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Any suggestions for making homemade frames for nets and flags?


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#1 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 08:23 PM

I did a bunch of searches and couldn't find anything except homemade nets
for lenses.


I've been using some found materials lately, such as for different types of
window screens (in the American sense) and would like to make some
18" x 24" frames and maybe bigger. Today I hung some black screen from a
pipe in a house (low budget shoot, didn't even have a flag kit or a half-scrim
for the light) and once positioned it completely kept the actress closer to the light
from being too bright while allowing the farther actor to be sufficiently lighted.

What kind of metal could I buy that I could shape, or maybe have welded,
to which I could then attach my "nets" and thus be able to use them with
grip stands? Thanks.
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 09:29 PM

I did a bunch of searches and couldn't find anything except homemade nets
for lenses.
I've been using some found materials lately, such as for different types of
window screens (in the American sense) and would like to make some
18" x 24" frames and maybe bigger. Today I hung some black screen from a
pipe in a house (low budget shoot, didn't even have a flag kit or a half-scrim
for the light) and once positioned it completely kept the actress closer to the light
from being too bright while allowing the farther actor to be sufficiently lighted.

What kind of metal could I buy that I could shape, or maybe have welded,
to which I could then attach my "nets" and thus be able to use them with
grip stands? Thanks.


I've done it before with copper pipe with dowels slid inside for better rigidity. Now, I think I'd just learn to weld and do it proper.
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#3 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 06:07 AM

I've done it before with copper pipe with dowels slid inside for better rigidity. Now, I think I'd just learn to weld and do it proper.


Yeah, that's where my thinking has been going too. Thanks!
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#4 robert duke

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 12:27 AM

think of it in the cost/benefit ratio.

Building it- cost of materials, cost of tools, cost of time, impression of producers and clients when you show up with a home made flag.

Buying it- cost of purchase, cost of shipping, impression of producers and clients when you show up with a professional flag/ net.

I have made some specialty size flags using 3/8 stainless steel tube and solid rod. It took about an hour to weld up. ( getting tools out, cutting steel, welding, bending, grinding, and cleaning up.) It took about an hour to sew it. ( getting the sewing machine set up, cutting the fabric, sewing it, cleaning it all up) I feel I am worth easily $25/hr easy. 2 hrs x $25=$50 not including the cost of materials. stainless steel is pricey but it doesnt rust and get funky like cold steel. aluminum is difficult to weld. 3/8 tube is roughly $14 for 20 ft. so a 2x3 uses 8 ft roughly. so we will add $7. net is about $3 a yard. so now its $60 for 1 2x3 single net. not including the piping around the edges.

Modern studio sells their 2x3 singles for about $45. shipping is about $10. so for $55 you get a pro 2x3 delivered to your door, impress your client and producer with your professional gear.

think about it.

DIY is great and I am not bashing the concept of DIY gear. I have made gear but I am a welder and machinist. as well as a grip. i have the tools to do it. I still buy my rags and flags, b/c it makes sense in the long run not to reinvent that wheel.
look to your DIY sense for those things that are out of reach.
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#5 Xavier Plaza

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 01:05 PM

I did a bunch of searches and couldn't find anything except homemade nets
for lenses.
I've been using some found materials lately, such as for different types of
window screens (in the American sense) and would like to make some
18" x 24" frames and maybe bigger. Today I hung some black screen from a
pipe in a house (low budget shoot, didn't even have a flag kit or a half-scrim
for the light) and once positioned it completely kept the actress closer to the light
from being too bright while allowing the farther actor to be sufficiently lighted.

What kind of metal could I buy that I could shape, or maybe have welded,
to which I could then attach my "nets" and thus be able to use them with
grip stands? Thanks.



perhaps this help

http://www.theasc.co...tors/index.html

Xavier Plaza
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#6 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 11:33 PM

Thanks Robert, that's good advice. It's counterproductive to make something that looks low rent
to producers AND could be bought for less money in the style they're accustomed to seeing on sets.
I do have some good resources, welding gear, tools, though, so I may see what I can do for gear to
use at least for some occasions.

I will keep exploring all the homemade gear that makes sense, although I may not always
use it. Some things would be great to own but on certain jobs it is going to make more sense to
rent them than show up with my homemade stuff. For some other projects however, saving on
the rentals of things which I haven't yet been able to buy, but of which I have some version, may be
the way to go.

Xavier, thanks for that terrific link.
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#7 Kevin Riley

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 02:01 AM

If you cannot weld then aluminum flat bar is good to work with. You can hand rivet it and it's easy to bend. Large empty frames made this way and your favorite textiles with elastic sewn over the corners will give you many options. Leave 1/2 the frame open with the net filling the other half or fill the top 1/2 with sail cloth. Breaks down for damage free transport.
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#8 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 07:37 AM

If you cannot weld then aluminum flat bar is good to work with. You can hand rivet it and it's easy to bend. Large empty frames made this way and your favorite textiles with elastic sewn over the corners will give you many options. Leave 1/2 the frame open with the net filling the other half or fill the top 1/2 with sail cloth. Breaks down for damage free transport.


Thanks. This looks like an inexpensive option and I could make many flags and nets for half the
price of their industry counterparts bought from a grip company. Maybe not as slick looking but
they (usually) won't be in the movie.


How do you attach to the grip head? Do you make a handle and grab it between the flat surfaces
of the grip head or do you use something other than flat bar so that there is a round stem (like
ordinarily) that slides into one of the holes in the grip head?
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#9 Toby Orzano

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 12:29 AM

If you need something in a pinch, you can build a frame out of 1"x3" lumber. Depending on the size, you may need to gusset the corners for stability. Baby plates can be attached to the sides so it can be held by a c-stand. In 'The Grip Book,' Michael Uva claims to have made frames as big as 10'x10' with this method.

Also, if you just want 18"x24" flags, you don't even need a frame. You can just cover a piece of cardboard with blackwrap and gaff it to an extra light stand. I had to do this just today on a micro-budget shoot in which we had absolutely no real grip equipment besides the light stands (which were crappy plastic ones btw). I don't know how well this would go over on a more professional shoot, but it seems like if it mattered then there would be real flags available.
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#10 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 07:29 PM

If you need something in a pinch, you can build a frame out of 1"x3" lumber. Depending on the size, you may need to gusset the corners for stability. Baby plates can be attached to the sides so it can be held by a c-stand. In 'The Grip Book,' Michael Uva claims to have made frames as big as 10'x10' with this method.

Also, if you just want 18"x24" flags, you don't even need a frame. You can just cover a piece of cardboard with blackwrap and gaff it to an extra light stand. I had to do this just today on a micro-budget shoot in which we had absolutely no real grip equipment besides the light stands (which were crappy plastic ones btw). I don't know how well this would go over on a more professional shoot, but it seems like if it mattered then there would be real flags available.


Thanks, Toby. There are times when appearances really don't matter but saving money does, and
these are good tips for those cases. On those other occasions, having a flag that looks like a "real"
flag is kind of like when you need to wear a tie to work. It's still the same lighting but...
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Glidecam

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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Opal