Japan: Donald A. Morgan ASC with 1x1s & MicroPros
When Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Donald A. Morgan ASC isn’t shooting a hit comedy, he gets involved in projects that feed his passion. Case in point; his recent trip to Japan to capture a documentary about Dr. Masaru Emoto, his teaching of HADO and his research with water crystals demonstrating water consciousness.
Because Morgan and producer Lindsay Noel Kemp would be moving quickly, he knew his equipment had to be fast and flexible. That’s where Litepanels came in. “Whether on the convention center floor or doing interviews with noted people in attendance inside or outside, I had to be up and running within five to 10 minutes,” he says. To do this he used the EX1 camera and either Litepanels 1x1s or a MicroPro as an on-camera source.
“I had one daylight balanced dim/spot/flood 1x1 that allowed me to shoot outside and get a great eyelight between two and six feet from my subject, even in bright sunlight,” he explains. “I got both great light and color balance. The second unit was a combo Tungsten and Daylight with a dimming knob that allowed me to go from daylight to tungsten, which was great for interiors. I could get a key light as needed and, when next to a window, I could warm up the light on the subject.”
Since Morgan never knew where he was going, he carried two MicroPros. “The fact that the lights ran on batteries was such a big help,” he says. “There were several locations that had no electricity and I knew that the Anton Bauer battery attached to the light would give me a constant six hours, if needed.”
Morgan has been a fan of Litepanels for many years. He counts the lightweight, ultra-flat profile of the 1x1s as a versatile production light. The ability to throw even light, whether daylight or tungsten, the dim ability and coolness to touch allow him to use lights in very tight and close positions.