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Old June 1st, 2008, 12:51 PM   #1
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Looking for water bags for light stands

I was thinking about the issue of stabilizing equipment and traveling. Instead of sandbags, does anyone make a similar style bag with a screw on cap that can be filled with water? This would be great as I could fill it when I got on set and then drain it afterwards. This means I dont have to travel with the weight or go to Home Depot to buy sand to fill my sand bags. Has anyone heard of a company that makes these? Or what other suggestions are there for this problem?

Thanks!

Bill
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Old June 1st, 2008, 10:45 PM   #2
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I'm not aware of any video supplier or manufacturer

that makes water bags.

Frankly, my impulsive reaction is that this might be a case of "good idea...bad execution" (and hopefully not "bad electrocution").

While saving the weight of sand is a noble goal, the danger of using water so near power cords, lights, and so much other expensive equipment seems risky, maybe to the point of scaring others on the set.

If you're determined to try it, I'd suggest you first check your insurance policy, then look at camping-supply vendors. Some make/sell heavy-but-flexible plastic containers for lugging water around. I've seen them, and used them while backpacking, in 1 gallon size, and seem to recall seeing some as large as 2.5 gallons. They can be crushed to be relatively small, but they don't last forever, and repeated creasing can hasten cracks and leaks.

You could also take the DIY approach and consider using empty 1 liter drink/water bottles. That plastic is pretty tough, but after repeated opening/closing, the caps eventually loosen. If you give it a shot, I'd also suggest some kind of cloth sleeve or cover for the bottles/bags so others aren't afraid to work on the set. (And, God forbid a light stand gets knocked over, or a cord becomes unplugged by accident).

Given the weight of water, which is approx. 8.2 lbs. per gallon, I suspect the smaller size might be enough.

Good luck.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 12:33 PM   #3
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I like your ingenuity, but after seeing many injuries in the studio and on sets from careless or inexperienced grips, grip electrics and PA, it is not something I would recommend. Sharp edges on some light stands may cause you to pay out damages or be held liable for injury or even death.

Tip: I used to have shot bags custom manufactured in Dallas through a tent manufacturer. I used the highest quality waterproof canvas available, it could actually be hot melted and not sewn.(Note: Shot or sand has to be sewn as well) If you decide to go this route be sure to test your product. The handles should be placed so that when you grab the handle the end edges are lifted first, otherwise the bag itself will grab the stand and pull it over.
Hope this helps.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 01:36 PM   #4
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Hey shawn, do you remember the name of that tent place, I'm needing some steel shot bags that can be put underwater. the pool chemicals will harden regular shot bag material...

anyway , about waterbags, I saw an info-mercial about how you can still do your workout while on the road type of thing they had barbell weights that you actually added water to and put on the end of the bars that came with the kit. the interesting thing is that they have a t least a two inch hole in the center to mount on the bar. So you could just put the stand up the center of the bag. They were made fairly rugged, showing how they can be dropped from a 2nd story window,,,,, anyway. such a thing might work if you can find it online. ten pounds per bag if I remember correctly
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Old June 9th, 2008, 01:40 PM   #5
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i don't know if you ever been on a water bed, but believe me, water in a bag will certainly be not very helpful in stabilizing anything.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 07:38 PM   #6
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http://www.photoflex.com/Photoflex_P...bag/index.html
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Old June 16th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #7
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Just double-checking my calculations...yep, it does indeed appear that water and electricity can actually kill you.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 10:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Winter View Post
Just double-checking my calculations...yep, it does indeed appear that water and electricity can actually kill you.

So can cars and airplanes . . .

I have lights and electric filters in my pool . . .

Handled properly combinations can be safe . . . but improper handling can be deadly.

I would not suggest taking a bath with a common kitchen toaster, but I think well designed and properly sealed pouches of water are perfectly safe as weights to stabilize light stands.

Just my thoughts :-)
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Old June 17th, 2008, 12:38 AM   #9
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I sometimes fill bags with rice. Safe, cheap and you can get what you need virtually anywhere.
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