Vegas Sound Stage

The Importance of Lighting Control

Ask any true Gaffer, Director of Photography, Grip, or Photographer and they will tell you the absolute and unquestionable importance of quality lighting control. For, it's not just the quality of the lights, the camera, the lens, and the location, but the ability to control and create the perfect light for your scene that will make or break your shot.

Similar to really great captured audio, really great lighting may not be noticed by the common view, but bad audio/mediocre lighting will be! Anyone can pop up some LEDs or Fresnels, make a couple adjustments here and there, but to know how to diffuse/intensify the light, to bend it, shape it, warm or cool it to just the right temperature, that's what makes the difference. And, in order to become a Picasso or DiVinci or lighting, you'll need the right tools.

Starting with the right light fixture is of course the first step, after that, you'll need to make sure that you get the appropriate items to control the lights. Whether you'll need exterior dimmers, a flag set, 4x4 frames with diffusion or solid, gels, bounces, etc., we've got what you need.

Now, all this said, you should know when to say when... never let your friends over-adjust and drive... But, if you have time, make another change or two, just to see what it does to the scene; you never know when your masterpiece will be created!

For your next Las Vegas video production equipment rental or Sound Stage Booking, reach out to your buddies at F11 Rentals!

White Cyclorama

Aputure Space Lights now available!

We have invested in some really fantastic LED space lights for our studio and for rental! We placed four Aputure LS 600x Pro Lamps on our new Lighting Truss in our Cyclorama stage, and we have additional Aputure LS 600x Pros and a Aputure LS 300x available for rent. These space lights are amazing, they're RGBWW with a bunch of awesome effects, they draw a low amount of energy compared to traditional, non-LED space lights, and they run cool and quietly.  The space lights in the studio completely open up the entirety of our three-walled cyc for filming, and the additional lights really expand our creative offerings in regards to different styles of lights.

Along with the lamps themselves, we also invested in an Aputure Spotlight Mount Set with a 26-degree lens that can be used with the 600x and 300x, and a couple of F10 Fresnel attachements and barn doors for our additional 600x Pros. Again, this provides a broad range of tools that will really enhance your scene/production. If you would like more information, please visit our website for more information, and of course, rent some lamps from us and see what you can create!

As always, for the best Las Vegas Sound Stage and best Las Vegas video production rentals look no further than F11 Rentals!

C70 4Canon EOS C70 Cinema

Canon EOS C70 now available!

We have exciting news! We've acquired a few of Canon's new ESO C70 cameras. These cameras are absolutely wonderful, and we would love to tell you about them...

Canon wanted to provide the Cinema EOS quality camera in an EOS R size unit. Think of this camera as a C300 Mark III as a really big DSLR. The size of the camera provides great flexibility and range in how you can support the camera, whether that be by a lighter tripod than the Cinema EOS cameras, a smaller gimbal such as the Ronin RS 2, and smaller drones. Despite the smaller size, the performance, reliability and image quality is great!

Some features include a Super 35mm Dual Gain Output, (DGO) Sensor that is capable of over 16 stops of dynamic range. The DIG!C DV7 Image Processor that you would find in similar Cinema cameras enables up to 4K 120p High Frame Rate recording and Dual Pixel Autofocus. There is also a full 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10-stop internal ND filter system! Lastly for this post, just like in the Cinema cameras, the EOS C70 supports both Canon Log 2 and Canon Log 3 Gamma. The C70 also features HLG and PQ compliance with ITU-BT.2100 in "Custom Picture" presets, which allows you to record HDR footage instantly without grading.

We could go on and on, but we know that's not what you want. What you want is to get your hands on these wonderful cameras, and take them for a spin. SO! Drop us a line, let us know when your next Las Vegas video production is, and we'll get you set up with a great package to capture your cinematic magic!

Green Screen For Rent

Green Screen Stage in Las Vegas!

If you're already familiar with our awesome new three-walled cyclorama stage, then perhaps you know that it can be painted. That's right! Our 35'x36' stage can be painted... pretty much any color you want. While Chroma Green has been the most popular choice away from matte white, we have had a few other requests, and bookings with various colors. We've had requests for black, blue, and even light pink; we've booked a photo shoot with baby spinach, which ended up looking nice!

