Tag: film

Finding the Perfect Light Stand for You

Here at Big City we have a lot of stands, all with different sizes and weights. From tall ones to short rolling ones. We have anything to fit you film or photo needs. Links to all the stands shown in this video are below.

All the stands we carry.

 

Difference between Fog Machines & Hazers

Chauvet Hurricane                                         Fog Machines

The way a fog machine works is by heating the fog fluid or juice in order to create fog. Fog juice is pumped through thermostatically temperature controlled heat exchanger that vaporizes the fluid into thick clouds of fog. All fog machines require around 5 minutes to heat up, which can be the problem with most cheap models. They tend to generate fog, but will need to take pauses to reheat before they can make fog again. Different fog machines create different types of fog. Fog machines are more likely to set off fire alarms. A smaller fog machine will tend to have a smaller wattage, which is fine for a small house party but probably won’t fill up a large stage. For example a 700w fog machine is perfect for an at home partier and a 3000 –1500w machine is perfect for a wedding or banquet.

                                          Hazers

A hazer also uses fog fluid, but a thinner different type of fluid. The fluid is sent into an enclosed chamber where an air compressor shoots the fluid into a vapour, which is then blown out by a fan in the form of a vapour. A hazer tends to use mineral oil to create a longer lasting thin haze in the air, but some newer models allow for water based fluids. Hazers never produce thick clouds, in fact you can barely see the haze in the air. There main purpose is to add atmosphere and dimension to any performance area through lighting effect enhancement. Hazers are less likely to set off fire alarms but it’s not guaranteed. It’s always good to do a bit of research before renting/ purchasing one.

Different types of Fog/

Haze Machines

Normal Foggers

Image result for different types of fog machines

These smoke machines are regular ones you see. It creates a cloud of smokey fog 5′-10′ tall. The longer you run the machine, the bigger and higher the fog goes. Because this is heated fog the mist with be slowly moving higher as you run the machine. These type of foggers are the cheapest priced ones available.  The very cheap units probably won’t have DMX control, but there are many cost-effective models that do.

 

NOTE: It is not a fog effect that will lay low, this fog will rise due to the heated vapour.

                                               Low Foggers

Image result for low fog

Now how about that epic looking ground fog? How do you do that? Well since we said to make fog you need heat, but heat rises… That means we need to cool the fog after producing it with a fog chiller.

NOTE: Chilled fog will only lie low for as long as it is cold, once it has warmed up it will rise back up into the air.

There’s also another option where you could use a low-lying CO2 fog machine. They work perfectly without the fog rising, but are expensive and need to be monitored as they could cause breathing problems.

 

Haze Machine

Image result for hazer fog example

Haze machines create a fine haze and tend to stay in the air longer – the particles linger in the air for a long time before disappearing making them ideal for use at parties and concerts. They produce a less noticeable effect than smoke or low fog machines, as they are designed to emphasize the lighting effects allowing you to see rays and patterns you would not normally see. For example the laser effect at a party.

 

 

 

 

Purchase/ Rental links:

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A Better & Thinner Soft-box Light

Calling all you photographers and filmmakers! Are you tried of constantly having to setup your big, thick and bulky soft-box lights? Do you want dimming and colour temperature controls too? We here at Big City we have the lights for you! These soft-box lights are 3 inches thick (at the knob, 2 inches rest of fixture) and completely LED, hows that for convenience?  All the pricing and availability is linked below.

Links:

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Battery Operated Lighting Options

Calling all filmmakers, photographers, hairstylists and party starters! Have you ever needed a wireless light to brighten a subject? To light a party? Well we have the products for you. This video showcases various options for battery operated lights to suit any of your needs. These lights are perfect for when you don’t have an outlet near by, or for on the go shootings. All the links for the battery operated lights we carry are available below.

Links:

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Listening to and Maintaining your Community and Following

Having a community and following is something that most companies and people desire. It can be hard to maintain and expand that community but there are steps that can be taken to ensure the community is happy and lasts for a long time. The three simple steps listed will be targeting the right audience, maintaining and focusing on the needs of the community and growth & expansion. The examples listed will include big name companies to small groups. No matter how big your community is, there is always room for expansion and things that will bring everyone together.

Having a community and following means you need to treat the people who are in the community with some respect and carefulness. Many people join these communities and followings because they all share a common interest or belief. Keeping your focus on these core beliefs and values can ensure the community stays together and focused on goals and tasks. It is also important to listen to feedback and general comments. They can provide a lot of ways to improve and grow communities and followings.

