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Backlight mounting for small apartment


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#1 Michael Belanger

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 06:41 PM

I have some upcoming short films projects that will be shooting in a small apartment.

I'm wondering what my options are for mounting small backlights "up and out of the way" in a standard residential setting. These will be LTM 200w Peppers most likely.

I'm limited as far as defacing the walls and ceilings, etc.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 06:45 PM

Drop ceiling would be good for scissor clamps. Elsewise longer c stand gobo arms (I've rigger 2 of them together to get longer lenght, but safety is an issue, remember the right hand rule!), rigged off of cartillini or similar on furnature (stable) or stands out of the way.
Depends a lot on locations and keep safety in mind when rigging. Try to get something solid to rig from, and also saftey it to something in case of a failure.
Or you can drill pidgeion plates if possible and spackle/repaint afterwards, though this is generally not a good thing.

That's about all I can think of off hand.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 03:30 AM

Rent/Buy yourself a Polecat and a couple cardellini's.

C-stands are good for stationary shots, but if you have a lot of movement it's nice to not be limited by a stand that's just out of frame.
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#4 Tim Terner

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 04:18 AM

These are always handy when there is nothing to clamp to, will wedge in a door or window frame http://www.bhphotovi...r...p&sku=33287
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#5 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 12:32 PM

Pollcats generally are not desirable, but often just acceptable.

For what you are doing, a wall spreader would work best. If you are allowed to drill into the walls, pigeon plates work best if the light doesn't need to be centered in the room (ie, close to the walls).

If you need mobility, and the room can accommodate it space-wise, build a menace arm.

-DW
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#6 Michael Belanger

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 01:27 PM

Pollcats generally are not desirable, but often just acceptable.

For what you are doing, a wall spreader would work best...



I've been looking at the 2X4 variety wall spreader from Norms.

For the pressure point at the wall, do you put a square of plywood between the spreader and the wall to distribute the pressure more evenly? Or maybe a section of 2X4 so you're assured of having a couple of joists taking the load?

Would you guys recommend the custom-made baby-pin adaptors that are built for the speader or just use Cardellinis?
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#7 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 01:57 PM

Wall spreaders are made by a variety of companies, Norms, Modern, etc. They are all good.

What is always best in terms of placement on the wall is to find a stud. Using your studfinder, find a place in the wall where there is already something secure there. If you need to place the spreader in a place where there is no stud, you can put a piece of cribbing, a pancake, etc. to distribute the outward pressure.

However, after you have put up a few hundred wall spreaders (not even), experience will tell you that this is not always really necessary. You must judge what you are hanging, and go from there. Each situation is different. In your situation, you are hanging a pretty small light, weighing about 3 pounds. Unless you are putting 10 of these on the spreader, I wouldn't worry much about pressure distribution. However, you must also judge your location. Walls of poured concrete (like in a studio, warehouse, etc.) are incredibly solid. So are brick walls. However, a temporary office space my have very thin drywall. These are "easier" to punch through (although I wouldn't say easy unless you really crank down on the spreader, which, for hanging a 200w pepper, you don't have to do). Remember, good gripping is about judgment, thought, experience and foresight -- not always about brute strength. In fact, I'd say that if you are trying to muscle through everything in the grip world, you are not only doing it the wrong way, but you're going to tire yourself out very quickly. Once the spreader is up, I like to give it a little tug to see if it's good. A good firm tug applies a lot more downward force than the light you are hanging, and so you shouldn't be cranking the spreader. If there's a danger of it slipping, put some rubber matting in between the wall and the rig.

As for what to use on the 2x4 to hang the light, this can be anything that works. Cardellinis are fine, a maffer can even work, furni clamp, no-nail/set wall hanger, etc. You don't need to use a custom thing, but hey, if it's in the truck, why not... You can also screw a pigeon into the 2x4 as long as it's a small light. Don't drill any holes through the 2x4, or use too many screws if it's a bigger light -- doing so can compromise the integrity of the wood. Orienting the spreader in the vertical position (4" vertically) is stronger than orienting it horizontally, however, you lose some height on the unit. If the light has to be as high as possible, the wood needs to be horizontal (4" face facing up/down).

-DW
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