Creating a Camara Flash

Dustincoc

Active Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Location
Madrid, New York
I need to create a camara flash effect for a show I'm cueing tomorrow. The equipment is all the equipment is very old(century lekos, ect.) connected to 1k dimmers controlled by an refurbished expression light board(not expression 3, the original expression). So this effect needs to be simple, and easy. I was thinking of just linking a series of cues to make the light flicker.
 

icewolf08

CBMod
CB Mods
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Jan 11, 2007
Location
Lititz, PA
Is it supposed to look like someone on stage is using a camera? Or is there actually a person on stage with a camera? It is really easy to take the flashes out of disposable cameras and wire them to a battery and firing mechanism in a prop camera, then it will look like the camera is actually working. We did this for the press conference scene in "Chicago" last season.
 

Footer

Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
Is it supposed to look like someone on stage is using a camera? Or is there actually a person on stage with a camera? It is really easy to take the flashes out of disposable cameras and wire them to a battery and firing mechanism in a prop camera, then it will look like the camera is actually working. We did this for the press conference scene in "Chicago" last season.
Done the same a few times, just be careful after you pull the board out... that capacitor packs a pretty hefty punch.
 

JD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
Hee hee. Camera flash units (even cheep ones) use an inverter to charge the cap to between 200 and 400 volts DC depending on the model. The charge stays in there quite a while and can be a real wake up call!
 

avkid

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Fight Leukemia
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Feb 17, 2004
Location
Lakewood, NJ
I've got press 15's(may or may not work) and a stand alone flash unit hanging around somewhere.
 

SerraAva

Active Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
Location
Southern New Jersey
Is it an old time camera flash, or a modern camera flash? For Picasso at the Lapin Agile I rigged a little flash powder bomb in the camera ignited with a modified finger launcher aka short a battery through the powder igniter. Was a really cool effect, small flash, and then smoke after wards so it looked real. Otherwise, I am with the effect cue or sub, set it to go as fast as possible if unable to get a strobe or camera flash unit. You could also try blinding the audience really fast, but that might be annoying and I don't know what your situation calls for.
 

Logos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Location
Rockhampton Queensland, Australia
I've only ever had to do this once and it was sometime ago but I hired something called a photoflash unit that could be contolled by DMX. It was in the UK though and I can't remember the manufacturer so I'm about as useful as a chocolate teapot really. I'll just go away now.
 

Dustincoc

Active Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Location
Madrid, New York
a 1940's camara flash...but we've decided not to do any special effects so it's been cut
 

squigish

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2004
Do you necessarily have to go with a realistic approach?

I did this once last year without any specialized equipment. My original plan was to just flood the stage with light using a pair of s4 pars (because they have a smaller filament, and therefore shorter warm-up time), but this proved to be more or less un-noticeable. So I decided to go non-realistic, and hung an entire electric full of PAR64WFL 1kW, focused into the audience. I recorded three cues: one to ghost them up to about 5-7% just before the flash, to warm the lamps and get a better response time, and then just two bump cues, one to full, and one out. Also, I had to use different levels for the lamps that were two-fered than the ones that weren't to get the same amount of ghosting. I was using an Express 250.