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What would you have done?


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#1 Gino Terribilini

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 08:42 PM

Just wondering what you guys would have done in this situation. This wasn't my rig, but our gaffer thought it was the best way to go. It was in a house, the cieling was about 18' up and the DP called for a medium shot with an overhead light. Go.


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 09:12 PM

It's hard to second-guess the grip on that one... I'd probably have gone with a beefier "menace arm" rig, meaning a big combo stand, lollipop (frame holder) and piece of speed rail (pipe), ratchet-strapped down the opposite end and used a ton of sandbags -- only in that I wouldn't have been tweaking that c-stand like that. But I see somewhat questionable rigs like that all the time on film sets...

But first I would have found a way to rig the light to the ceiling.

Or used the c-stand rig... but lived with a lighter fixture like a Dedolight or something.
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#3 Dan Goulder

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 09:13 PM

Just wondering what you guys would have done in this situation. This wasn't my rig, but our gaffer thought it was the best way to go. It was in a house, the cieling was about 18' up and the DP called for a medium shot with an overhead light. Go.

I don't know how you could possibly be more vague. medium shot of what? Is there supposed to be an actor in the shot? Where are they supposed to stand...directly under the light? Where is the rest of the light on the set coming from? Who's on first, what's on second, etc.?

Or, are you questioning the quality of the rig iself, in which case I apologize for the misunderstanding. Please clarify.

Edited by dgoulder, 12 August 2006 - 09:16 PM.

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#4 ChrisConnelly

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 10:11 PM

Maybe your key did the best he could with the gear that was available, but a C-boom or menace arm would have been easier and wouldn't have resulted in a broken c-stand and a bunch of bent arms.

Just curious, with the way it is bent like that, were you even able to fully lower the top riser of that stand when the rig was wrapped?
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#5 Gino Terribilini

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 11:08 PM

I don't know how you could possibly be more vague. medium shot of what? Is there supposed to be an actor in the shot? Where are they supposed to stand...directly under the light? Where is the rest of the light on the set coming from? Who's on first, what's on second, etc.?

Or, are you questioning the quality of the rig iself, in which case I apologize for the misunderstanding. Please clarify.



All of the above.

Yes, an actor was supposed to be standing under the light and we were supposed to get a medium shot of him. The rest of the light is unnecessary, really... we had a 1200 HMI bouncing with a fresnel key off to the side. Had I been in charge, I would have been satisfied with that Baby up high, but the DP wanted an overhead light, so that's what we did.
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#6 Thom Stitt

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 01:01 AM

Max will take care of you.
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#7 Wilkin Chau

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 10:48 AM

Ceiling 18' you say?

I would have gone with a 2k Boom pole and a skyhigh. And maybe a ratchet strap from the end of the boom pole to the stand.

If that stuff isn't available I would have used a c-stand as the "boom pole". So you would have a c-stand as the base and attach another c-stand perpindicular to that one with a cardellini. A c-stand itself is more stable than a grip arm. And since it's not as sturdy as a boom pole, I would have probably have used magic arms or grip arms to stabilize it to the stand itself (kind of like what your gaffer did in the pic).

Rig looks like it might hold but I would have gone for something better since there's dolly track on the ground and it looks like the rig might get bumped.

Edited by Wilkin Chau, 13 August 2006 - 10:49 AM.

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#8 Bob Hayes

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 11:05 AM

Looks like a pretty rickety set up. Like everyone else has said. A smaller light with a larger stand and single piece of boom pole would have been a smarter choice. Sometimes I?ll use one side of my 8x8 frame and put the ear in the stand head.
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#9 G McMahon

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 01:09 PM

Just on the side, cut up some old tennis balls and put them on the feet of the stands so they don't scuff the nicely polished floor boards.


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#10 David Sweetman

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 05:09 PM

Just curious, what would be the normal method to fix a light to the ceiling? Looking at my own ceiling, there's a few lamp fixtures, and a circular air vent which may be the best bet for looping some wire around and tieing something to...but it seems like that would be even harder and sketchier than this setup.
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#11 Wilkin Chau

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 05:40 PM

Just curious, what would be the normal method to fix a light to the ceiling? Looking at my own ceiling, there's a few lamp fixtures, and a circular air vent which may be the best bet for looping some wire around and tieing something to...but it seems like that would be even harder and sketchier than this setup.


Depends really. On what lights you are using and the ceiling itself.

