Tag Archives: grip truck

Shane Hurlbut’s lighting classes can improve your film career and grip truck gear

I’ll grant you that there’s a void out there for proper training in lighting for film. But you don’t have to go to film school to learn this craft: Shane Hurlbut’s online Hurlbut Academy is a gem. It’s like finding ice cream on a hot, deserted island. And it’s my insider’s tip to get you from that PA job slinging coffee, to that dream gaffer job jumping onto your own grip truck in search of an Arri, drape or c-stand. But I’m not going to lie; you’ll also need the patience of a saint, lots of time, and probably supplemental work parking cars or bartending as you attempt to become an electrician on a film set. 

A gaffer job, the circuitous way

Since your chances of leaping straight into a film lighting department are scarce, you might have to content yourself with PA work helping out the lighting department when they’re overwhelmed. Some PA’s cop an attitude about helping out the lighting department this way; they view it as being taken advantage of since they’re getting paid a lot less. Not only is that total bunk, but also it’s a sure-fire way to stay stagnant in the film and television business. 

Dave's Grip & Lighting grip truck in Wynwood Miami
Dave’s Grip & Lighting on location in Wynwood, Miami

Another option is to get a job at a film lighting rental house, loading a grip truck while, at the same time, embracing photography as a serious hobby to learn composition, lighting, exposure, and color correction. It blows my mind how many lighting professionals don’t know how to use a color temperature meter or an exposure meter. 

The Hurlbut Academy lighting alternative 

And then there’s Shane Hurlbut to the rescue, short-circuiting a potentially steep learning curve with his free online lighting classes at Hurlbut Academy. One example of how he does it is by creating a comprehensive online class on how to light night interiors. In this particular course, he starts by teaching you how to create an ambient light source, which in his world is often moonlight.

Shane shows you how to create the perfect room tone and texture to make your interior night scene way above average. He also covers augmenting existing practical lights in a scene while swapping bulbs that work better. Shane shows you how to use a color temperature meter so you can match existing color temperatures to existing sources. Best yet, his course covers comprehensive instruction on fill lighting. Camera placement and camera movement are well thought out and delivered in the course material. He also includes ways to shoot underexposed, wide open, and right at the limits of a digital sensor. Shane’s methods are old school, but it’s the right school for a process that we film world veterans know to be efficient and deliver the absolute best final result. Why make life harder than it already is? 

In the class Shane Hurlbut covers:

  1. How to set the perfect room tone
  2. Augmenting existing practical lights
  3. Using depth of field
  4. Matching color temperatures to existing sources
  5. How to create moon-light
  6. How to get that perfect exposure 
  7. Art department secrets
  8. Fill lighting
  9. Creating texture 
  10. Using false color
  11. Camera placement 
  12. Camera movement 
  13. Blocking with actors
  14. Action drama romance comedy

The best light for the job

The beauty of Shane Hurlbut’s work is that he doesn’t always order super expensive lighting for his grip truck. One of his chosen lighting instruments for this class is the Westcott shallow softbox with a tungsten globe installed. These are lights that you may need to own. They fold up and go into a backpack. They’re portable, relatively inexpensive, and you’ll have them for a lifetime.  

Shane Hurlbut’s ability to break down a lighting problem and carefully explain it cleverly is a real gift. His classes are a valuable time investment for your career and will take you from average to excellent in a short time. There’s no one else like him doing such great work teaching film lighting.

Do you have Shane Hurlbut’s ‘book light’ gear on your grip truck?

Shane Hurlbut teaches HOW TO BUILD A BOOK LIGHT lighting techniques
to film and lighting professionals at Hurlbut Academy.

Starting his career at the bottom and no stranger to a grip truck, Shane Hurlbut is one of my idols! Shane Hurlbut, ASC, is a director of cinematography, film and television lighting professional, who I’ve known for a long time. I remember him working as a gaffer alongside me on Gloria Estefan music videos in Miami — more years ago than I’d like to recall.

I’ll never forget how he required everybody in the grip and lighting department to be on their walkie-talkies with an FBI surveillance mic in their ears. Not carrying a radio was not an option. He was super-serious about communication on film sets, and when he needed something from the grip truck, someone always brought it to him seconds later.

Shane’s ability to anticipate what the director of photography was going to need and then have it on hand when asked for was truly remarkable.  The grip truck could be four blocks away but, somehow magically, Shane had everything when needed right there on location.

Why the Hurlbut Academy is awesome

Shane’s blog and website are some of the best content that I’ve ever seen when it comes to lighting instruction for high-end digital cinema productions. Hurlbut Academy is nothing short of genius. I put a couple of my grip truck crew guys through his program when they brought their academy classes to Fort Lauderdale a few years ago. As part of the academy instruction, they brought in an airplane interior from a movie film set. My guys came back inspired by Shane and with a bunch of simple yet inexpensive lighting techniques that are old school but also the right school. Shane obviously loves teaching and it seems to give him great joy. There’s no one on earth who offers the value-per-dollar-spent to train you as a gaffer or cinematographer the way he does.

