Jacobs Gives an Inside Look at the Lighting Scheme for Season Two
The FX original series follows Earnest Mars (Donald Glover), a young Princeton dropout, who decides to help his cousin, Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry), make his way up through the Atlanta rap scene. Season 1 was a critically acclaimed success last year, with the show winning Best Comedy Series at the Golden Globes, and earning a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes as well. We recently caught up with Gaffer Cody Jacobs who gave us some insight on the way he utilized LiteGear product for the duration of the series.
The LiteMat would be his go-to light throughout the season. “We used the LiteMat 4 and the LiteMat 2L almost daily. Any day or night interior we would have multiples of these fixtures headed up and ready to work,” says Jacobs. “Both versions function as soft but directional key lights, edges and backlights. Whenever we would like to have a relatively large soft source in a confined space, the LiteMat was the perfect solution either on a stand or often attached directly to a wall or set piece, mostly ganged together in groups of two’s or three’s.
“The fact that we can fine tune color between daylight and tungsten also means that we can offer the DP incredible flexibility in terms of last minute adjustments instead of changing gels and disrupting the set. We can then sit at DIT and finesse color choices on the fly while other jobs are being completed. The LiteMat also allows us to build modular sources, meaning that we can have a broad source where different sections of it are at different intensities and color temps. Thereby making it faster and easier to wrap lights around a subject in a more subtle way.”
Jacobs and Best Boy Electric, Brandon Wilson, also have an entire cart of homemade LiteGear fixtures assembled out of various products they’ve utilized throughout the years. “These range from LiteStix to smaller ‘beta’ versions of the LiteMat with homemade PolySkirts and Grids,” says Jacobs. He adds, “These (fixtures) are great for car rigs, and small spaces, as well as set dressing that might not work and can be made functional by a small section of LEDs popped inside.”
One of Jacobs and Wilson’s favorite lights they own is a custom LiteMat 1 with a special backing welded together that allows it to be used in medium and large Pancake Chimera’s. “These are my favorite lights on the truck, because they are incredibly soft, they offer us variable color temperature and we can run them on batteries,” says Jacobs. “They are perfect for wrapping a key light around a subjects face when you don’t have the room to build a giant book light or something of the sort.”
Atlanta Season Two premieres March 1st on FX