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    8 x 8 frame recommendations
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    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    I'm looking for an 8 x 8 scim. There's the Digital Juice, Matthews, Avenger, and Westcott Scrim Jim. I like portability for transporting in my vehicle, but I don't want something that will fall apart in the wind.

    Are C-stands good enough or should I get combo stands for it? Client asked to go 11' high for this particular shoot.
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 09-05-2020 at 09:01 PM.


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Do you truly mean a scrim/net or would it be a silk? I wouldnít really want to put an 8x8 11 feet in the air outside with just C-stands. Especially if it is a silk. Inside, itís not so much of an issue.

    I used to fly all of my frames with C-stands, then switched to some much wider base steel/aluminum stands(legs and top riser are steel, bottom tube and other sections are aluminum) and use 40Ē arm/grip heads on them. Much more secure when flying frames outside. Canít remember the model number, right now, though.

    Also, when you start getting into that size range and working at those heights, especially outside, things can go south very quickly, and you really need someone that knows what theyíre doing and can devote their entire attention to handling it while itís up. Itís a safety thing. Fortunately, most producers have enough common sense to listen when you explain legitimate safety concerns for shoots and itís not just someone trying to add money to the invoice.


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    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    I meant 8 x 8 frame recommendations. I changed the topic title accordingly.

    This may be good for a combo stand: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...d.html/reviews

    What exactly is a professional grip or gaffer going to know about how to keep one from toppling over that a PA would not know?
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 09-05-2020 at 09:13 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    I meant 8 x 8 frame recommendations. I changed the topic title accordingly.

    This may be good for a combo stand: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...d.html/reviews

    What exactly is a professional grip or gaffer going to know about how to keep one from toppling over that a PA would not know?
    As a general rule (which gets broken all the time), c-stands aren't supposed to be used outside.

    Larger combo stands don't only give you a larger footprint and more mass, they're more resisitent to bending. 8x8 frames on c-stands can bend the risers if it's windy enough.

    It can happen with larger stands too but you're decreasing the chances with stronger hardware (thicker riser sections).

    This gets into your question about giving PAs a serious safety responsibility. Where a PA will likely throw shotbags at the problem, Grips and Gaffers (hopefully) use rope to tie frames down from as many directions as possible. A PA wouldn't have the experience to do any of this safely. It's not only about securing the frame with the correct tension, it's also about being able to adjust the tension from each rope, as well as being able to quickly remove ropes in shot while shooting, then getting them back in a position to be safe again.

    Another thing is not sending the frame up in the first place. Years ago when I was on set the Gaffer said it was too windy for a 12x12 to go up. An even bigger delay than waiting for the wind to die down is having a large frame corner go through the windshield of a car (or hit someone in the face etc etc). This is invaluable experience, compared with a green PA who doesn't know a thing about safety and wants to be a yes person so they can keep getting hired.

    Eric at some point you're going to have to embrace working with professional crew members!

    The stand you linked is good but I'd go with a triple riser stand if possible. I have four of these and they're solid - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...eel_Stand.html

    I have four of these as well and they're even better for outdoor frames - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...head_Wide.html

    If you have the space, I'd go with one inch corners and ears like these:
    - https://modernstudio.com/products/co...4b1efa59&_ss=r
    - https://modernstudio.com/products/fl...b0a513de&_ss=r

    For the frame lengths you should easily be able to find one inch square tubes, most likely will need to be cut but your local may have exisiting 8x lengths already. Four pieces of 8' tube can fit in most small cars.

    The brands you mention cost way too much IMO.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    What exactly is a professional grip or gaffer going to know about how to keep one from toppling over that a PA would not know?
    If you have to ask this question, you just answered it.
    Charles Papert
    charlespapert.com


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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    If you have to ask this question, you just answered it.
    I thought the statement was sarcasm!


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    Senior Member Liam Hall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post

    What exactly is a professional grip or gaffer going to know about how to keep one from toppling over that a PA would not know?
    You're joking Eric, right? They're the two roles where you absolutely must know what you are doing or you might kill someone.

