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Need help for rigging lights

Patrick Reid

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I am G/E on a short film at the end of the month. We are shooting in an old wood cabin like building. We will need to mount lights from the ceiling for our wides and to move around quickly. The ceiling is wood paneled with vigas and wood trusses. We are not allowed to screw into it and our 8" cclamps are too small for the vigas. What is the best way to mount lights to the ceiling non destructively?

Thanks for the insight.


Some photos of the space.


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Hey Patrick,

Someone like Guy Holt may drop in and give you a good definitive answer. Untill then....


What about laying a 2x4 0n the horizontal element of those trusses and rigging from that. If you can't screw it down perhaps you could rope it down if you needed to stabilise it. Then rig to the 2x4 using common tricks.


The trusses are in shot for the wides? Maybe improvise a clamp for the round section of the rafter elements (the round poles that the ceiling paneing is fixed to. Clamp could be improvised from anything, perhaps wood with a G clamp or improvised metal clamp closing it.

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Try laying speedrail to span the trusses and ratchet strap them to the truss. Lay two rails parallel to to each other and clamp short pieces as spacers to prevent twisting. You could then use staff fixtures to rig your lights or frames.

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If you can be as low as the lower chord of the truss it is simple as laying either pipe or 2x4 across.


if you need more height the central beam can be strapped around ( make a beaver board, ratchet it to the beam.


i have used 2x4's and wedges to block in a rigging point on log beam ceilings like that before. (cut a 2x4 or 2x6 the width between the top edge of the beam and drive a dolly wedge in to lock it in place. friction does the work. you should be able to pass a safety or bailing wire through the gap in the panel ceiling. this will give you more latitude for rigging positions.


Use some or all of the suggestions. there is no wrong way other than an unsafe way.

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