LOS ANGELES – In April, during a one-day shoot for the music video for How To Love by Cash Cash featuring Sofia Reyes, the production team was tasked with transforming a California restaurant into a number of different sets. Among other visuals, the finished video features Reyes singing in a sun-drenched bamboo forest, as well as walking through a spacious nightclub garden where she interacts with the group under color shifting lights.
Director of photography Brad Rushing has hundreds of commercials, music videos, feature films, and shorts to his credit. In 2002, he earned the “Best Cinematography” award for Moby’s We Are All Made of Stars at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, the same year another video he shot, Eminem’s Without Me, took “Video of the Year” honors.
When director Robert Schober shared the concept for How To Love, Rushing was concerned the lighting requirements were going to be too expensive and time consuming. He recalled a prom scene from 2012 that required renting expensive stage and club lights that had to be meticulously programmed via a dimmer board and operator. However, Schober suggested another option: the Zylight IS3c LED light.
“The evolution of LED has come on so fast and strong. My reference, based on past experience, had suddenly become outdated,” Rushing admitted. “Every time before, when I would set up club lighting I’d have to rent expensive and bulky lights. I was delighted to discover the option of lightweight, compact and powerful programmable, color shifting LEDs when Robert suggested the Zylights to me.”
Shot with an ARRI Alexa, How To Love was lit mostly with Zylights, including four IS3cs and six daylight balanced F8-200 LED Fresnels. It was the first project Rushing shot entirely with LED lights, and he is already recommending Zylight instruments for upcoming shoots because of their “wonderful light quality” and easy setup.
“The Zylights were super production friendly,” Rushing said. “The output was tremendous, and the effect was dead-on for what Robert wanted – and for relatively minimal expense compared to how I would have done it even five years ago. Everyone, including myself, was thrilled with the result.”
The ZyLink App also simplified setup, as the gaffer, Mitch Ball, was able to adjust the Zylights from his iPhone. The new ZyLink Bridge wireless fob allows communication between the ZyLink™ wireless control in most Zylight fixtures and the ZyLink App for iOS devices. The app’s intuitive user interface provides easy access to brightness and white light temperature controls, as well as color and saturation adjustments for the IS3c and other models equipped with Color Mode.
For Rushing, the ZyLink App was a welcome change from adjusting club lights through a DMX board. “I was impressed with how quick and responsive it was,” Rushing said. “In one or two minutes, we had exactly what we wanted. That was marvelous.”