On January 24, 2013 a new entry into the popular romance genre premiered – a multi-platform production called The Elements Club. Producer/writer Kys Realm and cinematographer Emily Perez carefully planned the production of “Lord of Lingering Shadows,” the first of 11 episodes, knowing that it would set an entirely new look and feel for the historical romance. “Our camera choice for the series was the Canon 5D with Canon 16-35mm lens,” says Realm. “But our saving grace was a variety of Litepanels LED lights. We simply could not have shot this first episode without them.”
Acknowledging that Realm’s series was breaking new ground in the area of historical romance, Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles opened up access to their historical furnished rooms. The museum’s eight historic structures were constructed during the Victorian Era. “In essence, we stepped onto a set filled with antiques,” Realm explains. “With privilege comes responsibility. We had to use lighting setups that would not tax the old building’s electrical system or ones that were hot, as the heat from traditional lighting could cause damage to the antiques.”
The Elements Club took advantage of the Sola 4 and Sola 6 focusable Fresnels, 1×1 Bi-Color, 1×1 Mono Spot and a MiniPlus Flood. “Litepanels offered us this suite of choices that allowed Emily to selectively highlight or flood various scenes,” says Realm. “She fell in love with the MiniPlus Flood. That light was used in almost every scene and the still shots as well. By the end of the shoot she had nicknamed it ‘Baby.’”
“This is the second time I’ve used LED lighting,” says Director of Photography and fashion photographer Emily Perez. For her first experience with another LED brand, the units did not cast the proper range, so she had reservations this time. But the introduction to Litepanels changed her mind. “Working within the limitations of the museum restrictions, a small team and a very tight shooting schedule, Litepanels allowed me to quickly and effectively create subtle and dynamic lighting.”
“The Heritage Square staff had never seen LED lights in use,” says Realm. “They were used to traditional lighting that sucked up tremendous amounts of electricity, which could cause the electrical system in the older structures to fail. When I showed the staff what Litepanels could do, it was easy to use the electricity on-site for the shoot.”
Another challenge for the team was that they found themselves shooting in the middle of a heat wave. “These old homes have no air conditioning,” says Realm. “Thank goodness the Litepanels are heat-free. If we hadn’t had them, our cast who wore many layers in their roles as Victorian gentlemen and ladies, would have fainted from the heat. Litepanels was the perfect lighting for this unique project.”
The Elements Club, set in Victorian London between 1892 and 1897, follows the various members as they each unlock the power of love and fortune. This original historical romance that Realm calls a “transmedia project”, airs online, and features related e-books and a casual video game.