Thanks for all of the feedback folks, I appreciate it.
You picked a tough assignment for yourself. Good on you. Keep posting. Another way to get a large light source is to shoot through a large diffuser or white cloth. Tall and narrow. Say 36"x10". If you have a shoot-through umbrella you could mask it off.
Black cards soak up light. Mirrors are extremely efficient reflectors. White cards and grey cards can all help.