How to light a mythical 370 pound sword

When CapCom released their highly anticipated Monster Hunter: World game they did a promo, actually building the biggest sword in the game, the 370lb Berserker. That promo was aired by Because Science and DP Graham Sheldon was tasked with shooting big parts of that video.

Sheldon used the Spekular LED kit in almost every part of the production, from providing the cinematic hero look to the sword, through lighting the car scene to fill lighting the talent.

The production moved between several locations and setups, shooting people in the design studio, creating the sword’s “hero shot”, and shooting the talent,  Kyle, explaining how mass “works” in a car. In some of the shots, the team used daylight, while in others they balanced Spekular with a set of HMI’s.

Spekular lights mount very quickly (we used gaff tape to mount them in a few shots).” Sheldon explains his motivation for choosing Spekular for this mission, “The accurate CRI of each light helped me match them with other daylight sources I use all the time in the field“.

The flexibility of the kit helped us to stay mobile and add a bunch of shots into an already packed schedule.” Says Graham.

One of the more interesting shots of the day was the “hero shot” of the sword. It needed to create a cinematic look to a gigantic battle instrument while keeping it in-theme with the game look and feel. This was achieved by using two spekular kits connected by spekular extension cables.

The sword was set on a rotating table and two sets of Spekular kits were deployed: one kit above the sword, and another kit underneath it. The light coming from the LED stripes double-dutied both as the light source, and as an atmospheric element. “Lighting mythical dragon swords is not something I’ve done often, so I tried to treat it a bit like product photography. The Spekular lights were the perfect solution for this.” Sheldon shares, “The ability to add or subtract segments while having dimming control was very helpful“.