Author: rhansen

Fearless Productions’ Project Chimera Shines With Kino Flo’s MIMIK 120

Full-Spectrum, Image-Based Video Lighting Tile Synchronizes With LED Volume Content to Deliver Unprecedented Realism for Music Video

BURBANK, Calif. — Feb. 13, 2024 — Kino Flo Lighting Systems today announced that its MIMIK 120 full-spectrum, image-based video lighting tile was utilized by Hollywood-based digital film production company Fearless Productions in Project Chimera — a music video designed to demonstrate the capabilities of the very latest in virtual production technology. For the video, Fearless Productions utilized a variety of MIMIKs in different configurations on a virtual production LED stage to light talent and a Tarform electric motorcycle with full-spectrum color, creating a more realistic and immersive viewing experience.

Set to drum and bass electronic music by Janaka Selekta, Project Chimera combines an action storyline with an abstract interpretation of a classical Indian dance performance — all set in a cyberpunk future — to tell the story of a love triangle. Filmed on a virtual production stage at Fuse Technical Group, the video was shot with RED Komodo 6K digital cinema cameras with Fujinon Premistas zoom lenses. It also showcases a wide range of cutting-edge technologies for the creation of AR objects, camera tracking, and motion control, with Kino Flo’s MIMIK 120 synchronizing lighting on the virtual set with Unreal Engine content playing on the LED volume.

Optimized for virtual production environments and for delivering extended spectral bandwidth and cinematic color fidelity when lighting talent and set elements the patented Kino Flo Matchmakker algorithm converts the incoming RGB video wall signal into four or more individual emitters — RGB-WW-CW for the MIMIK 120 — generating synchronized foreground lighting that delivers the utmost realism on virtual sets, including natural skin tones and accurate renderings of colorful costumes.

“With Project Chimera, our goal was to show how technology can bring the unimaginable to life — through the video and a series of short documentary videos showing how we did it,” said Snehal Patel, director and producer at Fearless Productions. “Representing a monumental leap forward in virtual production lighting, the MIMIK 120 played a key role. In addition to providing higher brightness and better spectral response curves than LED walls, the MIMIK actually uses the content on the LED volume to light actors and foreground objects. This gives the gaffer and cinematographer a whole new toolset to utilize, allowing them to deliver unprecedented realism that completely immerses viewers into the cyberpunk world we’ve created.”

Delivering 10,000-nits brightness, the adaptable MIMIK 120 is designed to be stacked like a video wall, flown as a ceiling, or put on traditional lighting rigs. For Project Chimera, Fearless Productions utilized eight panels in an 8-foot-by-8-foot video wall configuration — featuring a ground support system that allowed it to be easily moved to meet the needs of the shot — while eight additional units were mounted on separate mobile lighting rigs. The lighting system is controlled by the Megapixel VR HELIOS LED processor.

“With control via a Megapixel Helios processor, the MIMIK 120 integrates seamlessly into the world of virtual production,” added Patel. “We were able to use the same processor and interface for the lighting system and LED volume, which allowed us to work far more efficiently. Using the processor, all we had to do was route video data throughout the lighting system over Ethernet, sending different pieces of background content to different panels to get the exact look we wanted. As a result, we were able to change setups very quickly. Over a two-day period, that allowed us to complete a staggering 86 shots, and was essential to our completing the project on time and under budget. We already have a variety of additional projects lined up for the panels, including virtual production, volumetric filming on a 3D capture stage, and practical driving shots.”

“By mimicking what’s on the LED volume, Kino Flo’s MIMIK 120 represents a huge leap forward in lighting for virtual production — the difference it makes in terms of light interactivity and the verisimilitude of the image can’t be overstated,” said project cinematographer Robert McLachlan, ASC, CSC. “I can see it being especially useful in driving shots, by providing cinematographers with complete control over reflections in windows instead of relying on compositors, who don’t always know how pronounced reflections should be.”

To view the behind-the-scenes footage of the music video, viewers can visit the Kino Flo YouTube channel here. For more information on Kino Flo and its products, visit www.kinoflo.com.

LIGHTING THE GARDEN OF EDEN

Gaffer Lů Mořický built a paradise for a shopping mall TVC with some creative rigging and Kino Flo. 

