Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Lighting in 2021: Orbiter, SkyPanel, Daylight, Tungsten, trends, and new solutions


For MACCAM, based in Los Angeles, California, catering specifically to gaffers, COVID-19 has been a roller coaster. In March, we had to scale down because we didn't know what the future would hold, says Michael McDonald, Maccam's President. But thankfully in June, commercials started to pick up for us, and by Q4, business was back to its pre-COVID numbers; 2021 is shaping up to be even better.

Orbiter at On Our Way indie film set. DP Alex Salahi

The latest ARRI fixture, Orbiter, drove demand for lights at the end of 2020. Everyone was chomping at the bit, says McDonald. My customers absolutely love the color science and the technology that a small matrix of LEDs opens up; it offers so many optic solutions. He continues, we'd love to see smaller and bigger optics sizes adding that his customers are especially looking forward to more accessories like the Projection optics.

Even though the demand for LED sources is booming, HMI and Tungsten-especially the larger units, like ARRI's M40 and T12, remain essential. HMIs and large Tungsten won't go away any time soon, assures McDonald.

The gaffers his company supports, all of whom are involved in top studio projects, are looking for versatile fixtures that can replace two or more units from their trucks as they scale to five tons and sprinters. If you can get a fixture like the Orbiter that can lower your footprint, that's ergonomic. When asked what trends he might see for 2021, McDonald comments, The biggest trends for new fixtures coming to the market are harder light and more optics-and our customers are delighted. New fun and creative projects will be coming soon!

At Pacific Backlot, a subsidiary of Vancouver Film Studios, General Manager Derek Hall reports his company serves the many clients that come through the studios' 12 stages, facilitating lighting and grip needs. Last March, when COVID-19 hit, production came to a halt at

Vancouver Film Studios and Pacific Backlot. During that period, we used the time to improve the facilities, Hall remembers. In October, productions came roaring back. We're a 40-show town, he says, referring to Vancouver. He continues: In October, 60 productions started up. We had more work the last three months of the year than we've ever had. With the number of simultaneous productions, the demand for lights was quite high. I brought in gear from other places to help facilitate the needs of our customers. Hall also notes changes in the lighting world: The demand for LEDs is growing year by year. It's not a trend anymore-it's becoming the norm.

At Pacific Backlot, Hall reports that they have purchased ARRI LED and Tungsten fixtures over the years to meet the lighting needs on Vancouver Film Studios' stages. This year, we diversified, he says. We want to be able to serve our customers off the lot, when they go on location. To do that, we additionally purchased a lot of HMIs last year and this year and we'll be purchasing more. Another fixture that will go out on location is the ARRI Orbiter. It's a versatile light, says Hall. One of the main features we all want is the Leko adapter. With that, we see it as an LED joker light.

ARRI HMIs at Pacific Backlot

With the growing popularity of LEDs, Hall sees Tungsten lights as dying dinosaurs. Three years ago, they were a no-brainer, he says. That's changed. But Tungsten will always be needed, especially the bigger fixtures-just not in the same quantities.

Today, all 12 operating stages at Vancouver Film Studios are full of productions from Apple, Warner Bros., and Freeform Disney. Hall predicts that productions will continue to follow COVID-19 safety protocols. But it isn't a big hassle anymore, he says. There was a learning curve and the productions have it dialed in now. It's not going to stop anything in Vancouver.

Social distance video production setup in an office building

According to General Manager Michel Suissa, The Studio at B&H largely serves institutional, non-traditional productions, from a wide range of sectors. Everyone is bringing production inhouse, from internal communications to training the sales force, he comments. Non-traditional spaces are being turned into studios, like transforming a conference room into an insert stage. With regard to lighting, anything that enables remote control is big. We've seen new markets emerge in ways we haven't seen in the past because the opportunity and the need were presented to these communities due to the pandemic.

Production Sales Engineer Danielo Garcia reports that at the beginning of 2020, some projects went cold, but B&H was able to continue to work remotely: After the first dip, dormant projects came back on and new projects we weren't expecting came online. We needed more equipment and more locations to make things happen, and that drove a boom in lighting. Suissa reveals that virtual production has been a new development in the industry-and it calls for LED lighting. It's a good alternative to green screen and it means that lighting on set becomes more sophisticated, he says. It's been driving a renewed request for lighting in general.

