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Cheap safe alternative to C stand?


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#1 Joshua Ian Parisi

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 10:49 AM

Hey,


Im a student cinematographer in upstate new york, and unfortunately the department at my school does not have C stands. There are no rental shops near by. We will not be rigging anything heavy, purely just silks and other pieces of fabric to use as diffusion. Short of buying my own C stand, what can I do to rig the diffusion to where I need it?


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#2 Mark Dunn

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 02:12 PM

See what the photography department has by way of background supports- two tripods with a bar across the top.

Not as quick to use, and harder to keep out of shot, but it could work.

Something like this.

http://www.photosel....3m-or-2m-w.html


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#3 Sam Javor

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 04:38 AM

The thing about silks is not that they are heavy, but that they catch the wind :)  So be prepared to tie those stands down.

But options can include light stands, an assistant to hold the item (the term is "to hollywood it"),  rope to tie to structures... and I've even used micrphone stands to hold LEDs.  I've also drilled holes in heavy duty clamps from a hardware store and put rapidadapters and studs on them for clamping things to other things... like doors, tables, and chairs.... sometimes the handle  on vice-grip pliers is the same size as the stud  on C-stands of course vice-grips can seriously damage what they clamp to....  Wander through a couple hardware stores and keep an open mind as to what will mount to what.


Edited by Sam Javor, 01 September 2014 - 04:40 AM.

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#4 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 09:00 PM

 

..Im a student cinematographer in upstate new york, and unfortunately the department at my school does not have C stands.....


C stands are quite cheap second hand on eBay. Petition your faculty to buy some. How can anyone teach cinematography without them? Without them for the students to use. They are actually cheap enough that you or a co-op of studends could buy some to share.

They last well (good brand ones) and are hard to damage

Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 01 September 2014 - 09:02 PM.

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#5 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 09:53 PM

No DIY alternative to C-stands.  You can use any kind of light you want but when it comes to grip equipment, it's best to just buy this stuff.  You can find lots of used C-stands on ebay but be prepared to replace the gobo heads and arms with new ones which will set you back.  In the end it's worth it though.  Worn out C-stands are useless and a safety hazard.  They won't hold anything in place.  I too am surprised the school doesn't have any.  I'd expect them to have tons of used ones.  In the end though, you'd likely still want new heads and arms for them.


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#6 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 10:19 PM

Michael,
With the used grip heads/gobo heads, what have you found worn out? Thread in the aluminum casting? Friction disk?
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 03:23 AM

I've occasionally used the very lightweight stands that are intended for photography, but they are very lightweight and I've had a couple fall apart simply because they don't deal very well with being fully extended. I have not found a good alternative to C-stands. They're things that are really quite often needed in quite large numbers and they are not particularly cheap things.

 

Someone posted ideas about making stands out of bits of heating pipe. I wouldn't have used them in any very safety-critical scenario but there may be reasonable times to use something like that. They didn't fold and would have been a bit of a pain to transport.

 

Astonishing a film school wouldn't have any C-stands, though.

 

P


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