Shane Hurlbut --that never-ending font of cinematography knowledge-- has another great DIY solution on offer. This time he tackles the simulation of fire light. In the past, Hurlbut had used various approaches to creating fire-like lighting, but none gave him the realism that he wanted to achieve. So for The Greatest Game Ever Played he dreamt up a better way: The Medusa.

Using the Medusa for a candlelit scene

A scene from The Greatest Game Ever Played. Skip to 1:05 to see the Medusa at work.

Granted this will take a few people to operate and some practice will be required to get the right look, but overall the Medusa looks like a cost-effective way to get an impressive result. The full breakdown on how to build a Medusa is on Hurlbut's website, but there's a bit in the instructions that needs a little clarification. The way it's worded, it sounds like you need to buy 15 stage mics to get the 19-inch goosenecks and table mounts you need, which is not the case. You can get the goosenecks here and the table mounts here.

What do you think of the lighting produced by the Medusa? And what solutions have you come up with for simulating fire and candlelight?

Link: Hurlblog - Building Medusa: The Perfect DIY Fire Light