Brent Sauls of Magic Arm Lighting is a freelance gaffer and cinematographer from Cape Town South Africa – currently based in Johannesburg – whose professional career has encompassed 15 years at the forefront of making a diversity of commercials, movies, and TV series.

Last year he invested in a set of eight Astera Titan Tubes, purchased from South African distributor, DWR … and these have been working constantly ever since.

Brent noticed that Titan Tubes were becoming increasingly frequently requested by a variety of DoPs, especially on commercials.

As a gaffer, it is advantageous to be able to offer certain specialist lighting elements and products to a production. “It’s all about having the right tools!” he stated, and this drove the purchase by Magic Arm Lighting, which Brent co-owns with two other cinematographers, Quinton Fredericks & Ebrahim Hajee.

He knew Titan Tubes would be a big hit on set, especially for environments which are challenging or needing to get lighting in awkward and difficult to access places. “They are extremely user-friendly products, and once familiar with what they can do, new ideas just keep flowing on how to use them next!” he enthused.

The onboard battery and fully wireless control solution top the list of benefits for Brent, making them “ultimately deployable”.

His Titan Tubes have been used on several movies, commercial shoots including Eskort Bacon, MTV, BMW, Audi, and Vodacom, and currently on a TV series for Netflix which is being shot in Johannesburg where they are on set daily.

He observes that as well as being an ideal unseen light source, the aesthetics of the Titan Tube make the products also look great as in-shot effects! That’s on top of being essential for adding background detail, texturing or pools and splashes of light and colour that are easily rigged exactly where needed.

“It’s a bonus that they look fantastic on camera in every way,” he says, highlighting the importance of the clean and elegant quality of the light output and – again – the physical appearance in addition to the smooth even coverage and dynamic colour changing sequences and pulse effects.

The neat and discreet design of the onboard controls is another asset, plus the fact that the units are super-easy to use in stand-alone mode.

“Astera is a top choice right now!” he concludes, adding that while they can’t go out on every job due to budget, he’s expecting the Titan Tubes to have another busy year ahead.

Film, TV, and commercials were the first – and currently only – ‘entertainment’ production sectors to have been able to properly restart and continue working safely since the pandemic hit, and Brent counts himself as “very blessed” to have had the opportunity to be working through at least some of this challenging and constantly shifting worldwide public health crisis.

Photo courtesy of Brent Sauls, and shows him on set with Astera Titan Tubes.

May 2023 issue

2023 A1 Buyers Guide