mad in pursuit journal


Too hot to handle

The other "modern" item on the auction block this week is my professional light kit. I'm not as sentimental about this as I am about my little Sony Vaio but it still represents a time in my life.

The kit consists of three halogen lights, stands, umbrellas for reflecting and softening the light, and other accessories, all packed in a handy hard case to create a mobile photo or video studio. I bought it in the summer of 2004 after Maria and I got a big contract to make a 15-minute movie on anxiety disorders for the local mental health association. It was the height of Cosmopolitan Productions and the height of my equipment-buying frenzy.

That summer we felt like real filmmakers. We labored over the script, auditioned and hired actors, set up shoots. I was director, cinematographer, and sound gal rolled into one. I made an elaborate study of lights and lighting angles and little diagrams of each shot. My nephew Patrick and Maria's son Matt were our production assistants, assembling and disassembling the lights and holding up reflective cardboard. A cast party and champagne premiere celebrated the final product.

And then that was that. Cosmo Productions slid into oblivion.

The lights were always too hot. Searing little 250W halogens. They scared me to plug them in at my house for fear that a circuit breaker would blow or that somehow they would set the house on fire. Zzzzzzssssttt.

When my Ebay business got going, I thought I'd use them to do my table-top photography. But they were not only too hot, they were also the wrong color temperature and the resulting photos always needed a lot of fiddling with. Maybe I just didn't know enough in 2005.*

So they've been packed away, taking up 2200 cubic inches of our precious closet space, taunting me every time I open the door. "So what about us?"

Now we'll see what aspiring photo or video enthusiast will get them next. No bids yet, but 4 "watchers" have flagged the auction -- no doubt cagey buyers who will wait till the last minute to bid. I'll know by Sunday night.

As for me, maybe being a filmmaker who needed a light kit for live action was a path too hot to tread.


Thumbs Up if you liked this entry.

* I wound up using the lighting stands with clamp-on hardware store work lights and 55-watt compact fluorescent bulbs, daylight balanced, have worked out much better.