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.
Right Hand Side Rule
When handling a C-Stand (and standing behind it) make sure that the locking knob is on your right hand side. This way id the boom fails it will self tighten reducing the risk of fallen gear. If it is on the left, the boom is self-loosing, almost ensuring gear will fall.
Kicking Sand Bags
Rather than leaning down to remove a sand bag from a C-Stand, kick it upwards and it will be instantly removed.
Stacking: Have the Big Leg Facing The Same Direction
When stacking C-stand for later use make sure the big leg faces the same direction on all stands, this will make it easy to pull one out from the stack.
P.S. Bonus: always sand it. You know, just so you don’t get this huge blooper… you know. Just saying.