MAX and Mini MAX move a lot of light for Shemar Moore’s (Criminal Minds) first feature – The Bounce Back.
When Key Grip Ernesto Perez signed on to work with cinematographer Ben Kufrin for this independent romantic comedy, The Bounce Back, he knew they would be on a tight budget and have to move quickly thru multiple real locations each day. One of the first tools he introduced Kufrin to was the Academy Award winning MAX and sister MINI MAX – because he knew they could move fast – and get great production value.
Perez has been using MSE gear for over 20 years and he owns everything from booms to C-stands and wall plates as other hardware. But MAX and MINI MAX have constantly been his go-to support in many different situations.
When he’s shooting interior scenes in tight quarters (so many of the locations for The Bounce Back), he tucks MINI MAX in a corner and extends the arm out far enough to put a backlight where no other stand would be able to reach. “It’s a great tool – and easy to move,” he says. “Every rental house that doesn’t carry this tool shouldn’t call themselves a rental house!”
When Kufrin wanted to do a wide shot of a car pulling up, Perez simply took a 20×20 frame with grid cloth and placed the first frame/ear into a Mombo Combo and grabbed the other ear on the opposite side of the frame using MAX, which was 14 feet away. Then he took both the Mombo and MAX and raised them both up about 12 feet in the air – and attached a baby grid clamp – adding one more Mombo to the pipe, where it wouldn’t be seen by the camera. It was quick – safe and worked on the fly.
At another point Perez put a 6K over a 14-foot wall from a neighboring business yard – with MAX’s arm – putting light in the yard in a place where only a crane would have worked. “We all know the cost – financial and time – that would have been,” he comments.
That’s because MAX is just so versatile. It can be positioned flush against a wall, into or around a corner. Work horizontally, eliminating the need for scaffolding and more. It will support lighting fixtures up to 175 pounds, allowing the user to place almost any light almost anywhere on set – back light, over set walls and in places where lifts are restricted such as roof tops, balconies etc. The six-foot extension or the 720 Pipe Adapter makes MAX even more versatile. MAX can be counterbalanced with either shot or sand bags and by using standard weight plates. MAX can be moved around easily on flat, level surfaces.
“I keep telling people – check out MAX at Cinelease or Matthews – it can accomplish so much,” adds Perez. “Of course, you also need a crack crew like mine – Best Boy Rafael (Chile) Pedegrina, Fernando Frousto, Aaron Smith, Baby Jesus, and Steve Orosco. They are always helping me think of even more creative ways to use MAX, MINI MAX and other MSE gear we bring on each shoot.”