Starting With C-Stands? You Should Watch This C-Stands 101

There comes a point at any photographer or videographer’s life where they start using big lights or other big gear and migrate to C-stands. Ok, not every photographer. But if you have never used a C-stand you are definitely in for a treat. The only thing is that C-stands take a little more know-how to use safety than light stands. This is where Eric Jang and his C-Stands 101 comes in.

The movie is only about 10 minutes long, but is highly recommended if you are handling C-stands and even more so if you are doing it near people or in small production spaces. And is a must if you ever consider working as Grip.

Here are just a few tips that I picked up. Some, I already did out of habit or intuition, but hearing them said like rules just helps sort them out in my head.

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The GaffGun Straighten, Tapes and Secures Cables In Seconds

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If you ever had a set with lots of cables you know how important it is to have them all secured. Even with the best insurance plan you really don’t want anyone stumbling over one of the ‘bumps’. In the ‘good’ scenario, they will stumble curse a little and continue, in the medium scenario they will fall. And in the worse scenario they will take down your $20,000 lights.

So what do you do? You get down on your hands and knees gaff like crazy. Sadly, Gaffing a cable to the floor, while classified as grantwork, is not an easy task. It involves tapping small bits of gaff on the cable and then going back and reapplying gaff to the whole thing.

And this is what the GaffGun is here to solve. The GaffGun is somewhat of a packaging tape dispenser on steroids. You drop a Gaffer roll in the thing and simply roll it on the floor. It has rails to guide the cables and securely gaff them to the floor. This means that it is almost trivial to run cables in a straight line.

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Build Your Own Inexpensive Transport Equipment Cases

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Basic tools and carpentry techniques can save you a lot of cash when protecting your valuable hardware! Like a lot of video producers on a budget I’m always looking for ways to save cash while moving forward with the realistic hardware needs of various projects. The recent purchase of a pair of vintage Colortran 2K Fresnel lights nudged me to seek some type of protective storage and transport case option that wasn’t insanely priced. These are big fixtures and they call for big cases. [Read more…]