From Kin Flo’s Humble Beginnings
Kino Flo’s history is one that echoes the great tales of innovation from which so many household names are formed. The first iteration of what would become the Kino Flo system was assembled by a Dutch cinematographer by the name of Robby Muller for the set of the 1977 gangster film, The American Friend. Ten years later, in 1987, while Robby was working on the set of The Barfly, he found himself in a tight spot. Literally. He wasn’t able to fit traditional lighting in the space he was shooting, so he called on the help of the gaffer and best boy to design a rig using fluorescent lighting that would be small and light enough to tape to a wall. Those two gentlemen, Frieder Hochheim and Gary Swink, would then go on to create Kino Flo Incorporated. Now the brand is a staple among cinematographers around the world and you can’t set foot on a set without seeing their rigs.
Serving the film industry for decades now, Kino Flo operates out of Burbank, CA. Their proprietary LED designs are developed using patented color science technology. Additionally, they pioneered the advancement of the fluorescent tube by inventing a high-frequency ballast giving the lights greater intensity while eliminating the typical flicker effect found in your every-day fluorescent tube. They also utilize special phosphors that distinguish themselves from the characteristic tints from typical domestic fluorescent lights. All of these innovations have served to create the highest quality lighting setups ensuring color quality for both close-ups and large area lighting. They have even ventured in more recent years into visual effects lighting creating specialized tubes optimized for green and blue screen spectra. It’s easy to see why the company has won multiple awards including a technical achievement award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its development of cool, tube-based arrays with color corrected tungsten and daylight balanced light. The Academy can be quoted as saying Kino Flo has “changed the way motion picture movies are made.”
A Perfect Chauvet Partnership
The partnership seems a match made in heaven as Chauvet has long been known as an innovator in their own industry and both companies can only stand to benefit from the influence of the other. “This represents an important step for our company in our ongoing mission to expand our broadcast, studio and film lighting capabilities,” said Albert Chauvet, CEO of Chauvet. “Kino Flo has a longstanding tradition of innovation and a commitment to excellence, which makes the company an excellent fit with Chauvet’s own philosophy. We are excited to invest in the future of Kino Flo and build on their technologies, while adding resources to accelerate product development and commercialization.”
Kino Flo couldn’t agree more. “Based on our shared longstanding commitment to our customers and cultural alignment, I am confident our customers will benefit from our new partnership,” said Frieder Hochheim, Founder of Kino Flo, who will continue to lead Kino Flo. “The combined solutions from Kino Flo and Chauvet have limitless possibilities.”
“Our entire team looks forward to bringing Kino Flo’s product line and technology solutions to our global film, broadcast and livestream lighting customers,” Chauvet said.
Kino Flo’s LED tubes, light panels and True Match® firmware dovetail with the extensive collection of CHAUVET Professional ellipsoidal, Fresnel, par, cyclorama and special effect fixtures that have become increasingly popular in broadcast applications. This is a great foundation for the growth of both companies.
Chauvet’s Proven Innovation and Reliability
Chauvet has already provided lighting solutions for numerous live broadcast productions. Their products have been utilized by top-rated hits like The Voice, network staples like The Today Show, and even special events like the Grammy Awards. CHAUVET Professional has been integral in the outstanding production value of network television programs. Among the favored lighting solutions are the Nexus 4×4, video walls, the COLORado batten series and Ovation fresnels and ellipsoidals.
Just recently lighting design company, Paint With Light, utilized a host of Chauvet lights and video walls in their brand new design for the Belgian version of Wheel of Fortune,Het Rad van Fortuin. Their use of Ovation and Maverick units for key and backlighting in conjunction with EPIX Strips and Rogue units for highlighted effects provided a fresh, colorful and lively look for the game show, distinguishing it from the masses.
Chauvet has always been known not only as an innovator in lighting technology, but the go-to provider for lighting designers looking to make a splash through their own innovation. This kind of reliability sets the stage, so to speak, as the company ventures to possibly make a name for itself in scripted television and film.
We at Springtree are very excited to see what the future has in store for this partnership and look forward to the many outstanding products they are sure to be offering. We wish both companies continued success as they break new ground in the advancement of lighting technology.
If you would like to learn more about how Chauvet can improve your lighting design and production, you can view their exceptional line of products. If you’d like to learn more about our history with Chauvet, I wrote an article about our relationship that you can read about.
As always, we are here to answer any and all questions and help you find the right products for your production. Give us a call and we’ll find the right solution for you.