Thousands attend Blizzcon each year. It is a convention created by Blizzard Entertainment. The majority are fans who share the passion and interest of Blizzard’s games

A good example comes from an online video game. Overwatch is an online video game where changes happen a lot in their game. Characters and new things being added to the game influences a lot inside. The game has a player base of over 35 million players monthly and many of these players have their own opinions to changes in the game and the overall state of the game. The developers at Blizzard Entertainment do a great job of listening to the community and fitting their needs. The development team and support team are always active on forums and social media to inform and assist others. They also release monthly update videos to give the player base an update on what they are doing with the game and what they want to know from the community about these changes etc. Blizzard shows a great example on how to create and maintain a large community and keep them active and happy in where they are.

Having a community and following shouldn’t be focused on profit and general gain for yourself or your company. A lot of people can rely on these communities and believe it progresses people’s lives and other aspects. A community’s voice can even have a large impact on companies and other products. For example if you are making a change to your website that many members of the community dislike, you may want to change the plan or ask the community how they would like it. It seems like a simple concept except many large companies can sometimes fail to suit their community’s needs.

Battlefront 2 by EA had the record lowest user rating of any triple A studio

This is an example of a game publisher focusing on economical gain and not listening to their community. Electronic Arts (EA) published the video game Star Wars Battlefront 2 which was hit hard with negative reviews and feedback from the community. A lot of the issues were profit orientated and didn’t work well with the large player base. Issues included loot boxes which you have to pay for, paying for in game bonuses which is unfair and other features that made the game almost unplayable. EA’s response is the current most down voted (disliked) comment on Reddit with over 600,000 down votes. Their response to the situation and lack of care for their community resulted in negative sales for the game and a stock decline in an already declining company. EA’s response was listed as one of the worst company decisions of 2017. EA has also been nominated as the worst company in the U.S of 2017 and almost won that award as a result of this backlash. All they had to do was listen to the community and make the appropriate changes and maybe they wouldn’t have lost millions of dollars and decreases in stock prices.

EA’s disappointing release of Battlefront 2 resulted in 3.1 billion dollars of stock value gone. The community is a large reason why it happened

Growing and expanding your community is a future goal that most people look forward to. It allows the community to grow even more and allows for a wider range of ideas from going outside the target interest to even creating live events to becoming a company. There are many success stories of companies and communities doing these things.

Esports is a growing trend amongst youth and university students,

For example, many universities across North America have been creating varsity level Esports teams and clubs across campuses. Scholarships and other programs are now being offered for playing video games at a high level. This started as a simple idea. For example, the University of Toronto had a Facebook page for all of their students who enjoyed playing video games. It slowly kept on growing and other universities did the same. As popularity of these groups became more popular, they expanded and reached out to other universities about hosting friendly tournaments etc. Eventually over 30 universities signed up for the first tournament and this started what is now known as the University Esports League. Now there are over hundreds of universities, colleges and even high schools doing the same thing in North America. This all started as a small Facebook group talking about video games to a multi-million dollar investment.

UC Irvine’s Esports arena was built to cater the growing trend

All the examples listed showcase the large impact that a community can have and ways a company or leader can turn things around. Some of the most important steps are to keep a maintained focus on what the community enjoys and what they want out of being in a community. Making changes or doing things that will upset the community will lead to problems occurring and can go downhill. The most important step is making sure everyone in your community is doing well and truly caring for them.

– Benson Lam

 

 

How Diversification and Inclusion Effects Films

Social issues and many other problems change overtime. All of these changes can affect all aspects of the world. From policies, work ethic codes and much more. These changes can directly many parts of the media industry. Within the past 10 years, many films plan to make their films more inclusive and diverse to fit these social issues. From Marvel’s Black Panther having a large African American cast to Crazy Rich Asians displaying how Asian actors and film producers have what it takes. Many films now are breaking away from the norm and are trying to find ways to create film without causing controversy over social issues. Once films implement the changes, the fans do not always accept them.

Crazy Rich Asians featured a large Asian production team and cast which attracted international attention

Many issues that have been a problem within the past century are slowly being brought to light through many forms of media. Some may argue that the real life depiction of these issues should be shown fully while some believe it is too harsh to show it and should be winded down a bit. The most recent example was the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody which has gone through criticisms of its showing of lead singer Freddie Mercury. Some critics wanted to have a no filtered biopic regarding the singer’s relationship as a bisexual and his struggle with AIDS. Former bandmates of Mercury made the decision to have the film as a tribute rather than a controversial discussion about Mercury’s life. Fans of the band have supported the decision of the band. The large majority are open to the idea of bringing light to these social issues that wouldn’t have been acceptable back then.

