Lighting and Grip
These are all of the items I use to light my videos and hold all of the gear needed to pull them together.
My Dad and I share the same initials which is conviennent when we need a name to represent cool products like the spigots below.
Price: $14.28 x 5
I use this bad-boy to convert drum stands into light stands. They’re a great way to get dual purpose out of something you might already own or potentially save money if you’d rather buy drum stands instead of light stands.
Neewer got me started in this cool lighting world. Very affordable products worth considering when you need something in a pinch.
Item: Neewer 18 Inch 55W 240 LED SMD Ring Light 5500K
This single ring light started the snowball of filmmaking obsession and collection. I never liked it and now use it as a hair light but originally thought I’d use it as a light for better looking Zoom calls. Which lead to a better camera… and so it began.
Aputure changed the game by making flicker-free color accurate LED lights for an affordable price. They’ve since created professional lighting products used on high-end films and a lighting control platform called Sidus Link that uses a Bluetooth mesh network to connect and control multiple fixtures wirelessly. These smart features have made me keen to expand into the Aputure ecosystem and I can’t wait to experiment with their full-color point-source lights in the future.
This was the first COB or Chip on Board light I’ve owned which is an exciting step to be able to use a range of modifiers to shape light from a single hard point source, using the included 15° Hyper Reflector Mini, to soft, diffused light using Bowens mount accessories like the Aputure Light Dome II. Amaran is the consumer division of Aputure who makes professional film lights made for the rigors of set life but despite that, this little light has already survived a fall from 6′ and is bright enough to use for most applications in my home studio.
After being awed by Sidus Mesh − Bluetooth technology that makes it possible to control hundreds of lighting fixtures from a smartphone or tablet, the possibility of controlling scenes like my regular Zoom meeting setup on the fly was too tempting to resist. The Amaran 100x is another bi-color COB light with a universal Bowens mount clocking in at 34,300 Lux at 3.3′ with the included 18° reflector which is 1000 Lux brighter than the smaller 60x. This little powerhouse was even bright enough to light a musical stage performance the day it arrived, through a lightbox and control grid from 8′ away and is significantly quieter than a spinning hard drive in case you wanted to use it close by.
Item: Aputure Light Dome II
This classic 34.8″ Bowens mount parabolic softbox cuts light by 1.5 or 2.5 stops depending on the front diffuser and in return provides a beautiful wrap of light when placed just out of frame. This softbox is a bit too heavy to connect directly to the plastic Bowens mount on the Amaran 60x so I’ve instead attached it to a Godox S2 Speedlite Bracket to take the weight and separately line up the fixture using its included 5/8″ swivel mount adapter.
Item: Aputure Lantern Softbox
A 26″ spherical softbox and the smaller sibling to the 36″ Lantern 90. These are cool because they provide a 270° beam spread and come with a light controlling skirt that can be rolled up to dial in the desired ambience. These are also known as China Balls in the film industry and absorb one stop of light.
This was my first Aputure light which allowed me to test the recently announced Sidus Link app on iOS to control hue, saturation, color temperature, lighting effects and even replicate industry standard gels all from a smartphone. This light is super small at 3.7″ x 2.4″ x 0.7″ and has a rear magnet on the back along with a 1/4″-20 thread on the bottom for infinite mounting opportunities.
Matthews Studio Equipment
The original Hollywood grip company. Matthews is one of those companies where you need everything they make. Innovators of lighting and camera support based out of Burbank, California since 1968. Creators of the first folding base C-Stand and a huge proponent in standardizing the grip industry which is why we enjoy being able to interchange a variety of tools today. Quality grip equipment through and through, Matthews manufactures all of their products in the US and is the only grip gear I use in my studio and on location.
Price: $308.76 x 2
This is the first Matthews product I picked up after playing around with some beefy plastic light stands that just didn’t inspire confidence. These Hollywood C-Stands rise to a maximum height of 10.5′ and are perfect for holding up backdrops, LED lights, diffusers and a lot more. They have a sliding leg to balance the stand on uneven terrain and come with a 40″ arm and two 2.5″ grip heads for unlimited configurability. 22lb load capacity.
Item: Baby Pin with Collar
Price: $21.95 x 10
Baby pins are to grip heads what nuts are to bolts, essential tools on set. These no-frill 6″ baby pins have a collar to prevent slipping and are made of 5/8″ diameter chrome-plated steel to mount lights and other gear with a 5/8″ receiver.
C-Stands legs are designed to be nested, which is really useful for keeping a tight footprint. Low profile legs can additionally slide under furniture or other obstacles for even closer positioning that may not have been possible with their taller counterparts.
With larger lighting fixtures comes the requirement of junior pin receivers and greater weight capacities. This rolling stand has 3 risers for a reach up to 12.6′, has a weight capacity of 55lbs and includes large, non-marking locking casters for easy maneuverability.
Machined from solid steel, Matthews makes investment quality pieces of equipment and this stand adapter is no exception. Used to convert a Junior 1-1/8″ female receptor to a Baby 5/8″ male stud.
Item: 24″ x 72″ Cutter
Once you learn about grip equipment you can’t go back. I use this door-sized light cutter as a curtain every day to control natural light from the front door. Shaping and controlling spill light helps make much more purposefully and dynamic shots.
Undoubtedly my favorite clamp for its brute grip strength on round, square or rectangular tubing. Love using Matthellini clamps on my standing desk to consistently mount studio monitors at the ideal listening position.
Designed to support baby fixtures with a 5/8″ mounting pin, this rolling stand extends to 12.25′ with a footprint only a little larger than a C-Stand at 49″. Definitely recommend wheeled stands for ease of use and longevity in your profession.
Item: Matthews Baby Boom
The perfect partner for the Hollywood Baby Jr. stand when you need a secure reach for a hairlight or top down camera. Includes a baby pin receiver that doubles as a junior pin for larger Junior and Senior stands. Extendable up to 7′ with a 15lb load capacity.
Your gear is expensive and Nanuk protects and organizes it with a robust line of waterproof cases rated for military, law enforcement and professional users like filmmakers. Pelican may make better Kayaks but Nanuk is my favorite case maker.
Item: Nanuk 920 Pro Photo Kit
The lid organizer is what makes this, and all of ‘Pro Photo’ line of cases shine. With a pouch in behind for tablets or a shoulder strap, this small but versatile case is great for audio equipment like lavalier microphones and adapters. 15″ x 10.5″ x 6.2″ interior dimensions.
Item: Nanuk Shoulder Strap
When you need to be hands free, attach one of these Aircell Comfort Technology shoulder straps to any 905 to 945 hard case. Adjustable to a maximum length of 50 inches which is just long enough for the smaller range of cases.
Item: Nanuk 933 Pro Photo Kit
Can’t say enough good things about these kits. Never been a fan of removable foam and especially cutting it to insert your gear. The generous amount of padded velcro dividers and the removable stainless steel hinge pin to take the top off make this an extremely adjustable case for any situation. 18.0″ x 13.0″ x 9.5″ interior dimensions.
Item: Nanuk 950 Pro Photo Case
One of Nanuk’s claims to fame is their power claw latch system which keeps water and dust out even on the harshest journeys. Made with IP67 impact resistant resin, this rolling case also has stay-put top handles and a molded-in bezel system for creating a portable commend station. 20.5″ x 15.3″ x 10.1″ interior dimensions.
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