Getting the GET LAMP lamp

Posted: January 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: production | 4 Comments »

In the beginning of GET LAMP’s production, I made that decision to put some sort of “classic” brass lantern into every shot, and to make said lantern into the central identifiable image for the movie.  So I knew I better buy a really nice one, and I should buy a few of them.

I chose this one:

Like the Olsen twins, there were three different lamps I bought. Let’s name them BROKE, FLAME, and TOUR.

BROKE was the initial model, which I posed with for this shot:

As you can see, he’s pretty shiny at that point, having recently come out of the package.

BROKE followed along for the next 45 interviews, until one sad trip his glass exploded in a checked suitcase. I still used him in a few interviews, without the glass, and put it far enough in the back you couldn’t see it. If you look carefully at the full resolution from this shot, you can see it has no glass:

So BROKE got replaced by TOUR, who did the rest of the shots in the film, and continued with me on the GET LAMP tour.  If you look at a shot of it on tour, you can see that the lamp is getting rough around the edges:

Photo by Lemonkey

I mean, I wouldn’t say it’s ruined, but it had lost some shine.

FLAME never went anywhere – once it got kerosene in it, it was unable to fly anymore, and that was that. FLAME is the lamp that is in the menus, the MC Frontalot video, and a few other random points. It’s the only time there’s fire in a lamp.

I was about to leave on a trip recently, when I discovered I’d misplaced the lamp I was carrying around. Couldn’t find it! And I decided to see if I could get another one or two.

It turns out I can.

The original three were bought from a small, small company, very earthy-crunchy in style, that sold this lantern and some polished stones, and mushroom sculptures and all that sort of thing. It indicated the lamp was manufactured in India. Then, a year or two into production when BROKE lived up to its nickname, I went looking for this company, and couldn’t find them. Oh well.

So I recently went looking for a company that might sell these, and I stumbled on the Vermont Lanterns company. They have a wide range of lamps and lanterns of all types, and I saw this page with a hurricane lantern that looked the same:

It also said they were made in India, just like my original. So I bought two and waited to see if they were the same.

They were.

So there you have it. If you want an exact duplicate of the lamp in GET LAMP, for whatever reason, there’s a place you can buy one – it’s about $70. And it works!

Or you can just enjoy the movie.

4 Comments on “Getting the GET LAMP lamp”

  1. 1 Kurt said at 12:36 am on February 1st, 2011:

    You really oughta get a finder’s fee for forwarding folks over to Vermont! As soon as I settle into a now home , I plan on picking up a couple. Just because, dammit.

    BTW: BBS the Documentary remains one of my favorite all-time documentaries (right up there with Triumph of the Nerds) bringing back cherished memories of Qmodem, RBBS, the Private Connection, PC Pursuit,Wardialing, Phreaking, Leechmodem, and 2600. What really got me emotionally though was the ARC/ZIP war which I remember vividly.

    Today, I look forward to receiving my copy of GET LAMP which I just ordered. After all the @#$%ing time I spent playing Suspended, Hitchhikers Guide, and Infidel, I know I’m gonna just love this documentary too.

    QUESTION: Have you ever considered a documentary about 8086-era disk copy protection & piracy? Yeah, it’s niche… but DAMN, from Snatchit to Softguard, if it’s not a clever & creative battleground. To this day, I describe techniques like “Weak bit” & “Prolok” that used to require the CopyIIPC Option Board to defeat and it still elicits thoughtful & curious head nods from a geek crowd. And what’s more – this cat & mouse game is still in use today, except on a different medium: Console games & DVDs.

  2. 2 Sean Huxter said at 7:34 am on February 1st, 2011:

    I found an aluminum one for $2.00 in a shop. I’ll have to settle for that. Cause $70 is a bit on the steep side, though it IS nice.

    I also have a bunch of smaller, dark brass ones that I bought to hand out at Jason’s PAX East premier – I gave one to each member of the panel. They are pencil sharpeners as well, but quite nice replicas of this same lamp.


  3. 3 Sean Huxter said at 7:35 am on February 1st, 2011:

    If we’re suggesting next documentaries, the one about the best-selling computer model of all time would be the one I’d push for. The good old Commodore 64. Still in active use around the world, especially the UK, Germany and other European countries.

  4. 4 Ari Braginsky said at 10:24 pm on February 1st, 2011:

    A neat backstory of the lamp from GET LAMP. One could be inspired to write a piece on “lamps in films”.

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