Shooting in the field or in an unfamiliar studio can always cause chaos. There are unpredictable challenges everywhere you turn, and if you’re not prepared for them, your project can be compromised. We’ve compiled a list of five inexpensive and helpful tools that you should always bring with when you’re heading out for a day of shooting.
1. Gaffer Tape
This is a must have for anyone working in video. Gaffer Tape is like duct tape, but it uses a synthetic adhesive instead of a natural one so it comes off of surfaces without leaving that nasty, sticky residue behind. It comes in a rainbow of colors and lots of thicknesses to suit all your needs. If you’re going to have just one, grab a 2 inch roll in black. It will be the most versatile.
2. Extra Batteries
Never leave the house or office without extra batteries. The minute you do, you’re asking for everything to to go wrong. Don’t just bring batteries for the camera, either. Have extra batteries for any microphones, light sensors, sound equipment, monitors, etc.
3. White Poster Board
A piece of white poster board can be a very helpful and versatile tool in the field. It works very well as a reflector board without having to spend money on fancy reflectors. If your talent is messing up their lines…boom, you have cue cards. Need to white balance your camera? Perfect, you have a big white square to use as your base. Just stick a few pieces of white poster board in your car and you’ll be glad you did.
Sometimes it is the small and basic needs that we forget most often. Try to carry a marker or one of those new Sharpie pens with you. That way you can mark scripts, make cue cards, label hard drives and everything in between without having to be that guy that asks “Hey–do you have anything I can write with?”
5. First Aid and Sustenance
With a shoot typically comes long hours, unpredictable eating schedules and ample ways to hurt oneself. Be prepared for all of this with a small first aid and sustenance bag. Just grab a ziplock bag, toss in a few bandaids, some Tylenol, a couple protein bars and a water bottle. That should help keep you going during those long days!
What are some of the tools you always bring with on the job? Share them with us by leaving a comment below or heading over to our VideoBlocks Facebook wall!
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