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Rigging Parabeams on Location


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#1 Nicholas Matthews

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 10:19 PM

I understand that Kinoflo Parabeams are intended as studio lights, but on my current film budgetary, crew, & power restraints are forcing us to use them on location.

That said, I was wondering what the best way would be to rig these lights out over a small location with a high ceiling without it showing in the wide shots. Is speedrail armed out over the room on a hi-hi, heavily bagged, ratchet strapped, and safety cable attached an option? Or is there a possibility of it sagging? Steel piping any better?

What about diffusing said lights? What's the best way to attach a skinned frame? (C-boom in front of the light? Big ben with C-stand arm and knuckle holding frame?)

Thanks for any help you can provide!
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#2 John David Miller

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 12:34 AM

I think that is a little heavy for 1-1/4" Schedule 40 Aluminium pipe rigged as a "menace arm." I want to say it's about 50 lbs. You may want to consider putting in a pipe grid. If you have nothing overhead or can't touch the ceiling, consider a free standing grid. Hide the legs with set dressing or greens. Once you have a grid up this is quick, safe, and versatile.

If you insist on trying a menace arm with steel be careful using the risers of the stand, they will easily bend and buckle with a small amount of sideload with that kind of weight.

I'm sure in someone's head this light will make all the difference over a liteweight 4x kino with a nice diffusion diaper.
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#3 robert duke

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 01:12 PM

you might try Richard Mall's Max menace arm, we hung a 12k par at 17' while it looked daunting it held well. it has a base but fits into corners. Check it out at Matthews MSEgrip.com. you might also think about polecats/autopoles to ground support a pipe. Also Avenger has a wallspreader that I'm told can support up to 65lbs without drilling into walls I think its called the xcross or something like that.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 02:44 PM

I'm really iffy about wall spreaders. Much as I hate to question a working key grip, I've seen variations on those things fail and hurt people when they weren't particularly heavily loaded. It all seems a bit too reliant on the paint finish to me.
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#5 robert duke

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 07:20 PM

I have seen them fail, but safety is king. drywall is easy to patch a screw hole for a safety.

here is the link to the avenger crosspole
http://www.avenger-g...ected=crosspole

it holds 75KG! check it out. the guy that told me about them put a 10k over a 14' span.

as with any overhead rigging always use a safety, even if you have to drive a screw or two into a wall.
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#6 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 10:39 PM

A proper wall spreader will not fail if used correctly. Its important that the load is hung correctly as well. The crosspole is great. Very strong, and inspires a lot of confidence. As Robert says, always put in a safety.
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#7 michael best

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:29 PM

Just had to deal with something similar to this today, it was an Image 80 but it weights about the same as a parabeam. The room was about 30x35 so wall spreaders where ruled out. We used the Max arm and it was perfect. If we had not had one of those on the truck we probably would have done goal posts with truss makers or a steel pipe, and asked the art department to help hide the stands if they edged frame.

Hope this helps.
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#8 Tad Howard

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 09:36 PM

Plus one on the Max Menace arms. We used two with Kino Image 80s over skylights of a mobile home in "Trials & Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife". They were great. super strong and easily moved for changing focus (for script time of day). DP David Sanderson turned me onto them.
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#9 Tom Guiney

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 10:25 PM

If you have prerig time, perhaps consider preinstalling a few speedrail starters (http://www.cinegears...il-Starter.html) (modernstudios.com sells them too) in the ceiling. When there's nothing attached to them, they'd be small and unobtrusive, just a little aluminum cylinder in the ceiling, but could rapidly be the basis of front end support of an excessive menace arm or else of a grid. 3/8" hanger bolt into the joist, that supports the speedrail starter, you can start a grid off of it or even just stick a 5/8" (long arm) rod into it and lock it with the set screw.

Parabeams are a bit heavy for a long 1 1/4" menace arm. It would work though with a sufficient mast triangulation to take the frown out of your speedrail. better to just take the weight from the front of the arm with a reliable point that you have preset into the ceiling.


Tom Guiney
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery