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Estonian movie lighting system on its way to Hollywood

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picture_estonian movie lighting system on its way to hollywoodDigital Sputnik, a leading motion picture film production facility based in Tallinn, has developed a new generation LED lighting system for the movie industry that is more efficient, smaller, lighter and has considerably longer usage compared to the HMI technology used by the industry today.

If the new product is a success in movie studios and theatres in Europe, the company plans to conquer the whole lighting market of the entertainment business, which has an annual turnover of 11 billion euros.

“This product will change the movie industry in the same way recording was changed several years ago: nowadays a physical tape is no longer used in movie production because everything is recorded digitally,” the company’s owner, Kaur Kallas, said.

The new lighting system would help producers save approximately half of a movie’s lighting budget. It would benefit studios, which are currently outsourcing lighting solution services, to have their own lighting system because they would break even with the first movie. The new LED lights will work for four years without any care needed — their usage is 40,000 hours, compared to HMI lights which have a usage of only 2,000 hours only and carry a risk of explosion. The new LED lights are more efficient, giving eight times more powerful lighting at lower energy, and generating less heat.

The owners of the company, two brothers, have focused in the marketing of the product this year, hoping to sell the new lights to Norwegian television, Polish movie producers and European theatres – altogether 300 new sets. Since many Polish producers work in Hollywood, they might provide a door to the Hollywood market for the Estonian company, which also plans to patent their new product in the U.S.

The price of a set, consisting of a transformer and three lights, will be about 7,000-8,000 euros. The project has so far cost 1.3 million euros — money which was provided by EAS and banks.

Digital Sputnik became famous a few years ago after its new lightweight mobile 3D camera system was used by Werner Herzog, the world-famous German producer, to make “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”.

Source: Reimer A. (2013).  Eestlaste valgussüsteem trügib Hollywoodi. Eesti Päevaleht, 20. veebruar.