Revealing “The Secret” Lighting Tricks Illuminating An Experimental Film

What’s old is new again with Zeiss’s relaunch of their DigiDiopters – now fit for the Zeiss Supremes, the Zeiss Compact CP.3 Prime Lenses, and the Zeiss Supreme Radiance Primes. Cinematographer Danna Kinsky teamed up with Zeiss to feature the new DigiDiopters in an experimental video entitled “The Secrets,” which demonstrates the art behind the lenses.

Kinsky’s background in fine art photography, combined with her abstract aesthetic with textures and colors, made her the perfect cinematographer to conceive this project. Her earliest concepts involved indigo and purple/blue cool tones that would be complemented with transitions to warmer tones of green, brown and gold. Knowing that her concepts would lead to some interesting light experimentation, we invited Danna and her crew into our Sun Valley showroom where she would have access to several Rosco LED lighting solutions to “paint” a variety of different lighting effects. Below, we’ll take you for a deeper BTS dive into the Rosco lighting products she used to create some of her final looks.


RoscoLED® Tape VariWhite Gaffer Kit

A shot from Danna’s experimental film “The Secrets” showing a Beta fish against a bokeh background.

Tiny moving subjects are unusually difficult and time consuming to capture. Danna wanted to showcase how she was able to use the DigiDiopters to capture the detail of a live, moving object, like a Beta Fish. Using RoscoLED Tape Strips from the VariWhite Gaffer’s Kit inside the tank, Danna was able to illuminate the Beta Fish properly – which allowed the background to bokeh out of focus, even though it was really a Rosco Rental Backdrop that was hung very close to the tank.

Camera films the fish tank featuring RoscoLED Tape VariWhite immersed in colored water.

In another part of the video, Danna experimented with different water effects and movement to showcase the macro capabilities of the DigiDiopters. Kinsky placed a 12” strip of RoscoLED Tape in the bottom of a fish tank to light the infusion of color from an ink-filled syringe as it spread throughout the water. “A 'happy accident' happened when the minimal heat from the LEDs created streaks in the ink, making a unique effect that would have never happened otherwise,” remarked Kinsky.

Danna introduces an infusion of color in aquarium water with an ink-filled syringe.

She was impressed with the versatility and durability of the IP65-rated LED strips inside the kit, noting how she could fully submerse them in water for a short amount of time to create the effects she wanted.

Learn more about the RoscoLED Tape VariWhite Gaffer Kit.


Rosco X-Effects® LED Projector

Talent’s face is illuminated with lighting effects from Rosco X-Effects LED Projector.

Kinsky was mesmerized by the moving, amorphous shapes created by the Rosco X-Effects LED Projector and wanted to find a way to incorporate these projections into the video. The X-Effects LED Projector features two rotating Effects Glass gobos inside, and you can create different lighting effects by choosing different gobos and adjusting the speed/direction/focus of the effect.“There is a wide selection of patterns and disks to choose from to create the effect you want to achieve on whatever your projecting,” said Kinsky.

Camera close up of model’s eye illuminated with banded ring light featuring strips of R83 Medium Blue gel.

She experimented with a variety of our ColorWave Gobos inside the X-Effects LED fixture to create moving bands of colored light across her talent’s face that complemented the make-up and blue-banded ring light reflection. To create the banded ring light, Kinsky’s team cut small strips of R83 Medium Blue gel and taped them in a pattern around the diffuser of the ring light they were using to illuminate the model.

Rosco X-Effects LED fixture and gobos create moving bands of colored light across the talent’s face.

Learn more about the Rosco X-Effects LED Projector

Kinsky plans to use these Rosco products in future productions and has already recommended these lights to fellow DPs (including a colleague who’s creating a volumetric filmmaking studio). “I was very fortunate to be able to collaborate with Rosco to conceive and execute this project,” said Kinsky. “I value the idea of being part of the creative community that Rosco has demonstrated they are committed to supporting. Rosco helped me bring my vision to life.”

Danna Kinsky and her crew pose inside Rosco Sun Valley, CA showroom.

A note of gratitude to Danna Kinsky and her crew for visiting our showroom in Sun Valley, CA and for sharing their inventive lighting techniques to create these looks. If you’d like to see more examples of Danna’s innovative cinematography, visit her website: You can also learn more about the Rosco products mentioned in this post, as well as the full line-up of Rosco LED lighting solutions, on Rosco’s LED Lighting Overview page at

Sara Leeper January 02, 2020 Questions?

About Sara Leeper

Sara Leeper is founder & owner of Walk the Moon Media, where she serves as storytelling consultant, writer, producer and video strategist. Sara transitioned into video production after more than a decade in Public Relations working both in-house and on the agency side with a focus on content development. Her career portfolio includes strategizing for companies including Red Bull, Disney Store and Nestle Crunch. Most recently, she was a communications manager at General Motors and oversaw media relations, social media and events for the western US.