The characters on 20th Century Fox Television’s “Bones” face the weekly challenge of searching for obscure clues to solve murders. That is nothing compared to the challenges faced by the shows gaffer, Erik Messerschmidt. Erik, an IATSE Local 728 member has been running the show for 4 seasons now. He runs a crew of 12, including Best Boy – Andrew Korner, and Rigging Gaffer – Dave Gammerman. “I am lucky, every script presents a new challenge so we have the opportunity to try lots of new things” says Erik. “[DP] Gordon Lonsdale ASCis always into experimenting….we are always looking for new equipment that not only makes our jobs easier but also presents us with new aesthetic options. LiteGear is lucky to have him as a client. He has tapped us to retrofit on-camera practical fluorescent fixtures with our high output PowrFlo Dimmable ballasts. “The ability to dim an entire fluorescent set 15 percent blew our minds, now we can’t live without PowerFlo.” he says.
The main crime lab set, located on stage 6 at the Fox lot, is quite impressive. As the 2010 season got underway, Erik and the Art Department decided to add our LED LiteRibbonto many elements throughout the set in an effort to spice up the look. “It started as a solution to light a computer console, after we got to playing with the stuff we kept finding new uses for it. Ultimately Messerschmidt rigged over five-hundered feet of LiteRibbon throughout the set; back-lighting signs, adding detail to soffits and reliefs, and adding touches of color to set pieces. “In our new projection screen set Gordon wanted the set to light the actors so we needed something very small and thin, but with decent output. We built a small aluminum channel and simply installed DMX controlled VHO LiteRibbon. It proved to be just right, controllable enough to keep it off the screen, but soft enough to give us the look we needed.” He is not kidding, I have seen the rig and it’s impressive in its simplicity.