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Old May 7th, 2014, 06:21 AM   #1
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Grip gear/light kit case suggestions?

Hey guys. I've been having some issues related to the unbelievable bulk/weight of my gear when doing the one-man band thing and needing cam, lights, audio, etc.

Some of this is cart related, I think (Rocknroller quality control issues with my cart), but some of it, I think, is my methodology.

I generally bring more than I think I need because I'm super paranoid about something failing and not having a backup solution.

For years I've kept my fresnel heads in a trunk I got at Academy, stands in various bags, and grip gear in a large wheeled toolbox from a hardware store.

This is all makes a very tall bulky stack when put on a Rocknroller/Multicart and becomes very heavy and unwieldy.

I got a proper Arrilite recently, stopped carrying around my ancient gigantic 1K mole, and also got some Arri kit stands. TECHNICALLY I could now carry a lot of this stuff in a real Arri case, though I'd still have extra stands left over (I bought more for holding foamcore/reflectors/whatever), but with 4 lights and 4 stands, those cases are dangerous for a tiny, handsome man to try to load in and out of a car by himself.

I know there's a soft Kata bag made to hold that amount of gear, and older version of the same. Those are a little pricy ($400), but wondering if anyone's found a good solution besides those?

I have the Arrilite and 3 fresnels between 650 and 200 watts, plus8 light stands (I realize only 4 will probably realistically fit in any kind of case).

Grip gear is the usual: clothespins, dimmers, gels, grip clips, etc. etc. Some "long" stuff like the gelly roll, black wrap, Chimera, but I can find places for that.

Really, if I could find a smaller case for the fresnel heads, and something smaller for the grip gear (besides the long stuff), that would go a long way toward making the full on one-man band experience less miserable.

Trying to avoid pricey stuff like Pelicans and the aforementioned Kata bags.

Also looked into sturdier carts but those Magliners (the only thing that looked worth it) are just beasts in terms of size/weight, especially the Senior which is the one I could really use, so will probably stick with Rocknroller, maybe get the upcoming R16 when it comes out, depending on specs (Have the R12 all terrain now).
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Old May 7th, 2014, 09:58 PM   #2
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Re: Grip gear/light kit case suggestions?

Kartmaster HD500 foldable cart. better than rockandroller. not as heavy as mag.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 10:45 PM   #3
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Re: Grip gear/light kit case suggestions?

Thanks. I researched all manner of carts (not to say I haven't possibly missed something). The thing I like about the Rocknrollers and modified Magliners is the double tall handlebars---both for allowing you to mount a shelf but also because they help keep stuff on the cart when you go crazy with the stacking. The Kartmaster, as far as I can tell, only has one tall handlebar, unless you attach the shelf, so I'd kind of ruled that one out.
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Old May 8th, 2014, 01:01 AM   #4
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Re: Grip gear/light kit case suggestions?

I just got a cosco brand convertible truck from Costco for $100 that is fairly lightweight aluminum yet seems much more solid than rock and rollers. No shelves though and the platform is more narrow than I'd like. I'm thinking about adding a wider plywood platform.

I like that the relatively narrow uprights to the handle let me carry two Hakuba bags with two C stands in each bag. The stand bags are secured by being squeezed between those uprights.
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Old May 8th, 2014, 01:10 AM   #5
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Re: Grip gear/light kit case suggestions?

I think for now I'm stickin with the Rocknroller. It's the least of several evils, in my opinion. They're coming out with some new models so those might have improvements. . .the R14, for instance, which I'm skipping 'cause it doesn't have an all terrain option, extends even longer than the 12 and is a little wider, and the tubing itself is a little thicker everywhere. They also have some even wider tires coming out. . .hoping this all translates to more sturdiness/stability.

I think right now the thing to focus on is getting smaller cases for the gear I have.
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Old May 8th, 2014, 11:26 AM   #6
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Re: Grip gear/light kit case suggestions?

Hey Josh,

SKB makes cases they call mic stand cases. Three sizes, here is one

SKB XL ATA Stand Case 1SKB-H5020W B&H Photo Video

Mine has been shipped so many times it finally failed. But I don't think you ship a lot? It is just a SKB plastic shell so not real heavy for its size. But so big you can put so much crap in it you can't move it.

For my grip kit I bought an empty Lowell case on e-bay cheap.

