Jody Eldred Calls Area 48 "Light Years Ahead"

If you´ve been working in Hollywood during the past 32 years, you might know Jody Eldred.

He´s an award winning director and DP, and his long list of credits include NCIS and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

During his career Jody has been using many different lighting fixtures. Now he´s stumbled across the Area 48, and here is what he has to say about that:

 

"I can't remember the last time I used my tungsten lights.

There's nothing wrong with them-- I have a terrific kit of Arri fresnels. I just have better choices... instruments that:
  • generate no heat,
  • have very low power draw,
  • and don't require gels to adjust color temperature.
I was an early adopter of Kino Flos and Litepanels, and I still use them.
As technology has advanced (and sped up) I've shifted gears and use LED lighting almost exclusively now, both panels and fresnels.

But after using the BBS remote phosphor Area 48, there's a new sheriff in town.

lit with Area 48

(This picture is from an in-house corporate video and 1 Area 48 is being used)

 

I'm not bailing on my beloved 1x1's. They are a great tool, and as I've stated hundreds of times, no one tool is perfect for everything.

But there are tools that are Swiss Army knives, and those are the ones in my toolbox that get used the most. The Area 48 is now one of those.

  • It's much smaller and lighter than my Diva 400 but has much, much more punch.
  • It has a far greater throw than any LED panel light I've ever seen, as one would expect from remote phosphor technology.
  • Beyond that impressive feature, it creates beautiful, creamy light from a large single source-- that entire phosphor panel -- which cannot be duplicated by mere LEDs, even with diffusion. 

 

 

It's pretty amazing actually. I was ready to use the provided SnapBag or DoPchoice Softbox diffusion in the series of interviews I was shooting, but it looked so great as-is I chose not to.

My client and I both loved the look of the large, naturally-soft source of the phosphor panel.

 

Another surprise was its output.

I shot an interview with a bright, day-lit background dimmed down to 53%, with the Area 48 about 9-10 feet from my subject.

In another location I dimmed it way down to 30% (and of course, no color shift.)

The Area 48 seems to have similar output to a 400 or maybe even an 800 HMI, yet draws only 122 watts at full power.

I can easily run it off of one of my Anton/Bauer gold mount batteries.

 

After shooting for 40 years it's not that often I get very excited about new technology in cameras or lights... it's usually a gradual evolution.

But the BBS Area 48 is a giant leap forward-- dare I say "light years" ahead

(pun intended.) I now fully understand why the latest Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the latest Alien film used hundreds of Area 48s.

I see why my friends who shoot for 60 Minutes and 20/20 and Good Morning America are using them.

It's a terrific, multifaceted tool to have in your toolbox. I now have it in mine.

Highly recommended."

 

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Jody Eldred

Jody Eldred is a, Emmy-winning, DGA award-nominated director, DP/cameraman, and writer.

His 32 years in Hollywood include credits on JAG, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, PBS Frontline, ABC World News Tonight20/20, Good Morning America, 48 Hours, Dateline NBC, The Tonight Show with Jay LenoOprah, feature films, and hundreds of documentaries and specials.

He is the founding member of Sony's elite "ICE Team", as well as a primary tester for the Blackmagic 4.6K URSA Mini cinema camera.


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