Building Medusa: The Perfect DIY Fire Light

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.

What is fire?

Fire is a very warm source that has oranges and hot warm whites that wick around logs and create light low, high and in the middle. To create this I thought of the snake-ridden goddess Medusa with all of the snakes creating her hair. What if we built a light that had this inherent flexibility? Here are the steps to make it a reality.

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