Our Big Blog

The Wireless Post

How to Prepare to be a Cinematographer

While it is often said that experience is the best teacher, education is also important when preparing to enter the field of cinematography. In fact, a bachelor’s degree is usually a prerequisite for entering this highly specialized field. Thus, aspiring cinematographers can best be prepared by thoughtfully adding both education and practical experience to their palate.


Formal Education


There are several kinds of degrees that are available to people entering the field of cinematography. Those degrees include: a Cinematography Certificate, an Associate of Arts in Motion Pictures, and a Bachelor of Science in Digital Cinematography. These degree programs teach a plethora of skills ranging from directing to sound design to screen writing etc. Here are other areas that aid in growing a student’s knowledge of this field.

  • Camera operation and videography: Cinematographers are part technician and part artist. They must know a great deal about the technical operation of different kinds of cameras, lenses, lighting and accessories. Fortunately, as this field grows there are many degree programs and courses offered in colleges and universities all around the world that support the development of aspiring cinematographers.
  • Color science: Just as musicians use different tones and scales in order to create musical pieces, cinematographers use color to relay their artistic vision to the public.
  • Watch movies: Every film class will have as part of its curriculum recommended movies that students should watch. Watching various movies from different cinematographers will help students understand why cameras move the way they do and why certain scenes are shot the way they are.

Practical Experience


  • Make your own short films: Creating your own independent project will help you gain actual experience telling a story using film. It will teach you storyboarding, camera work, etc.
  • Get on a set: Greatness comes from humble beginnings. Apply for jobs such as production assistant, camera operator, lighting technician, craft service personnel in order to get some experience actually being on a film set. Take notes and soak in everything that is going on around you.
  • Take pictures and short movies: Take every opportunity to utilize what you know by taking pictures and making movies with whatever equipment you have. Doing this will teach you framing, composition, exposure, texture, etc.

Ultimately, hard work and dedication do pay off. Cinematographers make a lasting effect on the public by utilizing education and experience they have acquired over a lifetime. Through our dimmer rentals and wireless dimmers we impact how film makers, stage directors and other professionals use light to

Tv Cinematographer Camera Operator Film Live

convey their stories.

The Consumer Electronics Show: Christmas in January

Consumer electronics are the most heavily exchanged gifts during the holiday season. Many of us anticipate receiving gifts of the latest innovations in the categories of audio/visual, virtual reality and gaming devices. However, for people who are true technophiles the real glimpse into the latest innovations in these categories comes in the form of the most heavily anticipated electronics display of all – the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018. This show gives consumers a sneak peek into the future with technologies that at times seem almost otherworldly. This is why Ratpac Dimmers is so excited to be a part of an industry that progresses through such leaps and bounds. Many of the technologies present at these shows complement devices like our wireless dimmers and wireless DMX systems. CES 2018 runs from January 9 through 12 and will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada.


What is the Consumer Electronics Show?

The CES is the world’s largest gathering of those who are involved in the business of consumer technologies. It has provided a look into our technological future for more than 50 years and has introduced many technologies in the areas of gaming, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, smart home technology and entertainment. It is in the field of entertainment where Ratpac Dimmers products intersect with this premiere electronics show.

Attendees and Exhibitors


Featured exhibitors at the show will include Advconsumer-electronics-2018ance Tech Vegas, AerNos, American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, Analogix Semiconductor, Roland Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric and many others. Speakers at the conference will include:

  • Rajia Abdelaziz, CEO of invisaWear who will discuss wearable technologies,
  • Tim Alessi, Director – of New Product Development at LG Electronics will discuss the future of TV
  • Eric Berger, CDO at Sony Pictures Television Networks and GM of Crackle Sony Pictures Television Networks who will discuss the future of personal content viewing.

(A complete schedule of events can be found here.)


Super Sessions

Since the exchange of information is the primary function of the show, CES Supersessions will feature prediction and discussions by industry trend setters and senior executives. These sessions will include their predictions of the future of these emerging technologies. In conclusion, CES 2018 will present technologies that advance the field of entertainment just as our wireless dimmers and our Cintenna kits do. We wish all our customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and promise to be on the forefront of the emerging technologies that 2018 and beyond will bring.

