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Old July 4th, 2009, 05:50 AM   #1
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Standard thickness of polyboard?

Hi there,

A quick and easy question: What is the standard thickness for polystyrene boards used on film shoots?

I'm planning to buy some polyboard from my local DIY store and it comes in a variety of thicknesses. I'm keen to get the standard poly size because I will probably buy a few poly holders soon.

Many thanks,
Jack
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Old July 5th, 2009, 03:08 AM   #2
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Jack,

On this side of the pond, I think what you're talking about is more commonly called "foamcore."

The standard thickness, i think, is 5mm.

I'd advise skipping the DIY store and instead head for an Art Supply store or Framing supply.

They typicaly have the best foamcore selection, including my personal favorite, black one side and white the other - the perfect single solution for reflecting and blocking light with a single panel.

Also, a 4 foot x 4 foot sheet can be scored carefully on one side with a razor blade or sharp knife, folded (cracked actually) along the score, and the paper facing will typically hold it together such that you can carry the smaller double thick sheet on location and simply unfold it to use.

This assumes we're talking about the same stuff. There's another grip truck staple called "bead-board". If that's what you're looking for - I'd look for that at a specialists grip shop, not a general home DIY center. Good luck in your search.

Good luck.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 03:51 AM   #3
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Thanks loads for the reply!

Sorry, I should have put more effort into explaining what I was after! Here's a picture:

01_G | Jack Kelly

I'm after the width of the polystyrene board the gaffer is holding in the photo to reflect some fill light onto the actor's face.

I'd guess it's about 50mm.

And here's a larger piece of poly being held by "poly holders" on C-stands:

11_G | Jack Kelly
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Old July 5th, 2009, 05:14 AM   #4
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Aha! Here's a poly holder from B&H: Avenger | 50mm 2" Poly-Holder with 16mm Spigot | F1521

It seems the standard thickness for "poly" is 50mm.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 02:00 PM   #5
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I use foam core and clamp it to a C-stand with the C-stand arm's own clamp. You can also use pony clamps to attach a piece to a light stand, etc. Almost 90 bucks for an official foam core clamp seems a bit pricey.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Kelly View Post
Thanks loads for the reply!

Sorry, I should have put more effort into explaining what I was after! Here's a picture:

01_G | Jack Kelly

I'm after the width of the polystyrene board the gaffer is holding in the photo to reflect some fill light onto the actor's face.

I'd guess it's about 50mm.

And here's a larger piece of poly being held by "poly holders" on C-stands:

11_G | Jack Kelly


Jack,

Thanks, the pictures help a lot.

I guess the convention in the UK is to use these thicker reflectors. Here in the US, most of the folks I work with tend to use the thinner material for precisely the same task.

As Bill Prior noted, a standard C-stand arm & knuckle works just fine for holding formcore, however, Avenger also makes a nice little gizmo called a foam core fork - (their number F1504) that does a GREAT job of holding standard 5mm foam core at whatever angle you need and I bet it might be more stable than those bigger holders for your solution as well?

Seems like similar horses for similar courses. So whatever works.

Take care.
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