Archive | May, 2010

In Depth: C Stands

31 May


“The term “Century Stand” goes back to the early days of motion picture production. Before the introduction of artificial lighting, the stages would revolve to allow for continuous overhead lighting from the sun. Large reflectors would be positioned to bounce back or kick the overhead light up onto the stage and illuminate the set and actors. These reflectors were made in many sizes, but it seems the most popular was the 100 inch or “Century” sized reflector. In later years, studios, grips and gaffers began to manufacture the earliest versions of what we now call C Stands. The original C Stands had welded bases that did not fold up or adjust, but the fact that they easily nested together made them invaluable on stages and sets. In 1974 Matthews Studio Equipment introduced the industry’s first adjustable C Stand. (C Stand is a registered trademark of Matthews Studio Equipment.)” From Matthews Studio Equipment

The generic term for the C Stand is Gobo Stand or Grip Stand. The Gobo Head attaches to the baby pin mount at the top of the stand, and the Gobo Arm then slides into this. It is virtually impossible to keep these suckers tightened when transporting them. You can try, by cranking the bajeezus out of the T-Handles, but invariably they manage to loosen themselves and as soon as you pick one up, they attack. When you set them up in a row, its called “soldiering them up”, which seems ominous to me.

There is also a small C Stand, most commonly called a Gary Coleman (RIP). (I think he may have been accepting of this term as I once saw a photograph of the actor posing with one of his namesakes and he had a big smile on his face.) Other terms include Danny Devito and Billy Barty, though the last one I only learned today. The Gobo Arms on these smaller versions are 20 inches rather than the standard 40 inches.

Question: I have run across small stands of slightly different height. Do these other names refer to specific sizes? Is the Danny Devito a little taller than the Gary Coleman?

I also found a useful video from on the basic handling of the C Stand, which can help minimize the damage these blood thirty creatures inflict.

Along with Matthews Grip, American Grip and Modern Studio Equipment all make versions of this stand. Norms also used to manufacture their own version, and though they went out of business earlier this year, their stands are still out there.

Next week: The Combo Stand; What in the hell is a Lollipop Head??


Swag is on the way!

30 May

I ordered a few shirts, postcards and a pen (the pen was free). I’ll be handing out t-shirts in the weeks to come.

Hi hi hi!

27 May

Okay, we’re up! Its a bit more complicated, so hopefully everything will go peachy.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

27 May

Like the wise mister Petty said “the waiting is the hardest part.”

(Tho for a while, I thought he had been saying “The wading was the hardest part.” Not quite as profound.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

27 May

Focal agreed to send my proposal on to review! Its just another two to three week wait! Sigh. At least I can relax for the next two to three weeks.

Has anyone heard the term “Treadmill” in relation to a greenscreen drop cloth?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

27 May

In contact with a chap at Focal Press and I hope to hear from him by the end of the week. I’ve been obsessively checking my email for days. I’m also moving to new digs this weekend, so I’ll be off line for a few days as I get set up in the new house.

I’m still collecting phrases to include, so if you have any, send them to


Monday, March 1, 2010

27 May

Oh its looking good. backstage images are on there way this week and I’ve begun talking to fine folks at Mole-Richardson about using their catalog. As soon as i can get a PDF copy created without my word crashing, I hope to have a beta copy for those of you who’ve been with me from the beginning. It’s a long process, but it will be worth it!


Monday, January 4, 2010

27 May

Argh! Happy Holidays!

Starting to lay images into a version of Gripology that I like to call “Gripology Jr.”, something I hope to be able to get out while I’m waiting for Focal Press to get back to me one way or another. I’m expecting it to take at least another month before I start getting nervous! Two months is not unusual for publishers, and as its the holiday season, it may take even longer.


Monday, October 12, 2009

27 May

Yes, yes, I’m still here. Its been a busy week. Or two.

New terms I have learned recently:

Clamshell – A cheesborough (pipe) clamp.

Griptrician – A position created when a production doesn’t want to pay for both a grip and an electrician. (I love this one.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

27 May

Carts, carts, everywhere…

I met with the guys at Backstage Equipment Inc., a great bunch of guys that manufacture equipment carts of all shapes and sizes. They’ve graciously agreed to provide images of their inventory for Gripology on one condition, that I pass along this tip: “Taco Cart” isn’t actually a type of cart, and if you ask for one, you never know what you’re going to get. There are 4x4s, Crate Carts (by number of crates it holds), C-Stand Carts, Duz-Alls, Seniors and the list goes on, but no actuall Taco Carts. In fact there are so many, that there will be an entire chapter devoted just to carts.