I like Kata bags but don't go there for the heavy iron like stands and hard stuff. I have the $500.00 PortaBrace wheeled production case and even it has not survived the traveling. No soft case will stand up to light stands and heads.

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Old May 8th, 2014, 11:59 AM   #7
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Re: Grip gear/light kit case suggestions?

Thanks, ill look into those. I have to say though i have a colleague who has used that kata light kit case for years to hold an arri kit and it seems to have held up fine. Unless you meant re: traveling by plane. No, this far i really dont do that at all.
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Old May 8th, 2014, 12:45 PM   #8
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Re: Grip gear/light kit case suggestions?

Yes flying/shipping. I have been flying and or shipping gear gear for over 20 years. The list of horror stories and damage is long and expensive. I can say transporting gear is something I know a lot about.

It also means I am really into bags and cases, I have a lot of them of many types. I think the SKB mic case will work well for you. Or the Kata since you do not fly or ship it.

For soft cases I usually pay for Porta Brace quality. This year I figured out that by keeping an eye on Amazon I have scored three different Kata cases for 1/2 to 1/3 of original price because they are new but discontinued models. I like them. Not as solid as Porta Brace quality but still damn nice. And for peanuts compared to Porta Brace prices. You have to catch the deals when they pop up. They don't last long.

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Old May 8th, 2014, 11:15 PM   #9
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Re: Grip gear/light kit case suggestions?

This may get me chased out of here, but when I shot news I used to use a bat bag (a la baseball). Slip a couple of lightstands where the baseball bats go, and in the compartment that holds baseball gloves, I used to get an omni, a tota, and a couple of lowell pros. KInda beats up the gear, but there is some value in being able to sling it over your shoulder.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 12:21 AM   #10
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Re: Grip gear/light kit case suggestions?

That is a great idea for his stands and hardware. But Josh has some brand new Arri heads. I would protect those.

I have used duffle bags to put over Portabrace bags when I was going places where I did not want it to scream VIDEO GEAR.

Also, I have never met a bellhop that did not know what was in a pile of Portabrace bags. I know, they know, because of how many of them make some kind of polite inquiry about weather I am there to shoot porn or not. They always phrase it as some kind of a joke in case I was to be offended. One, I don't shoot porn. Two, I am not offended, I think it is funny. Three, guys that do shoot porn must do pretty well because the more expensive the hotel is the more often I get the question. They obviously have experience with guys that do. I would be willing to bet if I ever said, yes that is what I shoot, their next statement would be something about offering to help :)

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Old May 9th, 2014, 02:10 AM   #11
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Re: Grip gear/light kit case suggestions?

Heard a story from a crew guy that he was on set with a producer of the aforementioned "grownup funtime" films, and all day various crew guys, one at a time, would sidle up to the producer and say something along the lines of "hey if you ever need any help on one of those, let me know." I don't get it. . .why would you want to work on one as crew? Starring? I get that. Crew? Not interested.

Anyway, on light stands I'm covered. Got a $50 Interfit bag that fits like 8 stands, plus I have these specially made canvas bags that fit over the handles of Rocknrollers that can hold them, and I've even thought about getting the accessory hook that Multicart makes, though it would probably only hold the Arri and Wescott stands I have, not something heavier like a C-stand. Might get one of those decks too to help with stability at the base, but waiting to see what these newer Rocknrollers are like before I buy any more accessories for the one I have--if the sizes of the new ones are different and decide to get one, the accessories won't be cross-compatible.

I'll keep an eye out for deals on Amazon/Ebay.

Mainly looking to reduce bulk and awkwardness of cases, increase compactness and stackability. The two big cases I have now, when stacked (too big to fit both on bottom unless I turn 'em sideways, which makes the whole thing pretty wide), with the light stand bag on top, is taller than I am! I have to look around it when pushing to see where I'm going!
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Old May 9th, 2014, 11:42 PM   #12
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Re: Grip gear/light kit case suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
That is a great idea for his stands and hardware. But Josh has some brand new Arri heads. I would protect those.
Indeed, I was young and foolish when I did it, I wouldn't do it today, even with beat up tungsten gear. But if I were still using gear with that form factor, I bet you could find a way to wrap them in padding or something. It's a moot point for me as I went all-LED some years ago.
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