The studio-like setup for a night shoot in a shopping mall may have required some funny rigging, but with a bit of rope to suspend a Celeb 850 with 6×4 ft softbox above the scene, the result was heavenly:

https://fb.watch/bbVYQP4zw3

Credits

Production: Epicture
Director: Lubos Ondracek
DOP: Jiri Fabik
Gaffer: Lů Mořický

Equipment

Kino Flo Celeb 850 + softbox + grid
Kino Flo Celeb 450Q
Kino Flo FreeStyle T44
Kino Flo Diva Lite 21

MAKING A GOOD MEAL LOOK GREAT

Behind every good meal is a love story. Tesco’s Food Love Stories TVC series shows real people making real recipes. 

DoP Ian Murray shares his production notes:

With Tescos the brief was to create delicious looking food in a lifestyle environment. For the first sequence mainly lighting through the windows then supplementing it with soft controllable lights. When we went to the side shots we had to wrap the lights more around the subjects to create contact. 

When we went to the table shot at the end we blacked out the windows and created the maximum amount of shape by continuing the theme of hard late afternoon sun backlight with soft side and 3/4 light front light, as if it’s bouncing off the walls around the rooms. For food, I always start with a very soft top light then a low hard side light then build it from there.

Credits:

Production: MindsEye – London
DoP: Ian Murray

MATCHING THE SHIFTING COLOR OF SUNLIGHT

DoP Byonghoon Jo shares his setup and results on the set of short film Loners.

The scene is in a basketball court and we waited for the sunlight through the window and hazed it up. Because we were relying on the sun and the actors were running with the ball, we needed a quick and soft fill light. We used a Kino Flo Celeb 850 and matched the color temperature to the natural light with the passage of time.

Credits

Director: Heui Song Son
Cinematographer: Byonghoon Jo
Gaffer: Dol Fino

Equipment

Celeb 850

Industry Kudos for MIMIK 120

Kino Flo’s MIMIK 120 Continues Winning Ways With Latest Accolade: 2023 HPA Award for Engineering Excellence

For Utmost Realism in Virtual Productions, Image-Based Video Lighting Tile Mirrors LED Volume Via RGB Video Signals, With Patented Conversion Algorithm 

Burbank, California — Sept. 27, 2023 — Kino Flo Lighting Systems today announced that its MIMIK 120 full-spectrum, image-based video lighting tile has been honored with a 2023 Hollywood Professionals Association Award for Engineering Excellence. Previously this year, the MIMIK 120 also received the Best of Show Award at the Euro Cine Expo and a Product of the Year Award in the “Location/Studio Lighting” category at the 2023 NAB Show.

The HPA Awards for Engineering Excellence are a coveted honor, denoting outstanding technical and creative ingenuity in media, content production, finishing, distribution, and archiving. A distinguished panel of industry judges review materials and video presentations to determine the shortlist of finalists. The finalists then appear before the panel to answer in-depth questions about their submitted solution. The panel then votes on the top technologies, with the MIMIK 120 chosen as a winner based on the innovation and advancement it delivers for the media and entertainment industry.

The MIMIK 120 is designed to create a full spectrum color correct lighting environment on virtual sets that perfectly mirrors the LED wall volume via the video signal, ensuring unprecedented realism for every shot,

said Frieder Hochheim, founder of Kino Flo Lighting Systems. “We believe its capabilities are a game-changer for virtual production, and it’s extremely gratifying to have our efforts acknowledged with these three prestigious awards.”

Optimized for virtual production environments, the 7,200-pixel MIMIK 120 mirrors video content while applying a higher tonal and color rendering range, delivering extended spectral bandwidth and cinematic color fidelity when lighting talent and set elements. The patented Kino Flo algorithm converts the incoming RGB video wall signal into four or more individual emitters — RGB-WW-CW for the MIMIK 120 — generating synchronized foreground lighting that delivers the utmost realism on virtual sets.