0FFAD4F1 9A48 45D2 AE94 F04902FA061E 1024x768Green Screen Stage in Las Vegas!
Baby Spinach

Once we have our awesome, motorized light grid up, as well as the lights, then, you can potentially paint the dang thing any color you want with light. Until then though, this is a great way to add some razzmatazz to your shoot. Also, depending on your project, you may not be able to bath the stage in light, you may need to paint it... but, you'll figure that out.

So, for your next Las Vegas video shoot or photo shoot, look no further than your good friends at F11 Rentals. We'll bring the paint rollers!

Haze scaledThe Benefits of a Haze Machine in Videos

The Benefits of a Haze Machine in Videos

A Haze Machine can be a very valuable tool for productions. Music Videos, Films, and Commercials are all examples of good times to add haze. Let's look at these examples more thoroughly.

Music Videos

First, Music Videos. Not every video or scene calls for the addition of haze, but a lot could. Adding haze to a party scene to add "atmosphere" is a very popular move. Additionally, if the song is heavier or darker, adding haze may intensify the heavy, dark, sinister mood of the song. There is a difference between haze and smoke, so take note of that; the haze is a lot lighter. So, if you're trying to soften up the image, maybe soften up a practical light source, haze is the way to go. If your artist/talent is supposed to walk through a smokey building, haze is not the way to go. In all, haze can give your music video just the right type of cinematic atmosphere and softness to make it stand out from the multitude of other videos.


Here's an example: FiveSix Productions of Las Vegas/Long Beach shot a short film in Utah. The film took place in a cabin in the woods, and was a physiological drama. Now, you may thinking, "Oh, the haze made the cabin creepy!" No. All the haze was used for was to create a bit of "atmosphere" in the rooms. It didn't look hazy at all, but, it did create a little bit of softness, and glow. To the untrained eye, you would never know it was hazy, but without, it wouldn't have looked so cinematic. Think of it like this: haze is to a cinematic look, as shallots are to a restaurant quality dish. Adding a tiny bit of haze will give the picture a little extra quality, and shallots will give a dish a little extra flavor.


Finally, commercials. Again, similar to films, there are so many different uses. Dense haze can add a rich atmosphere to beauty and fashion products. If you're creating a creepy environment such as a a haunted house, cemetery, etc., haze is great. Concerts or clubs of any kind generally have haze machines. Or, again, a dramatic, cinematic style commercial could really benefit from a tiny bit of haze to create 'atmosphere'.

So there you have it. If you have any questions, make sure to drop a line. If you would like to rent a Hurricane Haze Machine for your next project, make sure to reach out and we'll get you squared away!

IMG 7854 scaledHow to build a cyclorama stage...

How to build a cyclorama stage...

Las Vegas will soon have a brand new, state-of-the-art sound stage and film production studio! Whether you're creating a commercial, film, music video, or television, we're the ones to call. Our sound stage includes a three-sided cyclorama wall that is roughly 30'x30', and around 18' high! We're planning on a motorized light grid, so no ladders or scissor lifts! What on Earth is a cyclorama you may ask; let me tell you. A cyclorama in film and television is a wall that features a curve that seamlessly blends the wall into the floor or another wall. This gives the effect of having no visible lines and no shadows. Infinite possibilities!

You may wonder how to build something like that. Well, we didn't know either, so we did what you're doing right now, and got on the internet where the entirety of human knowledge (and stupidity) exists. And, keeping in mind low-attention spans, I'll make this quick-ish...

First, hammer drill, and, I cannot emphasize that enough: HAMMER DRILL! The hammer drill will make drilling into concrete much easier (it's still an awful task); it's not enough to just drill into concrete, you must also hammer the eva'livin' out of it (you may skip the gym after completion). Next, steel 2x4's will be the frame of your walls (in our case, two of the three walls we built). We spaced the 2x4's approximately every three feet. Then, drywall... oh drywall. There is no easy way of putting drywall up, except to just get in that scissor lift, and hope you don't cry in front of your colleagues when you're 20' in the air. So now, you have all your big pieces of drywall screwed into the neat frame you just built; next is what tough construction folks call "mudding".