America’s 5 Most Anticipated Holiday Light Displays

In the modern era, light displays have become a traditional part of the holiday season. Even now millions of homeowners are hanging up their Christmas lights to see whose display reigns supreme. However, few private owners can hope to match the scale and grandeur of organized light exhibits. These displays take advantage of technologies that are not readily available to most private individuals. For this reason, holiday revelers are willing to travel all around the country in order to watch this tradition that mixes art and technology. We’ve gathered some of the most highly anticipated light displays that will take place all over the country.

  • Frisco, TX: This city is home to the largest residential computerized Christmas light displays in northern Texas. Computers are used to control roughly 65,000 lights and then to synchronize those lights with music using an FM transmitter. This year the display is expected to be even more spectacular than ever.
  • Branson, Missouri: Speaking of spectacular displays, this popular Midwestern destination features dazzling special effects including a million twinkling lights that also move in sync to holiday music.
  • New York City: As American as “Big Apple” pie, the LED lights of 30 Rockefeller Plaza at Christmas time are what most of the world associates with the great city. Other light exhibits that visitors can catch when they are in the city include the displays of Saks, Lord & Taylor, Tiffany’s and Barney’s, among other famous retailers.
  • Anaheim, California: Boasting such treats as “Disney Viva Navidad Street Party”, the “Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort” and “The World of Color – Season of Light” show, Orange County has a lot going for it this and every Christmas. The festivities rflorida-2460973_640un from November 10th to January 7th.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina: Every year people travel to see the legendary Charlotte Motor Speedway event that features 3 million lights as well as music, a Christmas village, horse drawn carriages and other family friendly attractions. Also featured will be a laser light display and even a petting zoo for the kids.

In short, there are some truly magnificent light displays that will be taking place in all parts of the country. However, none of the displays would be possible without devices like Strand Dimmers and various wireless setups. Our customers depend on the technology we provide to make various entertainment venues more memorable be they the above light displays, concerts, theatrical performances, etc. That is why we also offer Strand Dimmer repair. Our equipment makes these venues run smoother.

Ratpac Dimmers and The Live Design LDI show Las Vegas

Ratpac Dimmers is always happy to be a part of the innovation that is constantly happening in our field. That is the reason we are proud to be a part of The Live Design LDI show in Las Vegas this year November 13-19, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV. This year’s event will be attended by professionals in the fields of theatre, television, film, etc. This year’s event also marks the tenth anniversary of the LDI show which promises to bring together innovators in various fields. Thus, is not simply an opportunity for us to display our excellent products but it is also an opportunity for all to learn and benefit from the expertise of their peers.


The Exhibitors


Ratpac Dimmers: (Booth 2375) A seller of American made wireless AV Stumpfl USA Corporation: Makes and sells portable projection screens ROE Visual Co. Ltd: They create linear LED element for stage designs.  Harman Professional provides solutions for cover lighting, atmospheric effects and creative videos Philips Entertainment is the one of the oldest and most respected names in the industry offering a wide range of state-of-the-art lighting solutions for the concert, theatre, television, film, etc Lycian Stage Lighting is a leading maker of follow spots.

Noteworthy Presentations


Exhibitor presentations and panel discussions that will be held at this year’s Live Design LDI Light Show include:


-“From Concept to First Night” This presentation will be made by Jonathan Smeeton. It will be a discussion of taking ideas from concept to fruition. November 18, 1:30pm – 2:30pm.

-“How Advances in Wireless DMX Will Change the Way we do Lighting” This will be a discussion in the advances in wireless DMX technology. November 18, 12pm – 1pm

-“Introducing Braceworks: Vectorworks’ New Entertainment Rigging Analysis Model” held by Jim Woodward, Senior Entertainment Product Specialist at Vectorworks, Inc. November 18, 3pm       4pm.

2016 – 2017 Awards Series

Of course, the conference is all about innovation and the sharing of information between professionals in the fields of lighting/entertainment theatre, opera, concert designing, architectural lighting design etc. In order to incentivize innovation, awards will be presented in the categories of:

  • Design Achievement: Previous winners in this category include: Jonathan Deans of Meyer Sound, Sooner Rothier & Robert Long of ACT Lighting and Tal Yarden of T3
  • Product of the Year: Previous winners include: Rational Acoustics SMAART 8, City Theatrical DMXCat, et al.
  • Excellence: Previous winners include: Dubai Water Canal 2016, Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Hairspray Live!, Rumba Room Live


Yes, we will be attending this event because it is about innovation and the exchange of information that will serve to move our field forward. See you there!

