Watch: 7 Stupid Things That You Will Definitely Need on a Film Shoot

Are they really stupid if they make you a smart filmmaker?

How many times has this happened to you? You're on set trying to solve a problem, but you don't have the necessary tools to do it. Is the answer 12 billion? Of course it is, because a filmmaker's job is essentially fixing a bunch of issues until you eventually end up with a finished film. It can be frustrating not having the gear and accessories you need to do your job and make your life on set easier, so filmmaker Peter McKinnon has listed seven essential things you will probably want to keep on hand during a shoot. Check it out below:

There are so many little, random items that come in handy when you're on set, including plastic bags for keeping your gear safe from the rain, Sharpies, and flashlights, but here are the supplies McKinnon mentions in his video that will absolutely save your life one day:

  • Duck clamps: You know, for clamping.
  • Cable ties: If you don't want loose wires or gear going wild in your bag or on your set, cable ties make short work of them.
  • Gaff tape: The filmmaker's fix-all: gaff tape.
  • Cap cases: McKinnon's idea of nestling a body cap and lens cap to make a portable memory card holder is pretty awesome.
  • Grip heads: These things let you mount just about anything, from foam core to boom poles.
  • Acoustic blankets: A noisy appliance ruining your audio? A little light leak fudging up your shot? An acoustic blanket has got your back.
  • Friction arms: Thanks to an articulating arm and mounting options, friction arms are a must-have on any film set.

If you want to learn more about essential supplies you should keep on hand while shooting a film, click here and here. Read the lists, make a list, and then go shopping.

What kinds of random accessories do you think are absolutely essential for filmmakers on set? Let us know in the comments below.     

Your Comment


I’m curious about the obvious clickbait title of this post. In what way are standard production items like gaff tape, grip heads, sound blankets etc considered “stupid thing?” Or was this post done by a new person who just discovered these things for the first time and things they’re amusing or something?

June 5, 2017 at 10:02AM

Jeff Johnston
Automotive journalist, show host, grip

Gaff tape is always in the list..
Gonna add rubber Cable ties too.

Thanks for this video.

June 5, 2017 at 1:26PM

Sameir Ali
Director of Photography

Bongo ties

June 7, 2017 at 12:25PM


PAINTERS TAPE! Gaf Tape as amazing as it is, can leave residue (especially cheap gaffers) on hard surfaces, and pull off paint.

Lay Painters tape down first to protect the surface, then use Gaf to cover that.

I know this seems counterintuitive, but it works under most circumstances and makes the venue managers/owners happy when on location. It takes 1 whole extra minute to do and will make you look like a great crew that cares.

Work Smarter, not harder. When you put more time upfront, even on filmshoots, you'll have more time to trouble shoot actual problems later.

June 8, 2017 at 10:33AM

Sketkh Williams
Actor - Storyteller

thanks your post. i will share it with me friends ...

August 13, 2017 at 8:33AM


Thanks for your information, I will share it with your friends.

March 27, 2018 at 8:44PM