Probably the largest and most used category of items that you will have in your grip kit is stands and plates. No matter what, you will need something to hold up your lights. What grip gear falls under stand and plates? In this movie, author Abba Shapiro demonstrates the importance of including c-stands in your grip kit.
- Meet the C-stand. C-stands are the industry mainstay for lighting, and, well, anything else, stand. What makes them special, aside from being pretty heavy duty, are the legs, and what I love about this is that it really gives you a very, very sturdy base. Now, the beauty is that they're really easy to open and close. The trick is, is you have a tall leg, medium, and a short leg. Start with the tall one; just fold it in, and now you will have a stand that'll occupy very little space.
We gp ahead, swing it open, from the top, tighten the nut, some Century stands don't have a nut, they just kind of lock into place, and have a nice solid stand. Now, what I also like about them is that, even when they're open, I can stack them in a small space. Here I have three stands all next to each other, and the trick is just to make sure that the legs line up, the tall legs with the tall legs, the short with the short, and they just, basically, can slide into each other and take up very little space when you're storing them or you need to move them aside.
A lot of people think that this is a big, heavy-duty stand, I can only use it in the studio. I actually like to take these on location, even though they're bulkier, because they are so secure that I can fly things off them, hang a light, and I don't have to worry that the wind's going to blow it over. So, these are definitely something that you would want to take into the field, if you have the space in your van or your car. But their greatest use is, you can use them to fly a modifier or hang a light over somebody on-set, if you need to hide the stand, and that's the beauty of this.
Let's take a look at this modifier. We have a diffuser here. I'm going to show you how this would work with a C-stand. The trick is, when using a C-stand, and having it be secure, is whatever you fly over, in this case we have a diffuser, we could also have a light, it should always be flown over the tallest, most secure leg, and if you do that, it's going to be very sturdy. If you want a little extra sturdiness, you want to make sure it's really solid, go ahead, grab a sandbag, and you put the sandbag also over that taller leg, that front leg, and that's going to create even a more secure footprint for your C-stand.
Now, when working with these, I said, you fly it over the tall leg, but what do you do about this nut here, and this is called a go-bow, you can also see it called a knuckle, and all it does is it allows you to adjust the height and distance of our flag or a light, but the trick with using this is, make sure everything is on the right, you've heard the expression righty-tighty, when you tighten something, so, if the knuckle's on the right side when I tighten it, now, if this settles, it's only going to make it tighter, it's not going to loosen it.
If I had the flag hanging over the other side, where I'd have to turn it this way, as it settles, it could actually loosen the knuckle and then it would fall out of place. So, the trick is, always keep everything on the right, the higher leg, the knuckle, and the flag or the light. Another trick is knowing the proper way to raise the C-stand. Actually, you should use this technique with any kind of stand. So, a lot of times when people work with a stand, what they'll do is, they'll go ahead and they'll loosen the bottom knuckle, and they'll raise it up, and they'll tighten it, and they'll have their flag or their light, and then they realize they need to make it taller.
Well, the problem with doing it the way I just did it is, I now have to lower this, raise this, bring it up, and then raise the bottom again. So, if you start off by doing it properly, take the highest section, raise it up, tighten it, then, if you need to add a little more height to your stand, it's very easy to do, with one fell swoop. When it comes to stands, the C-stand should be your go-to stand when lighting a set.
- What is a grip kit?
- Organizing and transporting your grip gear
- Using stands and plates
- Mounting equipment with clamps
- Controlling and shaping light
- Powering your shoots
- Staying safe: important safety gear