I wish they all could be California girls.............
The real stars of Hudson Spider is obviously the lights, first off the mark is the Redback. Named after an infamous and highly venomous Australian spider, Red sports 3456 bi-color LEDs across eight foldable arms. She weighs in at 7 pounds bare-naked, a little more if you prefer to add a cover or a softbox, and can easily be switched from a 3-foot parabolic to a 6’ Stealth Mode for your coverage needs.
Red’s little sister the Mozzie, is almost ready for primetime. Mozzie, short for mosquito, is a more compact 6 legged version of Red’s design and folds up to the size of a large cans of beans - she's so portable Tim’s suggested taking her and a battery in a backpack for the ultimate in mobile studio lighting. When in flat form, Mozzie will make a relatively monstrous 4 foot soft box.
When faced with a brilliant idea and design, shortly after comes the crushingly daunting prospect of manufacturing said idea and getting it from the garage and the living room (literally) to its own place to call home. The cry from many was for us to go to that ubiquitous off-shore country where 'everything' is made. For manufacturing, it is no secret that the prices in ‘Country that cannot be named’ just can’t be beat, even with the additional tariffs and fees the latest trade wars are introducing.
However, for Hudson Spider, the decision to make everything locally became the only option. Not for price, not for hometown pride (but yes, that feel-good factor is astonishingly motivating), but instead, for quality. We are film makers (Tim and his legendary crew to the right). We know how unglamorous the behind-the- scenes of film making actually is. The conditions are oftentimes nasty, the hours long and the schedules tight. The equipment used on film making needs to be rugged and ready to roll always. Therefore, the MOST important thing to us when building this light was durability. A close second was weight. But the build quality needed to be second to none. And the only way to achieve this was to micromanage EVERY detail; from the choice of metals, to the machining and heck, our tolerances are so tight on our hinges that even the thickness of the anodizing (the protective oxide layer on the aluminium to create the gorgeous colors) altered the performance of the hinge. We are talking tolerances of .0005 of an inch in some places. To keep this level of precision, we needed to keep the manufacturing local. So for Tim and Sarah, their new venture made a home for itself in their adopted country of America, in glorious Southern California. And both of our current lamps, are proudly Californian girls.
Both the Redback and the Mozzie are built from 7075 Aluminum, the same grade used for airplanes and more bizarrely, competition yo-yos. Supply stock is hard to come by, we need to purchase stock in whole mill runs. It’s not that you will flinging our Redback through the air at hundreds of miles an hour that we need aircraft quality aluminum, but the combination of months and months of filming day in day out puts a lot of stresses on the hinges, so they needed to be bulletproof. It is not unusual to find either Tim or Sarah standing in the dark depths of an anodizing facility, or the dingy outreaches of a black oxide shop (if you have never been inside one, I hope you never have to, literally, hell on earth, heaven forbid you need to use a bathroom when visiting one!) conducting quality control on minute parts.
Unknowingly, this level of perfection has rewarded Hudson Spider with an almost impenetrable protection layer. Do we have patents. Of course we do. We have Maserati after Maserati worth of patents. They’re the most expensive pieces of paper ever purchased. Are they worth the paper they are written on in some countries? Nope. Totally worthless. Are we worried? Absolutely not. The inherent effort and precision required to make every single Redback or Mozzie ensures that the eventual illegal rip-off artists who are after a quick buck will not be able to emulate or even come close to the build quality of a Hudson Spider. Our diligence and attention to detail will keep us ahead of the game, not the patents. Don’t you wish everything you purchased could be Made in California?