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Hanging an 8x8 over a car


Rick Gates
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Hey all, I'm trying to figure out how to rig an 8x8 with some diffusion about 4 ft above a car.  The plan is to blast 3 Aputure 300Ds into it from a goalpost constructed of 16 ft of 1" square tubing and 2 C-stands with mafer clamps.  I also have 2 combo stands that can reach 18'.

My only idea so far is to tie two ropes to the top of each combo stand, and tie these to the 4 corners of the 8x8 (and sandbag the hell out of the combos).

But I would be remiss if I didn't check with all of you.  So thanks in advance.

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Isn’t 8x8 kinda small for a car overhead? Why not a 20x20?

If it must be 8x8 and you’re only using it for bounce, maybe you can make a menace arm with two 4x8 showcards?

Saw it done with one 4x8 last week, it worked surprisingly well with only a moderate amount of curvature. If I remember correctly, a baby plate was inserted thru the card and taped into place, then was further reinforced with more card. It was a fairly clean look, the reflection of the reinforced middle section of card would be less noticeable than a seam in a 20x20 rag.

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Not for bounce, for diffusion.  Our plan is to hang the goalposts above the 8x8 and blast 3 lights through some 1/4 grid.  We're looking for diffuse toplighting for the character who gets out of the car and looks around with a flashlight.  I'm just trying to figure out how to suspend the 8x8 (aluminum frame) with 1/4 grid above the car without having 4 combo stands.

An 8x8 frame is the biggest thing we have.  Cool idea on how to hang a large bounce though.

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1 hour ago, Rick Gates said:

Not for bounce, for diffusion.  Our plan is to hang the goalposts above the 8x8 and blast 3 lights through some 1/4 grid.  We're looking for diffuse toplighting for the character who gets out of the car and looks around with a flashlight.  I'm just trying to figure out how to suspend the 8x8 (aluminum frame) with 1/4 grid above the car without having 4 combo stands.

An 8x8 frame is the biggest thing we have.  Cool idea on how to hang a large bounce though.

Ah, I see. Is there any mounting point at the location that you can tie off to? For example, if you park the car near two trees or light poles, then you could tie off two corners of the rag and use your two combos for the other two points. You might not need the frame then. 

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I wouldn't ever do a goalpost on C stands.   I might do the goalpost on the Combos for the 300Ds and hang the 8x8 from the goalpost also. That will get the stands farther out from the car than 8'.

also you won't get an even reflection out of quarter grid. 

Satsuki has some good ideas there too.

long ago we made frames up to 5' x12' out of furring strips and skinned them with white nylon or polyester from the fabric store.

 

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JB Earl, it would be nice to do it all on the combo stands, and I know I wouldn't have to worry so much about safety that way.  And getting them further out from the car is also good.

But to also hang the 8x8 frame from the same goalpost?

It sounds like you're saying that I could attach 4 ropes of equal length to the goalpost and tie them off to the corners of the 8x8 frame and have the frame hang down enough (like 4 ft) that the 300Ds get enough spread before they hit the diffusion.  Is that about right?

I also have an 8x8 "silk" that came with the frame, and I think that would provide smoother light than 1/4 grid.

Thanks for the suggestion.  I'll go this direction unless I hear of something better.  Cheers!

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C stands are definitely the wrong tool for any of that, so that only leaves your combos.  Of course I can't actually recommend doing it that way, you really need to make that determination on site.  Is it interior or exterior?

Consider using or building truss for the goalpost. 

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Exterior at night, and under a tall mercury vapor lamp post in a parking lot.  I will use 2 10' sections of 1 1/4" speedrail joined with the heavy Matthews connector, and secured to the combo stands with Big Ben clamps. 

Wish I could find an affordable truss system, but after looking around I determined I'm looking at several thousand $, even for one based on speedrail.  We will sandbag the hell out of combo stands, and tie rope to each and secure to other vehicles behind the combos.

I'll send pix of the final setup.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/22/2020 at 2:39 AM, Rick Gates said:

Exterior at night, and under a tall mercury vapor lamp post in a parking lot.  I will use 2 10' sections of 1 1/4" speedrail joined with the heavy Matthews connector, and secured to the combo stands with Big Ben clamps. 

Wish I could find an affordable truss system, but after looking around I determined I'm looking at several thousand $, even for one based on speedrail.  We will sandbag the hell out of combo stands, and tie rope to each and secure to other vehicles behind the combos.

I'll send pix of the final setup.

Out of curiosity why would the truss system cost so much? One could easily rig a 3x3m (sorry I'm Australian) box goal post for less than a couple of hundred. You could attach the lights to the top rail as you could possibly go for less and have 2x 3m box pieces and speed rail in-between. Then attach a few outriggers further down the post with a couple of swivel clamps to give a bit more width to tie off your frame from there... That's what I did in a similar circumstance.

It came to about $250 Australian for a 2 day rental. 

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Gabriel, I'm not looking to rent, but instead to buy my gear.

I decided to go with two menace arm kits as I already have the combo stands and speed rail.  I'll hang a 300D with space light attachment from each.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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