- Paperback: 616 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 4 edition (August 4, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780240810751
- ISBN-13: 978-0240810751
- ASIN: 0240810759
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 96 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Set Lighting Technician's Handbook: Film Lighting Equipment, Practice, and Electrical Distribution 4th Edition
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"Harry Box's Set Lighting Technician's Handbook (Focal Press) is a gold mine of information about safety, lighting and studio procedures." - Ron Dexter, ASC
From the Back Cover
"Harry has taken the mystery out of set lighting for the beginner or pro. Current and includes the most up-to-date tricks of the trade. A book written by a pro who loves and respects his craft and is selfless in sharing information." Mike G. Moyer, gaffer, Steel Magnolias, In the Line of Fire, Ground Hog Day
"Boxs style is reminiscent of an old buddy showing his best friend the ropes perhaps the most easily read technical handbook to date the broadest in scope and coverage, yet carefully covers the essential details." Seth Greenspan, Filmcrew Magazine
The Set Lighting Technicians Handbook is a friendly, hands-on manual covering lighting and rigging equipment, day-to-day practices and tricks of the trade essential to anyone doing motion picture lighting. The book delves into every aspect of lighting: from lighting design decisions to set protocol and teamwork; from rigging safety to equipment troubleshooting; from basic electricity to advanced electrical systems planning. Whether youre a lamp operator, best boy, rigger, gaffer, or director of photography, this trusted, long time industry favorite covers what's important on set.
New to the expanded Fourth Edition:
* Expanded coverage of LED lights, lighting control networks, computer applications in lighting, advanced automated and digital lighting devices, creating effects with ellipsoidal spotlights, wet locations and GFCI protection, rigging, dimmer systems, modern battery technology, small generators and much more
*Reflects all the current industry safety standards, guidelines, practices, and codes
*Companion website offers exclusive content, including tables, illustrations, articles, historical information, and more. Please see http://booksite.focalpress.com/box/setlighting
Harry C. Box has worked in television and motion picture production since 1989. Over the years he has done substantial work as a lighting technician, gaffer, camera operator, director of photography, and as an educator. His recent credits include network and cable television series, such as Heroes (NBC), Brothers and Sisters (ABC), and Everybody Hates Chris (CW). He has worked on major motion pictures, independent feature films, telefilms, documentaries, music videos, commercials, and industrials.
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I gave it a try, and discovered he is right -- this is an incredibly detailed encyclopedia of everything a lighting technician should know, ranging from set etiquette all the way down to every bulb you can put in a cinema light. The recently updated version includes details on LEDs and on DMX lighting, so it not only spans the gamut of topics; it spans the gamut of Hollywood lighting, nearly from the beginning until now.
Some knowledge is required to benefit from the book. A stark beginner will find it too jargony. But if, like me, you have intermediate experience lighting sets and are largely self-taught, this book presents a wonderful way to find out what you were unaware of, fill in the gaps, and have a thorough foundation in the language, processes, gadgets, and techniques that an experienced gaffer should master.
By the way, if you don't know what a gaffer is -- the book begins by identifying all the roles on set. Director of Photography, following the vision of the Director, decides what lights are needed. The gaffer is the electrical technician that makes it happen. The best boy is the gaffer's chief assistant. If you've always wondered about both the obvious and the arcane sides of lighting, this is absolutely the book for you. If you know just enough about lighting to get in over your head, grab this book, sign up for Shane's Inner Circle, and get good!
However, DO NOT let that scare you off! Just because you're an indy filmmaker on a low/no budget with a single DIY light-kit doesn't make this book an expensive paperweight. The info in this book gives one the solid foundation to improve their skills, no matter what level. Granted there are lots of 'advanced' details, and I would say that a lot of the ground covered on electricity might be a bit much for those who only use a few lights plugged into a standard socket, however if you're serious about learning the craft, this book covers it.
Even BETTER: The chapters that cover lighting, color temperature and gels is an excellent reference tool for the amateur. As lighting kits become more affordable, more people are skipping the DIY work light set up and going with pro kits. The only problem is most folks just turn on the lights without giving much thought to placement, temperature, and diffusion. Too much of the wrong light is just as bad as not enough of ANY light and this book covers more than just the generic "3 point setup" along with the details of placement, rather than just a generic diagram with no explanation.
It covers the craft, art and history of lighting in film and how to achieve each look via reference charts and guides as well as detailed info on pretty much every light standard on a set/shoot in today's industry along with more info on electricity and the various tools and equipment used to power and achieve the lighting 'look' and feel for a scene.
I can't really list any cons, aside from pointing out that it isn't an introduction to DIY lighting; (which isn't a con since it never implies it as being a guide to DIY) - If you only plan on shooting with basic DIY work lights (and there isn't ANYTHING wrong with that) you will probably find this book is geared more for the pro's - However, even if you can't afford the standard ARRI kits, the info is invaluable and if you're serious about film, this book and the info will go from being foreign techno garble to an invaluable tool.
Another plus is the homage and detail it pays to the standard Fresnel and Lowel lighting kits as well as the invaluable info on warming/cooling/converting lights with gels and diffusion. So you don't have a $100k Grip package? No problem. This book will give you the info and tools needed to crank out shots that will make your $200 Ebay lighting package look like you have a killer lighting package. I am by no means a pro (at anything) but this book is a must have whenever I tackle a shoot (still or video) where there is a lot of MIXED lighting and not a lot of options for controlling it (or so you think..) - Read the book, practice and tinker with your lights and you will be amazed at the difference after applying some simple knowledge gained from a few chapters in this book.