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6x6 30' up


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#1 Michael K Bergstrom

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 04:58 PM

Hello, I'm working on a music video and the DP wants to fly a 6x6 frame, probably with 216 up around 25-30 feet with a 2.5K HMI through it. Since the shot is along a city street, I am concerned about the safety of this rig. I assume one stand and tie downs aren't going to cut it. What do you think is the safest method of diffusing the 2.5K? Looking for any ideas. Thanks.
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#2 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 05:44 PM

Its a perfectly safe way of diffusing a 2.5k . . . its just the question of how to safely rig it that high, and the bigger question of why rig it that high? A 2.5k with nothing in front of it barley competes with daylight, with 216 even less, and that far away/ high, more or less useless. Obviously this is assuming you are shooting a day EXT., if it's a night scene, ignore the above to an extent.

There are not really any stands that go that high, there is one crank stand I know of (I think its a Super Road Runner) with 4 cranks and a tie-down kit that goes around 27', but I would not attach a 6x6 sail to it.

You probably need to go up on parallels with the stands, but honestly, if I was in your shoes, the question I'd be asking is where this magical 30' figure is coming from? Why that high? If its a streetlight gag, can you just rig directly to the street light? Can you just work from a building's roof top?
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 08:14 PM

Tell him you need to rent a Condor and hire on extra crew to man the Condor and set the 6x6 then get permits and extra insurance and that's the only way to do it so the city won't close you down, THEN tell him how much extra that's gonna cost!! Betcha HE decides putting the 6x6 up 30ft isn't really necessary to get the shot. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 09 December 2007 - 08:16 PM.

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#4 robert duke

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 11:54 PM

Tell him you need to rent a Condor and hire on extra crew to man the Condor and set the 6x6 then get permits and extra insurance and that's the only way to do it so the city won't close you down, THEN tell him how much extra that's gonna cost!! Betcha HE decides putting the 6x6 up 30ft isn't really necessary to get the shot. B)


A Condor is the correct way to do this. mount the light and the frame to the basket and keep a man in the basket.
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#5 Michael Collier

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 01:11 AM

Wow...this DP sounds like an idiot...or just trying to torment you with illogical demands :D



It is a night scene in question. The 30ft figure is an estamate with added headroom for planning concerns, because there is a jib move direcly infront of the light, and there will probably not be enough room to fit the light in such a way as to avoid shadow from the jib if the light is low. Also its a fairly wide night scene, so I want to minimize falloff from the frontal light from foreground to background (I know, softening doesn't help with falloff, but it does help the contrast of the shot I am going for, and also to minimize specular highlights in the cars chrome)

Building rooftop...possible, but location is not yet locked and I am trying to build a light plan for each shot, so I am planning contingencies. Condor is out of the question, exactly for the reason you mentioned...money (though the permit from our city would cost a wopping 25 bucks...and the city would probably even provide us with road cones to put around the condor free) I just wanted to see if there were options.

If its not possible, or it would be unsafe then I will just need to replan the light for the shot. I suppose I will just have to go with sidelight with some fill. Its not a huge deal, its actually a one shot scene, onto the next location. Just wanted to throw a curveball my key grips way and see if he had a genius solution I couldn't think of....his initial response when I asked the question sort of let me know what the ultamate answer was.

Good to see you on this site Bergstrom, I know you lurk around here and read occasionally. You should post around here more often (maybe I am not asking you to do the impossible enough that you need to turn to this site? I can step that up.)
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#6 robert duke

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 01:06 PM

Have you thought of a KC condor ( A 4x4 reflector top stick on a mombo)? That will get you close to the height. Not what you asked for but might get the job DONE.

If you have access to a roof that is great.

Alternately a balloon light might also be a consideration. this will need lots of skirting but can solve all your problems. you might also try the weather balloon gag of bouncing light from a par off a white weather balloon.
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#7 Daniel Smith

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 03:08 PM

Apologies for butting in but can somone please link me to an information page or just something that explains what a condor is? (p.s. I did look but found nothing.. nothing but big birds)
Tnx.
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#8 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 03:58 PM

It's a man-lift crane with an extendible boom and a 4x6 (could be 3x6, I forget) basket at the end that can be driven into place. It has out-riggers for stabilization and will extend up to about 80 ft on the big ones. They are used as a lighting platform to put big lights way up in the air.:

www.publiquip.com/heavy-equipment/Condor-Manlift--826933403.htm

That's what's so stupid, a 2 and a half K 30 feet off the ground though diffusion ain't gonna do poop, so this guy doesn't know what he's doing.

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 10 December 2007 - 04:02 PM.

