, closed city streets and rented homes. Many of these shoots were for MLM companies. This is a link to our last video. How about that tabletop? I love doing tabletop. Yes, it is tedious. What I like about is that ,it is you, your imagination, your camera and the product. In case you haven't picked up on it yet I do get a lot of the grunt jobs on the set. That is totally ok because I know the least. I am constantly learning. We do get a lot of work in the Phoenix Video Production community. Enjoy the video. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Cucoloris, don't you just love this word? We have a couple of these at Lizardland Film Video HD. These are really cool. They create a shadow pattern on a backdrop or subject. You place it in front of your light and it breaks the light up into shadows. When you put it really close to your light the result will be diffused. When you put it close to the backdrop or subject the patterns from the shadows will be sharp. The ones we have are made of wood. You can also get mesh ones. I have not seen these. These are very easy to make. I have been on the road before without our grip truck and made one with a piece of styrofoam insulation (bead board) from Home Depot. Then just cut out amoeba like shapes with a sharp knife. You'll be set to go. There really is no reason to ever buy one Just get a piece of 2' x 3' plywood and use a jigsaw to cut out your shapes. Then spray paint it black. For the pin cut a piece of 3/8" bar stock and weld that to two plates that you screw to the wood. It's nickname is cuke. When you use a branch it's a brancholoris. It really is silly to pay $95.00 for these. They like using these in the Phoenix Video Production community. One of these pictures is during the filming of National Treasure. That's all from

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Great Shops of Burbank

Lizardland Film Video HD took to the road yesterday and drove to Burbank on a repair and buying trip. My partner Paul in business and life has been in this business for 30+ years. With that comes a level of knowledge that you can't learn in school, on message boards or with the newest, neatest model of equipment. He is a lighting genius. He also knows his equipment and absolutely loves to tinker with his grip equipment. Many items we use Paul made himself as opposed to paying high prices for new equipment. Many things he makes are better than store bought. So today I'm going to write about the great places to buy grip equipment. We took a HMI with us to Advance Motion Picture Lighting in North Hollywood to be repaired by Eddie the owner. He can fix any HMI. We were only there two days and our light needed a part he couldn't find so he had it made. We started our buying trip at Modern Studio Equipment Inc. The stuff they have in there is amazing. Any part you need. Then we went to in Sun Valley (Burbank). They buy and sell used movie equipment. If you are looking for something you should always call them. Just because it isn't on their website doesn't mean they don't have it. Paul was so happy in this place. Stands, lights, stacks and stacks of them. Next we were off to Norm's Studio Equipment. Now some of you may have heard that they closed but the just restructured and moved. They actually have a website now. Got this great picture of Norm from inside the shop. We drove by Kino Flo and wound up our trip at Film Tools. If only the Phoenix Video Production community had places like this. But those are just dreams. If you really are a good grip and want this as your career I would highly suggest this sojourn. I was promised a trip to the Getty on our next trip.  Keep reading and commenting on 


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Egg

Today at Lizardland Film Video HD I am going to write about Easter eggs. These are not the ones you will find in your house or outside today. These  are the little gems filmmakers insert in their movies for the sharp movie fan. They are items that you have to really look for. Akin to Directors making cameos in their movies. The most famous being Alfred Hitchcock. More recently we see Quentin Tarentino doing this. In dvd's many times there is additional menu information you can reach just by clicking around and sometimes they have an additional scene after the credits. Some say the term came from Atari from a game. I am not a gamer so I am not going to explore that avenue. The origin I like best that I came across comes from the movie Rocky Horror Picture Show. Tim Curry is just great in this movie. They had a real easter egg hunt on the set and not all the eggs were found. They show up in some of the scenes. In the Phoenix Video Production community that would require a lot of imagination. We have never done it in our commercials but as I write this it makes me ponder. I know this is not an item a grip would handle I just thought I would acknowledge the commercial aspect of the holiday today. After all isn't that what we are here for? Well I'm off to look for easter eggs if my low boys haven't already found them. They do have an edge over me. More to come from

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Low-Boy Stand

A Low-Boy Stand is just like a combo/light stand but lower. Imagine that a term that makes sense. It was designed specifically for when a combo stand is too tall. The receiver is a 1 1/8" hole. We carry several of these on our grip truck for use in the Phoenix Production community.  Lizardland Film Video HD purchased one that just came in the mail. We bought it from Norm's in California. Great little shop near Hollywood. Norm's has been around along time. Easy to talk with someone knowledgeable and friendly on the phone. They also give 25% off if you pay over the phone as opposed to putting it on account. This one just arrived today. As you can see one of my other low boys made it in the picture. I actually have three of those low boys. I am still figuring out their best use. This particular low boy is Oscar. He has been to Hollywood with his two mates on a working trip. Keep reading