An Overdue Introduction
The name “Hudson Spider” has been on a lot of lips across the industry since our 2017 debut. But who or what exactly is Hudson Spider?
At the center of our little web are our founders, Tim and Sarah Hudson. A member of the Australian Cinematographers’ Society, Tim oversees the design and manufacturing process; Sarah is in charge of business operations and keeping everyone sane.
Back in the early 20-teens, Tim was working on a shoot that required a very tricky set of features for a light. They needed something compact, adjustable, easy to maneuver, didn’t need a whole lot of diffusion…and nothing they had ﬁt the bill, not even the venerable china ball. So Tim had an idea. He and a couple of grips bound together a couple of thin metal strips until they looked like the bones of an umbrella, glued ribbons of LED lights to the inside, and wired it for power. It looked funky, but it worked perfectly.
Before the shoot even wrapped, there was this constant refrain from anyone who saw the widget: “Tim, you need to sell this idea.” And for a time, he tried. But he and Sarah ultimately realized how compromising that path could be. Existing companies with decades of experience designing and building cine lights—they would’ve likely watered down this idea, taken years and years to engineer and prototype it, and relegated it to a niche product, if they built it at all. They might as well just build it themselves…
…actually, that sounded like a brilliant idea!
So they taught themselves how to use CAD programs. They bought 3D printers and computer-controlled precision cutters to machine and build the body parts. They found a couple of partner companies who looked over the plans for that ﬁrst light and essentially said, “This is crazy brilliant and we think we’ve got the electronics to make it work.” (Hello, Litegear!) They nearly went mad trying to ﬁgure out the hinge design. And ﬁnally, after months of metaphorical and literal blood, sweat, and tears, the ﬁrst Redbacks rolled out of our factory in Santa Clarita.
Now that the ﬁrst projects shot with our lights are appearing on screens everywhere— and the accompanying non-disclosure agreements have expired!—we’re a little more free to tell our story. And we’re putting the ﬁnishing touches on a new addition to the family, so stay tuned, won’t you?