Movie Making Manual/Power Sources
This Module is part of the Movie Making Manual
On a film set, the power source is usually managed by the Electrical Department. Depending on where you are shooting and the volume of power the production requires, many different power sources are used. Typically you are either using Stage Power, House Power, A Tie-In, or a Generator.
When filming on a sound-stage large amounts of power are typically provided as part of the facility, although this is not always the case. Typically, power is provided in the form of 3-phase 110v with Cam-Lock hook-ups.
House power refers to power that is already installed within a location. For example, if you are shooting in a apartment, House Power refers to existing power installed in the apartment. House power is generally not preferred because: lighting equipment can require more power than is available, circuit-boxes can be difficult to locate in the event of a overload, a relatively large amount of power is usually used which increases the power-bill for that cycle.
A Tie-In is a method of tapping directly into the power that feeds a building from the city power-grid, thereby bypassing the limits of the circuits that are installed in the building.
A Tie-In is a dangerous activity which requires experience and skill. Improper methods can result in damage to city power-grids and death.
Generators are used in Motion Picture Production to provide power to all the departments of the production, the most demanding on which is the lighting department. Typically generators are used when filming on location, as power is normally provided when filming on a sound-stage.