Topics

Etymology of Obi light

Seba Mendelberg
 

I’m looking for the etymology of the concept of Obi light. Not sure if it is well written.
The dop i’m working with at this moment calls Obi light to the light filling from the lens, or from the camera zone.

i heard the concept many years ago, is well known as a tv studio concept to that kind of fill light.

just could not find its origin nowhere. Just curious about the roots of the concept. Probably orbital light or some similar etymology.

thanks in advance for the sapience and expertise.

best,

Sebastián Mendelberg
Gaffer,
Argentina.
+54 11 5600 2627
http://m.imdb.com/name/nm1875287

Graham Futerfas
 

I always thought it came from the acronym O.B., which stands for “On Board” the camera.

Best,
Graham



---
Graham Futerfas
Director of Photography
Los Angeles, CA
www.GFuterfas.com
---

Brian Heller
 

Seba,

The “Obie” aka “basher” light was developed by DP Lucien Ballard, for his wife, the leading lady, Merle Oberon, whose nickname was “Obie”.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merle_O

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP

On Sep 19, 2018, at 1:22 PM, Seba Mendelberg <sebamendelberg@...> wrote:

I’m looking for the etymology of the concept of Obi light. Not sure if it is well written.
The dop i’m working with at this moment calls Obi light to the light filling from the lens, or from the camera zone.

i heard the concept many years ago, is well known as a tv studio concept to that kind of fill light.

just could not find its origin nowhere. Just curious about the roots of the concept. Probably orbital light or some similar etymology.

thanks in advance for the sapience and expertise.

best,

Sebastián Mendelberg
Gaffer,
Argentina.
+54 11 5600 2627
http://m.imdb.com/name/nm1875287

Mako Koiwai
 

Greg Lowry
 

Nothing so technical. Named for actress, Merle Oberon, by her
then-husband Lucian Ballard ASC.


On 19 Sep 2018, at 10:22, Seba Mendelberg wrote:

I’m looking for the etymology of the concept of Obi light. Not sure
if it is well written.
The dop i’m working with at this moment calls Obi light to the light
filling from the lens, or from the camera zone.

i heard the concept many years ago, is well known as a tv studio
concept to that kind of fill light.

just could not find its origin nowhere. Just curious about the roots
of the concept. Probably orbital light or some similar etymology.

thanks in advance for the sapience and expertise.

Greg Lowry
 

Whoops, forgot to sign.

Greg Lowry
Scopica Group
Vancouver | Luxembourg


On 19 Sep 2018, at 10:22, Seba Mendelberg wrote:

I’m looking for the etymology of the concept of Obi light.

Thomas Townend
 

‘Obie’ light - from Merle Oberon. 

Lucia Ballard devised the system of a small quartz lamp over the lens to light out the scars Merle Oberon sustained on her face in a car crash in the late 30s. 

Tom Townend,
Cinematographer/London

Sent from my fingers to your eyes

On 19 Sep 2018, at 18:39, Graham Futerfas <gfuterfas.cml@...> wrote:

I always thought it came from the acronym O.B., which stands for “On Board” the camera.

Best,
Graham



---
Graham Futerfas
Director of Photography
Los Angeles, CA
www.GFuterfas.com
---

Mike Gluckman
 

I have always heard that it refers to a light that was used for actress Merle Oberon. Confirmed in this Wikipedia post.


Mike Gluckman
dp | orlando


On Sep 19, 2018, at 1:22 PM, Seba Mendelberg <sebamendelberg@...> wrote:

I’m looking for the etymology of the concept of Obi light. Not sure if it is well written.
The dop i’m working with at this moment calls Obi light to the light filling from the lens, or from the camera zone.

i heard the concept many years ago, is well known as a tv studio concept to that kind of fill light.

just could not find its origin nowhere. Just curious about the roots of the concept. Probably orbital light or some similar etymology.

thanks in advance for the sapience and expertise.

best,

Sebastián Mendelberg
Gaffer,
Argentina.
+54 11 5600 2627
http://m.imdb.com/name/nm1875287

John Rossetti
 

Pretty certain Great American Market (GAM) used to sell one, twin 650w bulbs and a slatted reflector that slid from side to side to create the effect of dimming.

