Lights over India
Rental facility Light N Light supplies the full range of ARRI daylight, tungsten and LED lighting fixtures to high-profile Indian productions and DPs.
With branches across Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Abu Dhabi, and Mauritius, Light N Light provides lighting, grip, and camera equipment to productions shooting all over India and beyond. Servicing one of the most prolific and demanding film industries worldwide, Light N Light has chosen to invest in equipment of the highest possible quality. ARRI fixtures form the backbone of the company’s considerable lighting inventory, among them the very latest M-Series, L-Series, and SkyPanel lampheads.
ARRI daylight fixtures are a staple on Indian feature film sets. Location shooting is commonplace, and since Indian cinema revels in large-scale spectacle—from stunningly choreographed dance numbers to carefully planned action sequences— vast areas often have to be illuminated. For this reason, the ARRIMAX 18/12 has been a popular fixture in India from the moment it was introduced.
Countless Indian movies have relied on the ARRIMAX; one recent example is the upcoming Bollywood film Bhavesh Joshi, shot by cinematographer Siddharth Diwan. For an elaborate nighttime bike chase in a big train yard, Diwan needed a single light source that would give him as much freedom to shoot as possible. “The area was so large that no single unit could help us,” he says. “We came up with the solution of building two trusses, each rigged with six ARRIMAX and hoisted on a 200-foot industrial crane. From a distance of close to half a kilometer they became this beautiful single source, with one shadow.”
The MAX Technology first incorporated into the ARRIMAX went on to be utilized in the M-Series, ARRI’s latest range of daylight fixtures. These, too, have been enthusiastically embraced on Indian productions and Light N Light carries the entire series. On the Bollywood romantic comedy Half Girlfriend, released earlier this year, cinematographer Vishnu Rao repeatedly turned to M-Series lights.
“The M-Series proved particularly useful in the lighting of larger locations, packing a real punch of output while being the same physical size as a conventional light,” notes Rao. “In the film, we see our male lead on the streets of his small home town on a night when the electricity is out, walking among all the townspeople as the camera cranes up for a wide view. There was nowhere to hide lights, so I used one M90 on a rooftop at the far end, backlighting the entire street. Then we made balloons out of three M18s and hung them overhead with cables—that was all. The M90 gave us a natural, moonlight feel. That one light and the three smaller fixtures were enough to light up around 200 meters of the street and give us the beautiful mood we wanted.”
As well as the M-Series range, many of Light N Light's customers make use of other ARRI lights such as ARRISUN, TRUE BLUE, Compact and Studio fixtures. For Light N Light, the long service life of ARRI lights is a big part of their appeal. By investing in quality, the owners maximize return on investment and can rest assured that the fixtures will withstand constant use and transportation, heavy handling, and challenging on-set conditions, year after year.
With the addition of ARRI L-Series and SkyPanel LED fixtures to Light N Light’s inventory, even more options are now available to filmmakers. Cinematographer Priya Seth worked with SkyPanels on the upcoming Hindi film Chef. “We were in Kerala, in 38-degree heat, and they were invaluable in maintaining a cool temperature inside the real locations we were shooting,” she says.
“The gel library was also very useful; it minimized expendables costs and allowed for quick creative ideas. For a restaurant scene shot in New York the city ordinances forbade big lights on the sidewalk, so we just put two SkyPanel S60-Cs above each window, through a softbox, to extend the ambient light. The results were stunning. The SkyPanels were so lightweight and I could just dial in the color temperature to match the exterior.”
Like Chef, numerous Indian productions are now combining LED and conventional lighting, another example being Badrinath Ki Dulhania. Cinematographer Neha Parti Matiyani comments, “To observe and recreate a visual so that the recreated images are every bit as memorable as the ones they were inspired by—that is the job of a DP. What makes every day special is having found the perfect partner in the form of ARRI lighting and the wonderful people at Light N Light, who work tirelessly to bring these tools of our trade to every foolhardy, impossible, and unforgiving location we DPs demand them at.”