When filming in Cheddar we ideally need a method to power lights outdoors. The best way possible considering the voltage of the lights (i.e. ARRI 2K) would be a portable generator. I know you can get silent generators which tend to be larger, but that would accommodate for any sound issues. Battery power tends not to support the larger voltage of light, for something substantially larger you would see a dramatic increase in cost.
I took a visit to Brandon Tool Hire on Hotwells Road to discuss the options with powering lights, using 6K worth of fresnel lights as the base example. I presented the idea of taking lights up Cheddar gorge and powering them for 15minute bursts. As soon as I mentioned taking it up Cheddar gorge the idea of a larger generator was completely out of the question as it would be too heavy to take up there realistically.
This instantly narrowed it down to having two 6K generators, but once again the distance and weight (around 117kg) would be an issue. The best option from this company would be three 3.5K generators, proving enough safe power for the 2K ARRIs. The option of a 2.5K generator would also be feasible and slightly cheaper, but it is worth the additional cost to have a safer working load as the 2K ARRI on a 2.5K generator would be pushing it to its fullest extent, plus the addition of extension cables would only diminish the power output.
The idea of three 3.5K generators is completely doable, just something that will be a bit of an inconvenience. For now I’ve gathered the statistics and numbers to present but I think we will need to consider another method to light or make dramatic changes to accommodate for a smaller generator. The sound is going to be an issue as any silent generators become larger and heavier, making it impossible to take it to the location. By having a 3.5K generator it allows extension cables to be a viable option, but some vague humming still may happen with sound, which should really be tested before committing to the hire.
For now I’ve received a quote of £70 (+VAT) per generator, picking them up Friday afternoon and returning them on the Monday. The company were kind enough to charge us only for 1 day as it would be over the weekend and we could give them enough notice rather than charging the usual 7 day rate.