"When you want to set any fixture high of the ground, you should have a sure footing.The three points of contact or legs of your C-stand or grip assembly must be spread accordingly to hold the weight safely at all times”, said Mike Rogers to a crowd of motion picture professionals at the Car Rigging & Grip Equipment Techniques Seminar, Wednesday night in Burbank, California.

Demonstrating a wall spreader with a piece of lumber
to hang clamps, fixtures and other light control devices

Rigging a trapeze requires attention to
detail and knot making ability

The proper way to set a diffuser or gel frame
into a large hot fixture

Mike Rogers is a seasoned veteran of the motion picture industry and is currently the Lighting/Grip General Manager of Birns & Sawyer, the premiere rental and sales firm of motion picture equipment located in Hollywood. Birns and Sawyer, Inc. has been an industry standard for quality and dependability for the last fifty years and continues to assist the needs of filmmakers and progress with new technology.

No better said and demonstrated that with this hands-on seminar covering every detail regarding the selection of the right grip tool for your next job. Jesse Hurtado and John Ploucher, both employees of the company, assisted the evening seminar. Marty Meyer, Head of Marketing, introduced the Seminar and invited the attendees to savor a variety of appetizers, wine and drinks.

Mike started the seminar chronicling the origins and utilization of clamps, mounting equipment and lighting and grip stands for different uses. The clamps were separated in three groups: Clamps fitted to use on a speed rail or a hanging pipe and clamps fitted to hang from/to a piece of lumber, light poles, cables, branches or other unexpected mounting surface and car mounted grip equipment.

Also, safety in handling C-stands, Hi rollers and Low rollers were explained at detail including storage, spread, and correct tightening of the different sizes of grip heads.

Emphasizing safety when hanging fixtures.
Always use a safety chain or safety cord after
setting the fixture into place.

Some items on display at hand were, Cardellini clamps, Speed rail C-clamps, Bar, Studded, Scissor, Quaker, T-bones, Trapeze, Furniture clamps, Mafer clamps, Chain vise grip, Putty knife, the Tree branch holder, the Wall spreader with a piece of lumber, Pigeons, the Condor mount, Locking pliers, among others. Also, on display were Century stands, High rollers, Low rollers, Risers, gobo arms, grip heads (gags/double gags), the ubiquitous Lollipop, spuds, plugs, flags, fingers, scrims, butterfly frames and others.

Between descriptions, Mike revealed past experiences and well kept secrets of the trade when combining all these tools for a shoot, delivering the correct piece of grip equipment and solving a possible lighting control problem. “Get to know the location or situation, stay alert and troubleshoot safely any possible problem” “ Per instance, if on location and your DP requests a wall wash with a PAR fixture, you could use a pigeon plate instead an unsightly light stand. Screw the pigeon plate into a ½” plywood board and securely sandbag it into place and hide it out of sight in the bushes or hedges" “Grip rigging is all about versatility”, he added.

Stabilizing a boom arm in a C stand in
irregular terrain using an apple box.

The instruction given on the technique was comprehensive and put into action immediately showing to the attendees the correct mounting and positioning of the rigs and other tricks-of-the trade.

Birns & Sawyer maintains a continuous schedule of different outstanding one-evening seminars. I attended several months ago, the seminar “Lighting for Motion Picture” and I was happily surprised by the knowledge and experience displayed by the presenters in tackling any lighting situation on location or studio. Other recent past seminar were, “HMI Lighting” and “Audio for Emerging Filmmakers” Next one to come is “Lighting and Techniques for Green/Blue Screen”. For more information, check Birns & Sawyer website or call 818.766.2525

The last portion of the seminar included a detailed demonstration in how to rig a speed bar hood mount and a side door mount in a car, followed by different moving and stationary techniques and safety tips.

Explaining the correct way to adjust the speed
bar mount into a car hood

Side door car mount

Suction/pump cup head plate with a
300 watts fixture

Speed bar assembly for car hood mounting
The head plate slides to accommodate
camera position The four way leveling
head allows easy camera positioning
and framing

Articulated grip assembly with pump cups
for rigging lighting control devices

George, Jonathan, Greg and Mike.

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