Hurlbut Academy’s Free Book Light Tutorial

Shane Hurlbut’s free book light tutorial on Hurlbut Academy is fantastic for film and television lighting. One of the things I like the most about this tutorial is that he’s not all hung up using the latest and greatest grip and lighting products. He gives you about seven choices for lights to recreate the book light look. He shows you how to use everything from the up-to-the-minute latest film and lighting gear that you’ll find on a professional grip truck in Miami, to the most essential and basic movie lights that you might find on a student film that cost maybe $50 apiece.

DIY Film & Lighting Techniques

At the same time, Shane’s a DIY kind of guy. If you don’t have professional diffusion, for example, he recommends a shower curtain. If you don’t have bleached muslin, he suggests using a T-shirt. There are many ways to skin a cat, and Shane Hurlbut offers many excellent suggestions when it comes to film and television lighting.

Among his free tutorials, the book light tutorial is one of my favorites. It has a lot of wow factor for customers, and it looks expensive but it’s not. Hollywood’s been using the book light technique since the beginning of time, and it always produces great results because it does a fantastic job of wrapping light. 

I’m a Shane Hurlbut fan. He also grew up in Ithaca, New York, near one of my favorite places, Cayuga Lake. He’s a tall guy with an unbelievable curiosity for life. He worked his way up in the film industry, from the bottom, and he’s one of those 25-year overnight successes.

K5600: A New Era of LED Lighting Has Arrived

K5600 Joker 300

K5600 Announces New LED Lighting Products Designed with Their Five Core Values at the Heart of the Designs

We’ve seen it time and time again where manufacturers release new products annually that don’t quite meet their quality standards. K5600, Inc. held off on this announcement for 10 years as quality standards were met before releasing any new products to the public.

These new LED lighting products were designed with K5600’s core values in mind: ruggedness, versatility, upgradeability, output and light-shaping quality. We are proud to have K5600 and other manufacturer products available on our grip trucks. Dave’s Grip and Lighting welcomes K5600’s new Joker 300, Alpha 300, Wafer-Thin Panels, and LED Ballasts to the market and looks forward to serving your needs in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and throughout South Florida.  

K5600 Joker 300 & Alpha 300 Available with Our South Florida Grip Trucks

We can provide you with the perfect light-to-lens ratios when using these new K5600 products stocked on our grip truck Fort Lauderdale fleet. Each of these models feature K5600’s unique LED chip with Bi-Color matrix technology along with 95+ color rendering. With a 300W max output and a 9’ cable head, these products are sure to add value to your production. 

K5600 Joker 300

The Joker 300 lumen output is rumored to be comparable to the almighty Joker 400 under certain configurations. This new LED lighting offers four light-shaping options, including ellipsoid spot, parabolic beamer, lenses, and soft box. The Joker 400 barndoors and lenses stocked on our grip truck Miami are compatible with the Joker 300 beamer reflector. 

K5600 Alpha 300

This wonderful product provides a 6.9” diameter lens and is based on the popular Alpha 800 HMI. The beam angle can be adjusted from 55 degrees all the way down to 5 degrees with ease. 

K5600 Wafer-Thin Panels on Our Grip Truck Miami & Fort Lauderdale Fleet

Available in four sizes (4’ x 1’, 2’ x 6’, 2’ x 1’, and 2’ x 6’), these 1.35” thick flat LEDs are the lightest weight available on the market. With the options like snap-on ball grip and a foldable yoke, we can configure these flat LEDs any way necessary for your production. 

K5600 LED Ballasts Stocked with Our Grip Truck Miami & Fort Lauderdale Fleets

Compact and durable are two of the defining factors for these new LED ballasts available on our grip trucks. They do not have any controls on them, which is why they can fit in tight spaces and handle the wear and tear that may happen during set up and/or break down. 

K5600 300W Single Ballast

Direct 48V FC power can be routed to this compact case to power K5600 LCD screens with 2,700 degree K to 6,500 degree K control. On-site upgrades and diagnosis on our grip truck Miami and Fort Lauderdale fleets are easy with the included microport. 

K5600 1200W Multi-Output Ballast

With 600W of power to both output connectors, you can rest assured this LED ballast with provide the power you need. Better still, if you combine this LED ballast with any K5600 LEDs, the ballast automatically senses the amount of power that is needed. 

K5600 Splitter

With two outputs and one input, the splitter can commute with the 1200 W Multi-Output Ballast and gives independent control to each of the LED lamps that are connected. 