 

John Rossetti - London

 

Bruce Aleksander
 

Others have already noted the source of the name and who invented the fixture, but I wanted to elaborate on the clever design of the original Obie light.  Remember that the on-board source was incandescent, and that the proximity to the light source (working fundamentally in close-ups) meant that the exposure/fixture brightness needed to be handled.  A mechanical dimming method was used to dim the light by rotating a black and white roller to either reflect more light (with the white side) or absorbing it (with the black), thereby adjusting the intensity without shifting the color temperature.  It was a very clever solution, and probably helped keep Lucien and Merle happily married.

Bruce Aleksander
Lighting Director
Seattle, Washington
brucelights.com

Chris McKenzie
 

Named after Merle Oberon, I forget the DP who first used it as a direct filler over the lens for her.

 Chris McKenzie

 Sales Director

Lighting For Entertainment Group
Professional Lighting Services Ltd - Kenderdine Electrical Ltd
66 Cook St, CBD, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand.
Ph:+64-9-3024100   DDI:+64-9-3740247   Fax:+64-9-3024102   Mob:+64-21-658475 Skype: Chris.McK

www.kelpls.co.nz

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On 20 September 2018 at 05:22, Seba Mendelberg <sebamendelberg@...> wrote:
I’m looking for the etymology of the concept of Obi light. Not sure if it is well written.
The dop i’m working with at this moment calls Obi light to the light filling from the lens, or from the camera zone.

i heard the concept many years ago, is well known as a tv studio concept to that kind of fill light.

just could not find its origin nowhere. Just curious about the roots of the concept. Probably orbital light or some similar etymology.

thanks in advance for the sapience and expertise.

best,

Sebastián Mendelberg
Gaffer,
Argentina.
+54 11 5600 2627
http://m.imdb.com/name/nm1875287

Jeff Kreines
 

Not to be confused with the Opie Light.

Jeff Kreines
Kinetta
jeff@...
kinetta.com

Sent from iPhone.

On Sep 19, 2018, at 12:36 PM, Brian Heller <brianheller1@...> wrote:

The “Obie” aka “basher” light was developed by DP Lucien Ballard, for his wife, the leading lady, Merle Oberon, whose nickname was “Obie”.

Jeff Kreines
 

The Obie light predates quartz lamps by over a decade.

Jeff Kreines
Kinetta
jeff@...
kinetta.com

Sent from iPhone.

On Sep 19, 2018, at 12:50 PM, Thomas Townend via Cml.News <tomtownend=yahoo.co.uk@...> wrote:

‘Obie’ light - from Merle Oberon.

Lucia Ballard devised the system of a small quartz lamp over the lens to light out the scars Merle Oberon sustained on her face in a car crash in the late 30s.

DaveA
 

I always thought it meant On Board Eyelight. But I like the real story better.
Now we use the OBriese,

Dave Araki
Grip NYC

On Sep 19, 2018, at 1:50 PM, Thomas Townend via Cml.News <tomtownend=yahoo.co.uk@...> wrote:

‘Obie’ light - from Merle Oberon.

Lucia Ballard devised the system of a small quartz lamp over the lens to light out the scars Merle Oberon sustained on her face in a car crash in the late 30s.

Marty Oppenheimer
 

You're sure that isn't an "Oppie Light"?

Marty Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer Cine Rental
Oppenheimer Camera Products
Seattle

Marty Oppenheimer
 

ARRI had a very nice one as well.

Marty Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer Camera Products

Jeff Kreines
 

On Sep 19, 2018, at 3:58 PM, Bruce Aleksander <brucealeksander@...> wrote:

It was a very clever solution, and probably helped keep Lucien and Merle happily married.
So one would think. Sadly, the Obie Light long outlasted their marriage.




Jeff Kreines
Kinetta
jeff@...
kinetta.com

Sent from iPhone.