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    Sandbag substitute for travel
    #1
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    Building out a kit for a lot of travel work coming up.

    Plan on getting flex panel lights to keep weight down. Most likely will settle on Matthews Merf stands, but want to also secure the stands without traveling with sandbags.

    I don't see very many water filled options. Any other ideas?


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    #2
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    Bring a few sleeping-bag stuff sacks. Here's one source. Get a size big enough for an adult sleeping bag (say, 10L or bigger).
    https://www.rei.com/c/drawcord-stuff-sacks

    When you arrive on location, when you swing buy a grocery store for snacks or send a PA to get snacks, pick up some cheap 10lb/4Kg bags of rice.
    IME, rice has the best weight/cost ratio of easily-obtained options. You could use beans or something, too. But rice works fine. Then stick the bags of rice (while still in the bag!) into the stuff sack.
    At the end of the shoot, give the rice to the PA or someone.

    I've been on jobs with water bladders... Those can last a long time, but some will spring leaks...and not just the cheap bladders/bags; good ones that were abused during transit. And "abused" sometimes means "packed in a hurry." Or perhaps the water bags were stressed by the edges of non-tubular legs on some light stands such as the MERF.

    Ya, stopping buy a store is a drag and you can't always do it. So in other situations, I'll just hang a small backpack or other bag from the light stands' T-knob...With good-quality stands, such as Matthews, that's never been a problem.

    I'm open to other solutions, of course.
    ----------
    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


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    #3
    Senior Member BrianMurphy's Avatar
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    I bought beer belts on ebay:https://www.ebay.com/itm/Portable-6-...QAAOSwYHxWOdWH
    and use them with plastic bottled water as counter weights for my boom setup and drape them on the lower portion of the light stands . I also bring empty sandbags and large ziplocks with me and if needed go to a home depot or whatever and buy sand and fill zip locks then put them in the sand bags and empty them when I leave. But the beer belts have worked for my stuff quite well.
    I also used portable camping showers when I was dragging a portable jib arm around but with an Osmo now not necessary.
    Brian Murphy
    Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto
    Sony PXW-Z150 -Sony A6000(x2) Sony A6500
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    Collection of CY lenses and vintage Nikons
    2x DJI Osmo Plus ++
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    #4
    Senior Member Darren Levine's Avatar
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    +1 for using water bottles. you can buy empty sandbags and use that, or the mentioned beer belts. Or as simple as double bagging them in plastic grocery bags, they will dangle just fine on many legs. Depends on how DIY you care to look
    C100 / Aerial Shooter/Editor - NY/NJ

    My work, My equipment, My other whatnots...
    www.DarrenLevine.com


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    #5
    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    Yeah, I just take empty sand bags and go to home depot. Or if you're near a beach or desert or dune just fill it there. Sand bags have so many uses on set -- securing stands, holding down dolly track, something soft to kneel on, propping up the camera for a low angle floor shot -- that they are worth the hassle.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    #6
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    You could get a bunch of collapsible water bottles and some paracord.


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    #7
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    Many years ago we used to use hot water bottles. Never ever had a leak with good quality ones. Tied on with a bit of cord or draped over C stand lower struts. Tied together in pairs. Hanging on jibs in shopping bags. Countless ways to use them. Pack nice and flat for shipping. In the UK I've even had PA's on set using them to keep warm

    hot water bottle.jpg

    Chris Young


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    #8
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    Unload the bags you intend to travel with and go to a home improvement store (as previously mentioned) and get a bag of pea-gravel for under $5. Badabing, you got ballast. In a pinch, you can use a shovel and load up with dirt. But the pea gravel is cheap and clean since it is a washed product. I like the pea gravel so well, I use it all the time for all my ballast bags.

    Grant


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    #9
    Senior Member Patryk_Rebisz's Avatar
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    Portable sand bags is a HUGE pain in the behind. From need to travel to home supplies store, to picking up gravel/sand what not, to load up the bags with spillage and need to clean up. I'm pretty sure the penies saved over a rental house are not worth the effort.
    Patryk Rebisz
    director/DP
    www.ShoulderTheLion.com - my feature-length documentary
    www.TupeloProductions.com - my production company
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    gear, gear, gear for rent in NYC area!!! >>> www.PatrykRebisz.com/lights.html
    (917) 291-2565


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    #10
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    Travel is a pain in general and getting your gear there is part of the chore. If there are no rental houses where you travel....what you going to do?


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