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Old November 18th, 2008, 01:10 PM   #1
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still learning/need advice re best clamps, how to make(buy?) cukaloris?

Hi there,

I shoot solo, so space and weight are a bit of an issue, but I need to complete my lighting kit. I've followed as much of Walter Graff's advice as I easily could (just ordered smaller stands, so I can fit them in a case that I can get, width-wise, through an average doorway) but I still need to get a cukaloris... Do I make this myself? Just with a piece of foam core and an exacto knife? Any advice?

Also, I know I'm going to find myself in situations where I need clamps—I just haven't found myself in enough situations yet to know what clamps I'll need when I find myself there.
I did get some scissor-ceiling clamps, so I can attach a small light to a dropped-ceiling, so I'm all set for that next time I'm in that situation.
But what other clamps are the really vital ones to own?
I've looked on some web sites, but either all the clamps start looking the same, or I just can't figure out what I'd do with them, or both.
Any advice?
Thanks, malcolm
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Old November 18th, 2008, 01:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Hamilton View Post
Hi there,

I shoot solo, so space and weight are a bit of an issue, but I need to complete my lighting kit. I've followed as much of Walter Graff's advice as I easily could (just ordered smaller stands, so I can fit them in a case that I can get, width-wise, through an average doorway) but I still need to get a cukaloris... Do I make this myself? Just with a piece of foam core and an exacto knife? Any advice?

Also, I know I'm going to find myself in situations where I need clamps—I just haven't found myself in enough situations yet to know what clamps I'll need when I find myself there.
I did get some scissor-ceiling clamps, so I can attach a small light to a dropped-ceiling, so I'm all set for that next time I'm in that situation.
But what other clamps are the really vital ones to own?
I've looked on some web sites, but either all the clamps start looking the same, or I just can't figure out what I'd do with them, or both.
Any advice?
Thanks, malcolm
Malcolm:

Cucloris IS made with just foamcore and a razor knife. You just put in whatever kinds of patterns you need/want. It's cheap and easy and if you buy a piece of 4'x8' foamcore, you can make several.

Clamps? Grip clip clamps (A-frame clamp with a spud) are a must, putty knife is awesome and Bogen Superclamps with a 5/8" spud are a must. Also, if you have the scissor clamps, I would also get some of the scissor cable hangers as well, when you put a light up, you will have to deal with the power cables as well, the hangers are awesome.

Dan
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Old November 18th, 2008, 06:44 PM   #3
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Another solution to a Cucloris is cine foil black wrap. You can buy a roll for about $30 and it gives you a lot to work with. Similar to aluminum foil, it's very easy to cut designs and you can put it on your barn doors like a gel. You can cut several different designs and slip them in your gel kit (much smaller then a sheet of foam core).
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Old November 18th, 2008, 07:02 PM   #4
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Another solution to a Cucloris is cine foil black wrap. You can buy a roll for about $30 and it gives you a lot to work with. Similar to aluminum foil, it's very easy to cut designs and you can put it on your barn doors like a gel. You can cut several different designs and slip them in your gel kit (much smaller then a sheet of foam core).
True, true. The only advantage would be that Cinefoil is usually no wider than about 12" so if you want to make a larger Cucloris, you could cut a larger piece of foam core.

I have done both but am currently using foam core and occasionally my Mathhews real cello cucloris but like many of us, I want to go smaller and lighter with everything these days. I even have one of the plywood Matthews ones but I never use it. Too heavy to drag to shoots.

Dan
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Old November 18th, 2008, 07:24 PM   #5
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I made a 2' x 3' cookie using black foamcore and an exacto knife in about 20 minutes. Your biggest problem is that they are kind of fragile.... I use a lowel prolight with barndoors to project light through mine, with the cookie mounted on its own lightstand with a grip clamp.

ps. I found the cost af blackfoil to be a little expensive. I went out and bought some cheap wide aluminum foil and then rolled about 10 feeet out on my garage floor on newspapers. I lightly painted it with flat black high temp paint. Once it dried I rolled it back up and now I roll out and use what I need. The paint seems to adhere well and for single or low multiple use situations it's a far cheaper way to get blackfoil, and you CAN get aluminum foil in some wider widths than blackfoil is traditionally available in.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 01:13 AM   #6
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In a pinch there is always the brancholoris. Find a tree with some interesting branches. You'll also get a different effect as you set it closer or further from your light.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 02:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Hamilton View Post
Hi there,

I shoot solo, so space and weight are a bit of an issue, but I need to complete my lighting kit. I've followed as much of Walter Graff's advice as I easily could (just ordered smaller stands, so I can fit them in a case that I can get, width-wise, through an average doorway) but I still need to get a cukaloris... Do I make this myself? Just with a piece of foam core and an exacto knife? Any advice?

Also, I know I'm going to find myself in situations where I need clamps—I just haven't found myself in enough situations yet to know what clamps I'll need when I find myself there.
I did get some scissor-ceiling clamps, so I can attach a small light to a dropped-ceiling, so I'm all set for that next time I'm in that situation.
But what other clamps are the really vital ones to own?
I've looked on some web sites, but either all the clamps start looking the same, or I just can't figure out what I'd do with them, or both.
Any advice?
Thanks, malcolm

While items like superclamps and putty knife clamps are REALLY useful, most often in terms of GENERAL clamps/clips. Most of us also carry two classes of general purpose clips/clamps on every shoot.

