The annual film industry trade show, held June 1-3 at the Los Angeles Civic Center, was looking a little thin this year. The ranks of companies showing their wares have fallen off and, indeed, a great deal of the conversation on the show floor had to do with how southern California has lost much of its film business to Vancouver, Toronto, and other venues. Factors behind this include the ramping up of production last year in anticipation of strikes, and the industry malaise post-9/11. Still, as one exhibitor said to me, the show is attended by a higher concentration of film professionals than any other, so it continues to survive.
There was also some news:
B&M marks the return of Bardwell and McAllister, a venerable film industry lighting company that fell on hard times.
Bogen showed Manfrotto® professional video supports for all camera weights and the Avenger Safecrank, billed as the safest, easiest crank in the world.
Chimera introduced the Plus One Lightbanks, which retain the features of the Pro series with added flexibility of a removable screen, and the 24x32 Kit, billed as the most complete kit possible, with a new Plus Lightbank, with a Mogul socket ring, long-lasting 500W bulb, Manfrotto stand, and 40º fabric light grid.
Cinemills introduced the 200W HMI MiniBullet, which, the company says, provides excellent foot-candle output through an improved parabolic reflector.
The LA-based company The D.A.'s Office is now handling Formatt Filters, a UK-based gel company.
New from Dazian Fabrics is Milano Velvet, made of 100% polyester, and which is permanently flame-resistant and washable.
Focal Press had a number of new volumes on hand, including Digital Compositing for Film and Video by Steve Wright, Portable Video, Eng and EFT, Fourth Edition, by Norman J. Medoff and Tom Tanquary; Shooting Digital Video by Jon Fauer, ASC; and Cinematography by Blain Brown.
GAM Products has made a new arrangement with Fisher Light to distribute some of its film lighting products for rentals in North America, Paris, and Japan, and with the company AFM Lighting for the United Kingdom, South Africa, and the Czech Republic. New from GAM Products are the Toplight™ high-output projected soft light for overhead sky light onstage or tabletop work, and the Maxilight™ softbox, with double the light output and half the depth.
K5600® Lighting showed BlackJack 400, a very small, clean fresnel unit capable of very wide, yet controllable, beam patterns.
Kino Flo showed the Kamio® ring light and the ParaBeam® studio fixture; the latter has optics that compress the focal range of the light wave to produce a broad soft source along the horizontal axis and a narrow beam on the vertical axis; the 24"x24" ParaBeam can light a four-person news desk from approximately 15' away.
LTM showed the Cinespace 400W, a modular fixture that can be used as a traditional HMI PAR light source or, with a twist of the wrist, can be modified into a 360º fill light with a frosted globe covering the lamp. It can also become a chinese lantern.
Mole-Richardson showed its full range of products, including the DigiMole® lighting kit. The company also sponsored Moleapalooza, a festive two-day event at its Hollywood headquarters, featuring product demos, speakers, food, music, raffles, and the premiere of a new documentary about the company's history.
Power 56 is a new company that distributes film lights and made its debut at the show. Its two products, the Alpha 4K and Alpha 18K, should be out some time this summer.
New from Power Gems is a low-cost 2kW portable xenon ballast, suitable for leading brands of xenon 2kW followspot luminaires.