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Light On A Boom


Recently I've seen a lot of "behind the scenes" footage of location shoots where a crew member is holding a small light source on a boom pole.

Can anyone point me in the direction of information how these booms are rigged? The types of sources used? How powered? etc.


Peter Wiley
Arbour Media
Lewisburg PA USA


one way do have this done is to rig with a "painter pole to baby spud" adapter, pretty cheap, I think maybe 12-15 dollars at modern grip here in Los Angeles, (they have a website)

Jared Hoy
Los Angeles, CA
Cinematographer || Gaffer
IMDB profile at ::
Reel is available to view at ::

I use this kind of source regularly.

Either a K5600, usually the 400 Joker Bug, in a Springball or a smaller tungsten lamp in a Springball.

All of "About a Girl" was lit with the Joker bug in a Springball powered by a Lightning Strikes battery on a trolley, this lasted most of a Northern UK winters day.

I used a Springball on a boom a lot on "Mutant Chronicles" either a large studio boom or a hand-held Fish pole type boom.

This kind of arrangement is great if you want to keep a punchy background but get a soft key in close to the main artists.


Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based

What's a springball?

Marty Mullin
Los Angeles
818 712-0272
305 606-1262

I'm sure that a "spring ball" in the UK is a "China Ball" or "paper lantern" in the US. Chimera makes one which fits quite nicely on a 400 joker.

My personal favourite "light on a stick" is a 4' Kino tube (only the tube) bailing wired to the end of a painters pole (or a very nice soundman’s carbon fibre boom pole). One can 2" blk paper tape the top and sides, making it into a very controllable soft travelling bit of fill/eyelight/edgelight.

You can power it off a 12V battery in a back pack (12V Kino ballast) or I found it easy to run a stinger to an assistant w/ the ballast hooked to a few Kino head cables.

Great fun to "joust" with the soundman’s boom guy and pop the light in where needed.

Josh Spring (ball?)
Gaffer etc...
Bethesda MD

I'm pretty sure a lot of lost in translation was lit with something similar. Pretty fun/easy soft setup I'd think.

I love china balls either way.

Eoin McGuigan
Minneapolis/St. Paul

> What's a Springball?

As someone has already pointed out it's essentially a China Ball but is fabric and comes in versions that already have tungsten lights in which=h are removable and can be replaced with a Joker Bug.

It's very fast, robust and versatile.


Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based

Where can you get one of these Springballs?

Marty Mullin
Los Angeles
818 712-0272
305 606-1262

>>Where can you get one of these Springballs?

Try -- no information on pricing in sales, I wouldn't think they'd be that expensive, but there's email contact for them as well.

-Eoin McGuigan-


I have a selection of sizes from them and they stand up to the rigors of many features.

Paul Nordin

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