LOS ANGELES – In July, with a small budget and limited crew, Michael Mulvey Production Services, Inc. was tasked with creating short promotional videos for Boston’s Berklee College of Music. To create unique color backdrops for various performers who were shot separately on the same set, the Boston-based production company used its Zylight IS3c LED light, which features a Color Mode that produces millions of colors without gels or filters.
The project focused on Berklee City Music, a nonprofit division of the college that mentors middle and high school students. “We needed to do something very efficiently in a small, improvised studio,” explained Michael Mulvey, SOC, director of photography for MMPS and a 33-year industry veteran. “The client wanted six different backgrounds to differentiate the artists we were shooting.”
In the past, it was a tedious, time consuming process for Mulvey to select and change background colors using gels. If a color was acceptable to a client, he would then have to address additional creative choices, such as color saturation and intensity, which would take more time. “With the IS3c, you can make very subtle changes once you find something you like,” he said. “There’s no question it saves time.”
Mulvey used one of his Zylight Z90 compact LED lights with built-in ZyLink wireless technology to change the color palette on the IS3c. The Berklee shoot was in a very confined space, so it was easier to make adjustments from across the room using the Z90 as a handheld remote control than to maneuver through the set to adjust the light manually.
Generally, Mulvey uses his IS3c with custom Chimera soft box (produced exclusively for Zylight) as a key light, but the Berklee shoot was not the first time it saved the day with its color capabilities. For another project, a client had requested a white background for an interview – but once the client was on the set, they decided a color wash would be better. With the IS3c, Mulvey was able to accommodate the last-minute change quickly.
Mulvey has had his IS3c for about a year, and said its low profile, low power usage, and low heat are important features. “It never stays behind. The IS3c is always in my truck,” he added. “It’s a great light.”
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