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    #21
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    The film industry by nature involves a certain amount of risk, which we mitigate as much as we can. Car chases and stunts sometimes go wrong and people get hurt even when everything is done by the book. Interview shoots are much more benign...then again, tell that to the Clintons in '92.

    In the wind, large fabrics turn into a sail. Given a strong enough wind, even that little lightweight setup could bend metal. And that I have seen happen. If you still can't imagine why that would be dangerous, try picturing a baseball bat to the face.

    I'll give up on this (and delineating between a gaffer and grip) at this juncture. You do you. Just hoping others will take heed.

    There are times on here, it’s like talking to a brick wall when you try to help people and teach through your own experience and previous mistakes, so they don’t have to go through the same thing, but it ends up like a conversation with a kid constantly saying, “why?” repeatedly. Some people have to burn their hand on the hot stove themselves, because being told it’s hot just isn’t enough.

    I’ve had 4x4 aluminum frames snapped in half by wind gusts and 4x4 and 6x6 aluminum frames broken when they were blown over even being securely bagged. I have a really nice, heavy duty 12x12, but I never use it anymore, because it’s really hard to use it safely with today’s scaled back crews. I’ll fly 4x4’s and 6x6’s by myself if conditions are right and I can usually have at least the producer hold onto it while it’s up.

    People that do not deal with silks/textiles regularly do not understand just how little wind/breeze is needed to move them around or bring them down.


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    #22
    Senior Member David W. Jones's Avatar
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    I get Aluminum square tube from onlinemteals.com to build my frames.
    Pick your lengths and have them shipped to your door.

    I get my hardware and rags from canvasgrip.com

    I have 6x6, 8x8, 12x12 which all ride in my Sprinter van,
    along with an area for smaller frames.


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    #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    There are times on here, it’s like talking to a brick wall when you try to help people and teach through your own experience and previous mistakes, so they don’t have to go through the same thing, but it ends up like a conversation with a kid constantly saying, “why?” repeatedly. Some people have to burn their hand on the hot stove themselves, because being told it’s hot just isn’t enough.

    I’ve had 4x4 aluminum frames snapped in half by wind gusts and 4x4 and 6x6 aluminum frames broken when they were blown over even being securely bagged. I have a really nice, heavy duty 12x12, but I never use it anymore, because it’s really hard to use it safely with today’s scaled back crews. I’ll fly 4x4’s and 6x6’s by myself if conditions are right and I can usually have at least the producer hold onto it while it’s up.

    People that do not deal with silks/textiles regularly do not understand just how little wind/breeze is needed to move them around or bring them down.
    The important thing is for this solid wisdom from you and Charles to be in the thread. Beyond that, Eric can do as he wishes both in the thread and in productions. The consequences, of course, will be his. With safety, doing it the right way can be ignored until....well, until it can't. Driving without a seatbelt is safe....until the incident. Then it's not.

    I agree, it's weird that some people just don't want to hear it and yet come back for advice. But here we are.

    In any case, I'm grateful to have access to seasoned pros on this board. Much to learn and much has been learned.
    Last edited by ozmorphasis; 09-07-2020 at 01:45 PM.


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    #24
    Senior Member Liam Hall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    Eric,

    The Westcott Scrim Jims, to me, are very flimsy. Fine for indoors but I personally wouldn't use one outdoors, the frames are comically small and underbuilt. There is a paradox in grip gear that
    basically equates to weight and heavy build = strength. If you go for anything lighter weight, you are compromising in strength and ruggedness to keep going for years and years.

    It's similar to C-stands. There are some Impact and other cheap photo C-stands on the market. They are considerably lighter and easier to move around sets than traditional C-stands, a lot of still photographers favor them
    in studio because still shooters aren't typically putting as big or has heavy things on them as video shooters are. Traditional steel base or heavy aluminum C-stands are much better built, but weigh a ton
    more. I've had some of the cheap, light Avenger and Impact stands. They are disposable, while my heavy, clunky Norms, Matthews and American C-stands have been working for me for two decades.

    You can't have it both ways. With grip gear, you get light and flimsy, versus heavy and rugged. A good compromise might be the heavier aluminum frames that break down into 4' lengths rather than 8'?
    Not as strong as the 8' but you can fit the 4' lengths into any car and they are still leagues heavier duty than the Scrim Jim.
    My cheaper C-stands are way heavier than my more expensive ones. Not all metals were born equal...
    New Website: www.liamhall.net
    TWITTER: @FilmLiam
    INSTAGRAM: @picsbyliam


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    #25
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    One thing I was wondering: you can buy bounce that has holes in them to help with the wind, like the stuff here:

    https://laraghouse.com/product/perforated-bounce/

    http://trpworldwide.com/wind-fabrics.html

    So, couldn't you just use white or black nets to cut the intensity, and they would be much safer in the wind, because they are natually full of holes? You would get less or no diffusion, but that would be the tradeoff. I just don't know if my asumption is right.


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    #26
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liam Hall View Post
    My cheaper C-stands are way heavier than my more expensive ones. Not all metals were born equal...
    Really? Interesting. A set I was on a month ago, the producer had some cheap, Chinese Ali Express no name C-stands I had never seen before, they were chrome plated. Hilarious, they looked like they were part of a lowrider or a Harley.
    Certainly eye catching. I asked his grip about them and he said they were junk and got chipped up and looked like garbage really quickly. I didn't pick one up though. The Impacts and Avengers I've used are black and are
    typically found in still photo studios in LA. They're pretty junky and wouldn't last two jobs on a five ton.

