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Overheads/Butterflies


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#1 Jack Brandhorst

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 06:13 PM

What are these and are they the same thing? Are they only for blocking light overhead or could light be placed behind and silk used as diffusion. What do you need to mount or operate these ie. hardware, stands, frames etc? Also does anyone have any recomendations on the use of something like this as a big soft source -vs- a Kino Flo? I have to rent some gear for an upcoming DV shoot on the East coast interiors and exteriors, more intr. I will also have a 2k, 1k fresnel and some misc. fixtures.

Thank You
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#2 robert duke

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 10:04 PM

Yes these are the same thing. Overheads and butterflies are frames 6x6, 8x8, 12x12, 20x20,etc. typically you can use these to modify the light in any way. Block it, diffuse it, bounce it, and ND it. there are tons of diffusion fabrics and bounce materials. the most popular bounces are ultrabounce, claycoat, and grifflon. the most popular diffusions are silk, gridcloth, softfrost, muslin. A solid is a solid. you can order them as a set, for example 6x set comes with a single, a double, solid, and a silk.

you can mount them using a combo stand with a 4.5 inch grip head ( lollipop), mombo combo stands ( very tall combo stands with a 4.5 head attached ) or hi-roller stands ( tall combo on wheels with a 4.5 head attached.) you can suspend them from ceilings, cranes, etc. there are safe and unsafe ways for all of these things.

THIS IS GONNA GET REAL BASIC HERE B/C I FEEL IT COMING.
The frames are made with either round pipe or square tube and have 4 corners and two flanges called ears. the ears have a slot cut in them, so that they slide between the plates in a 4.5 grip head. Frequently 6x have a single 5/8 pin on them so you use a mafer clamp on the other side. the Rags as they are called are tied on to the frame using a simple bow. To keep up with the bag the rag came in, tie it to the frame.
For 6x and 8x combo stands and a lollipop are fine, use three bags per stand. unless it is extremely windy, them use a set of four ropes to tie it down for safety.
For 8x and up Mombo combos or hi rollers are prefered. again use three bags per stand but definitely use four ropes even if it is only the slightest breeze.
tie the ropes to either tent stakes ( and not the little ones that came with your pup tent from boy scouts), a tree, fence, or some other large immovable object like your cousin jimmy the fat kid.

The Best advice I have is hire a professional, ask them questions, learn by doing. I am some guy a hundred miles away. hire a guy from the rental house to gaffer or key for you on your project, chalk the money up to a learning experience.

good luck
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#3 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 11:13 PM

Some great advice here. The only other thing I'd add is that common sense, I'd say, is perhaps the big issue with frames. It really depends on the conditions in which you're shooting that will determine what safety requirements to take. Generally, if you are using 4 lines, tie the frame from each corner using a trucker's hitch. If you are using 3, then 1 at the top, centered, and 2 on each of the bottom corners, or vice versa. If you really don't have something secure to tie down to, like a lamp post, truck, whatever, (like, if you are in the middle of a football field) then get a whole load of sandbags (3 or 4 minimum depending on the size of the frame) and tie the rope to them. If you are rigging the frame, then you might have to use other hardware, such as long arms, speed rail, candle sticks, etc., depending on what you're doing. I've flown butterflies off of roofs, condors, etc., etc. and each time, the situation is a little different. Hence, common sense -- with safety in mind -- is your best friend.

:)

Edited by Daniel Wallens, 14 October 2007 - 11:18 PM.

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#4 Danny Lachman

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 01:03 AM

I've just ordered a 12' by 12' with a china silk and the one part I didn't understand clearly from the last post is the tying a rope to the sandbags - could someone explain this a little more clearly? Thanks.
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#5 Michael Nash

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 03:25 AM

I've just ordered a 12' by 12' with a china silk and the one part I didn't understand clearly from the last post is the tying a rope to the sandbags - could someone explain this a little more clearly? Thanks.



Sandbags have a webbing handle sewn into them. Get enough sandbags together and pass the tag line through the handles.
Posted Image

You can also use a "bullprick" or "Ford axle" (heavy duty tent stake).
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#6 Bob Hayes

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 10:18 AM

I worked on a show where the grips used a muscle cart with the breaks on filled with a mess of sand bags as a tie off point. It seems like a smart alternative to pounding an iron stake into the ground.
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 03:39 PM

I worked on a show where the grips used a muscle cart with the breaks on filled with a mess of sand bags as a tie off point. It seems like a smart alternative to pounding an iron stake into the ground.


Good plan, as long as they don't start borrowing sandbags from the cart for other stuff ;)
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#8 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 08:04 PM

I worked on a show where the grips used a muscle cart with the breaks on filled with a mess of sand bags as a tie off point. It seems like a smart alternative to pounding an iron stake into the ground.