We Are the Professional Grip & Lighting Company To Turn To in South Florida

The new K5600 product release means we can provide you with better grip and lighting services than ever before. Dave’s Grip & Lighting is the most experienced company serving all of South Florida with LED, HMI, dollies, sliders, flags, rigging, trucks, generators, gaffers and more since 1987. We have grip truck Fort Lauderdale & Miami fleets, an extensive inventory of grip and lighting products, and superior knowledge and industry experience to provide you services that give your production the wow factor you desire. Contact us today or call us at 305.409.0009 if you have any questions. We look forward to becoming your local provider of K5600’s latest and greatest products along with any lighting and grip services you may need for your upcoming production.

What’s in Your Grip Truck? A Guide to Equipment and Loading

grip truck rental

They are the essential building blocks for a great lighting package. Grip trucks not only get your gear from here to there, but they also keep your production running smoothly and on schedule. Like most lighting rental companies, Dave’s Grip & Lighting rents grip trucks as well. In fact, we believe we’re South Florida’s most experienced and professional grip truck rental company!

A guide to grip truck rental

Whether you’re new to the job or are a seasoned veteran working with outside vendors like production rental houses, understanding the equipment that’s in your grip truck and how to properly handle it is a must. It also ensures you get the right sized truck with the equipment you need based on the type and size of your project.

We have a variety of grip trucks including 10-ton 5-ton, 3-ton, and 1-ton van packages. Your grip truck rental comes with or without a driver, and is pre-loaded with a variety of lighting, grip, and miscellaneous gear. Customization is always an option.

1-ton cargo van

This is not your standard minivan or sprinter! Sprinter trucks are typically used for small stage work, run-and-gun shoots, and independent narrative films, our 1-ton cargo van is a video producer’s dream. It’s perfect for small commercials, easy to park, and filled with must-have gear like C-stands, scrims, flags, clips, clamps, and more. This van is ready to go at a moment’s notice for your next production!

3-ton grip truck

Ideal for webisode’s, corporate videos, industrials, and smaller commercials and indie features, a 3-ton grip truck rental also has plenty of interior space for add-ons. It moves quick, handles nicely and, thanks to a highly functional shelving and cart layout, loading and unloading is super fast. Small enough to fit nicely on jobs that require more than our 1-ton van package can offer, it comes equipped with a big selection of stands, apple boxes, blankets, clamps, silks, frames, expendables, and a whole lot more. It also includes c-stand, cable, sandbag, header, and flag/net carts.

5-ton grip truck

Looking for a grip truck rental that adds some lights?  Our 5-ton package has a little of everything and a lot more than other production equipment rental companies offer in Miami.  A full-feature truck, it can haul twice the weight of a 3-ton. It has frames of every size, two stand carts, a full complement of c-stands, as per use HMI’s, LED lights, Arri Sky panels S60 and 11 ARRI tungsten lamps, as well as ETC Source Four 26 Degree 750w light for long throws. And there’s an abundance of expendables.

For larger productions, we also offer a 10-ton package that’s designed and built with a bigger crew in mind.

Depending on the package size you rent, consider scheduling a full or half prep day for one or 2 people. Have a newbie on the crew? Let them tag along so they can familiarize themselves with the gear and truck.

The art of loading a grip truck

Loading a small to medium sized grip truck doesn’t take more than an hour—if it’s done right. Of course, the time will vary depending on the size of your crew and how involved the shoot is. No matter what budget or size, there’s a two-point system for loading a grip truck that always works well.

Once wrap is called, assign grips to specific jobs. One or two may be tasked with wrapping cable, another to taking down lights and bringing them to the truck. Make sure light stands are all placed in the same area and make separate piles for cables, sand bags, and so on. And have two or more people on the truck handed the gear from outside in an assembly line fashion. This ensures all the gear ends up in its proper place.

At the grip truck rental house

Here are a few tips for dealing with a grip truck rental house on the day of pickup and during production.

  • Before you pull out of the lot, make a final count to ensure all of the gear you ordered is on board..
  • Keep the truck tidy at all times so gear is easily and quickly accessible.
  • Place ladders, frames, etc. in overhead storage if provided.
  • Keep carts organized and put on the brakes.
  • Tie everything down!
  • Communicate clearly when using the truck’s lift gate.

Every production is challenging. But having an experienced partner like Dave’s Grip & Lighting to help with your grip truck rental is one of the smartest pre-production moves you can make. And if we don’t offer what you need in-house? We’ll help you find it! Our wide range of services includes a fleet of grip trucks that add enormous value to your production while protecting your bottom line. To learn more about all the grip and lighting services we offer, call us today at 305.409.0009, or contact us online.