Freddie Mercury and Queen’s featured film covers issues that the band faced whilst climbing up the music charts at the same time!

Diversity is a word being used much more frequently in the current generation. Through the past decade it is believed that diversity and inclusion in films has increased over that time. This change was not decided upon but conformed upon. Society has always been changing and most things will change along with it. Calling for more inclusive and diverse films won’t really make a difference. It can be very obvious if a show or film just places something there just for the sake of diversity. That kind of change should come naturally as society evolves. The recent surge isn’t because directors and producers have been putting diversity into play but just because it should be there naturally. Thats how the public should react as well. Romesh Ranganathan from The Guardian said for example Black Panther, should not be remembered as a step for diversity and change – but should be remembered as a great blockbuster Marvel film.

Black Panther featured a large African American cast and production team. It is also one of Marvel’s highest grossing films

There are various points to the argument on how the film industry is changing based on these social issues. USC Annenberg released a paper showing the “change” in film based on cultural and gender representation. The document shows that no or very little progress has been made in diversifying the film industry. For example, the information they gathered show that close to 70% of all actors in films are caucasian. The 30% remaining are groups such as asian, african american or latino. These numbers haven’t changed too much in the past decade. Another statistic claims that women only make around 30% of the film industry workforce. The same Annenberg paper showed that there was only 1 female music composer in over 1,400 productions. All these statistics are a lot to take in. It does show that change is required if we want to make the film industry equal. These changes will be hard to implement and there is no clear solution. All these statistics will change a little bit due to new films being released which showcase more diversity and inclusion. The only thing we can hope for is these changes will happen naturally and the rest of the world will conform to it.

Infographics included in the USC Annenberg paper  (http://assets.uscannenberg.org/docs/inequality-in-1100-popular-films.pdf)

Overall change is something we need to acknowledge but not overdo. These social issues involving diversity and inclusion should come naturally and not be forced. It’s good that people are pushing for that change but that change shouldn’t come forced. As we keep seeing new films and productions which include non majority characters, hopefully that will be the norm in the future where we don’t acknowledge those characters being there.

– Benson Lam

Toronto’s Rising Film Industry

Toronto has always been considered as a potential film location for many years in the industry. Recently big hits such as The Handmaid’s Tale, The Shape of Water and many other productions are taking place in Toronto. No wonder why Ontario has drawn over 2.9 billion dollars from the film industry.

Related image
(Pre-Edit Scene from The Shape of Water)

The film industry’s rapid growth started in the late 90s and slowly started building up into the 21st century. It has been continuously growing and has recently started speeding up. Award winning productions such as The Shape of Water are all to thank for. This rapid growth has been noticed as many new productions are starting in Toronto. Shows such as Star Trek, Suits, The Expanse and many more are continuing production in the city.

 

So why is Toronto growing in popularity in the industry?

Toronto has a wide range of areas both inside and outside of the city. From dense urban environments to quiet and forested areas up north. This allows filmmakers to have a variety of environments around them without travelling around too much. For example, the popular horror movie IT was filmed in Northern Ontario which featured small town vibes.

Another reason why filmmakers are taking an interest in Toronto is because of it’s cheaper prices and similarities to other cities. For example, a scene in Suicide Squad was set to take place in New York City at night. Instead filmmakers took the streets of Toronto as it had similarities and would cost less than closing down a street in New York City. Many productions use Toronto as an alternative to other cities such as New York City, Chicago, Atlanta etc.  If you want a large city landscape mixed in with a water front, a dense isolated forest or even a mountainous wilderness – Toronto and Ontario has it all.

Image result for toronto wilderness Related image

 

How much has Toronto prospered from the industry?

Ontario has generated almost 3 billion dollars from the film industry as of March 2017. That number has grown since then to approximately almost 4 billion dollars. British Columbia is also experiencing the same surge as major films such as Deadpool 2 and War for the Planet of the Apes is also increasing the B.C popularity. The Canadian growth in the film industry is a large benefit to the country and the cities involved. Toronto has been constantly been progressing in the industry, new additions to the film sector allowed new areas to be built and renovated.

Cinespace Film Studios’ new Marine Terminal Studio project will add 165,000 square feet of studio and support space to Toronto’s film industry infrastructure right on Toronto’s waterfront – on the edge of the City’s Port Lands in the heart of the City’s studio district. (CNW Group/Cinespace Film Studios Inc.)
Cinespace’s New Facility

The renovations and new additions to the industry in Toronto have already been seen in the past years. Cinespace is a good example as they are a large force in the film industry involving Canada. Cinespace opened a production studio this year at the Marine Terminal 51 which is a 165,000 square feet studio space. The large space is used for various productions and has been used by many producers in the past. The studio expanded the film sector and allows better transportation and co-ordination in the productions. The new space is a sign of growing industry, Toronto will continuously prosper from the industry and hopefully it keeps rising.

