Gear Review: C Stand
No one really knows where the name “c-stand” came from. Many proclaim the ‘c’ stands for ‘century’ stand – thus there is a joke about it which says it would take a century to learn all the uses of a C-stand.
In reality, there are a few key uses for C-stands on sets that we want to go over. This list is not exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination, but they are merely core uses.
Holding a Light
Since C-stands typically come with an arm (40” long usually, but they do make 20” ones), they are excellent for holding a light in precarious positions. For example, we at Seek First Productions film interviews in Nashville all the time. Usually clients will come from out of town and ask we set up a backdrop to take headshot and client testimonials on. We will whip out a C-stand, pop an ARRI 300 with scrims in it and some diffusion, in order to use it as our hair light. The C-stand allows us to boom the light way out and above the talent so we don’t see any parts of the stand, or the light, in our shot. This is only one instance where a C-stand may be better used to hold your light than the typical light stand.
Holding a Boom Mic
This is a neat little trick a DP taught me on set one time. You can combine a C-Stand with a Matthellini Grip – and boom (pun intended) – you’ve created a mechanism to hold your shotgun mic. This is great for interviews, or product shoots, where the subject isn’t moving. It, likewise, saves you a crew position, which saves you money.
Holding a Flag
A flag’s attachment is build to be clamped by a C-stand. Merely slide it in one of the holes on the grip head, and tighten down so wind doesn’t blow it away. The C-stand is incredibly versatile – allowing you to adjust it any way you desire to get the perfect flag placement.
As mentioned previously, there are probably an infinite number of uses for a C-stand. Perhaps in a later review we will delve into some of these more interesting cases.