Interview: Production Company Owner Chris Clifton speaks about ikan’s ID500 lighting kit

For our featured article this week, we’ll be focusing on some of our equipment, the ID500 kit, in the field. For a better handle on real-world applications, I sat down and interviewed a colleague in the industry, Chris Clifton.

IKAN: For our audience, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Chris Clifton: “I have been in Houston for 27 years as an independent production company and equipment rental house. My first package was an Ikegami HL 79EAL and BVU-110, the top of the line at the time.  Back then, Lowel DP light kits were popular (and they pulled so much power we could barely get through a shoot without throwing a breaker wherever we were).  Fast forward through 3 more Ikegami’s, a Sony Betacam, DVCAM, and later two EX XDCAM’s…by this point, the Lowel’s had long since been replaced with an Arri Kit and a Digimole 200/400 HMI kit.

“The LED light kits on the market caught my interest last year but I didn’t jump in, mostly because of the price point of the Lite Panel 1×1.  I’ve visited Ikan numerous times for monitors and support and noticed the LED lights in the showroom.  So, when I sent my Digimoles in for repair, I started considering what I would need for a backup plan (for the pending shoots) and about that time I got the 48 hour sale notice from Carlos. It led me to the IKAN website where I looked closer at the ID500 kit.  I rented it for a 2 day shoot and the guys on the job were drooling over them–they could not believe the list price was only $1699 for three 450w lights.  We were working in a small house with low ceilings, without much power available…the lights were so easy to get up and out of the shot, they put off no heat, and pulled very little juice.  It was a great experience, so much easier than putting up a light with a chimera.  The remote controls are a cool feature.  I bought them the next day.”

IK:    What projects are you involved with (that you can speak about)?

CC:    “I do a lot of work for different producers or in-house producers at the medical center now.  I provide equipment and crews and post- production services.  I also do projects for churches and non- profits.  The rest of the time I provide gear and services for other production companies and producers all over town or to those coming through Houston from NY, LA, Chicago, etc.  I’m a small fish in a big pond, but I’ve been around a long time and people know how to find me if they need something–I can find it if I don’t have it.”

IK:    You recently invested in some of our ID500 lighting kits. What made ikan your top choice?

CC: “It was a no-brainer for me to buy the ID500 kit after one day of testing them on a shoot.  In fact, I am considering a second kit so I don’t even have to use the Arri’s or Digimoles again.  I get so much more control out of the ID500’s, they’re so easy to arm over as a backlight and dim.  Three point lighting is a breeze.  I rarely light with tungsten since I got the HMI’s in 2003 or so; it seems digital cameras just love daylight so much more, so the ID500 is the perfect setup for me.  And the price point is incredibly low for what you get.  I was on a shoot this week with a competitor’s LED and I just felt so much better about the durability built into the IKAN product.  It’s beefy, yet maneuverable and lightweight.”

IK:    How are you using them now, and how do you foresee their use in the future?”

CC:    “I am having an amazingly busy quarter and the ID500’s are making my shoots so much quicker and easier to set up. They’re a pleasure to have on the job and my crews really appreciate them.  I used them for the first time on a still photo shoot last weekend—it’s just really nice to have them on the set. So low profile, so powerful.  It’s the ideal light for any ENG or EFP application.  And I can rig them out for portable power when I want to do that.  I cannot wait to see how my new camera, the Panasonic AF100 (being shipped in December), will perform under these lights.”

Images provided by Chris Clifton:

Bottom line: ikan’s the place to come when youre looking for modular, versatile, and reliable lighting solutions. Comment, email, tweet us, or just head over to our website @ for more great ideas and products that wont burn your wallet to ashes are  practical to buy without burdening your brain or wallet. [PS: It’s about that time again to start shopping for Christmas gifts if you haven’t already 😉 ]




~ by Ryan Aivalis on November 5, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: