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Love Island France leads Blond Productions to Astera

Love Island France leads Blond Productions to Astera

Love Island France leads Blond Productions to Astera

South Africa:

Blond Productions has invested in new Titan Tubes and AX3 Lightdrops from Astera. Blond’s involvement in Love Island France, which is filmed on the banks of the Palmiet River near to Cape Town, prompted the new investment. The Asteras were supplied by Johannesburg-based distributor DWR and delivered straight to site in Cape town.

Paris-based director of photography (DOP) Florian Sinopoli works worldwide on various TV shows and series. Last year he also lit the UK’s Celebrity Love Island, which was also filmed in South Africa, for producers ITV Studios. For Love Island France, he initially specified the Asteras, although Blond Productions’ owner Christiaan Ballot was already considering making an investment in the brand after numerous recommendations. “It was really just a question of awaiting the right moment,” Ballot explained, “and this was it.”

Lighting the house and the Islanders was not a straightforward task. Sinopoli was looking for a naturalistic tone and style with all the right levels and texturing to look good on camera, just as if people were in their own home environments. Having a wireless fixture like the Astera Titan Tubes or AX3s to hand was a “must” in this scenario, he says.

He likes being able to control them from a phone or tablet using the Astera App, and then when needed, be DMX controlled via a lighting console. “I can use them for key light, background light, interview lighting and so on – it’s incredible how versatile a box of Titan or Helios Tubes can be,” Sinopoli furthered.

Looking after lighting in the Love Island villa once Sinopoli left were gaffer Eldridge Jacobs and Blond’s own gaffer, David Nhlanhla, who worked with a crew of four lighting technicians from Blond. It was the first time that Nhlanhla had worked with any Astera products. “They are great fixtures to work with, perfect for background illumination, up-lighting close-ups and many more scenarios,” he commented.

As it turned out, with the sudden spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, filming had to be cut short. The teams managed to shoot a special finale episode just before the lockdown was imposed and wrap the series.

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