Lighting design for multi-location livestream with remote lighting control via Cine Miranda, lighting rental provided by Kinetic Lighting. Photo credit: Lighting Designer Andrew Schmedake

In terms of trends in lighting, both Suissa and Garcia say that LED is the flavor. That's where everyone wants to go, says Garcia. There's still going to be a need for HMI, but people are gravitating to the ARRI SkyPanel and Orbiter. Suissa says that customer feedback on the Orbiter is slowly coming to us-It's still relatively new, he adds. Lots of people are still figuring out what applications it's best for. It&
See more stories from arri

Most recent headlines


When seeing becomes understanding: The centrality of metadata in the management of media assets

The ability to generate thoughts and build relationships within the stream of co...


MRC: Nielsen Understated TV Numbers for February 2021

NEW YORK-Nielsen's TV viewership numbers were understated for February 2021, this according to an analysis of its procedures by the Media Rating Council'...


NAB to FCC: Long Past Time' to Decide on Final White Space Rules

WASHINGTON-The National Association of Broadcasters is urging the FCC to stop dithering and make a final decision on its proposal to use a terrain-based model t...


AIMS TechFest 2021 Opens Registration

BOTHWELL, Wash.-The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) has opened registration for the AIMS TechFest 2021 Presents: IP Showcase, a free, live virtual event ...


Minow Assesses the State of TV 60 Years After Vast Wasteland' Remarks

WASHINGTON-On May 9, 1961, then newly appointed FCC Chairman Newton Minow called television a vast wasteland, criticizing the medium for its violence, inanity...


IBC Opens Submissions for IBC 2021 Innovation Awards

LONDON-As IBC 2021 eyes a return to an in-person conference, the annual IBC Innovation Awards are ramping up, with the official call for entries now open. Submi...


Verbit Acquires Vitac Captioning Provider

NEW YORK-Verbit, an AI-powered transcription platform, has announced its acquisition of Vitac, a provider of captioning products and solutions....


Grass Valley Supplies LiveTouch Replay System to Studio Berlin

MONTREAL-Grass Valley's LiveTouch replay and highlights system has been added to Studio Berlin's live production workflow as part of a recent upgrade. S...


Megan Clappe Is Named an SBE Fellow

Congratulations to Megan Clappe, who has just been raised to the cherished membership rank of Fellow by the Society of Broadcast Engineers....


Cooke S7/i Lenses the Pick for Netflix's Below Zero'

LEICESTER, U.K.-Netflix's recent Spanish-language action thriller Below Zero was shot using Cooke S7/i full frame lenses, the choice of cinematographer Is...


NAB's Smith Looks Toward Brighter Broadcast Future With Help of New Policies

WASHINGTON-The world is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel of the Covid-19 pandemic, and on the other side is a brighter, better future for b...


Bruno Henriquet Appointed to Lead Warner Bros. International TV Production France

Bruno Henriquet Appointed to Lead Warner Bros. International TV Production Franc...


Magyar Telekom results for the first quarter of 2021

Magyar Telekom results for the first quarter of 2021 Budapest, May 11, 2021 17:30 Magyar Telekom today reported its consolidated financial results for the ...


SVG SportsTech On Demand: Supponor's Steve Plunkett on Adding Analytics Value to Live Virtual Advertising

SVG SportsTech On Demand: Supponor's Steve Plunkett on Adding Analytics Valu...


SVG SportsTech On Demand: RT Software's Luke Harrison Breaks Down the Modular Approach to Graphics Production

SVG SportsTech On Demand: RT Software's Luke Harrison Breaks Down the Modula...


SVG SportsTech On Demand: Fastly's Zac Shenker on Content Security and Supporting Streaming of the Super Bowl

SVG SportsTech On Demand: Fastly's Zac Shenker on Content Security and Suppo...


SVG SportsTech On Demand: TVU Networks' Jared Timmins on Responding to Remote Needs in Sports

SVG SportsTech On Demand: TVU Networks' Jared Timmins on Responding to Remot...


SailGP Returns for a Second Season With the Ultimate Remote Production' Setup

SailGP returns for a second season with the ultimate remote production' set...


NBA Virtual-Reality Broadcasts on Oculus Fueled By Fully Cloud-based Decentralized Workflow

NBA Virtual-Reality Broadcasts on Oculus Fueled By Fully Cloud-based Decentraliz...


Sundance Institute Names 20 Fellows Across Feature Film Directors and Screenwriters Labs, Native Lab

PARK CITY, UTAH - The Sundance Institute today named the artists and projects se...


SNS Releases New ShareBrowser Media Asset Management Software

St. Louis, MO-May 11, 2021-Studio Network Solutions (SNS), the world leader in workflow storage servers for professional media teams, today announced that the l...


Spotify: For the Record' Explores the Art-and Science-of Lullabies

What is it about a lullaby that gently nudges a fussy newborn or rambunctious toddler into a slumber? On the latest episode of our podcast, Spotify: For the Rec...


