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Rigging Arri 1K's to Office Panel Ceiling


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#1 joewflynn

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 08:49 PM

I'm shooting an interrogation scene at the end of the week. We're converting a classroom that has these 14ft high panel ceilings. The room is probably 20' by 20'. I want to have one or two sources (probably Arri Open face 1ks) attached to the ceiling shooting straight down...very conventional overhead interrogation badda bing.

My question is: Has anyone had any success using the aluminum panel supporters in these panel ceilings as a kind of support grid? I can't get any mambo combos or any other magnificently tall light stands.... all I've got are some regular old C stands and double risers (beefy babies). How can I get the lights high and directly over the interrogation table?

Any help would be appreciated.

Also...is there a gel to put over fluorescent lights to correct their grinchy hue?

Thanks for your time.

Joe
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#2 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 11:03 PM

It's scissor clamps you want. Clip straight onto the drop-ceiling support grid.


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#3 Michael Nash

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 12:59 AM

Be careful using open-faced lights above your actors. Be sure to use the little wire guards over the bulb, to prevent a blown bulb from showering hot glass onto people and furniture below.

In addition to the scissor clips, you can use simple spring clips to dress the cable across the ceiling.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 12:59 AM

A 1K is borderline too heavy for a scissor clamp on a drop ceiling grid, unless it is particularly lightweight.

Safest thing is to pop open some of the panels and see if there are any architectural supports (beams, pipes, etc.) behind the drop ceiling that you can rig a clamp onto.
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#5 joewflynn

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 01:38 AM

A 1K is borderline too heavy for a scissor clamp on a drop ceiling grid, unless it is particularly lightweight.


Is there a way to determine the strength of such a grid?

Thanks so much for your advice.

Joe
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 01:49 AM

Is there a way to determine the strength of such a grid?


It's just one of those things you try to rig -- and if it doesn't feel safe & secure, then you take it down and think of something else. Generally I've never had a problem finding something behind the panel to rig off of. You may want a gobo head & short arm to rig the light lower if you clamp on something higher behind the drop ceiling. Scissor clamps are sort of last minute choices, more suitable for something like a Dedolight or Single-bank Kino (and that's pushing it). But like I said, some open-faced tungsten lights are lighter than others, so you may be OK.

Use a safety chain as well.

Edited by David Mullen, 28 November 2005 - 01:52 AM.

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#7 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 02:50 AM

I would probabaly used a hard wooden piece across the center of the open, hangin a C-clamp on it, but all has to do with the quality of the construction...
U have to see it to say it's safe or not.
If you can't find anything long enough to hang it to a pipe, at least chain the light to the pipes.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#8 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 03:43 AM

Make sure the fixtures are spec'ed to hang face-down/base-up or you could run into overheating self-destruct behavior.
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#9 Lars.Erik

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 02:10 PM

Just finished a tv-drama with similiar roofing in it. Our ceiling was a little more than 10ft tall though.

I wouldn't use a scissor clamp. As stated, I don't think it's strong enough. And if a lamp falls down on your actors, man, you'll never work again...

As Dimitrios said, try the hanging of wooden pience across the open hole. It's the fastest and easiest way to do it. The problem is that the lamp will then be a bit lower than the roof. Making a bit more difficult composing a frame.

If this is not possible, then you will probably need to hang up a wall plate. I had 2k's FF on these from the ceiling (and these lamps are quite heavy), I made holes and screwed the plate in with expansion screws. The 2k's hanged for 14 days, with no sign of failing. This method involves making a few holes in the ceiling, so you better ask the school first.

We had a interrogation room for our drama, as well. I used a 2k Space light with great success. This lamp is designed to hang straight down, and give you the one source heavy beam effect. It can be a alternative to the 1k's. Then you onlu have to make on ehole and attach a big screw with a attaching ring in it. This is what I did and it worked great. This lamp also hung for 14 days.

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