One of the cool things about the Inner Circle is that it’s not just education, it’s education through creation. On Into the Badlands we created a lot of cool things, and I’m going to share a little bit of that with you all now, and to get more, you’ll want to join the Inner Circle.
You may be wondering why I have this red oven mitt. Well, I’m going to show you. This is my DIY trash can fire effect. This rocked it out on Into the Badlands.
I’ve always loved fire light effects, but have always had a ton of flags around and bottomers and siders, and it was difficult to move with 3 or 4 lights at a time. With this DIY firelight effect, you move the whole unit. It has an arsenal of specific globes in it that you can angle in different directions and set to different wattages so you can configure this thing anyway you want.
Fire is an uneven source. By creating this trash can and putting it on 3 different circuits, the only thing you really have to rent is a Magic Gadgets.
Magic Gadgets is the secret of the cool effects of fire. I’ll talk you through that when we go through our night exterior where we are going to be mimicking the fire effect. You’ll really be able to see it in action.
I’m going to take you through how we built this baby.
It took our chop saw, a tape measure, a screw gun, some 1 inch wood screws, and a jigsaw.
What this is, is a small 20 gallon trash can. We’ve cut a hole out of it, so it’s about 2 of these slats from the center of the can, which is where the handle is. This allows all these lights to be shaped so they don’t fly everywhere.
You want to direct the fire light effect. You’re going to be in different situations and this contains it. As the light travels it spreads out. The bottom part of the cutout acts as a bottomer and the top acts as a topper. Once you cut this out with your metal blade on your jigsaw you want to tape over it with gaffer’s tape. The metal edge it very sharp. If you don’t tape over it you could cut yourself.
You can imagine when this baby is on for 45 minutes or so doing its magic and effects, this thing gets burning hot. Well, we’ve tried to set you up for success so that you don’t burn the living hell out of yourself.
Let’s open this baby up.
On the top is a circular piece of ¾” plywood. The top is kind of flimsy, so this makes it more sturdy and holds the whole thing together. When you shut the lid and move the whole unit it just makes it a much more stable device. The other thing you can do is affix some ceramic sockets on these and put a little 90 degree gooseneck to add some more lights if you want for some more intensity to your effect.
We were also able to add dowels to the handles. This allows you to pick up the light even when it’s hot because the wood does not get hot. You don’t necessarily need the oven mit. That’s only if you want to get really inventive with this. If you want to just stick to the handle itself, you’re going to need an oven mitt.
We took a vent for a hot water heater and stuck it onto the back of the trashcan. This holds all of our gels onto the unit for quicker access. We have ¼ CTS, ½ CTS and full CTS. Depending on what kind of fire you want and how warm you want it, you’re able to affix those.
The cool thing is – we used magnetic tape to hold the gels on. This is tape that is actually a magnet that attaches right to the side of the metal trash can. You place the gel over the hole, place the magnetic tape over it and you’re ready to rumble.
Let’s fire this thing up. It’s set up for three circuits. With the Magic Gadgets, you’re able to plug three different circuits in and put it on fire effect 2, which is the best one.
We turn the light on, and it’s not flickering or anything because we will be doing that later. You can see the beautiful array of floods and spots. We have a 500W flood down at the bottom. We have an 85W spot to the right, an 85W flood in the center and some 75W flood halogens to take the top of the fire. If you think about a fire it’s hot in the middle, and as the flames wick up they get a little more diffused and softer.
This whole idea is hot and hard and intense at the bottom and then a little gradual and not so bright at the top. That is my concept for creating fire. This holder works very well. You’re able to change out the gels very quickly and able to move it easily. Just panning it gives you the ability to control your light. Everything is about light control. Without this trash can you’d have all these little lights on c-stands that need to be moved around, making it fairly impractical.
On Into the Badlands I had 16 of these things around. In the Brig, as it was called, I had to create fire light. It was an old Civil War fort. The hallways went on forever. There were these beautiful brick arches. Each one had a torch in it. The torches looked really good on camera but they didn’t put out much light. So I had to augment those torches by placing these units out of frame that lit the walls and gave that beautiful fire light effect.
Let’s go inside here. I’ll strip off the magnetic tape holding on the gel. Inside are basically these ceramic sockets that we wired. These ceramic sockets are attached to ¼” plywood. There are little pieces that are glued together to offset them in order to make them angled out. You can see they’re not all straight out. They’re kind of angled because that’s what fire is like – it goes everywhere.
Now with this trash can it’s very contained, easy to move, and very easy to just get out of the edge of frame to create that fire effect.
To see this baby in action, join the Inner Circle because next week we’ll use it to illuminate a bonfire scene in the middle of a corral at night.
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