    I sold off most of my grip equipment when I got rid of my truck as all I can fit in my car trunk with the pass through is four. I have four Norms stands left that I've had for ages. They still work but some are pretty beat up,
    have held flags up out of the surf on beach shoots, etc. I'll probably sell these and replace them with four Americans, even though I heard Norms is back in business with a new showroom. I have two American Beefy Babys and man their stuff is nice. Super
    heavy duty, no nonsense, I like them better than Matthews (which are great!) and my Norms (which are great!) The main tie down knobs are really nice ergonomically.

    I can't figure out why anyone would bother with junky C-stands? They're the most important grip building block.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    #27
    Senior Member JPNola'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?


    A grip of gaffer, if they are experienced, will have years of experience in securing overheads. Years that likely include having witnessed things go wrong and witness mistakes made. Knowledge of knot-tying and rigging safety lines. Experience in, and the tools for, staking down an overhead. For instance, driving stakes into asphalt or into seams in concrete. With someone with experience and knowledge in such things on your crew, you wouldn't be having to ask this forum- you'd ask the seasoned pro you work with regularly. Or simply let them handle such things, allowing you to focus on your role as DP and not have to concern yourself with Grip Dept.

    I get that you work with small crews, as do I. And there isn't often the budget for a Gaffer or Grip.

    I own the Matthews 8x8 frame that has the quick-release connectors precluding the need for "corner" hardware. I use it with Matthews "media" combo stands but after using them I'd rather have true combo stands because regular combo stands have a wider base and, if I am not mistaken, larger diameter grip-heads. Even with two combo stands and heavy bagging, it is dicey if the wind comes up at all. It's a giant sail when you have the silk on it. Last time I used my overhead, I added a c-stand to have 3 points of contact. But even with 3 stands in total it was sketch without some guy-lines run to further secure it when it turned breezy.

    An issue I have experienced with using a PA as a grip is that the Producer wants the PA to perform a task for them, and now you've lost your "Grip". Your Grip has been sent to get coffee or some other task for the Producer.

    I hope you realize that a Gaffer does more than just execute your lighting for you. Often they work collaboratively with the DP and will come up with lighting, drawing on things they've seen on other sets or drawing on their own talent. I've been on feature-film sets where the DP pretty much let the Gaffer light everything, the DP choosing to more concern themselves with other aspects such as the photography, camera movement, etc. Often a Gaffer can save a DP when a DP is having lighter's-block. A DP can ask the Gaffer "What would you do here?", especially in tricky situations. For younger, less experienced DP's, having a seasoned Gaffer on the crew can be especially beneficial. It seems like I rarely see a combo of young DP & young Gaffer. More often when the DP is young and green the Gaffer is a veteran, there to guide, oversee, and save the DP's behind when in a pickle. If craft the lighting altogether.

    If you want to be "Hollywood" to go along with your ARRI cameras, get American grip gear or Norms. But you'll pay a premium for it.

    https://americangrip.com

    one last thing; It isn't just the stand toppling over that is the concern. A concern is also the frame moving in the grip-heads. Tilting. Even with the sh*t bagged out of the stands there is still safety concern that the grip-heads of your stands won't be able to withstand the torque resulting from windy conditions. There is also concern that sections of the stand bend from force of the wind. That may not result in a safety issue on set but a bent shaft can be difficult to repair. I've had it happen to a stand to where the stand section could no longer retract due to the bend.
    Last edited by JPNola; 09-07-2020 at 06:03 PM.
    Big sources matter.


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    #28
    Senior Member JPNola's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    There are times on here, it’s like talking to a brick wall when you try to help people and teach through your own experience and previous mistakes, so they don’t have to go through the same thing, but it ends up like a conversation with a kid constantly saying, “why?” repeatedly. Some people have to burn their hand on the hot stove themselves, because being told it’s hot just isn’t enough.

    I’ve had 4x4 aluminum frames snapped in half by wind gusts and 4x4 and 6x6 aluminum frames broken when they were blown over even being securely bagged. I have a really nice, heavy duty 12x12, but I never use it anymore, because it’s really hard to use it safely with today’s scaled back crews. I’ll fly 4x4’s and 6x6’s by myself if conditions are right and I can usually have at least the producer hold onto it while it’s up.

    People that do not deal with silks/textiles regularly do not understand just how little wind/breeze is needed to move them around or bring them down.
    I had a shiny-board with every bag I had available on the stand and a PA standing by it, instructed to keep a hand on the stand. Well, the PA got bored holding the stand, started playing on their phone, and a gust of wind came up blowing the shiny-board over onto a vehicle. Not just any vehicle, mind you, but a state-trooper vehicle. Which was brand new, selected for the PSA we were shooting. Oooph. Huge dent in the rear of the vehicle.

    I had the trooper arrest the PA on the spot and hold them over the weekend just to teach the PA a lesson. ( kidding )
    Big sources matter.


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    #29
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    And it's not just damaging OTHER property or possibly hurting people, if you break the frame or tear the silk or net and you haven't accomplished the shot yet or have more shots to do, you're probably hosed if you don't have a spare.


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    #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    Do you truly mean a scrim/net or would it be a silk? I wouldn’t really want to put an 8x8 11 feet in the air outside with just C-stands. Especially if it is a silk.
    I was trying to think about the math regarding this.

    An 8x8 doesn't seem that much larger than a 6x6, but it's 1.75x the surface area, so the wind load (in lbs per square foot) is going to be 1.75x as well.

    I don't know how much wind an average silk lets through (10%? 5%? 0%?) but if you could use a material that lets more wind through, you would negate the increase in wind load. So, something that lets around 50% of the wind pass through (single net? double net?) gets you closer to the same wind load you would see with a silk on a 6x6.

    You could check with some of the rag manufacturers to find something that might fit the bill. Even then, though, you still might not want to trust a PA with a death kite.


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