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We worked with DOP Stephen Murphy BSC on Netflix’s film No One Gets Out Alive (NOGOA)
Filmed at Buftea Studios in Romania
Lighting Rental from PKE Lighting.

Stephen Murphy asked us if we could create realistic LED candles which could be scaled up, with full colour control, and realistic flame that had movement to blend in between hundreds of real candles, 

After testing a few designs, we settled on micro clusters of 32 independent LED Pixels for each candle, and provided the console with colorimetry data for calibrated colour control via it’s colour picker. In total we added around 80 Universes of LED candles to this one set, merging with the real candles which wrapped 360° around the set.

We used our ChamSys Stadium MQ500M console, which can process up to 256 Universes on board, this enabled us to control and animate every pixel independently directly from the console, this meant we didn’t need media servers, or additional processing nodes to achieve the desired effect. This saved production thousands in both time and money.  

While we are no stranger to creating LED candles, the biggest challenge was sourcing enough of High CRI LED pixels in time, while also leaving time to build and install the candles. With just over a week’s notice Showmine (Romania) was brought in to supply, build and install all the LED candles to our design.


Original images and DOP Insight published on Instagram – Stephen Murphy BSC.

Stephen Murphy BSC
One of the final sequences in the film was shot almost entirely in candlelight: lots of candlelight! We needed hundreds of burning candles, and the art department had found fantastic candles which gave us a beautiful quality of light.

Using that many candles as a lighting source has practical ramifications. It takes time to light them all, and then you have to constantly maintain their continuity, which means time to put them out between takes. Plus they give off a lot of smoke, especially when in a confined space like we were filming in.

To help out the continuity/reset/smoke issue my brilliant desk op [Jon Towler] built hundreds of LED filaments to install inside hallowed out candles.

The art department would create trays with a mixture of real and LED candles, that could easily be moved around the room as needed. We ended up using approx 50/50 LED/real candles which made shooting with that volume of candles much more practical and i’d then use @asteraofficial tubes with a matching colour temp to supplement or key an actor where needed. I was blessed on this production to have such gorgeous sets to shoot on, the design team were incredible.

“No One Gets Out Alive” | Netflix