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Old November 26th, 2007, 12:48 AM   #1
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when you need a light two stories up...

what do you do? A friend wants me to DP for a student short, and after scouting the location with him tonight, the biggest problem is how to get our lights outside windows that are two stories up for a shoot that starts tomorrow night. The windows are at least 20 feet up from the first floor. The light needs to shine through the windows at an angle and will be hitting blinds on the inside. Ive asked him to relocate, and if we could shoot in bedrooms or locations on the first floor, but he has no first floor bedrooms and no secondary locations.

We'll be using a lowel lighting kit with a few omni lights and totas on the regular stands that come in the kit. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as Im struggling trying to come up with a solution! Thanks!
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Old November 26th, 2007, 01:13 AM   #2
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if you have access to a floor above you could drop a line or two down, and achor that to the top of a lightstand, drop the stand and catch it from the window, then mount the light and put the stand at fill extension sideways achoring it to the wall on the outside shining in the window, adjusting will be tiresom to bring it inside and adjust then put it back into position but it would get the light outside at several feet aways from the wall,
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Old November 26th, 2007, 08:45 AM   #3
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could you mount fluorescent worklights vertically between the window & the blinds?
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Old November 26th, 2007, 10:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Klidonas View Post
if you have access to a floor above you could drop a line or two down, and achor that to the top of a lightstand, drop the stand and catch it from the window, then mount the light and put the stand at fill extension sideways achoring it to the wall on the outside shining in the window, adjusting will be tiresom to bring it inside and adjust then put it back into position but it would get the light outside at several feet aways from the wall,
Hmmm, well I had thought about that except that the only place to do that would be from the roof which is at a rather steep angle. Thats really the last place I want to go with someone else's lights, but we may have to try that.

I hadnt thought of trying flourescent worklights since these lights will be gelled and trying to gel other light sources might be more complicated. whats the wattage on such worklights?
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Old November 26th, 2007, 10:43 AM   #5
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Do you have access to a cherry picker or a scissor lift?

They're very useful bits of kit. I've used a cherry picker before for a vertical shot, I just gave a guy who works for a tv aerial company 20 for a couple of hours use.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 12:29 AM   #6
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rent a pair of tall boys or hi-hi rollers. depending on exactly what you get, they are 19-21ft tall. in the 1 3/8 receiver, you can then mount a turtle base c stand removed from its base for another 8-9ft. do this all the time. pretty easy.

you can also do a 3 way header to mount a pair of lights. DP or omni lights are easy on this rig. I've done a 2K in the center, and 4 1k's which is lots of light, one stand.

its **CRITICALLY** important to be sure the stand goes up straight, YOU MUST LEVEL IT WITH A LEVEL AGAINST THE UPRIGHT! you must check 90deg apart to be sure its straight both way. you need some pancakes, or decent hunks of 3/4 and 1/2 plywood.

YOU MUST SAND BAG IT ! along the lines of 6-10 bags depending on the weight of the bags, and lastly, if there is anything more then the slightest breeze, use a pair of tie off lines as double safety here. its pretty easy to get this up in a few minutes with 2 people.

can't do this ? here is another way. as one person suggested, using windows from above to drop the lights in, you can also use fire escapes to rig on. lay the stand against the railing and extended out sideways. you should only do this with a decent beefy stand. sand bag the bottom, tie off as appropriate.

yet another way is to rig a _reflector_ at 45 deg facing the ground to the top of the window. you can tape up show card without much worry if it should come loose. some light weight wood ( 3/4 X 3/4 ) stapled or taped to the back will make a light weight frame. on the ground, raise your lights facing up to the cards as high as you can get it. works great. I've done this in NYC for some 3rd floor work where a tall boy still wasn't tall enough.

still, the easy way is getting the tall stands & proper support items. doing this wrong can be very dangerous if the rig fails.

Steve Oakley
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Old November 27th, 2007, 12:43 AM   #7
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Wow, thanks Steve and everyone! This is all awesome advice that is so simple but effective. I never thought to do that bit with the reflectors, and thinking about it, I already know its probably going to work best for the way the house was built. We actually didnt shoot the scenes that require this workaround tonight, so Ill get to try out a few of these methods on Friday night. Thanks again for the great advice- im sure one of these methods will work and Ill let ya'll know how it went.

Alan
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