Fluke - Lights, camera, action!

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When a feature film or TV show comes on the screen, one element the audience rarely considers is the lighting. However, lighting is every bit as critical to the production as the camera. Behind the scenes of any show, lighting technicians blend art and science to make the magic appear.


Los Angeles is home to one of the largest concentrations of lighting technicians, most of whom are represented by Studio Electrical Lighting Technicians IATSE Local 728. Local 728 sets the standard for efficiency and safety on set and builds expertise among its membership. Each year Local 728 administers more than 50 skills training classes geared specifically to the electrical challenges of lighting for motion pictures and television and taught by top professionals in the industry.


The approximately 2,400 members of IATSE Local 728 design, install, and troubleshoot portable power systems, cabling layout, and dimming and distribution equipment on productions in a variety of situations and locations. They work with everything from high power ac and dc systems to Ethernet and RS-485 (DMX) controlled automated lights and dimmers.


The driving (and sometimes conflicting) forces guiding these technicians are safety, speed, and creativity - not necessarily in that order. Lighting can make or break a production; each hour of downtime costs tens of thousands of dollars. Nevertheless, lighting technicians must maintain electrical safety while constantly pushing the envelope to deliver ever more sophisticated effects. Meeting that challenge requires extensive knowledge, versatility, and nerves of steel. They are all contract workers and typically purchase and maintain their own tools. Needless to say they all have their own war stories. Keeping harmonics under control...



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