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Astera Lights used in biggest hits of 2023

Sep 5, 2023

Interview with gaffer Wayne Shields highlights the power of wire-free lighting setup

Astera – a leading developer of innovative light solutions for film and event markets – will be using IBC2023 (Booth 12.G44) to not only demonstrate their full range of LED-driven lights and accessories, but to highlight the creative potential these combined solutions have in real-world contexts. Visitors to the stand will be able to talk with the Astera team about the ways in which Astera lights have been deployed in recent productions, including seasons one and two of The Witcher, along with upcoming films Back in Action and Deadpool 3, and AppleTV’s Disclaimer.

Astera lighting products are actively championed by a range of highly respected gaffers and lighting technicians within the TV and film industry such as Wayne Shields, who worked with Astera products this year on the productions listed above. Both have praised the innovative ways in which they have been able to make use of Astera lights on set, and highlighted the creative flexibility embedded within the project range as a whole.

Speaking in a recent interview, gaffer Wayne Shields highlighted the fact that with up to twenty hours of built-in battery life – and the possibility to extend this with the addition of an Astera RuntimeExtender – lights such as the Titan Tube offer the possibility of a wire-free lighting setup, which significantly increases the creative potential of the lights, but – most crucially – frees up room on the set floor in order to maximise the space available to actors. Recognising this crucial interrelationship between practical logistics and creative potential, not just in terms of lighting but in relation to the performance of actors and other on-set workers, is a key aspect of Astera’s product philosophy, and proved crucial in facilitating the action scenes shot for Deadpool 3.

Shields also highlighted how this wireless functionality – combined with the fact that Astera lights run from a single unified control system – makes on-set workflows quicker, easier and more efficient. Titan Tubes, Hyperion Tubes and HydraPanel blocks were all combined on set during the filming of Disclaimer, with an unlimited number of lights capable of being controlled through a single tablet using the AsteraApp. Powered by the Titan LED engine, Shields was able to lay lights without having to spend time wiring, and then exercise complete, synchronised control of colour rendering, mixing and dimming curve. With a five-chip LED engine that contains RGB+mint+amber, the lights can achieve a 1,750 to 20,000 Kelvin range, and the AsteraApp allows users to maximise the creative deployment of this power whilst keeping workflows flexible and easy-to-manage.

It is not just the design of the control system but the lights themselves that Shields identified as the source of Astera’s real advantage. Speaking of the newly launched compact PlutoFresnel and larger LeoFresnel, Shields praised the physical lighting properties achieved by these new releases, saying:

“You get a certain quality of light from a tungsten lamp, so it’s about recreating that with a LED and avoiding it feeling electronic… When you put an incandescent bulb behind a Fresnel lens it creates a certain look because of the way the bulb shines through glass. The trick is trying to recreate that with LEDs”.

In achieving that recreation, Astera’s Pluto- and LeoFresnel provide all of the benefits of LEDs – including lower power draw, higher output strength, precise colour control, lightweight profile and full installation/application flexibility – whilst still providing lighting technicians with the specific creative qualities associated with Fresnel lighting, particularly in relation to portrait work and the replication of daylight settings.

Speaking for Astera, sales and marketing director Sebastian Bückle said: “We are proud of the fact that some of the best lighting professionals in the industry are happy to openly talk about their use of our products. Their expertise and creativity is what inspires us to create tools which match their needs. Hearing their on-set stories doesn’t just help our other customers to understand the full potential of the range – which we’ll be talking about further at IBC2023, but guides us in developing increasingly flexible solutions which combine logistical efficiency and robustness with technological innovation in order to maximise the creative applications that are possible”.

More information about Astera and its products is available at https://astera-led.com/.

 

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