I'm in need of a really warm talent lighting for keying on an upcoming production, and I was actually wondering how you folks go about putting CTO gels on medium softboxes. These will have to be speedy setups, and I need a rather simple solution if there is one.
These gels will have to come on and off, and I really don't want to buy additional screens just for that purpose.
I gave up on puting a gel frame on the light itself, none seem to be able able to withstand the heat on a 1.5 k openface.
Well, before I finished reading all of your post I was going to say just put a gel frame inside the box...but sounds like you have tried that resulting in toasted gels.
You said a medium-sized box... is the face on the softbox you will be using larger than a full-size regular sheet of gel? If not, you could just just clip a sheet to the face with a couple of C-47's on top and couple more on the bottom.
If you were having to take the gel on and off many times during the production, you might put some self-adhesive velcro tabs on the corners of the gel sheet. If you use the "hook" side and the gel happens to be the right size, they would easily attach in the lip of the softbox. If not, you could put some small buttons of the "loop" side of velcro temporarily on the surface of the silk itself. You wouldn't even have to take the gel completely off... if you don't need it, just unfasten the top and let it flop down.
If your box face is bigger than one sheet, you could take a couple of sheets of gel and tape them together and cut a piece to perfectly fit the face, then use the same attachment ideas above.
I'm sure there's a better idea out there, but that's the first thing that came to mind if the instrument is too hot to put the gel in the interior.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc. fantasticplastic.com
CHIMERA makes a complete range of CTO and CTB color correctors that easily velcro right to the inside of the lightbank. It's the professional and correct way to do it, despite your not wanting to buy them.
I always use a full sheet of color, cut the same size as the silk, and insert it behind my honeycomb, in front of the silk. If by some catastrophic reason I didn't get honeycombs with the Chimeras, I'll attach the color to the inside of the lightbank lip with large binder clips. It's easy, quick, and looks a little more professional than clothespins, which makes it look like my grips just finished their laundry and hung it on the lights to dry.