Earlier this week we released an article on the top 10 camera kit stocking fillers for under $100, now its time to build your filmmakers tools box! Below are ten great items you should consider taking with you on set.
OK, so they won’t all be as boring and obvious as this. But who couldn’t be pleased with a Sharpie filling their stocking? All departments will make use of this one, which is exactly why you should carry a few spare as guaranteed they’ll go walkies on set.
Use it where ever you need quick access to an item or tool from both sides.
I have one for my belt clip to carry around some camera tape for quick access, great for quick access to me or handing over to an assistant.
What’s a camera setup nowadays without a healthy clad of fluorescent tape? I like the 1/2″ (12mm) stuff as it’s easy to carry around and store in your camera bag. This pack of 4 is essential, great for distinguishing one item for another; I’ve labelled up all my batteries and chargers with coloured tape so it’s much easier to pair.
They’re great for setting markers for subjects and actors; simply throw them down on the floor.
Quicker and less messy than tape, easy to to see for subjects hitting their mark, useful for visual effects cues also.
Rip Tie Carabiners are a great for organising cables and accessories to mount of the side of a mag liner or hanging off the side of your field mixer where you need quick access.
Good for keeping small items secure in the back of a travelling van also.
Listed is a pack of two, I recommend grabbing a few pairs!
As an operator, I do just fine with my S-biner and 1/2″ camera tape, but for the gaffers and multi skilled assistants out there, this is the tool for your belt.
Access to gaff tape is never quicker than with this bad boy. It only takes one hand to grab, very handy when you’re up a ladder.
Flashlights (or torch) are another very handy item to have on set, it took me a while to stop using my phone as my main portable utility light source. The Pelican Flashlight is well built, a quick button press on/off on the rear (faster than a twist) and has a belt clip on the side for safe attachment.
A multi tool is absolutely essential for anyone in the technical side of filmmaking. The Gerber gets the nod here as it has open facing tools, meaning you don’t have to open the jaws of the pliers to gain access to your driver heads, knife, scissors etc. This particular one has a great fold out carabiner too.
I don’t go anywhere without this bit of kit.
Grey card on one side, white card on the other. It’s compact (12″/30 cm) and pops out like a mini reflector, very useful for obtaining critical exposure and white balance.
I find it particularly useful for setting the white balance of Sony Alpha and FS cameras that can be a little more challenging with colour in mixed temperature lighting.
Another tool permanently residing in my tool bag, the X Rite Color Checker Passport is a very compact, folding color chart and great card.
I find the Lastolite easier to use as a grey card, but the X Rite comes into it’s own as offering a portable solution for color reference; it’s literally the size of a passport.
Next up will be our top 10 for Kit Bag stocking fillers, a personal favourite of mine. If you have any useful items of your own that you’d like to share, please add them in the comments below!