March 22, 2014

This Cable Storage Solution is Not Only Cheap, but It Has Nothing to Do with Filmmaking

Storing our gear for transport may not be the most fun or engaging thing about filmmaking, but it's definitely essential, and doing it in an organizational way can cut set-up and tear-down times way down, as well as keep your gear safe. Caleb Pike brings us another great video tutorial, this time highlighting a piece of storage that is easy to overlook -- cable bags. Improperly kept cables not only take forever to untangle, but they can also get lost and damaged much more easily, so take a look at the different repurposed and professional bags Pike uses, including one that you won't find at your favorite film gear retailers.

I have to admit, I've never really considered storing my cables in their own bag, which is strange since literally every other piece of gear I own has its own storage container. I'm sure a lot of us wrap our XLR cables, extension cords, etc., toss them in our car, and call it good, but unless you're utilizing a professional grip truck that's equipped to hang cables, finding a place to store your cables for transport is a great idea.

In the tutorial below, Pike shows us a few storage ideas, including repurposing bags from other pieces of gear, as well as a professional cable bag. One thing he says to look out for when deciding on a bag to use is its shape, because a round one will store cables much more tightly (depending on how you wrap them). However, the coolest, and most inexpensive solution is a Bell Under Seat Storage bag (which is just $15 on Amazon). They work well, because they're not only round, but they stack well if you're working with a lot of cables.

Check out the Caleb Pike's video below:

A properly labeled cable bag (you can use gaffer or masking tape) can not only help you save time from not having to untangle cords all day, but it can save you money from not having to replace lost or damaged cables. So, if you don't own any yet, be sure to check out this post from DSLR Shooter, in which Pike takes a look at an assortment of potential bags, providing links to some of his favorites. Until then, make sure you're wrangling your cables like a pro! Evan Luzi from The Black and Blue shows you how in this excellent post.

Do you use cable bags or do you have other storage solutions? If you do use a bag, do you use a professional one or a repurposed one? What bags do you suggest? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Link: Cable Bag Review -- DSLR Video Shooter

[via Filmmaker IQ]

Your Comment

13 Comments

I haven't tried it, but maybe a bag for a portable greenscreen or reflector might do the trick?

March 22, 2014 at 7:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Henry

This is a great article, I love this type of stuff. Half of the game is being prepared and finding ingenious (and cheaper) ways to organize and move the enormous amount of gear needed for a shoot. I use many sizes and styles of Husky bags from Home Depot. They are cheap and tough: http://thd.co/1h8Hj2x

March 22, 2014 at 9:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

4
Reply

Drum cases

March 22, 2014 at 10:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

5
Reply
Julian

That was the first thing I thought of, too.

March 22, 2014 at 10:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
avatar
V Renée
Nights & Weekends Editor
Writer/Director

Cooler bags for 6 pack of beer make a good lens bag. $10 or so at Kmart or similar

March 23, 2014 at 12:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Alex Davidson

Good idea!

March 24, 2014 at 5:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

5
Reply
Christian Anderson

March 23, 2014 at 4:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

3
Reply
ronn

If that's too steep - how about 11 bucks (smaller diameter:
http://www.amazon.com/Bucket-Boss-06009-Jumper-Cable/dp/B000022688

March 23, 2014 at 5:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
ronn

I use a roller pelican case I got off craigslist. The foam was gone but I didn't need it. Cables can get really heavy no matter how many bags they are in so I put them in bags and they all go in the pelican.

March 24, 2014 at 9:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Ryan

Ask any roadie 101, nice to share it though.

March 27, 2014 at 4:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

11
Reply
Rob Manning

I am using sling bags from 5 Below. They are $5 each, and are designed for laptops or tablets, and they have a strap, and a little bit of cushioning. Thanks for the video and the tip!

March 27, 2014 at 9:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

8
Reply

I like the dedicated cable bag. I use a tool bag from Lowes for little gigs. Normally I have to use a couple of road cases on wheels. 16+ XLRs, speaker cables, snakes....Oh I wish I could carry it all in a bag.

March 31, 2014 at 6:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

3
Reply
James

This isn't directly related, but I've mostly given up using hook and loop cable ties for cables, especially thick stingers (although thin lightweight cables like USB might still get hook and loop cable ties). I don't even use Bongo Ties all that often anymore, as I've had a few of them snap. Anyway, I've moved on to using Matth Ties (link provided for information only - http://www.filmandvideolighting.com/matthews-matth-ties-trick-line-20-pa...) for my cables. I tie one onto each cable using a clove hitch. usually at the end that will be closest to the power source (in other words, the farthest from the working end of the cable). These give me a quick and very secure way to keep cables together, and so far I haven't had any problems at all. They may be one of the more expensive options, but I can't picture myself going back to the others.

EDIT: It turns out that Bucket Boss and probably others have inexpensive dedicated cable bags, probably very heavy duty.

June 24, 2016 at 6:01PM, Edited June 24, 6:03PM

0
Reply