Lux Lighting Deploys HES for Birds of Prey Film

Date Posted: 4/15/2020

Photos: courtesy of Lux Lighting LLC

High End Systems lighting and control played a behind-the-scenes role in the recently released superhero film, Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). But for Gaffer Mike Bauman and Programmer Scott Barnes, the HES gear supplied its own set of superpowers to the production.

Bauman deployed SolaFrame Theatre and SolaFrame 3000 LED automated fixtures from his Lux Lighting rental inventory, while Programmer Scott Barnes chose Hog 4 consoles for control. The Bauman and Barnes team have worked together for years, and successfully used the same HES equipment for 2019’s award-winning film, Ford v Ferrari.

“There were at least six major sets that we used HES fixtures on,” Bauman explains. “We built off some of the techniques that we developed on Ford v Ferrari. The fixtures worked on lifts for some large night exteriors, but we also used them throughout most of the stage work. We used them for Key lights, bounce sources, accents and off-camera lighting effects. We even created a lighthouse effect that we used throughout several sets. They were truly a daily-use tool through much of the film.”

Shot in Los Angeles in 2019, the action-packed story follows the humanized DC Comics characters, the Birds of Prey team. The superhero group is led by actress Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, ex-girlfriend of The Joker.

Ascribing similar superpowers to the HES fixtures, Bauman notes that the SolaFrame Theatre’s biggest strength is its fan-less, silent operation. The SolaFrame 3000’s big muscle is its brightness, and it shares with the SolaFrame Theatre strong features involving color temperature, color correction, reduced power from its LED source and the benefits of being a moving light. Because color fidelity is so critical in cinema lighting, all of the units from HES were specified with High Fidelity or High CRI engines.

All of these features make the HES fixtures a hero in Bauman’s book. In fact, he’s just purchased some new fixtures, the SolaHyBeam 3000, to use in another current film production along with the SolaFrame Theatre, SolaFrame 3000 and SolaFrame 750.

Longtime Hog user Scott Barnes has worked with Bauman for many years through many films. The programmer used “as usual” two Hog 4 consoles, a Roadhog 4 and several Rack Hog 4s and DMX 8000 processors throughout the whole production.

Barnes, an IATSE Local 728 member, explains, "Matthew ‘Matty’ Libatique (Director of Photography) shoots at a fast pace, often making changes on the fly, and Hog 4 gives me the ability to deliver what he needs without waiting.”

He adds, "The Rack Hogs are true workhorses. Using them as console servers and networking in the consoles is the best workflow for me and Hog does it with ease. Hog 4 continues to deliver the functionality I need to make these movies.”

Watch a trailer here: