Vittorio Storaro: 220v, Dimmers, & Speed

From American Cinematographer, Storaro and Bulworth by Garrett Brown (June 1998)

The use of 220 volts for all lighting reduces the diameter of copper needed for the cable runs, and the dimmers yield a great savings of time and energy-- fewer trips up ladders to throw in scrims, less heat on the set and longer life for globes and gels. Plus, everybody is visibly energized when the lights go up, and can relax when they go down. It's a great change from the timeless, perpetually-lit studio sets that are so enervating after the 20th hour.

Is Vittorio fast? I think so. With the right pre-rig, the system can be very speedy. I asked if being fast was important to him. Vittorio said,

"No. I understand that it can be very useful for the assistant director to know how long it will take if an actor needs to be called, or if they want to break for lunch—you have to tell them a number. But the process of changing from one shot to the other is very fast, so you can tell any number and everyone will be happy. Anyway you will wait for the weather, for the director, for something. I don't care if they tell me I'm the fastest or the slowest. Hollywood, to me, exaggerates everything."

- Vittorio Storaro, ASC, AIC

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