Ratpac Dimmers and the At Large Musical Festival/EXPO

Ratpac Dimmers – Back in the 50s and 60s, the lighting at music festivals and concerts served only to illustrate the performers and nothing more. No one had quite yet thought about marrying light with sound in order to enhance the experience for concert goers and performers alike. The 70s and beyond introduced a whole host of flamboyant performers and bands who used music to augment their unique styles and accent their distinctive compositions. Today, spectacular lighting is one of the primary considerations stage managers use in order to put together a show. That is why Ratpac Dimmers is so excited to be a part of the upcoming 1st annual At Large Musical Festival/EXPO which runs Oct. 27 through 29 at Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta

What is the At Large Musical Festival/EXPO?

The festival is a collection of passionate artists, educators, business professionals, and volunteers who are gathering with the goal of creating a go to place for projects such as documentaries, features, music videos, V.R., etc. The festival’s creators believe that music and film are two perfectly paired media that up and coming artists must take every opportunity to use in their favor. Atlanta, as it so happens, has a long, rich tradition of being the launching point to many artists, educators and business professionals.IMG_0999


As we have said, Ratpac Dimmers would not miss the opportunity to attend such an important event and to showcase our wireless DMX. It will give artists and merchants a chance to interact and to ultimately move the industry forward with all the latest and greatest in wireless dimmer packs. Other attendees will include: Paul Miller (DJ Spooky) composer, multimedia artist, editor and author, DeVaughn Hughson, filmmaker, photographer, documentarian, Kathy Gray, Director of Operations & Creative Services, Crawford Media, Jeff Brugger, Creative Services Director of Sound Design at Turner Studios and many others.

Workshops and Discussions

The exchange of information is the primary function of the Festival. Aiding this goal will be workshops and discussions on the following topics and many others: Immersive Music in VR hosted by composer and technologist with Tunewelders, The Art of Scoring Silent Film by DJ Spooky and Bret Wood, The Role of Music in her Creative Process by Barbara McCullough and many more. (For a detailed list of the workshops and discussions that will be held at the festive go here.

In conclusion, our products such as our Ratpac wireless dimmers and our Ratpac Cintenna kits are a perfect match for the attendees of this first time event. We hope that our association with the event will be a long and fruitful one and that it will advance the lighting industry and further strengthen the bound that exists between music and light.

The Top 5 Greatest Cinematographers of all Time

As the entertainment industry becomes more and more invested in completely immersive technologies, it should always be remembered that motion pictures are still primarily a visual medium. It is through the use of light and shadow, brightness and contrast, color and saturation that directors seek to carry us along with them as they convey stories that will make a lasting impression on us. Aiding them in this task are cinematographers. They must take all of the aforementioned tools and sculpt them into an experience that all involved in the project can be proud of and that the public will enjoy. We honor five of the cinematographers who stand out from their peers in this difficult task by including them in this list.

  • Roger Deakins: British born Roger Deakins is best known for his work on the films of the Coen brothers and Sam Mendes. He has received accolades from the British Society of Cinematographers as well as multiple Academy Award nominations. His movies include: The Shawshank Redemption, Dead Man Walking, O Brother, Where Art Thou? A Beautiful Mind, True Grit and many others.
  • Robert Burks: Best known for his collaborative work with Alfred Hitchcock, Burks is often referred to as a chameleon for his ability to adapt to any director with which he worked. Some of Cinematographers_The_Birds_original_posterhis works include Strangers on a Train (1951), The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), The Music Man (1962), Vertigo (1958), the Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964).
  • Jack Cardiff: Director Michael Powell once described British born Cardiff as “the best colour cameraman in the world” (Cardiff’s illustrious career began in the silent era.) His resume includes the movies Black Narcissus (1947), War and Peace (1956), Fanny (1961), The Red Shoes (1948), Ghost Story (1981) and many others.
  • Janusz Kaminski: Kaminski is best known for his partnership with Steven Spielberg and has been a cinematographer since 1993. He has won the Academy Award for his work on Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) and for Saving Private Ryan (1998). His other works include Amistad (1997), I. Artificial Intelligence and many others.
  • Vilmos Zsigmond: Zsigmond fled Hungary in 1956 and began his career in the 1970s. He is known for his use of natural light and vivid color. His works include The Long Goodbye (1973 ), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977 ), The Deer Hunter (1978), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) and many others.

