Dean Merrill with the Panel Lantern

Portland, Maine Cinematographer Dean Merrill got gorgeous shots with the Panel Lantern in the Cumberland Club video promo.

Cumberland Club is a private social club in Maine that was looking for a promo video. In 8 years of shooting Dean has shot for Sony, Timberland, Ralph Lauren, Cole Hann, Reebok, Hewlett Packard, Vineyard Vines.

The project started when Director Jameson Smith asked Dean Merrill to come see the Cumberland Club one day. While enjoying a lovely old fashion, Jameson asked if Dean wanted to shoot this project with him. They started brainstorming ideas that would fulfill the Club’s needs, and they landed on the concept of following a character’s adventure through the rooms of the Club during a 5 minute break from a meeting.

This video took place at a colonial mansion with massive ceilings, beautiful architecture, and stunning location. The location did a lot of the work since it was so beautiful to shoot in.

Dean generally goes for a naturalistic style, but this piece required a more dramatic and theatrical look. He already loved the LiteGear lights and invested last year in the LiteTile4x4 and usually puts it through an 8×8 diffusion.

Inspired by Darius Khondji’s work on Midnight In Paris; Dean was going for a dreamy and dramatic light, “which I think my Gaffer Adam Belanger and crew were able to accomplish quite well.”

“The light weight of the entire unit (Panel Lantern) was incredibly helpful for this job” -Adam Belanger

Adam Belanger – Gaffer:

“The light weight of the entire unit (Panel Lantern) was incredibly helpful for this job. Due to the camera movements, nearly every head had to be hung from the ceiling or armed out. The Panel Lantern was perfect in either situation and provided a fantastic quality of light.

I had just worked with the Chimera Pancake Lantern a few weeks before NAB and remembered just how great it is. When I saw the Panel Lantern, I felt like it was a nice step forward for an already great setup.

I definitely look forward to adding this lamp to my kit and using it in the future. ”

The actress leaves and dances her way in a minute and half “oner” dancing through 12 lights before entering the dinner room. Quasars in the background and Panel Lantern with muslin as the key for the talent. There was a LitePanel Gemini for blue color tone, and a ton of haze. “The Panel Lantern is great for small spaces that we need to setup quickly and get close to talent.” Lightweight and taking little power played a big part of lighting.

“We used the Panel Lantern when we were looking for a nice soft top light that had a small footprint, low power draw, and quick to setup.

For this shoot we used it for a few scenes, but it played best in the dinner scene when we needed to see the world. We were able to place it on a menace arm over our actors which took about 5 minute to completely setup. This was great as it put out no heat, and created a lovely soft source. We also had the Panel Lantern always on standby on a stick and a V-Mount battery incase we needed it.” Said Dean

After all was shot Director Jameson Smith went straight to see the editor that very weekend in NYC. Thanks to the great team Jameson, Dean, and Gaffer Adam Belanger got everything perfect on set. A lot of production value came together quickly. With a two weeks’ turnaround this was a very fast project for its size.

Dean found 3 key features in the Panel Lantern:

“1. Power: You can run this full up for an hour off of an 85 watt hour v-mount battery.

  1. Quality of light: It really makes a nice controllable source with no heat.
  2. Portability: This product really shines if you are in a run and gun situation, where you need a nice light that takes little time to setup. I can see the Panel working great with the Sony FS7 and A7sii cameras.”

To see more of his Deans work visit:

BTS Video by Charlotte Warren

Cast and Crew:
Actress: @chelseafanderson
Director: @rjamesonwsmith
1st AD: @breanna_leigh12
Gaffer: @goodtimesgrip
Key Grip: @theron.powell
1st AC: @santwiches
Steadicam Op: Alex Satula
2nd AC: @helleganza
Electric: @mainejack
Grip: @spadevision
HMU: @kristin_nawrocki
Location: @cumberlandclubportland