Litepanels Hilio Solves Challenges on Geography Club


Last Updated: August 14, 2012 6:38 pm GMT
(Van Nuys, California--August 14, 2012) While Litepanels® LEDs are an essential part of cinematographer Matthew Irving’s lighting toolkit on every project he shoots, the independent feature Geography Club posed some interesting challenges that required extra firepower. “Luckily, Litepanels had the perfect solution,” Irving says.

“We were going to be spending a whole day shooting some bike riding scenes on tree-lined residential streets,” he explains. “There would be all kinds of shots with our two leads having conversations while riding, stopping and starting their bikes at different points in the dialogue. I wanted to make sure we could travel up and down our various streets all day long without worrying about whether or not our characters’ faces were getting too shadowed by the trees. I needed a consistent fill light that would also put a nice ‘spark’ in their eyes, without the monetary and logistical costs of having a camera car with an onboard genny and a big HMI.”

On-set photographer Bill Youngblood. 1st AC Marcos Lopez(Left), and Camera Operator Dan Coplan using Litepanels Hilio on the set of Geography Club.

Enter gaffer Patrick Russo with the suggestion of Litepanels Hilio fixtures. Irving jumped at the idea. “The Hilio LEDs would be lightweight enough for my key grip Bobby Woo to rig onto a golf cart (which would be carrying my camera stabilizer operator Dan Coplan and 1st AC Marcos Lopez), and yet punchy enough to compete with the midday sun,” Irving explains. “And all this would be accomplished on battery power!”

Irving and team rigged two Hilio fixtures on speedrail, which could be swapped easily to either the right or left side of the golf cart, depending upon the actors’ eyeline. “The Hilios are also dimmable without any shift in color temperature, so we were able to control the amount of fill light when we found ourselves in deeper shadows,” he adds. “It worked spectacularly well. We were able to give director Gary Entin everything he wanted and I was pleased with the high production value we delivered.”

The Litepanels Hilios continued to come in handy for Irving throughout the rest of the shoot. “The battery-powered Hilio LED was the only fixture that could have given us splashes of sunlight where no genny could reach, when we were shooting hiking footage under a canopy of trees in Griffith Park. And, when we were making a company move to a ‘country road’ location in the dead of night, the Hilios were perfect for giving us pools of light in areas where we couldn’t afford to cable, given the limited crew size and our ambitious schedule.

“The Litepanels Hilio LEDs have joined the 1x1 Bi-Color and the MiniPlus as a must in my lighting kit. I will never do a shoot without them!”

Geography Club, a teen comedy based on Brent Hartinger’s young adult novel, was shot entirely on location in Los Angeles. In post now, the film is set for release later this year.

Matthew Irving has been the cinematographer on an eclectic slate of 24 feature films, including Fox Searchlight’s hit romantic comedy Waitress and the Lionsgate teen comedy Waiting.

For more information on Litepanels, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company, contact Litepanels, Inc., 16152 Saticoy Street, Van Nuys, CA 91406, Email:,


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