Due to the continuing popularity of its ARRILITE range, ARRI recently released two new fixtures that represent the next generation of these traditional, open-faced lights. The compact, lightweight ARRILITE 750 Plus and ARRILITE 2000 Plus have been completely redesigned, offering improved functionality, simplified maintenance and rugged durability. Lighting expert Craig "Burnie" Burns, founder and CEO of Burnie's Grip and Lighting - the largest grip and lighting company south of Los Angeles - here shares his thoughts after putting the ARRILITE 750 Plus to work on several professional productions.
I have had the pleasure of using the new ARRILITE 750 Plus for the last couple of months; I was very impressed with the instrument! There are some new features that ARRI has designed into this light that make it a must-have for my lighting arsenal. It is about the same size as the 1K ARRILITE - small, compact and easy to transport. You can tell ARRI thought through the new design; there are many changes but there are three that are real game changers for me.
First is the new reflector design. Extrapolating from the ARRIMAX and the M18, they have equipped the 750 Plus with the newly designed, multifaceted, paraboloidal, ellipsoidal reflector. This allows a much wider range in the spot / flood settings. The new design makes it every bit as bright as the ARRILITE 1K, but with a narrower spot and a wider flood. This also makes the light very easy to use when you are bouncing into a 4' x 8' white card for ambient or passive fill; it fills a large card nicely. On several occasions when DoPs have called for a 1K open face, I've used the 750 Plus without telling them and nobody could tell the difference.
Another big change for the better is the built-in speed ring, which is extremely convenient on set. The 750 Plus is the perfect light for a head shot interview. Having the built-in speedring means you never have to worry about the ring getting lost and it is just one less thing you have to do. As soon as you mount the light to a stand, it is ready for the light bank. If you're not using the light bank, it is also very easy to put the doors on and the ring acts as a light cutter from spill coming through the side of the doors.
One of the nicest features of the ARRILITE 750 Plus is the new lamp replacement system designed by ARRI. The old method of having to remove the safety screen to replace a burnt out lamp is gone! ARRI has designed a new method of lamp replacement: by twisting the back handle of the instrument, the back comes off and gives you direct access to the unit's bulb socket; it can be done with one hand. The 750-watt bulb is easily removed and replaced in just over a minute - a big time saver on set.
The fact that the ARRILITE 750 Plus uses a 750-watt bulb as opposed to a 1,000-watt bulb is also very helpful with power distribution situations. A lot of my work is on locations; I'm in homes, office buildings and businesses. Power distribution is always a major consideration, so having a 750-watt instrument that is as bright as a 1K is a nice asset and allows for greater flexibility in the field.
My only complaint with the ARRILITE 750 Plus is that I don't have more of them! It's a great light.
We get a glimpse during the filming of ARGO, directed by Ben Affleck and shot by Rodrigo Prieto ASC, AMC on ARRICAMs, ARRIFLEX 435, ARRIFLEX 235 and ALEXA.