Yes, I've seen this too, and personally, I don't like it. New requirements for sandbags always pop up, and then you are confronted with the problem of the muscle cart getting lighter. Secondly, carts or anything that has wheels is perhaps one of the most valuable things to a grip. Even if a muscle cart is empty of sandbags or just have a few in it (say 10, enough to safety a smallish frame), it can still be used to cart other things around that might need quick transport. Extra wheels on set always help. Once its tied to a frame, it's out of commission. Thirdly, even if you have like 40 bags in the cart, if you have a big (20X and up) frame tied to the handles and a strong gust of wind comes, it still may tip the cart over (but no, it won't go far). Since the weight is not solid flat ground with a lot of surface area, the cart is still susceptible to "tippage." The frame might not blow away, but if its close to an actor or, say, an expensive car, it could still be bad news. Mostly, though, I just don't like how it eats up some handy wheels.

(also, keep in mind that breaks on a muscle card are not like brakes on a car -- its just a bar of metal pressing slightly into the rubber wheels. if you have enough weight on a muscle cart, it will still roll/slide down a steep enough hill)

All this being said, I'm not a fan of the stakes in the ground either. Most of the time, there is something solid to tie off to. If there really isn't, then a pile of sandbags on the ground would be my first move. Just my humble opinion. :)

Edited by Daniel Wallens, 23 October 2007 - 08:09 PM.

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#9 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 08:57 PM

You grips should carry some of those ten-ton weights, safes, and grand pianos like always fell on the looney toons cast. Those would be great anchors. :-D

Edited by Chris Keth, 23 October 2007 - 08:58 PM.

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#10 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 09:24 AM

its alwayas funny to read how in America the grips take care of all the textiles, c stands and all that...here in Britain, its the sparks job...
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#11 robert duke

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 10:55 PM

its alwayas funny to read how in America the grips take care of all the textiles, c stands and all that...here in Britain, its the sparks job...

What do grips do in England?
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#12 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 07:52 AM

dolly, camera rigs, everything camera related...they dont touch any lighting equipment like c stands, flags and so on...
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#13 peter kantor

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 09:55 PM

are there any non-american grips (or sparks) that wouldn't mind describing how you position the lolipops (4 1/2" grip heads) when setting up an overhead frame.
thank you
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#14 Michael Morlan

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 01:05 AM

On a recent feature set, we had 5-gallon buckets filled with concrete and a rebar "handle" sticking out the top to serve as overhead anchors. Two fit on a furniture dolly for moving them about.

I discovered a new little toy: The Figure 9 Carabiner marketed by NiteIze.com can be a faster alternative for a trucker's hitch.

Carabiner Figure 9

I tried it out on a still shoot where, as key grip, I was flying multiple 12x's and I was able to move much faster. I even secured a 12x flat against a chain-link fence inside of ten seconds.
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#15 robert duke

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 11:59 PM

On a recent feature set, we had 5-gallon buckets filled with concrete and a rebar "handle" sticking out the top to serve as overhead anchors. Two fit on a furniture dolly for moving them about.

I discovered a new little toy: The Figure 9 Carabiner marketed by NiteIze.com can be a faster alternative for a trucker's hitch.

Carabiner Figure 9

I tried it out on a still shoot where, as key grip, I was flying multiple 12x's and I was able to move much faster. I even secured a 12x flat against a chain-link fence inside of ten seconds.


I have a couple of the figure 9's. I am impressed with them but since a trucker hitch is cheaper and harder to lose, I rarely pull them out. Its funny how sometimes things that make our lives easier just get in the way sometimes.

Concrete buckets!!! must have a huge truck to haul all that around in. I once used water ballasts.
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#16 Michael Morlan

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 07:48 PM

Concrete buckets!!! must have a huge truck to haul all that around in. I once used water ballasts.


They were on a 10-ton G/E truck for a $6m feature.

Michael
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#17 robert duke

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 12:03 AM

They were on a 10-ton G/E truck for a $6m feature.

Michael



This wasnt GEAR's truck was it?
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#18 Michael Morlan

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 07:14 PM

This wasnt GEAR's truck was it?


No, it was a Panavision truck from out of state. My impression was, the local crew threw them together. Certainly felt like something disposable. I'd hate to cart those all over the place.

Michael
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#19 Diego Treves

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 08:12 AM

Sorry guys, say that I don't want to spend so much money on an original silk tissue, like the ones provided by Matthews or similar producers, which kind of fabric should I look for if I want to build one by my own?

 

I'll build the frame and buy the fabric, which fabric should I look for exactly?


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#20 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 08:21 AM

I just  bought white ripstop nylon. If you call it "grid cloth", you can get a rental for it!

 

P


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