Featuring a lightweight carbon fiber frame, the adaptable MIMIK 120 is designed to be stacked like a video wall, flown as a ceiling, or put on traditional lighting rigs. The lighting system is controlled by the Megapixel VR HELIOS LED processor — which provides a level of control that would be limiting if performed through a traditional DMX — and delivers 10,000-nits brightness, along with the ability to shoot as high as 900 frames per second and offer as many as 30 Alpha channels at 30 frames per second. A single processor can control up to 2,100 panels — that’s over 15 million pixels with zero latency — which can also be fully synchronized up to 30 kHz to eliminate flickering and support advanced VR technologies.

The 2023 HPA Awards for Engineering Excellence will be presented at this year’s HPA Awards Gala on November 9 at the Hollywood Legion in Hollywood, California.

Production is a Drag Race

Big Easy Queens is a campy romp of a movie that tells the story of archrivals Miss Bouvèé and Poodles Makenzie fighting for turf supremacy in New Orleans.  Budgets are always tight and time is a precious commodity when shooting independent film, and especially so for a glam horror project like this one, with its big set pieces and colorful sequences. 

We check in with director Erynn Dalton and cinematographer Laszlo Thomas Nador for their thoughts on the ways Kino Flo gear saved time creating big shots and capturing big performances with fast lighting setups.

Lightweight. Fast to set up. And ready to be dialed in.

“It was incredible what we did with a small crew.  It is such a difference when you set a light and you don’t have to run for a gel, or you don’t have to run for a diffusion, or you don’t have to go tweak. The versatility of these beautiful Kino Flo Celebs allows us the opportunity to just dial it in.”

–Laszlo Thomas Nador, cinematographer

Saving on color correction whether filming sequins, machine guns or drag queens. 

“The speed of setup was a big consideration. We shot this in ten days. If we didn’t have the speedy setups that we did with Kino Flo, we wouldn’t have been able to do it in that amount of time.  And, the raw footage, because of these lights, looks amazing, and it’s gonna save us a lot on color correction.”

–Erynn Dalton, director

Matching Color Temp to Practicals

The star of South Korean film Da Capo finds himself frustrated by the creative compromises involved in composing music for commercials.  Reconnecting with a former bandmate reminds him that music is not just a fantasy to sell to others, but also an element of daily life.  A one-minute trailer is available to watch online.

In order to create cinematic lighting that convincingly captures the mood of the lighting we experience in day to day life, Kino Flo LED soft light systems provide the ability to quickly and accurately dial in the correct color, whether it’s matching a piano lamp practical or a color gel used in a previous day’s work. 

Director of Photography ByongHoon Jo explains his use of Kino Flo to achieve a cozy mix of the warmth of a piano lamp and soft pink added to the natural light bathing this studio scene:

“We used one Celeb 850 and two Celeb 450s outside the window, on X,Y mode to match a Moroccan Pink gel we used on another day.  Inside we had two FreeStyles matching the color temperature of the practicals, which I think matched really well with the lamp on the piano.”

Color is Not a Game of Chance

Sun Bingo is one of the UK’s best-known Bingo brands, with millions of players every month.  ‘Are You Gonna Bingo?’ is a one-minute TV commercial that leans into that popularity with a lighthearted game of phone tag, and is available to watch online

Director of Photography Ian Murray walks us through his approach to establishing color control on set with the use of a reference white and pairing softness of light to skin tone:

“I always like to start with a reference white in the frame, which on this occasion was our Kino Flo FreeStyle T24 key light, and then build the colors around that… integrating single Kino Flo LED tubes into the location. We lit our subject with a FreeStyle T24. These FreeStyle tubes are slightly softer than the FreeStyle panels and give a very flattering reflection on darker skin tones.”

The objective on set was to achieve a hyper-real aesthetic and getting there required color rendering that allows for adding realistic texture to the environment.

“To build up the hyper-real look, we wanted to have complete control of our color palette. You’ll see this in the monitor shots on our sets that the finished results are usually very close in terms of the color rendition. I really believe this is how you get high-end work, by having control of your color. Kino Flo have complete color control throughout their ecosystem, unlike the color chaos you often get with LED fixtures.”

Landing on the right colors on set is never a matter of luck and nothing like a game of Bingo.  The recipe for achieving realism on set calls for controlling the color palette and removing the element of chance.   

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