Several years ago, key grip Richard Mall found himself in an interesting position. Cinematographer David Tattersall needed light in the lobby of Graumann’s Chinese Theater for a shot in The Majestic, but Mall and gaffer Mark Vuille were not allowed to attach anything to the walls.

Enter what Mall and Matthews Studio Grip dubbed MAX – an arm that extends a light source as much as 16 feet from the stand or up to 20 feet in the air. MAX has since come to the aid of cinematographers, gaffers and grips alike on projects such as xXx2 and The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Recently, Mall and Matthews went back to the drawing board, to fill another void. MINI MAX has been designed to get lights in and over small film and television sets and locations, but also to assist documentary crews, commercial productions and especially still photography shoots.

Like its big brother MAX, the MINI MAX can get a fixture in places where no other lighting support system can. When the POV does not allow for stand or fixture placement, MINI MAX can “fly” in and strategically place a key or back light.

MINI MAX supports a 15-pound fixture at nine feet high on a nine-foot horizontal extension. It operates on a 105-inch maximum arc from 14 feet high to below the horizontal.

When folded, MINI MAX is only 68 inches high and weighs under 25 pounds. In the folded position, MINI MAX has a vertical range of 68 inches to 108 inches and will support a 45-pound load. A 3:1 ratio is recommended for safe operation of MINI MAX. And, for use on stairs or uneven terrain, MINI MAX features two rocky mountain legs in the front and an adjustable main column leg.

by Pauline Rogers

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