We know that this list is debatable and many greats are not included here but these are cinematographers who we feel deserve a special mention for elevating the art of movie making. Their works are a part of posterity. They are noted for combining the latest technologies of the time with their own natural knowledge of the medium.

Wireless DMX, Skylink and SkyPanel: The Next Logical Step

The most exciting thing about being a part of the lighting industry is witnessing how one technology is often combined with another to enhance the quality and functionality of both innovations. This is the case with ARRI and Innovative Dimmers who have teamed up to create Skylink a two-part system that allows for wireless DMX and RDM communication to SkyPanels. What are SkyPanels? SkyPanels are a compact, ultra-bright and high-quality LED soft light. They incorporate the features of ARRI’s L-Series LED Fresnels. In short, SkyPanels are one of the most versatile soft lights on the market, as well as one of the brightest. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and thus can be used as a soft light or a space light. Innovative Dimmers and Ratpac Dimmers use the same kind of wireless dimmer technology and have eliminated the need for DMX cables.


This new creation, Skylink, increases the innovative features of SkyPanels which among other things are cable of


  • Being matched with existing light sources
  • Fitting into tight locations
  • Adjusting from 2.8k to 10kskylink_prod
  • Having hue and saturation control
  • Being able to be used in multiple configurations
  • An easily shaped beam
  • Move around from one location to another easily

One can easily see the many applications for which SkyPanels can be used. It is also not too difficult to see how this added convenience is made possible due to wireless DMX technology. SkyPanels can be used outdoors or inside, in theatre productions as well as concerts and in Television products and by the movie industry. These technologies merging in the way they have, demonstrates the innovation that our industry is constantly achieving. Ratpac Dimmers is a part of that innovation and is proud when a technology that we commonly use can be made to enhance another exciting device. Our wireless DMX technology is state of the art. We are very much excited to see how this creation – Skylink – evolves even further.


Ratpac Dimmers: Illuminating the Future of Entertainment Lighting

There is a reason why the effects that the movie going public knows are referred to as “the magic of Hollywood.” Entertainment lighting experts constantly face the challenge of creating spectacular on- screen effects that are eye-popping and that propel the story they are trying to convey while at the same time concealing the means by which they perform this “magic” from the public. This is why they rely, more and more on our technologies that are unobtrusive and that not only help to create spectacular displays, but are more or less hidden from public view. A small list of productions that have or who are currently using our wireless dimmers and LumenRadio’s industry leading CRMX technology are:

● Gone Girl
● Fantastic Four
● Pitch Perfect
● Trumbo
● Free state of Jones
● Roots
● Avengers: Civil War II
● Jurassic World
● Passengers
● Bad Moms

Sci-fi films such as the Fantastic Four, Jurassic World and Avengers: Civil War II in particular create challenges for gaffers and lighting artists as audiences have become more demanding with each movie that comes out of Hollywood. They expect to be wowed and to let down viewers can be a death sentence for these kinds of movies that cost millions of dollars. Similarly, letting down our customers by not providing them with the latest lighting technology is not an option for us. Cintenna receivers – which plug directly into a lighting fixture without extra hardware, zip ties or cable – are especially helpful for lighting professionals who are looking for the most efficient and quickest way to communicate with an array of other equipment. We sell to bigger companies like the major studios and rent to smaller ones, equipment that can make all the difference in a production. And as anyone who works in the field of movie or TV production knows, further complications in producing features are not needed. There are a lot of moving parts that must be managed in producing a 90-minute or even a 30-minute production.

In other words, the strength of our products as everyone from lighting technicians to gaffers to other artists can attest to is that they are easy to use, reliable and functional. The productions listed here encompass several different genres which call for different and very specific lighting demands. This is why our product is used by these professionals or as Erik Messerschmitt – Chief Lighting Technician on The Fantastic Four and Gone Girl says, “They have changed the way we work for the better. Such a great product.”

