Simplicity, Lightweight Design & Speed of Set up
“In my work, I often use large, soft sources, which give a very nice and natural look. However, the biggest challenge with these is the difficulty to direct the light precisely, especially in small spaces,” submits Camerimage Silver Frog-winning cinematographer Piotr Kukla, NSC, PSC. The cameraman’s work includes In My Father’s Garden, Bride Flight, Storm, The Winner, and the Academy Award nominated Twin Sisters.
The Polish-born cinematographer moved to the Netherlands in the early 1980s and has been working there since. During his experiences shooting around the world, Kukla had the opportunity to work with a lot of different equipment that is not readily available in the Netherlands. One such tool was a soft grid for large soft sources and when he returned to his homeland he began an earnest search for just such a tool. “I was looking for equipment that I could use to control soft light and they were very difficult to get into the Netherlands,” he attests. “When I found the website for DoPchoice I was extremely happy to see that their grids and softboxes were not only available in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but were very affordable. I ordered six different grids. They were delivered to me in Holland, by DoPchoice owner Stefan Karle. When I used the SNAPGRIDS® for the first time, I realized that DoPchoice had succeeded in creating the ‘perfect product.’ The smart design, quality, stability and their simplicity is just excellent. Those are things you love to have as a cinematographer.”
Kukla’s recent project, The Gang from Oss was yet another opportunity to bring out the DoPchoice tools. “The main location was a café, which was built on stage,” he explains. “We rigged some overhead lights with 8’ x 8’ and 6’ x 6’ SNAPGRIDS®, and each lamp on the ground was also given a SNAPGRID®. The SNAPGRIDS® allowed me to avoid reflections of the lamps in windows or any of the many shiny surfaces. I sometimes added an extra grid to have absolute control over the direction of light. Once again, the simplicity, lightweight design and speed of setting up the grids is excellent. I am delighted, because the factory still comes up with new products, such as the BUTTERFLY 12’ x 12’ (30 and 50 degree options) which give me an even wider range of possibilities to control the lights. I now use them all the time – shooting both commercials and feature films. I can’t imagine not having this fantastic tool in my light equipment.”