Whats next for Toronto?

CBS is now opening a large 260,000 square feet facility outside of Toronto. It will act as a centre for film and tv production. This move is costing millions of dollars and will help CBS and Toronto prosper as CBS already has many things in production. Some hope that other major networks will make the move in a growing location.

 

Producers Frank Siracusa, left, and John Weber will manage CBS’s new studio in Mississauga.
CBS Producers, Frank Siracusa and John Weber 

A good effect from the large amounts of productions is what the city benefits from. Many shoots do take place in locations such as the port lands and other largely used locations. The city and the film board bring ideas for reconstruction or renovation for those areas. In time, that means we can see the locations being cleaned up and “big screen” ready. As the film industry grows in Toronto, we should see a large influx of remodelling and construction of new areas.

Conclusion

Toronto has been growing a multi billion dollar film industry and that number will keep rising. The number of current and future productions will increase with companies such as CBS and Cinespace growing facilities in the GTA. Hopefully Toronto maintains their ground and advancements on the film industry as it is a strong economic power for Toronto. Maybe the next time you are in the cinema, you might see a Toronto landmark – with the amount of productions happening right now, there is a high chance you will.

– Benson Lam

 

Ray Tracing Reinvented for New Generation of Video

August featured the reveal of Nvidia’s new line up of graphic cards. They revealed their 2000 series with large upgrades to their 1000 series previously released in 2016. In addition to faster clock speeds, GDDR6 VRAM and a larger amount of CUDA cores – Nvidia has branded their new flagship from GTX to RTX featuring the latest real time ray tracing technology.

What is ray tracing?

Ray tracing is a method of rendering which produces a realistic and completely computer generated light effect. Ray tracing is used by film makers and producers through the industry. Ray tracing combined with the vast improvements of CGI and other graphical technology will make films and other productions look fully realistic.

This video released to demo their real time ray tracing shows the impressive abilities and features that can be used in the industry.

Ray tracing technology has been around for sometime in the film industry and has been in large usage due to the large amount of CGI used in recent films. So why is ray tracing such a surprise to the industry?

How will Ray Tracing cards affect the industry?

Ray tracing in the industry has been mainly done through expensive CPUs and other large server systems. Many companies can spend hours rendering each frame using ray tracing. The addition of the market being diversified by the new tech, we can expect companies to increase productivity and have larger access to these cards. Smaller production companies can now produce CG based films and other projects much more easier than before. Many game developers and small time studios can have better results with the real time ray tracing and can push the limit of what they can do.

How will ray tracing impact the average consumer?

The addition of these new graphics cards affects mainly the industry as it allows developers and producers to utilize a strong graphics cards with real time ray tracing. If you are not into a developing or producing, the card’s strong performance will increase speeds, improve texture quality and even use ray tracing in programs or games you might use. Many game developers have already begun integrating real time ray tracing into many upcoming and trending games.

Below are examples of Battlefield V an upcoming game using real time ray tracing technology.

Should people still get the newly released cards?

The Nvidia RTX cards are the top of the class as of right now for both having real time ray tracing accessible and strong gaming potential.  Real time ray tracing is still a new technology being reinvented but gameplay and recent renders from the new RTX cards shows a lot of potential. AMD has been rumoured of making their new GPUs with ray tracing technology and NVIDIA has the trend of releasing improved cards a year later of release. If you are planning to get a ray tracing card, it would be best to wait out for AMD’s release and other potential upgrades. If you want to wait till the prices are lower, you may have to wait over 5 years for it to become the norm in graphics cards.

So when will real time ray tracing be accessible?

The RTX cards have released on September 20th of 2018 with AMD coming out with their own rumoured around 2019. The market for RTX has opened up dramatically with these releases. Don’t get your hopes up too quick. Ray tracing is still a high end technology. The RTX cards will cost between 800 CAD to 1500 CAD depending on the model. NVIDIA explained that the Star Wars render shown was run on 4 high end GPUs that costed 60,000 dollars USD. The price difference will obviously result in a downgrade in quality but given the upcoming years the prices will go down – all thanks to the start of the competitive market between AMD and Intel for both GPUs and CPUs.

 

US Prices for the RTX cards

 

What is the final verdict on the new the new ray tracing cards?

