MIXing It Up: A first look at Rosco’s new range of LED lighting solutions

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SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE:

Screen Africa was recently invited to Movievision’s headquarters in Wynberg, Johannesburg, to attend the launch of the new series of MIX lighting solutions from leading global brand Rosco.

Ron Knell, Rosco senior account manager (Eastern Europe, Balkans and South Africa), was on hand to answer questions about this exciting new range – winner of the 2018 Cine Gear Technical Award for Lighting Technology – and what it can offer the South African film and television industry.

Quality collaboration

Knell explains that the new product offering emerged after Rosco fused with French company DMG Lumière: “Rosco’s strategy in the future is to become an LED specialist lighting supplier and manufacturer. We were in talks with DMG, and there was a perfect fit between the two companies: they had the expertise and the knowledge, having already broken ground with the DMG Switch range, and we had the global presence in sales and marketing.

“Within a year of us joining the companies we’d come to market with the MIX range, which is an incredible turnaround and shows the quality of the working relationship we’ve established.”

What’s in the MIX?

As Knell outlines some of the specs and features of the lights, it’s easy to see why they are generating so much excitement.

The Rosco brand has always been synonymous with colour, and this is one of the distinguishing features of the MIX series. “The lights are fitted with six LEDs. The normal standard is RGBW or RGBWA, but we’ve gone one step further and we include red, blue, green, phosphorous lime, white and amber. This gives a better depth of field through the spectrum, and allows us to programme the lights with more than 100 true Rosco colours.”

Not only does this do away with the need to carry around and adjust gels on set, but – as Knell explains – “The lights are all custom-made and they’re fitted onto an aluminium plate, which allows for a passive cooling system. This eliminates fan noise, which can be very helpful in tight spaces where you need to record dialogue.”

The lights are operated via a specialised myMIX app, which allows users to control various settings (such as hue, saturation and intensity) remotely, and – along with a number of convincing effects and presets – enables you to capture real-world colours via your phone camera and programme them into your lighting rig. The lights feature an adjustable range from 1700K-10000K, making them versatile and reliable options for a number of different shooting scenarios.

The MIX range comes in three sizes: the highly popular Mini, a compact unit which weighs only 2.5kg, the SL1 and the soon-to-be-released Maxi. All models boast DMX, LAN, bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, and there are a range of great accessories – such as dome diffusors, snapgrids and quickfit handles – that can be used across the product range.

South African market outlook

John Harrison, the CEO of Movievision and Southern Lighting Solutions, expects the Rosco MIX series to have an instant impact on the local production landscape.

“The ARRI Skypanel has become the lighting solution that everyone wants to have, and now we can offer an alternative that performs just as well but is more accessible in terms of cost,” Harrison says. “People don’t want to go for cheap knock-offs, so we were looking for something that came in cheaper than – but equal to – the Skypanels.”

Knell shares this optimism, saying, “The MIX series is a high-performing, cost-effective range of lights. We know it’s a good product from the feedback we’ve received from DOPs, from gaffers and from resellers. It’s got an edge, and we think it’s going to do well for us.”

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