What’s in that Grip Truck & When and Why do you Need one?

grip truck rental

Grip trucks are a well-stocked wonderland of just about every large tool and small gadgets you need to tackle a variety of on-set tasks and technical needs. They aren’t prohibitively expensive, even for budget-conscious shoots.  When you have your grip truck rental on set, the production magically seems to go faster, smoother and with less stress on the crew.

Working grips will tell you that the most important features are the truck layout and the quantity and quality of the carts. They highly value being able to quickly see what they need instead of having to dig for it.

Most professional rental houses offer 3, 5, and 10-ton versions of grip truck rentals as well as a 1-ton van package for smaller shoots. What’s inside? Here’s a walkthrough of a basic 5-ton grip truck package from Dave’s Grip & Lighting.

Stands

Priceless assets on any set, from preemies to low boys, there’s a stand for every job and you’ll need plenty. In a standard package you get 86 in total, including C-Stands, Beefy Babies, Combos and Low Boy Combos, Hi-Hi Rollers, Mombo Combos, Crank-O-Vators, and Mini Preemie stands. C-Stands, of course, are a filmmaking staple. Grips use them constantly.

Stand Accessories

Stands are true workhorses that you can use any number of applications. Gobo arms and knuckles provide options for hanging lights, draping drop cloths, positioning flags, or gripping and supporting just about anything on set. The 4.5” knuckles known as Lollipops set the standard for on-set safety. You can use them to secure overhead frames or larger flags.

Offset arms add that little extra bit of extension and removable turtle bases make getting low-to-the-ground shots super easy. A Platypus clamp is useful for securing bead board. Baby and Junior headers let you mount multiple light fixtures or accessories onto a single stand.

Apple boxes

Every set needs them and there are unlimited uses and advantages to having them. Full, half, quarter, and eighth (pancake) apple boxes are great for propping, standing, sitting, or leveling. Use them to build a table or nail wall plates to them to hold low-angle lighting fixtures.

Sandbags and furniture pads

There’s nothing high-tech about sandbags yet they’re an ever-essential tool. Aside from holding down light stands, you can use them for securing set walls. Convenient handles make it easy to hang them on hooks or risers.

Furniture pads, also known as sound blankets, can be used for everything from protecting equipment during transport to blocking light and wrapping large set pieces.

Clamps and clips

Clamps can be one of a grip’s best friends. They come in various sizes and shapes and you can use them in variety of ways. C-clamps are a classic hardware tool, but the ones used on set have spuds welded to the back for mounting them to C-stands. They also utilize u-shaped plates so you can attach the clamp to just about any surface. A Cardellini clamp has two angled jaws that you can tighten onto any round or flat surface. A Mafer clamp (super clamp) is designed to firmly bite down on pipes and poles. They are great for mounting lights in tight or awkward positions.

Grip clips are designed for one-handed operation and are perfect for holding reflectors, securing backdrops, and many other jobs where a strong clamp is required.

Lights and accessories

Arri Skypanels, Skypanels, Skypanels. This innovative light seems to be on every grip truck these days.  Consuming a modest amount of power and not creating much heat, it is punchy, soft and bicolor. This light does it all!

The ARRI Fresnel series, including the 300w, the 650w tweenie, the 1000w T1, and 2000w T2 are ideal anywhere compact and lightweight tungsten Fresnel spotlights are needed. They’re particularly handy in small studio settings where you might have a grid height problem. The ARRILITE 1000w and 2000w focus flood open face are designed to fill large areas. They are also great key lights for interview packages.

The ETC Source Four is a 750w fixture with a long throw. It’s generally found on stages, but it also works well in the field. You can manipulate it to cast a range of lighting effects.

An Ultrabounce 8×8, 12×12 or 20×20, provides a nice even bounce without any hot spots, while Grifflon features a tough, shiny dual surface with solid black on white side and bright white on the other. Flags and scrims include single net, double net, and poly silk, with a variety of frames supplied.

Production supplies, expendables, and everything else

Director’s chairs, different height step ladders, road cones, tarps, pop-up tents, plastic stacking chairs, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and more. They’re all needed at some point on just about any production (except the fire extinguisher, we hope).

You also get common tools like a hammer, staple gun, shovel, rake, broom, and sledge hammer. As well as sawhorses and staples, nails, and screws in your grip truck rental. And no grip truck’s complete without some WD-40 and gaff tape.

In addition to a header cart, there are 2 C-stand carts, as well as cable & sandbag and flag & net carts. Black wrap, duvetyne, rubber mats, and clear Visqueen for weather protection of gear or as a floor covering are standard gear, as are foam core, bead board, and a selection of show cards.

All grip truck rentals come with or without a driver and we’re happy to help you crew your job with local, proven professionals. Contact us today to learn more or to reserve one of our grip truck rentals for your next South Florida shoot!