Home Equipment C-Stand Basics, Powered by Matthews Studio Equipment

C-Stand Basics, Powered by Matthews Studio Equipment

written by Shane Hurlbut, ASC

C-Stand Basics:
The Most Powerful Tool in Your Lighting Arsenal

I started out as a grip truck driver in the business and then moved up to a dolly grip, a key grip, eventually a gaffer, and finally a director of photography.

While traveling around to different cities on the Illumination Experience Tour, I quickly realized that many people did not understand the basics of how to operate a c-stand properly. A foundation in c-stand protocols, the so called rules, are essential to live by. In the right hands and with the right instruction, this baby will change the way you light. That is what I want to share with you.

Going back through sharing information

When I made these jumps on the ladder rung of my career, many times I jumped four rungs. Imagine an alphabet. I went from A to F, G, H, to P, Q, R, S, T, U to Z. When you jump like this, sometimes things are not realized or conceptualized. Helping all of you has brought me back to those steps that I had missed. I now have the opportunity to take you all from A to B to C to D to E and so on. This has given me a whole new outlook on light quality, quantity, shaping and controlling light as well.

Here is the lighting schematic for our shoot.


To be a part of this discovery and to find more information about the advanced c-stand techniques that I use, please visit Shane’s Inner Circle as well as Shane’s Store.

All videos were edited on HP Z840 workstations using HP Z24x DreamColor monitors.


Camera AKS:



1K Open Face (“Red head”)



A big thank you to Matthews Studio Equipment for powering this how-to video. Happy c-stand setting y’all!

Shooting Location: Revolution Cinema Rentals

Related Articles


Jared C February 4, 2015 at 10:17 AM

Shane, this is a great video. Super polished and concise. Who needs film school again? I’d love to see a continuation of this series of practical grip guides.

Shane February 5, 2015 at 6:41 PM

Haha, Yeah baby! Thanks so much Jared. We’ve got more coming to the Hurlblog and more detailed videos on the Inner Circle.

mel h February 4, 2015 at 2:24 PM

Is this the 1/2 white diffusion you were using?

This was a great video. Going to be grabbing a few of these suckers.

Shane February 5, 2015 at 6:41 PM

Yes, that’s the one.

Derek J February 4, 2015 at 10:04 PM

Great examples and breaks it all down very simply.

Molefi Clive M February 5, 2015 at 8:09 PM

Always a pleasure to learn from you.

Jason February 7, 2015 at 5:39 PM

great video. very clean. Have a question, i was taught to front load with sandbags as you do in the video but I never do it, it seems like it adds weight on the load side when it should be on the opposite side. I have googled it and it seems to just be a preference but I am curious what your thoughts are on it. Is there a reason to add it to the rocky mt leg?

Nance F February 9, 2015 at 7:32 AM

I had the same question, Jason. I thought I was taught to use one of the back legs, but they’re too short and the sandbag would touch the ground and would not work, unless you had short sandbags.

Shane February 11, 2015 at 9:38 PM

It’s all physics baby. It’s 100% how a C-Stand is designed. You’re putting weight over the “tall or big” leg in front so that it stays rock solid to the ground, as all of the weight is headed that way. It’s about where the force is headed, the back legs are there for balance, but the front leg keeps all of the weight laid out on the base of the stand.

Basics of How to Use a C-Stand February 8, 2015 at 12:19 PM

[…] [via Hurlblog] […]

C-Stand Basics | How To Use & Handle One Of The Most Versatile Tools February 8, 2015 at 12:23 PM

[…] having an understanding of how they work, allows you to have accident-free experiences. In the video below, Shane Hurlbut from Hurlbutvisuals, demonstrates how to use one with the aid of his son. The […]

Rick B February 8, 2015 at 10:54 PM

As I’ve said before Shane, “Love your work”! You are truly a very generous person. Thank you

Hướng dẫn C-Stands 1 to 1: Công cụ đắc lực trên phim trường | Lightshapers February 10, 2015 at 1:50 AM

[…] Hurlburt cũng vừa đăng video này trên blog của ông, đặc biệt là nó được tài trợ bởi […]

C-Stand Basics by Shane Hurlbut, ASC | planet5D DSLR video news and more! February 10, 2015 at 10:35 AM

[…] Check out Shane’s article “C-Stand Basics: The Most Powerful Tool in Your Lighting Arsenal” […]

C-Stand Basics by Shane Hurlbut | Studio B: Rentals Blog February 10, 2015 at 10:55 AM

[…] out the post on his site where he also includes a lighting schematic diagram for the making of this […]

Christopher H February 21, 2015 at 3:28 PM

This is the first video I’ve watched since joining! What a fantastic start. Hope they are all this informative. I have one c-stand for a Kino and I had no idea I could use it for so many different applications.

Vance February 24, 2015 at 1:26 AM

Cool man! I’ve been using my Cstand to hang my gimbal and now I need to buy more for lighting and diffusion. Quite an elaborate lighting set up… Great to be learning from you Shane!

Shane February 24, 2015 at 9:57 AM

You’re welcome Vance. Keep that positive energy coming!

Brian F March 16, 2015 at 1:03 PM

I love being an inter circle member! 🙂 That was brilliant, Shane! I wonder if there is a big used Cstand market? Time to go to eBay!

Philip Young July 3, 2015 at 12:44 PM

I don’t even shoot movie, but will do one in the future. Watching all of these “lessons” are entertaining and throughful. Thank you, Shane!

Shane July 12, 2015 at 12:38 PM

You are very welcome and thank you for the kind words.

Get a Grip on Lighting With a C-Stand April 4, 2016 at 8:59 AM

[…] this excellent video for Matthews Studio Equipment from Shane Hurlbut‘s Hurlblog, you will see how to properly set up and use a […]

google September 11, 2016 at 7:01 AM

Wow, that’s what I was exploring for, what a material!
existing here at this blog, thanks admin of this web page.


Leave a Comment