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#9 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 04:08 PM

Actually, this is just as easy:

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#10 Daniel Smith

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 04:19 PM

Ok cool thanks. I was going to suggest a cherry picker actually.. but it seems there is a more specific tool.

As for the lighting I'd personally say a 6k HMI is still borderline.
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#11 Jess Haas

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 12:17 AM

That's what's so stupid, a 2 and a half K 30 feet off the ground though diffusion ain't gonna do poop, so this guy doesn't know what he's doing.

So the midget into a 20x book light I am planning to use to key a crowd scene for my next shoot might not be enough light either?

~Jess
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#12 Michael Collier

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 03:00 AM

It's a man-lift crane with an extendible boom and a 4x6 (could be 3x6, I forget) basket at the end that can be driven into place. It has out-riggers for stabilization and will extend up to about 80 ft on the big ones. They are used as a lighting platform to put big lights way up in the air.:

www.publiquip.com/heavy-equipment/Condor-Manlift--826933403.htm

That's what's so stupid, a 2 and a half K 30 feet off the ground though diffusion ain't gonna do poop, so this guy doesn't know what he's doing.


Wow dude harsh much? I don't think you get what were trying to do. Its a night scene and I am only trying to get to two stops below key at an f2.8 something a 2.5 can do through diffusion. This is not a day scene. If I could get a condor I would get one, but at the budget I am working at a condor is out of the question. If that means going with diffusion on the barndoors so be it.

The question is not if I have enough light but what our rigging options are. But thanks all the same for your enthusiasm.

Thanks Robert I will look into a combo mombo, that we can get. Mostly I want to minimize specularity on the chrome in shot. Night scenes with speculate highlights reminds me of 80s night scenes, not what I'm going for.the mombo might get me close to the level I am looking for, at least enough to work.

A ballon light would be great, but we live in Alaska and can't get gear from Seattle on this one. In fact these 2.5s are the biggest in town and I can only get one that night. If I do some resheduling we could do the shot the weekend we have both 2.5s but those nights are already full and putting it that weekend would mean a 1 hour crew move to get from the valley to anchorage. all the juggling that comes with low budget shorts.
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#13 Tim Terner

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 03:14 AM

Mostly I want to minimize specularity on the chrome in shot.....

If not too much chrome in the shot you can always wax it
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#14 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 03:56 AM

Bit harsh indeed, I think if you can get these Super Road Runners they may be your best bet. They will go higher than a mombo-combo, and be a lot more stable.

There are a million ways to rig something like this, but an easy one that comes to mind:

(2) Super Road Runners with Lollipops in each one; goal post speed rail (with ears obviously) between the two stands, use as wide a piece as you need for your shot, however not too wide due to the stability issues (I am sure you guys will be able to tell what is getting too wide).

In the middle hang your 2.5k from the rail strait down (or whatever angle you want), and then using more speed rail, rig your 6x6 frame of light grid or whatever you want to use below the unit (as far as you want to fill the frame without it dipping too low into frame).

Tie down/ bag the poop out of the rig and hope for no wind, all bets are sort of off if the wind starts. If you need to go higher, put each stand on it's own parellel, though with each bit of height the sketch factor certainly increases.

Like I said, I am sure there are a million ways to do this rig, and I am no key grip, so I am sure someone will have a better way.

Kevin Zanit
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#15 Michael Collier

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 04:49 AM

thanks kevin great advice bergstrom knows better than I what we have in town. If there's no roadrunners I am sure the same technique would work with hirollers (assuming we can find enough) our primary rental house has two, and our backlight for that shot is sure to be on one. Ak grip and lighting might have some road runners.

Its funny were a modest budget short, but it feels like were clearing out all the houses for this one.

Excelent tip tim. I added wax to my expendables list and will use it as a contingency (and tuck that tip under my hat for the future too. I love this site.)

Any key grips or grips have any other ideas?

As a side note, I am busting my home built led light out on this shoot. Bergstrom if you have access to raw from passive post a shot from the punks ots. I love that light! I just need a better car addaptor, the last one fried itself in the middle of the night, and wasn't easy or pretty to fix.
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#16 robert duke

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 10:10 AM

you can pick up a weather balloon for roughly $20 with a 11ft diameter. a nylon fishing net will give you multiple points on it for tag lines. and helium can be picked up for around $60.
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#17 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 11:07 AM

How about a 6x6 Silver Lame on Mambo's, w/ the 2.5k bounced into it? If you need more light, maybe you can scrounge up a 1.2k to add to the bounce.
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#18 Tony Brown

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 12:15 PM

If you dont need reach then a scissor lift is better than a Condor. You can back the frame away from the light........ I'd also put a 6k up there with a set of wires...... tell him its a 2.5k..... he'll never know... ;)
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