Apple boxes have been used on set for decades, and a Canadian company called Foam Box decided to reinvent it. Foam Box is nearly the size of a traditional full apple box, you can sit on it without a cushion, it can support over 2000lbs, but it is made of expanded polyethylene and weighs only 3lbs, which is three times lighter than wood. However, you can’t use it to level dolly tracks, but it’s an excellent alternative for independent filmmakers. Let’s take a closer look at it!
Apple Boxes – The Industry Standard
Traditional apple boxes are made out of wood, and they have been on set for decades. These boxes are mainly used by the grip department to do numerous tasks. For example, you can use apple boxes to level a camera dolly track, raise furniture and talents, support light stands, or simply provide temporary seats.
Several apple boxes sizes are available, but they are all variations of the standard full apple box which is 20 x 12 x 8″. The half apple box is half the height of the full at 4″, the quarter apple box is 2″ making it half the height of the half apple box. Finally, the 1/8 apple box is only 1″ thick.
The only drawback of apple boxes is that you can’t store anything inside and that they are heavy. A Matthews full apple box is 9.5 lbs/4.3kg, which often makes it a no go for small crews and independent filmmakers. We love innovative products and companies that think out of the box (yes, I had to make that joke!), like Foam Box, which takes a new approach to a low-tech solution on set.
Foam Box is a Canadian company founded by Jocelyn, a grip that’s been working on movie sets since 2008. The idea behind Foam Box was to create a lightweight, solid, and comfortable alternative. In fact, wooden boxes tend to scratch delicate floors and are really hard when you sit on them.
The Foam Box is made out of Expanded Polyethylene which makes the product extremely resistant, and can take a maximum weight of 2000lbs/900kg. Also, the Foam Box won’t scratch any floor, and you can use it in nearly all weather conditions, including rain, snow, dust, mud, and so on.
On each side of the Foam Box, there is a handle for easy transportation. The biggest selling point for me is the weight of the Foam Box of only 3lbs; if you do the math, it is nearly three times lighter compared to a traditional apple box made out of wood.
You can use the Foam Box like a regular apple box to sit on it, support cameras, raise talents, and so on. However, the only thing you can’t do with it is level dolly tracks. While this can seem like a major drawback for some, most independent filmmakers and small crews don’t use dolly tracks all too often, so the weight benefit is more important.
Finally, the Foam Box is not exactly the size of a full apple box, it is only 9″x 12″x 18″. They must have a good reason behind this “non-standard” size decision, but I don’t get it.
Price and Availability
The Foam Box is available now for $45.00. At the moment, it is only available in full size (9″x 12″x 18″). For more information and to order it, please visit Foam Box’s website here.
What do you think about the Foam Box? Do you often use apple boxes on set? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!