Mud, like wet dirt? No, it's "all purpose, pre-mixed joint compound"; but, it's thick and wet like mud, so I get it. I had never "mudded" before, looked it up, and saw a bunch of people driving their over-sized trucks through fields of mud... no help there, so, I just went for it. For covering in/up the drywall screws, I just went straight out of the bucket. For "paper taping" the seams of the drywall, I found it best to put a thick bit of slightly watered down "mud" over the seam, place the paper tape, and then using two "blades" just flatten it out. Okay, this is boring.

How do you create the curves?! You buy pre-built "ribs" from a company that does archways, and you just screw them into the 2x4's and into the concrete on the ground; and for the vertical curves, you go straight into the walls (make sure you screw into a 2x4 for solid construction). Then, take a thinner sheet of drywall that is suited for bending when wet, and you bend them into shape. We took two spare ribs, put them on saw horses, and then a sheet of drywall and formed it into our mold. After you have your "mold" to shape the rest of the drywall on, you just painstakingly take each piece, start adding water and slowly add weight (sand bags) onto the center of the drywall sheet until is rests nicely into the mold. Once dry, you put it in place on the ribs, and screw in. We found that some of the sheets needed a little extra water while being screwed into place as they way not have been curved perfectly. Once that's done, it's back to the mud.

Here was the truly difficult part: using the joint compound to create a 1 1/4" gradient from the flat walls onto the curved pieces of drywall. Any bump or dip in the compound would create a shadow, which you cannot have. We started with small amounts of mud that we would attempt to build the gradient with by pulling to or from the edge... it didn't work. There was always a bump on the edge of the curved piece, and always a slight dip before the edge... it was confounding. The vertical curves were first, and we eventually were able to sand away our errors, and painstakingly fill in errors until we had no shadows. For the horizontal curve into the wall/floor, we went with a different approach. We took a 12" flat blade, and added a ton of mud to the edge of the curve on the wall, then, we aligned the blade's end to the edge of the curved piece of wall, the opposite end flat against the wall above it, and just drug the blade as far as the mud would go. This gave us a ton of holes and cracks, but it was an almost perfect gradient from the wall onto the curve. Then, for the second pass, we would go in and fix our little holes, gutters, groves, etc., worked much better! This took us from 6-12 passes (and sanding) on the horizontal curves, to just 2-3 passes on the horizontals. Much better!

The curve to the floor was the exact same process as the joint compound on the horizontal bit of curve, except, instead of joint compound, we used concrete. Luckily, the concreted didn't end up being much more difficult to work with. Let me wrap this up, it's getting boring I'm sure. There was a lot of sanding! We had to sand after each application of mud or concrete, and after two passes with paint. For paint, we did a thick, high quality white paint to help fill in little cracks and bumps, but mostly just used a white primer, as it's matte, budget friendly, and looks great. I think we're four or five coats in.

So, with masks on the entire time, for COVID safety and lung safety (from sanding and painting) despite the oven our studio is during the day, we powered through. We still need a couple more passes with paint, and I'm certain we'll find a blemish or two that need some attention, but, we're close. Next, professionals who actually know what they're doing will come in to run our three power drops (60 amps to the grid, and two 100 amp drops to the floor). Someone will add temperature insulation and air conditioning. We'll have someone install sound dampening items to the ceiling and walls, another person will put up our 10x20'-ish motorized light grid...

And, when that's finally done... we'll make cinematic magic!

Color Correcting Red footage

Over the weekend I had a Davinci Resolve session. The footage brought in was all shot on the Red in 4K. The clips were all green screen that had a lot of spill on the sctor and set. Now the big question. Do you correct pre or post keying? We decided to help the animators out and remove the green spill from the talent and set. With different nodes and tracking we were able to seperate the talent from the background and even had time left over to smooth out the green for the animators. We processed 19 clips in 3 hours.  We outputted 4K ProRes 444 files at the animators request.

The Davinci Resolve steps up again, I'll let you know when the spot hits the airwaives in a couple months.

The client told me after the fact, that he had booked a full day session out in LA to do the color corection. He was able to cancel his trip and session and was very grateful to have this capability in Las Vegas.