The C stand is probably the most foundational element for grip work. C stands are almost universally used for positioning equipment on a film set. There also some of the most misused items on a shoot, with potential for injuries ranging from a stubbed toe to a severe concussion. The basic operation of a C stand is simple. Here’s the best procedure for opening one. Turn the C stand upside down, hold the feet of the top short leg in one hand and the feet of the other two in the your other hand. Avoiding gripping the second leg and the get between legs, you may end up pinching your hand in the process. Pull the short leg to the left until it locks into place. For a traditional C stand repeat the process to separate the other two legs. Whenever possible, make sure that the long arm of the stand is positioned over the long leg of the base. This provides the best stability when adding weight to the arm. The long leg is also a good place for sandbags to counterbalance the weight of attached rigging. Next, and possibly most important, make sure the arm is set to fall in a clockwise direction relative to the tightening knob. Since the knob tightens clockwise, the arm should be set so that as gravity pulls it down it will tighten the knob rather than loosening. Do it the other way and your stand arm might collapse as the weight of the rigging releases the tightening knob. Another extremely common mistake is to position the arm perpendicular to the main shaft of the C stand. This produces the greatest stress on the grip head. It also creates a real possibility of injury if a member of the set collides with the end extending away from the supported equipment. Whenever possible, angle the arm down into the grip head, and then over the long support leg.