David, Matthew and I were all heavily involved in a project a month or two back (Dave DP’d it, I was supposed to gaff but Matthew ended up gaffing as other things came up) but we were all apart of this project called Blood on the Plain. For the short film, there was a school dance sequence in a gymnasium that turned into a mass killing by these creatures. So it had to look dark and moody, and yet beautiful. David came up with the idea of rigging a bunch of 1K par-cans to a 12×12 grid of speed rail and hanging that off the gymnasium ceiling (there were numerous other ideas, but for the amount of light we needed and the fact that the lights needed to be pointing straight down, we ended up with par-cans). I have to say that our good buddy Scott Theile helped David flesh out the idea and showed us all how to use pulley systems to our advantage.
Okay, so now onto actually showing you what we did.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of us actually hoisting up the rig as we were all pulling together to make it happen, but as you can see, the speed rail is tied up at each corner and the rope is going up into the ceiling onto pulleys that are held up by runners and carabiners on the I-beams in the ceiling.
Now, this system made it a hell of a lot easier for us to rig up our setup, including the 12×12 solids that were also hoisted up via rigging rope and pulleys as siders to the whole rig. If we ever needed to, not that we ever did, we could adjust the height of the siders or the light rig itself for more output or more contrast.
What you need to rig using a pulley system…
- 100ft sections of rigging rope
- carabiners, climbing quality
- runners, climbing quality
This trick is definitely something that you keep in your back pocket when rigging up lights in a space thats not feasible to have stands on the ground or if you are outside in a forrest or something similar. Extremely handy thing to have in your back pocket, of your mind of course.
David will attach images from the actual film to show how it turned out…