The IBC2017 Conference, Rai, Amsterdam

Established in 1967, the IBC2017 Conference is perhaps the most well-respected conference in the electronic media and entertainment industry. This year the 50 year-old conference will be held in Rai, Amsterdam from September 14 – 18. Ratpac Dimmers proudly announces that we will be in attendance at this prestigious conference. However, the IBC2017 is more than about prestige or the fact that the IBC conference is enjoying its Golden anniversary. It is about the opportunity for professionals in the business to share their ideas on where the industry is now and where it will be headed in the future. It is a meeting place for thought leaders in the industry as well as an opportunity for professionals to present their strategies and innovations that will continue to grow this industry. This is why we will be one of the many proud attendees of the conference.


Last year the conference boasted record attendance with more than 55,000 people gathering there. “IBC really is the only forum that attracts a global audience, the most comprehensive exhibition, and the best thought-leaders to spark the debate,” Michael Crimp, CEO of IBC, said in a statement last year. This year, attendance at the conference is expected to be equally robust. This year there will be more than 1,700 exhibitors including: Verizon Digital Media Services, BBC Research and Development, Dalet Digital Media Systems, Primestream and many others. One company, TV Globo has already won the IBC Conference Prize for best conference paper titled ‘Big Data for Data Journalism, Enhanced Business Analytics and Video Recommendation at Globo.’ibc2017


Being the 50th anniversary of the IBC, the conference will also include a Charity Football Match and 4k 4Charity Fun Run.  Events at IBC2017 will include the Conference itself, a Big Screen feature, a Leader’s Summit, C. Tech Forum 5G, C-Tech Forum: Cyber Security and a CE Hub Theatre feature. The Leader’s conference will include Tony Maddox EVP and Managing Director at CNN International, Latha Maripuri, Global CISO & Deputy CTO of News Corp, Richard Michos CMO, Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment, IBM.


Yes, innovation will be the emphasis of this year’s IBC2017. Since we at RatPac Dimmers are all about innovation, we will be there to interact with other professionals in the industry and to share in the events surrounding the 50th anniversary of the August IBC.

The Top Upcoming Lighting Events of 2017-2018

One of the most exciting things about our industry is watching how rapidly technology advances. Because lighting technology advances so quickly, we constantly keep apprised of events where new technologies are demonstrated and where information between professionals can be freely exchanged. That is why we are excited that a whole host of upcoming lighting events are scheduled to take place in the current and upcoming year. Here are some of the most eagerly anticipated of those events.

  • LED Expo Mumbai (30 Nov – 02 Dec 2017): This event will be held in India and promises to demonstrate futuristic advances in lighting. Exhibitors there will include: Chipmax Design Labs, Kalpataru Industries (Apple Lite), Xinhua Electronical Co., Ltd. Of Guangdong and many other international lighting companies.
  • China (Guzhen) International Lighting Fair (October 22nd to 26th October): This event, which will be held in China, will hold thousands of lighting products including decorative Lighting fixtures, household lighting, commercial lighting, LED Lighting & Technology, Outdoor Lighting, Electrical and Electronic Products.
  • LuxLive 2017 (November 15 – 16, 2017): This event will be held in London and will host, according to the site, “… revolution … transforming light fittings into smart devices which can monitor and control our environment.” Exhibitors there will include A1 Lighting, iLumTech, Holophane, NorthCliffe, Samsung and many other innovators in the field of lighting.
  • Dallas International Lighting Market (Jan 17th to 21st Jan 2018): This event will showcase lighting technologies as they relate to interior design and architecture.
  • Prosal- Professional Sound and Light Expo (21st July to 23rd July 2017): The exhibitors of his event will showcase laser technologies and special effects equipment, professional audio equipment, A/V technology, Stage, studio and event technology, Pro-audio and lighting accessories and more.
  • ELA Expo Lighting America (27th Feb to 1st Mar 2018): Held in Centro Citibanamex in Mexico City, this five day event will showcase advances in industrial, commercial and architectural lighting. Exhibitor there will include: Nora Lighting, Lumika Bright Solutions, Inc., LED Roadway Lighting and many others.lighting
  • Led Japan Conference & Expo (14th September to the 16th September 2016): This conference event will be at the Yokohama Pacifico Convention Plaza in Yokohama, Japan. US exhibitors will include NTT Advanced Technology, Laser Focus World Japan, IMRA America, Inc. and others.


This is just a small sample of the many lighting events that will be held in the current and upcoming year. Our industry is bustling with innovation and Ratpac Dimmers proudly stands up to the challenge of providing its customers with many of these technologies like our wireless dimmers.