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Old September 6th, 2017, 02:35 PM   #1
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Ceiling mounted Backdrop/Seamless Holder Advice

Hi all,

Looking for advice on a what I am thinking of using as a backdrop holder/seamless paper roll holder in my home studio. Basically I want to know if what I've come up with can hold the weight and be safe or if I need something a bit beefier.

The studio space is a formal living/sitting room in my house that we're converting to a studio-when-needed type of thing and so the main aspect of this system is that it needs to be mostly removable when not in use. My clients also will be using the actual room as a set and so I can't have background support stands coming down into my side-on shots.

With that in mind, I've landed on a ceiling mounted system that needs to be capable of holding a 12ft seamless roll of paper, or curtains, or blackout cloth, or green screen paper/cloth depending on the shoot. I also may want to attach small background lights to the ends as well depending on the shoot.

Here are the specs:

1 x 13ft length of speed rail (1.25") to act as as the rod.
2 x 6in Matthellini clamps (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...m=Y&sku=301945) to hold the pipe.
2x Baby Wall receivers (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...all_Plate.html) lagged into ceiling joists. The matthellini clamp pins will secure into these plates.

So, what do you guys think? Are these pieces of grip equipment enough to hold the weight of the pipe and a roll of seamless? Also might like to use the excess pipe to attach small background lights, so that's another consideration. Will this do or do I need something beefier, like maybe stepping up to junior fittings? And what might those be?
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Old September 13th, 2017, 02:20 PM   #2
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Re: Ceiling mounted Backdrop/Seamless Holder Advice

Hi Glade,

I would have to say no, not good enough. Those Baby 5/8" Locking Receivers are in standard use for light heads and a lot of other things that are not often supported in a straight down vertical load capacity. They are basically a friction lock I would never use over a person from a ceiling mount.

Twelve foot rolls of seamless are heavy, add lights and you are way out of bounds.

No matter what we rig if it goes overhead there is also an independent safety cable on it in case the support fails.

Kind Regards,

Steve

Edit: I do use some 5/8 light clamps overhead with a single head and a safety cable.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 03:04 PM   #3
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Re: Ceiling mounted Backdrop/Seamless Holder Advice

Hi Steven,

Thanks for the reply. I was definitely wary of the weight capacity of the baby receiver. Do you think stepping up to a Junior receiver (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...late_with.html) and some way to transfer junior to matthellini would work? Perhaps a Junior Grip Head (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._Junior.html)?

I own some Big Ben Clamps (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...Ben_Clamp.html) that i could use with the junior recievers, however, being a single-man-crew, I wouldn't be able to rest the pipe in the clamps before clamping down like I would in the matthellinis. I would need another person for setup.

And of course, whatever I end up with I will be bolting a heavy duty eye plate + safety cable on each end for security.

Alternatively, I suppose I could put the Junior receiver on the wall in-stead of the ceiling (if you think that would hold better horizontally) and use the Big Ben Clamps direct into that. Still leaves me with the problem on not having a second set of hands, though.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 03:28 PM   #4
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Re: Ceiling mounted Backdrop/Seamless Holder Advice

No on the Junior receivers. Friction locks secure things into place, they are not load bearing locks. Mount the wall plates to wall studs so the plate, stud, and wall stud supports the weight.

For a one man set up start by tying one end of your support rod to the clamp with rope, then raise and clamp the other end, then secure the tied off end.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old September 14th, 2017, 05:29 PM   #5
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Re: Ceiling mounted Backdrop/Seamless Holder Advice

Am I correct though, that large lights (>40lbs) are frequently hung on grids via junior clamps? And aren't the notches in the pins for holding the weight via the screw? Forgive me if I'm wrong.

Also, great Idea on the rope trick!
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Old September 14th, 2017, 06:19 PM   #6
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Re: Ceiling mounted Backdrop/Seamless Holder Advice

Hi Glade,

I cant speak for how things are rigged on movie sets where 40lb lights may be common. Maybe someone else can jump in here?

What I can tell you is I have rigged a thousand Leco stage lights (avg around 20 lbs) over audience heads for stage lighting. They are secured with industry standard C-clamps tightened down hard with a wrench and safety cable. We take it very seriously. People can die if something were to fall from rigged truss. All I can tel you is I have never seen anything rigged over peoples heads with a jr pin type of set screw device of any type. It is not going to happen on one of my shows.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...geID/accessory

I do realize you are talking about 12 foot seamless and a couple of light heads. I am just saying be careful.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old September 14th, 2017, 07:02 PM   #7
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Re: Ceiling mounted Backdrop/Seamless Holder Advice

Understood. Thank you again for your help and wisdom, Steven. Very much appreciated!
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Old September 15th, 2017, 11:45 AM   #8
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Re: Ceiling mounted Backdrop/Seamless Holder Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glade Truitt View Post
Hi all,

I've landed on a ceiling mounted system that needs to be capable of holding a 12ft seamless roll of paper, or curtains, or blackout cloth, or green screen paper/cloth depending on the shoot.
You might want to consider a ceiling mounted system for drapes like in hospital rooms. The weight would be much less, and you can change the drapes to different colors.

In one medical laboratory where I worked, we had blackout curtains surrounding the fluorescent microscope we had to use because we didn't have a separate room we could just black out.

We used to get hospital supply catalogs back when I worked in the lab that had all kinds of stuff that could be re-purposed for video, photography. Some of the audiology stuff could be used for setting up audio recording studio too.

I see that the same things can be found online a lot cheaper than back then too!

Here's a sample link I found: http://www.medicalproductsdirect.com...hoCFTwQAvD_BwE

Hope this helps.
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; September 15th, 2017 at 12:00 PM. Reason: add a link
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