"Grip clips" is the generic "video specific" term for standard Home Depot spring clamps that are sold for woodworking. They typically have orange (sometimes other colored) latex pads on both the handles and the jaws. Smalls and the next size up are the most useful, but a couple of the larger clamps come in handy as well. Medium Grip Clips are what you'd use to clamp a background drop cloth on a stand mounted pole to form a backdrop. (along with a thousand other general purpose tasks) There are cheap versions or the standard "nice" ones. Buy the nice ones. The springs tend to rust on the cheapies.

The other must have is a bunch of common wooden clothespins. (For obscure reasons they're often referred to as "C-47s" in the industry - probably so that all of us video "insiders" can get a chuckle by asking a hapless assistant to "grab me a handle of C-47s" and then watch them struggle to mentally process the request. Kind of a "right of passage" thing.)

C-47s are mostly used to hang gels and/or diffusion on lighting instrument barn doors in quick and dirty lighting. (Some lights have actual metal gel holders, but they're a pain in the butt to use, and hanging a larger sheet of gel over the front of the whole shebang is a lot easier and quicker.)

Hope that helps.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 08:42 AM   #8
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Here are some that I use the most.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #9
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you DON"T want the black ( cheap / economy ) bogen maffer clamps. they are cheap cast metal with air holes in the castings ( you can't see them, they are internal ). THEY WILL BREAK ! only get the silver "gravity cast" ones. they are much heavier and stronger.

personal story. hung a 1K over some one's head with a bogen black maffer clamp. attached it to a fire escape railing above them. did the shot. the very next time I used the clamp a couple hrs later, not even with much pressure on it, it SNAPPED IN HALF ! I could of killed or seriously hurt some one if it had broken just one use before. I've heard similar stories from other folks.

1. always safety overhead lights with cables
2. NEVER USE ECONOMY BLACK MAFFER CLAMPS. the $10 saved is not worth it.

I have a bunch of grid clamps, but never use them.

Spring clamps as previously reffered to I'have about 16. get them on sale, but don't get the $1 store ones because the springs aren't anywhere near as strong. I also have a couple of the large ones, with 5/8" studs on them. often I mount the clamp using the stud into a C stand arm to hold something like a bounce card.

a baby plate with a 3" stud is also a very handy item, not just for mounting lights, but for holding items in a C stand arm.

cardelini ( if I spelled that right ) clamps are great. expensive, but work super well.

a couple of extra grips heads are also good to have.

thats a basic starter kit which you can add on from there. figure you'll fill a crate with odds an ends like this. 4" grip heads are also handy for larger stuff, or just buy a combo stand with a 4" grip head & 5/8" pop up stud.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 10:40 AM   #10
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thank you everyone. I have read through all your posts, and will now re-read, make notes, and try to get ahold of some of these things. The cukaloris will be easy (now that I know what to do); finding the C-47s won't be a problem either (next to clothesline in back yard) - - and yes, I will now call them C-47s, even if, in my case, I'm the only one on a shoot, and can't ask anyone to get them for me.
And yes, I'll avoid the cheap black Maffer clamps.
Cheers everyone,
Malcolm
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Old November 19th, 2008, 10:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
you DON"T want the black ( cheap / economy ) bogen maffer clamps. they are cheap cast metal with air holes in the castings ( you can't see them, they are internal ). THEY WILL BREAK ! only get the silver "gravity cast" ones. they are much heavier and stronger.

personal story. hung a 1K over some one's head with a bogen black maffer clamp. attached it to a fire escape railing above them. did the shot. the very next time I used the clamp a couple hrs later, not even with much pressure on it, it SNAPPED IN HALF ! I could of killed or seriously hurt some one if it had broken just one use before. I've heard similar stories from other folks.

1. always safety overhead lights with cables
2. NEVER USE ECONOMY BLACK MAFFER CLAMPS. the $10 saved is not worth it.

I have a bunch of grid clamps, but never use them.

Spring clamps as previously reffered to I'have about 16. get them on sale, but don't get the $1 store ones because the springs aren't anywhere near as strong. I also have a couple of the large ones, with 5/8" studs on them. often I mount the clamp using the stud into a C stand arm to hold something like a bounce card.

a baby plate with a 3" stud is also a very handy item, not just for mounting lights, but for holding items in a C stand arm.

cardelini ( if I spelled that right ) clamps are great. expensive, but work super well.

a couple of extra grips heads are also good to have.

thats a basic starter kit which you can add on from there. figure you'll fill a crate with odds an ends like this. 4" grip heads are also handy for larger stuff, or just buy a combo stand with a 4" grip head & 5/8" pop up stud.
Thanks for the heads-up. I have a whole crate of the Bogens and have never had a problem but I rarely hang substantial lights on them, usually only 150s and once in a while, a 300. Guess I should pick up some good Matthews ones. I have used these for decades and you are the first one that has ever brought this up, interesting. I do have some of the silver ones as well, so those aren't Bogens? I have had them so long, I can't even recall when and where I bought these, it was a long time ago.

Yes, the safety cables are always a good idea, I use them whenever possible. Cardellinis rock, but yes, they are for pros, not cheap Cardellini Products - Home Interesting trivia, Matthews makes the identical clamps, called Matthelinis but if you look at the tag on them, they are just a licensed version of the Cardellini.

I did a shoot for Prison Break, the one in S1 when Michael breaks out by flooding the room and swims out. We shot in a Navy pool at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois and the rig that they had setup in the pool was amazing. I listened to the key and he kept calling over and over, "bring me a dozen medium Cardellinis". The entire gaffing and grip rig in the pool was pieced together with speed rail and Cardellinis.

Dan
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Old December 14th, 2008, 04:09 AM   #12
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For a cucoloris I sometimes use a piece of camouflage net in a large flag frame.

cheers,
robbert-jan
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