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09/01/2015 | Generator Rentals: A Valuable Power Source in Movie Shoots

Between lights, cameras, and other electrical equipment, movie shoots consume a lot of power, especially if they’re done on location. Enlisting generator rentals are an industry practice that are as part of a good movie as choosing the right director, location, and crew.

One of the keys to seamless shooting is making sure that the lighting is just right for the scene. Most of the time, ordinary ambient lights are not enough as film and digital media see things differently compared to how the human eye sees it. A scene that requires 300 watts of light as seen by the eye might need a much more powerful artificial source, such as 1,000 watts or even 2,000 watts, coming from multiple directions.

The rule of thumb is that a light that generates 100 watts will need 1 ampere of current. This means a 5,000 watt light needs 50 amperes, and so on. Many movies use lighting configurations that use lamps as strong as 20,000 watts, which means that 200 amperes of current is required. Lamps stronger than 2,000 watts cannot be connected to normal household power sockets, as they draw too much current. Normal home generators will not power anything that goes above 5,000 watts, so one needs a rental generator designed to provide massive amounts of power. Rental generators can provide between 60 to 2,400 amperes, and massive sets will require multiple generators. Noise levels also have to be moderated; thus, quieter generator models are preferred.

Local regulations and building codes also regulate the length and thickness of cables to be used; for example, 50 feet of cable requires five strands of 4-ought cable, weight roughly 50 pounds each. A good best boy electric (movie term for “head electrician”) should know exactly where to place the cables, how to splice them together, and how to hook them up to the main or backup power sources.

Getting a company that provides generator rentals and a knowledgeable electricity crew will mean that power is the least of the director’s and producers’ problems. For specialized portable power needs, contact us to learn about the best generator for your requirements.



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