Litepanels: A Creative and Speedy Essential for St. Onge on Shameless


Last Updated: May 8, 2013 4:56 pm GMT
(Van Nuys, California--May 8, 2013) For gaffer David St. Onge, the lighting challenge on the Showtime series Shameless is to have the sets 75% ready to shoot when the company moves in. “Then we need to keep the lighting setup time down around 15 to 20 minutes,” says St. Onge. “We shoot with two cameras and between them we cover 180 to 250 degrees of the set, on just about every setup,” he explains. “That means all the lighting has to be attached to ceilings and walls to keep it out of the shot. Litepanels is constantly reinventing itself and upgrading its products. They are key to our speed and creativity.

“The 1x1 Litepanels is quite useful on our sets, as I can attach a plate to the wall or ceiling, slap a V-block battery to the light, and I’m ready to go – all in two minutes or less,” he says. “I will often attach a Chimera for softening and a honeycomb for lighting control. These 1x1s are very versatile and now, with the color mixing capabilities of the newer models, I don’t have to put gels on to correct color, just turning a knob does it.”

St. Onge also finds the Sola ENG LED Fresnel light extremely useful, saying it is small and powerful with a built-in dimmer. “It has flood and spot capabilities and it’s about the size of a baseball, so you can hide it just about anywhere. They will run most of the day on one fully charged battery. I use V-block plates to power the lights. And I’ve had some plates made similar to baby nail-on plates, but instead of a spud I had nuts welded to accept Israeli arms and that gives me a full range of pan and tilt.”

For a recent car shot, St. Onge deployed the Sola ENG lights. “The camera was in the front passenger seat for a scene where Child Services collected all of the Gallagher kids,” he explains. “The kids plot to get away. To light the car, we put the ENG in as a liner for the person sitting behind the driver. And, because of the tint on the glass, we had to push this light to its limits. We then put a second ENG, with a soft adapter, between the driver and front passenger.”

For another sequence, some of the children help a friend retrieve his possessions after being thrown out of his house. “The handheld shot starts at the front door of the house and continues with someone jumping in the side door of a van,” he explains. A second camera shoots into the rear doors of the van. Again, the Sola ENG is lighting the driver for the rear camera as well as lighting the passenger behind the driver for the side door camera.”

With all his new lights, David St. Onge says he still uses his trusty MiniPlus, “the brick” as he calls it, that he bought for the award winning series, 24. “We used them in just about every shot,” he says. “And, today, I use a variety of Litepanels on practically every sequence I light on Shameless. I feel the ability to run these lights on batteries is key to lighting quickly but still keeping the look we like. I can’t wait to see what lights they come out with next!”

Shameless, the story of a highly dysfunctional family that, when put to the test, can come together and hurdle hardships, stars Oscar® nominated actor William H. Macy and airs on Showtime.

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

About Litepanels
Litepanels was founded in 2001 by 5 professional gaffers and engineers who saw the future and pioneered LED (light emitting diode) lighting for motion pictures, television and the audio-visual industry. Their Emmy® award-winning technology has now been used on thousands of productions worldwide and is trusted by the world’s leading broadcast organizations.

Backed by the Vitec Group’s legacy of 100+ years in the broadcast and production industry, Litepanels continues to expand its suite of flicker free, color accurate, fully-dimmable soft lights that talent and Lighting Directors admire. These environmentally friendly fixtures practically pay for themselves with power savings and long life, setting a new standard in professional lighting. Along with other leading brands in the broadcast and professional videographer industry, Litepanels is part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company. For more information on Litepanels, visit

About Vitec Videocom
Vitec Videocom brings together some of the most respected, most innovative and most sought-after brands in the industry: Anton/Bauer, Autoscript, Litepanels, OConnor, Petrol, Sachtler, Vinten and Vinten Radamec. It acts as an endorsing brand for these market-leading broadcast, film and pro video products, encouraging multi-brand system sales and simplifying the way that customers worldwide do business.

Vitec Videocom is an operating division within the Vitec Group, an international business serving customers in the broadcast, photographic and military aerospace and government markets. Vitec is based on strong, well known, premium brands on which its customers rely on worldwide.

Vitec Videocom - innovative products around the camera.


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