Catching Fire with FauxFlo

Hunger Games: Catching Fire – FauxFlo in action.

For the movie Catching Fire, Production Designer Phil Messina designed a dance floor which had elaborate standing chandeliers which he envisioned hundreds of fluorescent tubes as a large visual element in the set.  Phil wanted the tubes to change color during the dance sequence in the film, however fluorescent sources were not an option due to lack of dimming intensity and the need to change color.  The scene was going to be shot with a moving camera circling around the dancing actors, so each tube needed to be seen 360 degrees and the tubes needed to be the primary source of lighting. LED options were explored, and LiteGear was on the job.

Working closely with Set Decorator Larry Dias, Leadman Brett Smith, Rigging Gaffer Mike Tyson and Fixtures Foreman Mike Visencio, LiteGear was able to fabricate a tube dubbed the “FauxFlo”. Each FauxFlo consisted of RGBW LiteRibbon which allowed creation of a budget concious, color mixing, 360 degree field of view tube.  The design required dozens of tubes hanging off each metal structure, so a lightweight solution was a major requirement, along with the need to very quickly assemble the chandeliers containing over 400 Fauxflos.

“The chandeliers had to be installed, tested and programmed on site in two days due to location issues.” says Mike Visencio, “Each tube showed up tested with the correct lead length based off our plans. It allowed us to quickly assemble it and make adjustments. It saved an incredible amount of time being able to use Litegear as a resource for this project. Together we created a custom plug and play system in which each chandelier contained power, connectivity, dimming and wireless networking.”

As the Fixtures crew assembled the chandeliers, programmer Scott Barnes was able to test the rig and begin programming the color sequences with DP Jo Willems and Gaffer Mike Bauman.  Director Francis Lawrence wanted a series of pastel colors which Barnes was able to mix via DMX with Litegear Litedimmer 4×4.

“That set utilized many types of lighting and the dance floor chandeliers were only one element of the set.   Being able to have that element show up pre-fabricated saved a lot of man days and freed up the fixture crew to work on many other elements in the set.  Anytime there were questions we could talk to the team at Litegear. We were able to seamlessly sequence the color mixes of the dance floor with other LED elements in the set to tie everything together.”  says gaffer Mike Bauman.

See for yourself in the movie Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

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