Grip and Lighting Illustrated Dictionary
for Film and
K - Kelvin through Kliegl
Kelvin color temperature - is a numbered scale of degrees used to name the place
in the spectrum a particular light source emits light in. Video cameras
can be set to the dominant color temperature of a lighting setup or
source, and film stocks are generally set for two distinct color
temperatures (3200K and 5600K).
Light sources used in film and video production are usually
"tungsten balanced" 3200K (not to be confused with household
tungsten bulbs which are more in the 2600 to 2800K range) or
"daylight balanced" 5600K. The lower the number, the
"redder", the higher the number the "bluer" the
light is when recorded by video sensors and film stocks.. An example of
how this all matters in video production is: a camera set for 3200K
tungsten would see household tungsten light (2600K or so) as having
"more orange" or warmer look in the image. 5600K daylight
would have a blue tinge or cast with the camera or film stock set for
Key Grip - key as in main, top, head of the grips on a film/video
production crew. The key grip is involved in and oversees moving
equipment, rigging, light diffusion and control devices (flags, nets,
silks, etc. on grip stands), reflectors and much, much more.
Keylight - is the dominant or main light in a video/film lighting setup. In
most simple outdoor setups, the keylight would be the sun, of course,
but not always! You might have the sun go behind a building, or things
go long and the day is fading. So you pull out a big honkin' 12 or 18K,
to act as the "sun" and it would then be the keylight.
Kicker (aka kick) - a backlight offset enough (3/4 or 45
degree angle approximately) to brush around the front of the
subject. For example, a kicker would backlight an actors head, as well
as brush around over the cheekbone and jawline a bit.
Kill switch - the "master off" control for a generator
or power distribution box.
Kino-Flo - is a type of light by the company of the same name which uses color balanced/enhanced flourescent tubes. Kinos are great for soft light and have many sizes and intensities to choose from. They generate a lot less heat than a tungsten or HMI light source, and have become a commonly found and used light source on location and studio shoots.
Klieg (or Kliegl) light - an intensely bright white carbon-arc
light used mostly in earlier eras of movie production. Two carbon rods
are almost tip to tip, then electric current is applied, causing a
"flame" or arc, in the gap. The gap has to be set fairly
precisely for the arc to occur, and must be maintained as the rods burn
away to keep the tips the same distance apart. Named for the inventors,
brothers John and Anton Kliegl. The name is used somewhat commonly as a
metaphor for putting something under intense scrutiny or up in the glare
of public view. Hollywood premier-type searchlights are Klieg lights.