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Sidney Baucheron takes illumination to its apex with ARRI Lighting


Young gaffer with brilliant references, Sidney Baucheron followed in the footsteps of his father, Thierry Baucheron, from early on. After working in the film industry, at the age of 31, he produced the lighting installations for hundreds of the most complex commercials. He tells us about his job and his daily use of ARRI Lighting projectors on set.

In the motion picture business family , there are many of these sons and daughters trained on the job who have brought the profession to the apex. The Baucherons, father and son, are part of this family with a very high level of cinematographic achievement: Midnight in Paris and Magic in the Moonlight by Woody Allen, Amour by Michael Haneke, were all shot by Darius Khondji, who is known for his high lighting standards. My father has been a gaffer for 40 years; I grew up with him on the sets and at the rental companies, explains Sidney Baucheron, the son now in his thirties. After graduating from high school, I worked for several years with my father on feature films. I was able to quickly learn about the equipment and the basics of the business. He gave me responsibilities very quickly. At 22, I was already doing the pre-light on Magic in the Moonlight . Since then, I have been working mainly on advertising. The short format suits me better because I get bored quickly. I like projects that are real creative challenges, pushing the limits in terms of lighting. I love the pressure; the feeling of risk that advertising offers me. I also have other activities on the side. It leaves me a little time for myself.

Sidney Baucheron and his father, Thierry Baucheron

In terms of artistic challenge, the Saint Laurent fashion show on the Eiffel Tower was a high point for Sidney Baucheron. We had to create a light installation with 70 lampheads and suspend them above the second floor of the tower, at a height of 80 m, where a catwalk had been created. The technical constraints were very strong since we did not have permission to attach the truss to the structure of the Eiffel Tower and we only had a few hours at nightfall to set it up. With several specialized teams, we built this almost 7-ton, 30-meter-long installation over two days. At the last moment, around 11 p.m., we assembled it on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower with the largest crane in Europe that we were able to have on this site. All this with maximum safety. We shot the show all night with DP Nicolas Loir, before bringing the installation down in the early morning. It was maximum pressure.

Installation of the Saint Laurent fashion show on the Eiffel Tower

On these projects, the young gaffer worked closely with director Nathalie Canguilhem, who created the most creative fashion shows conceived by Anthony Vaccarello, Saint Laurent's artistic director: from the island of La Certosa in Venice to the Villa Majorelle in Marrakech, from the feet of an Icelandic glacier to the dunes of Maspalomas in the Canary Islands. They are superb projects, with a great creative dimension, says Sidney Baucheron. In Maspalomas, with my teams, we lit 600 m of dunes at night and created different types of effects. I proposed four light configurations to select the one that would work best on site. On this show, we used 50 ARRI SkyPanel, 4 ARRI Skypanel 360s and 100 LED PARs, to reinforce the light strip. I also tested light drones and lasers. In Iceland, with DP Khalid Mohtaseb, we had to book all the HMIs available on the island. We had installed three cherry pickers equipped with ARRIMAX 18Ks in order to give a direction of light in this black lava and gray sky setting. Usually, on this kind of shoot, I go out to scout three weeks beforehand, and I often have to take options on the lighting plan. The director of photography and I then work to adjust the set as needed.

We had installed three cherry pickers equipped with ARRIMAX 18Ks in order to give a direction of light in this black lava and gray sky setting. - Sidney Baucheron

In Maspalomas, with my teams, we lit 600 m of dunes at night and created different types of effects - Sidney Baucheron

Recently, Sidney Baucheron worked on a LOr al ad, with DP Adrien Bertolle. A beautiful project shot at the Palais dI na for which the brand brought in about twenty muses from several continents. With my team, we installed four ARRIMAX 18KW on the roof and eight ARRI M90 on gondolas, which gave directions for light from outside. In the hemicycle, we used 20 SkyPanel to light the space.

In his projects, the young gaffer uses ARRI Lighting products a lot. For HMIs, no manufacturer has a range as simple and effective as ARRI, says Sidney Baucheron. On shoots, I use a lot of the M-Series, which is very well thought out. The weight/power ratio is perfect. I still remember when this series came out, it was incredible. It offered the same performance as the old fixtures while consuming 30% less power. The arrival of the M90 has changed a lot of things in my job as a gaffer. It makes things so much easier for us in terms of electrical management.

Lighting installation for the Chanel fashion show with 200 SkyPanel S60 and 40 SkyPanel S360

ARRI SkyPanel are also one of the young gaffer's favorite tools. For a Chanel fashion show at the Grand Palais, he designed a lighting installation with 200 SkyPanel S60s and 40 SkyPanel S360s with lighting designer Arf & Yes and DP Beno t Delhomme. On a Dolce & Gabbana commercial, again with Beno t Delhomme, he used up to 90 SkyPanel S120 and S360, in top light and to light a large U-shaped cyclo. The SkyPanel is an incredible fixture in the studio. I use it in multiple configurations, both as a top light and for backgrounds or to create backlighting on large widths. There is nothing better as a LED light at the moment. I am regularly offered new products but each time none match the SkyPanel.
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