Light with Fire – with a DIY “Medusa Light”

Lighting with real fire or candlelight can be tricky – but Shane Hurlbut ASC has developed a unique way to simulate the flickering look of fire with a DIY Medusa light.

Here’s his run down on how to make your own:


When I signed on to do The Greatest Game Ever Played, I wanted to try to reinvent the way I made fire light. I had used many different approaches in the past, like small Mole Richardson inky and tweenie lights with different colored gels on them dancing up and down on a variac/dimmer.

However, none of them felt as real as I wanted them to. I have LIGHT-MARES on movies. I will be on a film and all of a sudden, I’ll fly up in the middle of the night and say MEDUSA!!!!! This is what happened to me on The Greatest Game. Looking for the inspiration to create this new effect light came to me on one cold winter’s night in Montreal. My DIY light is the Medusa light, and I feel it is one of the most realistic lights for creating this wonderful effect.

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