Steaks & Football

OK, the title is misleading because I’m actually posting about different ways to rig frames and rags. There are 3 main ways to do this.


The first, and most obvious one, is building out the frame with all four sides and putting it in either one stand or two stands, depending on the size (6’x6′ frame may only go in one stand, but 8’x8′ frames and larger almost always go in two stands.) This way allows you to adjust the tilt of the frame, which can be pretty crucial if you’re trying to get the most coverage or cut just the right amount of light. Basically, if you’ve got a diffusion material on the frame, you’re going to want to have the frame perpendicular to the path the light is traveling. If you’re bouncing light, you’re going to need to be able to adjust the tilt as well, so the light is bouncing right where you need it.


Another way to hang a rag is by “t-boning” it. This is done by taking a single frame rail with just one ear and putting it into a stand and tying the rag to it. That’s it. This is only a good option some of the time though. It’s great for negative fill or just blocking light with a solid because the tilt angle doesn’t really matter. You can sometimes get away with t-boning outside, but it’s something I avoid if it’s even a little windy. I’ve seen people t-bone outside then tie the lower corners to sandbags. It could work fine in a lot of scenarios, but as soon as the rag needs to move, it becomes a bigger hassle to move than just having the frame built on two stands, IMHO. One great part about t-boning rags though is that you can do two of them with one frameset, or four of them if you grab the bare frame rails with cardellinis. T-boning also saves you a stand, if you’re tight on them.


The third option for hanging rags is called “goalposting.” This is similar to t-boning but you use two stands on each end of a single rail and then hang the rag off of it. This is a little better than t-boning in a few situations. You may be using a diffusion rag and you don’t want the shadow of a stand in the middle of a rag. This could be especially important if the rag is visible in the shot. You might also use a goalpost if you were rigging a teaser (a light blocking material that helps control light spill) over camera.

As with most things in filmmaking, there are a lot of different ways to accomplish a goal. One of these options may work better than another in your situation. Please chime in. What works for you and why? What did I miss? Cheers!

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