Hi Cameron, Hi Sam,
You sure answer many questions! Not sure if I asked them, but please keep those personal messages public Cameron, this is interesting Reading between the lines of your messages it seems the 1200W HMI can handle a lower ASA than a 1200W tungsten? Not that I would be ably to use HMI much, but it's interesting. The gap between 650W and 2000W tungsten is smaller than you expect when you take the lightmeter out, and it makes you wonder how these photographers shoot ASA 100 films with their fresnels.
Het Licht! It sure is a small world, only a week ago I checked if they had 2 1200W HMI for rent, but it looks like they mainly focus on big productions. Did you work on films in the Netherlands Sam? It almost is a shame you don't use all of your lighting experience with lights in photography. Light is so fascinating, I started experimenting with mirrors and then discovered their light is very similar to the fresnel light, parallel beams, a character you can't get from most flash deflectors. The attached image for instance has no light sources other than the sun, I just used some mirrors and cloth and then bounced the window light to make the scene interesting. Like you said, less can be more! Actually it is a bit harder to create the right light with fresnels only, but as you probably know we don't always have the sun available in A'dam. (I suddenly realize why you don't need lights: Australia )
Maybe the fresnel got out of fashion with color photography? HMI being expensive and tungsten being the wrong temperature for most films and different than daylight?
Still there are some of today's top photographers who use the open fresnel, Peter Lindbergh and Vincent Peters for instance. The last guy also uses a lot of wierd materials to deflect light, I've seen him work with big crystals etc. but his fresnels are always at the basis. And isn't it still the main light source in moving pictures? Sounds like a stunning job you have Sam! I've watched films like pride&prejudice (2005) without sound (not so great story, stunning light) just for the light and in their 'making of' it looks like many open fresnels.