Watch: How to Maximize the Usable Distance of Your C-Stand

Would you set up a C-stand in this "controversial" way?

 C-stands are magnets for disaster if they're not properly handled and secured. When the counterbalance is off (maybe you're thrown a big, heavy light on it), these things can topple over and potentially hurt someone on set, as well as damage your expensive gear. If you've ever been to film school, worked on a film set, or watch YouTube videos about filmmaking religiously, you are probably well aware of the "proper" way to set up a C-stand: putting the big leg underneath the arm, but experienced photographer/videographer Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens doesn't do it this way.

In this video, Morgan shows you his approach to setting up C-stands, knowing that it's controversial but also claiming it's absolutely safe and effective at giving you more arm length to work with.

When it comes to on-set safety, there's no messing around. There are tons of standards and practices put in place to ensure that no one on the cast or crew gets hurt by improperly handled or secured gear. So, it makes sense if some of you were immediately like, "Nope, that's not how you properly set up a C-stand," but I'm wondering if maybe, just maybe, it's possible to safely secure one without putting the big leg underneath the arm.

Morgan's positioning method does get you more length out of your arm, but it also throws off the center of gravity on the C-stand. This can be corrected by adding counterweights to the back legs. However, all of this flies in the face of how we've all been taught to properly set up and secure C-stands, because the big leg is there as a safeguard to ensure the whole thing doesn't fall over in case the counterweight in the back gets displaced.

Admittedly, I'm no doctrinaire or traditionalist. If something works, it just works regardless of how it has been done for years. (Duct tape taught me that.) But I'd also only test this method out alone to see if there are any issues before implementing it around anyone else.

So yes, put that big leg where it's supposed to be, especially if you work on a professional set. (I doubt they'll have the patience to listen to your defense of this alternative approach.) But if you do choose to try out Morgan's C-stand method, just use common sense and secure that thing so it doesn't fall over. It's really simple.

What do you think about this "controversial" C-stand set up? Let us know in the comments.     

You Might Also Like

Your Comment


I just started watching Trailer Park Boys and thought the guy in the pic was Bubbles at first

June 22, 2017 at 10:22PM

geoff webb

I have no doubt, experienced professionals will cringe and say, "No, no, no!!!"

Listen carefully what he is saying. The big leg ALWAYS goes under the boom, BUT... He simply offers a 'hack' here, for the rare situations when you need longer reach of the boom, and can't have the long leg underneath it, because it would be in the shot, AND you don't have any other option (menace arm, etc). His suggestion definitely has merit, although I agree, in the rigid world of professional film/photo production, you would get fired by setting up your C-stand this way.

June 23, 2017 at 8:28AM


Even for a "run and gun" filmmaker, this is really bad advice. So much bad information out there, this is a great example, sadly.

June 23, 2017 at 1:50PM

Justin Robinson

If you watch the difference as he turns the legs it's definitely not 20". I can see a slight benefit, but unless you're in an extremely difficult situation I can't see much point in using this technique.

June 25, 2017 at 3:34AM

Richard L
Camera assistant, DIT, DOP

As a few people already mentioned, it's a good solution for getting out of trouble (and I did use it quite a few times - more commonly simply because of lack of space for that big leg when next to a table etc), but I wouldn't make it a habit. Especially because a c-stand is not (primarily) a boom stand - if I need the reach I'd rather use a different tool. But yeah, there are also those jobs where you have limited gear, and that's where these "hacks" come handy.
Any "experienced professionals" screaming that this is wrong would clearly not be very experienced, because the important rules of a filmmaking technician is "you gotta do what you gotta do, and if it works, it works". If you need to break the rules to make something work, and it will still be safe in the given application, then by all means do it! I'd say it happens once or twice on every job I do that I specifically tell my sparks "I need you to do it the wrong way". If it works and it's safe (by which I mean, always give it a good shake to check stability), then why not?

June 25, 2017 at 4:11AM

Andrej Arnautov

The hack functions great with multi phase gizmos and also need not trouble with call for to download and install or ending up any kind of studies. Currently we might obtain 10,000 robux for $99.95 as well as 22,500 free robux generator for $199.95 from the main site.

June 25, 2017 at 1:57PM, Edited June 25, 1:57PM


This facebook site is a very generate site. this site is very powerful and good site.

September 3, 2017 at 10:58PM


Thanks for mentioning about distance
ubereats customer care hyderabad

November 25, 2017 at 12:44AM


Anytime Digital Marketing blogs that provide relevant content for our clients with tips on marketing and advertising strategies.

January 31, 2018 at 8:10PM, Edited January 31, 8:10PM


Every once in a while I find something worth reading when I’m surfing the internet. Bravo… thanks for creating real content here…

June 2, 2018 at 2:35AM


Really amazing!
also visit this site for good stuff

October 26, 2018 at 10:36PM


September 5, 2019 at 3:21AM


I appreciate your C-stand set up. Its really simple.

September 14, 2019 at 7:49AM

kamran khan
Graphic Designer