    Of course, you're joking! So, to answer your question, check out the lastolite skylite system. Cheap, lightweight and easy to use. Designed for photographers but can work for video/film if you don't abuse it.
    New Website: www.liamhall.net
    TWITTER: @FilmLiam
    INSTAGRAM: @picsbyliam


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    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    I'm not finding an 8 x 8 Lastolite option. What makes them better than the other four brands I'd mentioned? I've heard Matthews and Avengers are less portable and more durable than Westcott and Digital Juice but I think they fold down too so I'm not very clear on that.

    How many pounds of shot/sand bags would be recommended for an 8 x 8 at 11 feet? Obviously it depends on wind conditions, but when showing up to set with sand bags, how many should be owned or rented without knowing wind conditions?

    Rob, I put down the use of professionals when they're not needed. A professional gaffer I don't feel is need to put my 1 x 1 Litepanel on a light stand, which is about as complicated as many of my interview setups are, so I've often hired PAs to do these ridiculously simple tasks and have had stellar results with that.

    An 8 x 8 is more complex and has more safety issues, but I'm still a bit skeptical that it's as complicated as you make it out to be. I've setup a 12 x 12 outdoors by myself before with no issues. Yeah, if you're moving around set to several locations in windy conditions with a 12 x 12, it'll take more skill and manpower, but that's not really the situation that I'm dealing with. I feel like if the person in charge (me) has sufficient knowledge (which I'm currently learning more of) to set up the stands, frame, etc., then I can simply instruct a PA to do the same while maintaining proper safety on set. I often feel gaffers are best used for narrative style filmmaking where they may give artistic input that is helpful and the lighting schemes are much more complex than the often very simple corporate video lighting setups (that I typically deal with).


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    Eric, because this leans into safety issues, I will get on the soapbox here and say that you are expressing dangerous sentiments. Just because you haven't had any issues yet doesn't mean you may never. Rob Norton makes excellent and accurate points above. Large frames are dangerous objects. My key grip is able to read the wind in ways that constantly surprise me, recognizing patterns of sudden gusts and taking appropriate precautions, from tying down to sandbag carts to placing bodies on the stands to babysit them. One more than one occasion he has told me we can't put up a given size rag so we have to downsize, or even that it is too gusty to use a frame at all (one of those times it was completely still when he told me that but five minutes later the wind kicked in).

    Is it possible to learn all of this yourself? Yes. Like many things in this business, the basics are easy enough but the nuances take years of experience to master. To be honest, asking whether or not you need combo stands says a lot. That's not an insult on your knowledge base, guess what, I barely know anything about this stuff myself, because I never worked as a grip and I leave it to the professionals. And yes I've done plenty of tiny crew jobs over the years but I don't use gear of that scope without one.

    I've seen many frames go down over the years, even under the guidance of a skilled key grip. Weather is unpredictable.

    Lastly, just a general point of clarification because the distinction between grip and electric is often blurred on message boards but not on set. This discussion is firmly in the province of grip department. A gaffer wouldn't have anything to do with rags and frames, unless you had someone working both jobs on a small shoot. Also because the term "gaffers and grips" is oft bandied around which is a little apples and oranges: in the US, there is one gaffer and one key grip on a job. The crew working for them are, respectively, electricians and grips.
    Charles Papert
    charlespapert.com


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    I'm not an engineer, or grip, but I'll take a "shot" at how much weight you need.

    Surface area: 8' x 8' = 64 sq. ft.

    Wind pressure per square foot: P = 0.00256 x V≤, where is wind speed in MPH

    P = 0.00256 x (10 x 10)

    P = 0.256 psf

    Wind load at ground level: 64 x 0.256 = 16.384

    Then you need factor in a drag coefficient for being above ground. ( Using Cd of 1.45 per https://www.hivismediainstallations....ner-wind-load/ )

    16.384 x 1.45 = 23.757

    Then the 11' stand extension needs to be accounted for.

    So, 23.757 x 11 = 261.325 lbs of shot bags.

    Of course, this is really only a guesstimate. It is better to hire an experienced grip, and not get into a Randall Miller situation.


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