Cinematography Mailing List - CML

CTO On Windows


24th September 2003

style="margin-bottom:0;">Hi there :


I work for a local television station, we have here one of those storefront studios for news and other type of programs we produce. The DOP before me did a good job lighting the space, but in my opinion he forgot to think about the exterior of the studio. We are located in the middle of Chinatown and there are alot of colors outside I want to take advantage of, instead of everything looking blue most of the time.


The thing is I've been trying to fix CTO's (1/4, 1/2 and full) to the windows, but am never successful avoiding the reflections from the lights on the grid.


My question is : Is there a way to fix a CTO or any filter to a window semi permanently, flat against the glass so I don't have those annoying reflections?


Thanks in advance for your advice and opinions,


Ricardo Alfonso


Vancouver, Canada



Do they still make those large acrylic boards of color-corrected plexi? They used to come in something like 4'x8' and could be cut on a table saw. One could use them for somewhat permanent installations or could even make a box of them for someone standing outside a doorway. Try Expendable Supply Store (ESS) in LA to see if they have them. If not, you could probably go to the local plexi or plastic supplier with a swatch book and have something made that's close enough.


Mitch Gross



>My question is: Is there a way to fix a CTO or any filter to a window semi >permanently, flat against the glass so I don't have those annoying >reflections?


One thing that you might want to try is to apply the CTO in the same fashion that is used to apply tinting to windows. Take a squirt bottle full of water and add a couple drops of Elmer's children's glue (I can't remember the exact name of the glue but it's a brown glue and is made specifically for children.). It doesn't take much...maybe 1 teaspoon for every quart of water.


Spray this water/glue mixture heavily over the entire window and place your gel on before it starts to dry/evaporate. Then use a squeegee to force out the water between the window and gel. The glue is strong enough to hold the gel in place but not strong enough to make a permanent bond.


This method will get out any wrinkles or air bubbles and the gel will stay in place until you peel it off. It works wonderfully...assuming your windows are no wider than your gel. Seams will be hard to hide.


Hope this helps.


Jeff Tanner



Ridgeland, MS



Cut Gel To Fit Frame. Top to bottom or Side to side...However you think the joins if any are easier to work with...


Wet the window slightly and then with one of those widow cleaners wipes, keeping this moist also smooth out the gel onto the window, creating a vacuum with the water on the glass. This should give you a neat & tidy flat surface.


The water should help with the joins in the gel for final alignment prior to final wipe with widow cleaners tool.


May be you can pick one up from somebody at the traffic lights on your way home.


This is true but I do have an instructional video that shows you how to do this, and no we don't sell lighting gel...This is not a sales plug Geoff


Carey Duffy

South London Filter Ltd

London, SW8 1AS.



Putting it on with a squeegee can certainly work (that's how the grips often do it) but the real solution is to get the CTO hard panels (Rosco makes them and I'm sure other companies do also). Expensive but highly appropriate for your situation, especially as regards permanence.


Blain Brown





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