Oliver A. Mueller

What is your current job and function?
I am a gaffer and lighting director.
I’m currently shooting a Danish feature film on the Canary Islands and I am the gaffer on this job! I planned, together with DoP Lars Reinhold (Denmark), all the lighting floorplans for every location and scene.
How long have you been working in this position?
I have worked as a gaffer and lighting director since 1998.
Did you work together with ARRI before?
Yes, I worked with ARRI and ARRI Media before.
What were the requirements?
I think in my case there were no "requirements". Usually, if the DoP and the production want to work with you because they think you’re the ideal gaffer for that particular project, the assignment is yours.
What features of the ARRI SkyPanels have been important to you for this video?
What turned me on immediately with this video project was the name ARRI. I had already learned a lot about the ARRI SkyPanel previously and I continued to love this gear more and more, so I was overwhelmed by the idea of working with: "more than 300 SkyPanels!"
With the SkyPanel you can do really everything. It’s a powerful lamp, so imagine 300 of them together. You can use nearly any Rosco or Lee gel and control it via computer. For the video, we used firmware 2.5, which was already amazing and now every update since gives you more awesome possibilities.
What have been the major advantages of using the SkyPanels?
Well, it’s a light, including all its additional gear, you don’t want to miss on any set.
Just in case I’m working with a DoP who doesn’t know SkyPanels well, I always have some on the truck to be able to introduce them and convince others to use them; I sometimes also show the video "Share the Passion". But, especially on this project, there was and is no other light able to do what the SkyPanel did, in the same way.
What was the major challenge with this project?
From my modest point of view, I would like to say that doing this project for ARRI was already a challenge. We (My Best Boy and I) thought about every detail from the very beginning and it was clear to us that it had to look more than perfect and be safe.
This was not so easy, for example, we needed to get 300 Matthews clamps which were all the same size (size changes a little bit due to age). Fixing the SkyPanels to the cube truss in completely straight lines became a pain-staking job that required great patience. It took days to get it all even and straight. The challenge was actually to make it look so good. We like challenges and this one was the last but the best one of that year.
Was there anything that surprised you?
Not really, I was quite sure about the result.
Which was your best moment on set?
Once during the pre-light testing, I was standing in the middle of the finished cube in low light levels and suddenly Scott Barnes pumped it up to 100% on the dimmer. Unbelievable!
The other moment was during the first day of shooting when the action started and the music and light started to move! Wow, that gave me goose bumps.