When filmmaker Ajay Johnson was tasked with shooting a series of promos for ORII SAVOR International, a U.S./China based promoter of wines and spirits, the first challenge he faced was how to light the delicate wine without damaging it. His immediate solution was Litepanels® LED lighting.
“Litepanels allows me to be a production predator,” Johnson says. “I’m a gaffer, DP, interviewer and camera operator – simultaneously. I have complete control of the environment. Litepanels 1x1s, the Sachtler Ace tripod, and Anton/Bauer batteries power gave me the reliability that every professional must have. On projects such as this, there is zero room for error. And no time. A professional just executes.”
And, execute, he did. He covered five high-end wineries—Moone-Tsai, Peju, Luna Vineyards, Long Meadow Ranch, Grgich Hills—throughout Napa Valley, California in one day. Johnson had two teams. Colleague Eddie Wolfl shot photos and videos of the wineries, while Ajay shot the interviews himself. With only one hour to work at each winery, Johnson says, “Litepanels lights were the only solution. They are powerful, lightweight, versatile, and there was no danger of them harming the wine due to heat in the close quarters where we shot.
“It was raining most of the time we were there so we were forced to find attractive spaces within the wineries to shoot,” explains Johnson. “Because the two Litepanels 1x1s were powered by Anton/Bauer batteries we did not have to run power cords everywhere. This allowed fast and safe set-up and I could easily move them around to my liking.”
The Litepanels one-foot square LED arrays are less than 2” thick and generate virtually no heat so they were just the ticket for this delicate environment. “One of the rooms we shot in was highly climate controlled because it housed very special high priced vintages. These brands are upscale and coveted wines. The Litepanels fixtures were a mere foot away from the bottles at times and did not change the temperature of them at all.”
Johnson’s video promos for ORII SAVOR, a new company owned by Tom Wen and Grace Tsai that exports and promotes U.S. produced wines and spirits, will be seen in HD on the web, on big screens at conventions, and select cable channels.