"I’ve found using the Astera Helios with a SNAPBAG® and diffusion delivers the pretty highlights I like."
San Francisco based cinematographer Kenzen Takahashi prides himself on shaping light in a natural and meaningful way.
He enthusiastically started his career as an extra on the first season of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why. By season 4 he’d worked as a PA, grip, and was well on his path to becoming a cinematographer. It was in that incubator that he first saw DoPchoice lighting accessories in action.
“The gaffers had SNAPBAGS®® and SNAPGRIDS®® for Skypanels. The SNAPBAG® snaps up fast and then you just put the SNAPGRID® on the front and you are done. When I saw how much simpler they make the process, and that they were the industry standard, I bought my own to go with the Litegear LiteMat Plus 4.”
To get the naturalistic look he’s after often means using soft light. “However,” he says, “an occasional problem with soft light is that it tends to spill light everywhere which can really mess with the overall contrast of a scene. Using a SNAPGRID® maximises control by eliminating unwanted spill whilst keeping the light soft. And when it comes to cinematography, control is the name of the game.”
He also swears by the SNAPBAG® for Astera Helios, saying “The combo is very easy to rig and its like having a wireless battery-powered, RGB, mini LiteMat.”
The combo is his favorite weapon for lighting eyes. “I always struggle to find eye-lights that I like. Usually they are not soft enough or too soft. Recently I’ve found that using the Astera Helios 2’ with a SNAPBAG® and diffusion delivers the pretty highlights I like.”