Personal Gear Guru – Mike

This question was sent to me via our free Personal Gear Guru service by Mike, asking about using two Master C-Stand Kits to support a roll of seamless background paper. 


Can two Master 40-in C Stand with Turtle Base Kit be used to support a paper background roll. If they can, what kind of load can they support. In one of your online videos, you use light stands with arms to support a paper background roll.



Hey Mike,
Yes. Two 40″ Master C-Stand with Turtle Base Kits can support any roll up to 44 lb. (20 kg) in weight (each stand has a load capacity of 22 lb. (10 kg). This would include even the 12′ wide seamless from Savage. A couple of things to keep in consideration:
  1. Always place the large leg in line with the roll of seamless (paper background roll).
  2. Use at least one 15 lb. sandbag on each stand to prevent tipping
  3. Remember the “Righty Tighty” Rule. The load must always go to the right side of the grip head when the handle is facing you. This means that on one stand the handle of the grip head will be facing the camera and on the other, the handle of the grip head will be facing behind the background. 
  4. You can always secure the background to the grip arms with a couple of medium, 2″ “A” Clamps. But you will need a ladder to unroll and re-roll the paper. To make your life easier, especially in a studio situation, you may want to consider the Paper Drive Baby Stand Adapters – Sold as a pair (KG084911) and a Background Paper Drive Set (KG084411) that will allow you to raise and lower the paper comfortably from the ground.
  5. Last but not least, if you plan on leaving a large roll of paper suspended, to avoid the core from bending due to gravity, every day the paper should be given half a turn.
I hope this answers your question. Let  me know if I can help you any further. 
Jason – Your Gear Guru

Thanks for the really useful info. One last question, if you use the paper drive set what is actually going thru the paper tube is it an arm or a pole?
One suggestion I have is why not sell a paper support system as a complete kit, then I don’t have figure out all the parts I need to order.
Hey Mike,
The Paper Drive Set expands into the cardboard core of the paper roll. If you are going to use this method, you wouldn’t even need grip arms or grip heads, just the two stands and you would be good to go. 
As far as creating a kit for the Paper Drive System, it’s an excellent idea. There are just so many combinations (using them with Light Stands or Kupoles, using a single roll versus a three rolls on a multi-bracket, etc.) that it’s a challenge to find the most popular kits for everybody’s needs. I’ll be adding new products and updating the catalog and website towards the end of the summer. I’ll definitely take you suggestion in consideration and see if I can create a couple of kits.



Personal Gear Guru – Frederick

This question was sent to me via our free Personal Gear Guru service by Frederick, asking about hanging a strobe power pack from a light stand using a clamp.
I need a heavy duty clamp to hold my power packs to a light stand? 
I would like to keep them off the floor. 
I’m using Profoto Acute 2400R packs.

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Who and What is Grip?

Jason Friedman

Jason Friedman - Your Host

 Q: What is Grip Equipment?

A: An Erector Set for Image Professionals.

Grip equipment consists of light stands and specialized hardware that allows you to mount cameras, lighting equipment and accessories virtually anywhere.

Who is a Grip?
The origin of the term “grip” is rumored to be a slang term used in the 1930’s and 1940’s by circus technicians who carried their tools in “grip” bags.

Another rumor is that in the days of the hand-cranked camera, they used to find a burly individual to hold down the legs of the tripod to prevent the tripod from moving while the camera was being cranked to advance the film. These well sought after individuals were known as “Good Grips” as it was said that they would be instructed to, “Keep a good grip on that tripod!”

Key Grip

The Key Grip is the head of the grip department. When it comes to rigging cameras and lighting support gear, he is the boss. Some of his/her responsibilities include:
• Assembling a crew of his right hand man known as a Best Boy Grip and decides how many Grips he will need in his crew to get the job done quickly and safely.
• The Key Grip will usually be involved in pre-production meetings and will be included in location scout meetings to determine what equipment will be required, including special equipment such as cranes, car mounts and dollies. From this knowledge he’ll be able to order all the gear necessary for the production.
• The Key Grip will plan ahead to set up the next shot while one is being filmed. On location he works closely with the Gaffer (Head Electrician) to determine what grip equipment needs to be placed when and where.

Best Boy Grip

The Best Boy Grip is the right hand man, or woman, of the Key Grip. If a film set were a construction site, he’d be known as the foreman. Some of his/her responsibilities include:

• Assigning jobs to the Grips.
• Keeping track of all the gear being used on a shoot. He checks out the gear from the grip truck and checks it back on when the job is done.
• Keeping track of expendable goods such as gaffer tape, gels, etc.
• Creating a job sheet with an estimate of how long each job should take.


Grips are the guys or gals that actually do the heavy lifting. They get their assignments from the Best Boy Grip and perform multiple tasks. Some of his/her responsibilities include:

• Mounting cameras to places only limited by the imagination.
• Setting up support rigging for lighting equipment.
• Light modification with non-electrical equipment such as flags, scrims, overheads, etc.

Some grips have extensive experience with specialized equipment. They get their titles from their specialties.

• Dolly Grips – Specialist with dollies.
• Crane Operator – Specialist with cranes and jibs
• Rigging Grip – Specialist with rigging of cameras and lighting to cars, boats, airplanes and wherever else you can possibly imagine!

Kupo Grip – Never Let Go!