In accordance with Ed Phillips’ continuing quest to devise equipment standards and time-saving uniformities on set, Matthews Studio Equipment introduced the first folding-base, *Century a.k.a. “C” Stand in 1974. A filmmaker and photographer’s favorite, the ubiquitous C-Stand can today be found on sets worldwide supporting lighting and lighting modifiers like softboxes, flags, scrims, etc.
The term ‘Century Stand’ goes back to the early days of motion picture production. Before there was artificial lighting, stages would revolve to allow for continuous overhead lighting from the sun. Large reflectors were positioned to bounce or kick the overhead light onto the stage, illuminating the set and actors. Although made in various sizes, these reflectors the most popular was the 100-inch, or ‘century’, sized. Even when electrical lighting was introduced, studios, grips and gaffers manufactured early versions of what we now call C-Stands. With welded bases, they did not fold up or adjust. But they nested together, saving valuable space on stage.
Century Stands or ‘C’ stands are an important component in the modern image-maker’s arsenal of tools. Matthews now produces a wide range of C-Stands and related accessories to assist the motion picture, television and photographic professional in lighting and lighting modification support.
Available in many different configurations, lengths and finishes, they all feature a unique staggered leg design allowing C-Stands to be nested and therefore be placed extremely close to one another on set. The lower leg can also be slid under many objects. The C+ offers a removable base for the risers, making disassembly for travel simple and easy without being cumbersome or having the awkwardness typical of other brands. The sliding leg allows fast, easy opening and closing. All of these innovations, put into motion by Ed Phillips, had made the Century stand arguably the most common grip and lighting tool in the world.
*C-Stand and Century Stand are registered trademarks of Matthews Studio Equipment, Inc.