Kayo Chingonyi Decodes Black' from Dave's Brit Award-Winning Album PSYCHODRAMA'

For the past several years, Spotify Original podcast DISSECT has delved deep int...


Sony Expands Functionality of Camera Remote SDK and Increases Range of Compatible Models

Alpha 1 and RX0 II added to list of compatible Sony's cameras Latest versio...


Award-winning actress Noomi Rapace and renowned actor Nicholas Pinnock join the cast of Django

A CANAL+ cr ation originale and Sky original TV series starring Matthias Schoena...


Riverdance: The Animated Adventure, a Sky Original is coming exclusively to Sky Cinema and NOW on 28 May 2021

If you were swept away by the phenomenon that is celebrated by millions globally...


Joe Marler stars in Sky Sports documentary exploring the matter of Mental Health

Big Boys Don't Cry follows the England Rugby forward as he discusses his own struggles and learns new methods of managing mental wellbeing. Sky Sports has ...


RT and Virgin Media in deal over Six Nations Rugby

Six Nations Rugby today confirmed that it has commenced joint long form contract discussions with broadcasters Virgin Media Television and RT having agreed a j...


RT continues proud support of School Digital Champion Programme

#digitalchamps RT is proud to continue its support of the School Digital Champion Programme which culminates in the annual showcase (virtual) event this Wedne...


Create in Record Time with New NVIDIA Studio Laptops from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Gigabyte, MSI and Razer

New NVIDIA Studio laptops from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Gigabyte, MSI and Razer were an...


Keeping Games up to Date in the Cloud

GeForce NOW ensures your favorite games are automatically up to date, avoiding game updates and patches. Simply login, click PLAY, and enjoy an optimal cloud ga...


CircleCI Reaches $1.7 Billion Valuation with $100 Million in New Financing

Greenspring Associates leads Series F financial round as demand for the leading CI/CD provider explodes, topping 2.5 million jobs processed per day San Francis...


Lauren Lyle to star as Karen Pirie in ITV cold case murder drama Karen Pirie

Lauren Lyle to star as Karen Pirie in ITV cold case murder drama, Karen Pirie Lauren Lyle to star as Karen Pirie in ITV cold case murder drama, based on acclai...


Grass Valley s LiveTouch Helps Studio Berlin Ramp Up Replay Capability

MONTREAL, May 11, 2021 - Grass Valley announces that its LiveTouch replay and highlights system will become a key element of Studio Berlins upgraded live produc...



Press release - 11 May 2021 17:47 THIRD QUARTER AND NINE-MONTH 2020-21 REVENUES Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Download as PDF Full Year revenue objective u...



Solutions Combine DPAs Renowned 5mm Capsules With Award-winning 6066 Design. DPA Microphones announces the 4466 CORE Omnidirectional and 4488 CORE Directional ...



MY Date Released:07 May 2021 Share Tweet 7 2021 1 GFK RAM 94% 2060 28 2 ...



Apple helps keep the App Store a safe and trusted place for users to discover apps by detecting and taking action against fraudulent developers and users....


Ross Video Receives Official Designation as a Canadian Compassionate Company (CCC)

Ottawa, Canada, May 11th, 2021 Ross Video is an Ottawa-based technology compan...


Ross Launches Ultrix Carbonite - The Mid-Size Hyper-Converged Production Platform

Ottawa, Canada, May 11th 2021 - In February of this year Ross announced the laun...


Excitement surrounds Durham Bulls home opener

The Bulls face the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp at 6:35. The Durham Bulls will play a game at their home field on Tuesday, and it's not your average opening n...


Boomers Back: Chris Berman Signs Extension With ESPN

Chris Berman, who joined ESPN a month after it launched in 1979, has signed a new multi-year deal with the sports TV giant....


TV By the Numbers: NBA Basketball Scores for Watch-Time

This is a quick snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of May 3-9, revealing the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Vizios Inscape,...


Team Whistle Names Matt Koenig VP, Programming and Monetization

Team Whistle named Matt Koenig VP of programming and monetization for WhistleTV....


NBCU's Linda Yaccarino Calls Trust Key to Growth

Trust matters, said Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal's global chairman for advertising and partnerships, in an opinion piece posted Tuesday on the NBCU Togethe...


Evergent Platform To Support AWS For Media & Entertainment Initiative

Evergent said its revenue and user management platform will support the Amazon Web Services for Media & Entertainment initiative....


How Nielsen Undercount Revelations Will Affect The Upfront

Networks and distributors represented by the VAB want more information about how much undercounting of viewers happened at Nielsen during the COVID-19 pandemic ...