If the light is small enough, you may be able to use scissor clamps in the ceiling. Office buildings usually have this option available. PLus you can hide cables pretty easily. Another option is to use a wall spreader. You can hang heavier lights on this rig. Just be sure to find the studs on the wall :)

If it's just kino bulbs, you could even tape the heck out of it to the ceiling. If you're lucky there may be girders in the ceiling where you can attach girder clamps (aka ibeam clamp) and pipe.

I'd have to see pictures of a ceiling to be able to tell you. PLus dimensions of the place wouldn't hurt either.
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#12 Tom Bays

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 06:00 PM

I've never had a C-stand bend like that. The light doesn't seem that big.

Anyway the stand arm should be at a 45 degree angle. It looks like the stand is toucking the track anyway so just move it forward.
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#13 kslamen

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 08:01 PM

I definetly agree with Wilkin Chau - I've used a boom pole when I want some nice overall lighting adding some definition around my model's heads when I am doing a photo shoot as well. I must say, that with the stuff you were working with - it seems a little precarious. Was the pole bent like that when you got it? If not, was it the light that caused it? It looks like a 1k to me - what was it exactly?

I was in a similar situation my last video - here I was using Arri 650 (and yes that is aluminum foil. The shoot was so last minute, we couldn't even get any snoots!) with the same type of rigging you had, but I guess the 650 was not as heavy as what you were suspending...

heineken.jpg

and this was what we filmed as the finished product:
vid_clip_2.jpg
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#14 JD Hartman

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 06:56 AM

You have linked two arms together for the boom, but the overlap isn't great enough to keep the assembly ridgid. Since a boom wasn't available, a better choice would have been a single piece of 3/4 electrical conduit (EMT) for the boom. A 10' lenght is a few dollars at a home improvement store and can be cut down to 8' for a substitute boom. It will be more ridgid and fits in a jumbo grip head. You can pin or bolt a baby pin in the end.
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#15 G McMahon

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 08:58 AM

It looks like an older type of c-stand too.

I have personally had bad experiences with wall benders/ wall breakers/ auto poles/ pole cats.

Tip for the young players I have learned the hard way, Kitchens have a greasy film on the walls which make it hard for the pole cats to stay. Older houses can move, someone stands in a particular spot and the flooring, and then walls will move. Pole cats will for down at the most inopportune moment.

Does any one know the specs for pole cats? e.g.: Polecat extended at "x" distance should only bear "y" amount of weight.

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#16 Wilkin Chau

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 11:15 AM

It looks like an older type of c-stand too.

I have personally had bad experiences with wall benders/ wall breakers/ auto poles/ pole cats.

Tip for the young players I have learned the hard way, Kitchens have a greasy film on the walls which make it hard for the pole cats to stay. Older houses can move, someone stands in a particular spot and the flooring, and then walls will move. Pole cats will for down at the most inopportune moment.

Does any one know the specs for pole cats? e.g.: Polecat extended at "x" distance should only bear "y" amount of weight.

G. McMahon


Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of polecats either. Don't know the exact weight limits but from experience I wouldn't put more than 3 small lights (peppers up to a 1K light, kinos) up there. And that's assuming the lights are hanging straight down. If the DP/gaffer wants the lights armed out from the polecat, that would create more tension on them.

Never really thought about the walls moving. Interesting. Have to keep note of that one.
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#17 Alex Haspel

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 11:41 AM

this brought back memories of a rather russian ligting rig i once pulled off...
i was gaffing this music video, and we had to light the drummer from above, same as the other musicians.
but since he was so far back in the greenbox we had to hang the 2k on this 6m (if i remember correct) pipe.
it bended a bit too much in order for me beeing totally relaxed. i was happy when we wrappend without
anyone havind a blonde stuck to his head.

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#18 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:45 AM

Just wondering what you guys would have done in this situation. This wasn't my rig, but our gaffer thought it was the best way to go. It was in a house, the cieling was about 18' up and the DP called for a medium shot with an overhead light. Go.

Posted Image


For newbies that want to learn as much as possible from the picture please note the highest of the three legs of the C-stand is closest towards the light and as the weight brings the C-Stand arm lower to the ground the C-stand knuckle should self-tighten.
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#19 Rik Andino

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 09:35 PM

Why not just use a menace arm?
It's a pretty easy rig and is sturdy and very compact.
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#20 Charlie Hohenshilt

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 12:21 PM

Sudo Menace arm.

Edited by Charlie Hohenshilt, 23 September 2006 - 12:21 PM.

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