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Proper way to safety a lamp


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#1 Anton Delfino

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 01:00 PM

I'd like to get your thoughts on this one. I was rigging a 1.2 HMI to a long wooden beam on the ceiling of a basement. I cranked down a 6" studded c-clamp to the beam and used the point that dropped down perpendicular to the beam. Common sense told me to safety the light to the piece that would have no chance of moving, so I began to tie off the light to the wooden beam. (this is what I have been instructed to do on previous shoots)

However, the Gaffer came up and suggested I safety the light onto the rig itself - in this case, tying the light off to the studded c. His logic was that if a Key Grip ever came around and noticed the light safety-ed to anything other than the rig, it would suggest that the rig itself wasn't strong enough. Therefore making me look incompetent.

I understand that rigs need to be safe, and I put some hate on that studded c to make sure it cranked down. But it would seem silly to not safety the light to the most sturdy thing (the wooden beam in my case), especially if it's available. How do you guys feel about this? Is my common sense getting the better of me?

-anton
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#2 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:08 PM

You were mostly correct. You can use the same piece of rope to safety the light to the clamp, and then safety the clamp to the beam. Always go for the permanent structure if it's available.
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#3 robert duke

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 11:58 AM

As a Key grip I would have patted you on the back and told the gaffer to put his finger in a socket somewhere.

Safeties are best when you go beyond the rig if you can. What if the rig failed. I once saw a VERY good key grip drop 4 4ks when his rig failed. He had safetied all the lamps back to the rig. But he had NOT safetied the rig.

Putting the safety back to the C-clamp would have been fine if the C clamp was all you had to rig to and safety to. I am guessing that it was the clamp style with the Channel welded to the gate so as to dig into the beam, not the smooth face style. I would wonder about a Key that would question the intention of a rig because it was safetied. There is no career ending situation like dropping a 1.2k on an actors head.

Keep up the safety, and tell the gaffer he has a loose cam-lok somewhere.


(sorry had some malfunction with the posting)
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#4 Anton Delfino

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 12:24 PM

Thanks for the replies, guys. Yes, it was the c-clamp with the teeth, not the smooth smooth face style.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 05:35 PM

His logic was that if a Key Grip ever came around and noticed the light safety-ed to anything other than the rig, it would suggest that the rig itself wasn't strong enough. Therefore making me look incompetent.


I'm not a key grip but the logic of that is ridiculous. It's egotistical to safety to your own rig unless that's all you have available. Unless one is retarded, they will safety to a permanent structure. I'm much more willing to give the winning structural odds to the permanent building structure than the grip's rig, even a very good grip can make mistakes.
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#6 robert duke

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 07:38 PM

Praise JEssuss!
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 11:03 PM

Praise JEssuss!


Feeling the spirit today, Robert? :huh:
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#8 robert duke

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 12:22 PM

Feeling the spirit today, Robert? :huh:


Sorry I had a couple and got on the computer. But I think I was just givin' the right on!
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#9 Sean McClellan

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 07:26 PM

You should go tell the Gaffer to take his sniffer and start "sniffing" for something else. You were absolutely correct. If you safety the rig and the rig fails, BOOM! Your light falls to the ground. Always safety to the more permanent structure as everyone above has mentioned.
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#10 Andrew Koch

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:42 AM

What kind of shoot was this? What was the general level of experience on this shoot on the part of the gaffer and key grip? Were they union people? I am not trying to reach any particular conclusion with this question. I'm just curious.
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#11 Anton Delfino

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 10:02 AM

No, neither of the department heads were union. In fact, this was a Columbia non-thesis film, but actually had a budget to hire a fairly experienced crew.
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