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Nick Flowers

Carbon Arc Lamps

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Here is a picture of a Brute, a carbon arc lamp and its associated resistor.

 

They were common enough on all the films I worked on, but recent reading on the web suggests they they are no longer used. Is that right?

Arc.jpg

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While I recall them being in more common use on big shoots when I was starting out (and welcomed the breaks for recarboning or trimming), they seem to have been supplanted by HMIs within just a few years.    A little later I worked with a few DPs and gaffers who owned their own arcs, it was kind of their "look" in a time long after they had disappeared from most location shoots.  By that time i had a better understanding of what I was seeing, and have to say that compared to early-generation HMIs they were pretty great.  I have not seen one on a job in at least 20 years now, though.

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I've only seen them once on a movie I did Mid 90's. DP used as many as 6 at once for big exteriors. I remember each light had an electrician to adjust the arc as it burned and a grip to provide ladder and stability. Little smoke stack out the top. I'm sure there are others here that can provided better stories about their experiences. Carfbon Arc "technology" was also used for search lights and Film Projectors.

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I think there were 3 used on "Mr Lawrence" that I recorded in 1992

 

Australian gaffer Warren Mearns, very exxperienced and laid back.

 

It was the biggest lighting rig to leave Australia complete with DC generator

 

The director Nagisa Oshima tried to explain to Warren how he wanted a night exterior

of a house lit ! Warren answered "Do you really want it like that or done my way?"

 

Oshima San conceded "Your way!"

 

A very interesting experience all round!

 

mike

 

 

Mike&Oshima.bmp

Mike&Oshima.bmp

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