June 2, 2015

5 Not-So-Obvious Items You're Going to Need Working on a Film Shoot

Shooting a movie requires a ton of equipment -- even a low budget one that's utilizing significantly less of it. 

And it's easy to get lost in the mania of preparing for the first day of shooting. Of course, you know you need to bring lights, cables, and, of course, a camera. But Lewis McGregor of Indie Tips shares a few less obvious, but very essential pieces of gear that you won't want to forget when you show up on set.

Here's the list of items mentioned in the video (as well as one added to the article):

  • Clothes pins
  • Fans
  • A tape measure
  • Tape
  • A blade
  • A highlighter

There are so many items that could be added to the list -- you're probably thinking of them right now. A few things that come to my mind are:

  • A phone charger: Not having your phone charged while on set, especially if you're directing or producing, is truly crippling.
  • Wet wipes: Stuff gets messy working on a film. I have too many memories of being a sticky, red mess after handling fake blood during a shoot and getting it all over my equipment. No bueno. (Towels are also a great thing to bring along.)
  • A flashlight: 75% of working with film equipment is looking for said film equipment. Sometimes that can be a bit of a chore if you can't really see what you're doing -- maybe you're on location in the middle of nowhere, or maybe you're in a dark corner of a soundstage, either way, you're going to want a flashlight to make things easier.

Surely we all have stories of unpreparedness -- showing up on set with what you think is all of the gear you could possibly bring and then some, and then realizing you don't even have a pen to cross off the scenes you just shot on the script. So, making a list of less obvious items to bring is really essential. In fact, just keeping one on hand (say, on your phone, where it's always accessible) and making edits to it after having a fit about forgetting to bring something will save you later on.

Be sure to check out McGregor's post for more    

Your Comment

14 Comments

I always have a clean, dry pair of socks in my ditty bag. I get made fun of often for it, but nothing beats throwing on some dry socks in front of the rest of the crew after a rainy or wet day on set!

June 3, 2015 at 12:04AM

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Food and Water...!! To maintain all your crew happy and responsive...
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Don't you forget that...! :-)

June 3, 2015 at 4:20AM

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João Marco
Independent Director/Writer
182

The cash and someone to go to the shops for you when you find out that something that you could never have allowed for, actually has happened.

June 3, 2015 at 7:54AM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1350

Ahahaha. This is an awesome post. You're not on a film set unless you are asking for one of these items.

June 3, 2015 at 9:58AM

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Tony
232

I always have a small set of screw drivers and allen wrenches. It has saved me or someone else a number of times.

June 3, 2015 at 12:39PM

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Matt Clark
Producer / Writer / DP
555

Don't use plastic C47's. In the video they grab a handful of plastic ones, bad idea.

June 3, 2015 at 1:37PM

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Stephen Herron
Writer/Director
1497

I propose we refer to plastic pegs as C47-M's, for melty.

June 3, 2015 at 10:08PM

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Starbucks/Peets/what ever Coffee Traveler jugs. Have that, everyone is happy, specially those early mornings and all nighters.

Dry Erase marker, Sharpie, white foam core, camping chair, mini flashlight, and that funny crew member who's really only good at cracking jokes on set. That last part is important.

June 3, 2015 at 3:00PM

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bobunitone
Editor/Director/Writer/All Round Great Dude
81

nice list. It always amazes me when I hear stories about how a very simple small piece of equipment can save a shoot. the small things do matter in this field, its not always about the big expensive gear

June 4, 2015 at 9:22AM

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Luis Garcia
Director/Editor
227

A Craftsman screwdriver keychain. I've used this thing switching out plates more times than I can count.
http://www.craftsman.com/craftsman-4-way-screwdriver/p-00904160000P
For $1 there's no reason not to have one.

June 4, 2015 at 1:36PM

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Nice! I like this little tool,thanks for sharing!

June 4, 2015 at 2:10PM

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Stefan Foderingham-Garraway
Director/Cinematographer
216

A multi-tool like a Leatherman or Gerber is essential on your belt

June 7, 2015 at 10:06PM, Edited June 7, 10:06PM

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Ryan Gudmunson
Recreational Filmmaker
633

What about the contract? Should you have that to hand when on a shoot?

June 30, 2015 at 8:39AM

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Lisa Radar
Content Manager
258

What about a first aid kit. Always remember safety first

November 5, 2016 at 8:25PM

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Glyn
8