The new ray tracing cards are a sign of rising technology being more advanced and more accessible to the consumers. Many can be put away due to high prices but due to a competitive market, prices are actually decreasing. A high price results in realistic graphics and high performance in games, fast video related tasks such as rendering and the ability to use real time ray tracing technology. The new cards give us a glimpse of what to see in the future as ray tracing and even faster tech will be available for consumers and for those in the industry. The large rise in growing technologies is giving tech companies competition to see how will grow more successful.

– Benson Lam

100w LED Studio Flood Light with 18x Fresnel Spot Lens

The 100w LED studio flood light with 18x fresnel spot lens is an effective tool in providing both film and photographic solutions. This light gives you full control over its brightness level, flood and spot focus through its digital control panel and adjustable (rotating) lens. This light also comes with a diffusion dome to produce a broader flood light effect. It is power efficient, with a power consumption rate of a 100 watt, and it emits a colour temperature of 56ook daylight. This Light can be mount on any Bowens’ mount and works with Bowen’s accessories. You also get free shipping on this item anywhere in Canada.

 

Nanguang Canada LED Flex Panel Kit

Flex LED’s are arguably the most versatile and durable lights on any set in today’s ever evolving age of filmmaking. Having the flexibility (no pun intended) to place these small but powerful light sources virtually anywhere, is such an amazing asset to have. With our Nanguang Canada LED Flex Panel Kit, you’ll be getting an amazing quality light, that’s long lasting, powerful, versatile, and unbelievably portable.

Inside of the carrying case, you’ll find: 2 Bi-Colour LED Panels, 2 Frames, 2 diffusion sheets, 2 black backing sheets, 1 ballast with v mount battery adapter, 1 AC power cable, ,1 NP series adapter, and a light stand. This incredible deal is a no brainer if you’re in the market for a flexible bi-colour LED panel kit.

The lights are incredibly powerful, and have a great output. At a reasonable power consumption of about 57.6 watts, having the ability to run off a battery for a decent amount of time, is definitely a nice luxury to have. A CRI value of 95 will ensure that the quality of light is sufficient for all types of shoots, and scenarios. The diffusion sheets and ability to dim really give you a great soft light option. Also, it’s worth pointing out that the lights are waterproof, so if you’re someone who’d be working in those conditions, that is good news for you.

For a complete overview of our Nanguang Canada LED Flex Panel Kit, please check out the video below!!

Nanguang Canada – 2 Bi-Colour LED Flex Panel Kit

 

 

Quick and Easy Lighting – The Ring Light

ring light diva stellar nova super nebula ledgo big city ringlight

 

Do you know little to nothing about lighting, and are looking for a fast and simple way to get the perfect look? If this is you, then a Ring Light may be just what you’ve been looking for. Here are a few reasons why..

 

1. ONE AND DONE

There are several different types of Ring Lights. They come in different sizes, but all the same shape. The most practical use for a Ring Light would be to light the face of a subject. Whether its for Film or for Photography, a Ring Light is easily one of the quickest and efficient ways to light a subjects face, without the use of multiple lights. This is due to the fact that a Ring Light is able to produce an incredibly uniform light, creating even shadows, and lights all sides of the subject. Just plug in, and enjoy!

Ringlight photo by Clint Adam Smyth, the master of light and lighting

2. THESE EYES 

Ring Lights have a great reputation for being able to create a beautiful eye reflecting effect. With other lights, it is often difficult to capture the detail of a subjects eyes. With the Ring Light, you are able to shoot right through the centre of it, which makes it incredibly easy to capture the detail in someones eyes.

Ringlight photo by Clint Adam Smyth, the master of light and lighting

 

3. RAISING YOUR VLOG GAME 

Due to its practicality, simplicity, and versatility, a Ring Light is the favoured lighting choice for most of the internet’s most famous vloggers and content creators. YouTubers who specialize in makeup, and beauty care will often use a Ring Light for its ability to bring out the details in the subjects face.

Ultimate Diva Ringlight Light by Big City Lights based in Toronto, Canada

 

4.  FILL’ING IT UP 

If you already have a decent lighting setup that you’re content with, adding a Ring Light to the mix will take it to the next level. The Ring Light can also be used as a fill light that can be used to cancel out unwanted shadows, and will provide a softer look.

Fluorescent Ringlight in Canada for Film and Photography. Great for Make-up!

 

5. WE GOT WHAT YOU NEED 

Ring Lights can often be difficult to come across at your ordinary retail shop, but here at Big City Lights, we offer a wide selection of Ring Lights for great prices!! You can check them out HERE, or visit us in STORE and see them for yourself!