Sandbags 101: How to Use Different Types to Secure Your Stands
And now, to discuss the sexiest topic in filmmaking: sandbags.
Sandbags may not be the most interesting piece of equipment on a film set, but they are essential if you want to keep your tripods and C-stands secure. There are several different kinds ranging in weight that can help you do different things on a production, and here to talk about what they are is Jay P. Morgan of the Slanted Lens. In this video, you'll learn about a few different ways you can utilize sandbags, as well as the proper way to weigh down your stands so they don't topple over.
Sandbags come in a variety of different weights. One-lb. shot bags are great for counterbalancing small equipment, while 200-lb. sandbags are ideal for securing rigging, set scenery, and props. However, 5-, 15-, 25-, and 35-lb. sandbags are by far the most popular, since they weigh enough to secure tripods and C-stands, but aren't too big or too heavy to handle in relatively small spaces.
Keeping several of these on-hand while shooting a film is a must, especially if you've got a lot of heavy lights on C-stands, an expensive camera on a tripod, and foot traffic going through your set. And they don't just come in handy for safety reasons; they also make pretty good stabilizers. If you need to get a steady shot from a vantage point that doesn't take kindly to tripods, you can always throw down a sandbag and rest your camera on top of it.
So, whether you're using sandbags or a bunch of books stuffed into a backpack (works nicely, actually), keeping something on-set to counterbalance weight is a must.