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Cinematographer tools and bits


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#1 Aaron_Farrugia

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:51 PM

hello im coming towards the end of my film school and ive begun building up some equipment of my own like tools and lightmers and things but once im out of film school cinematography is something i have a great interest and passion in as a future career.
i was wondering what sort of tools and equipment you guys think a cinematographer needs in in his kit to bring along to a shoot?

thanks in advance

aaron
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#2 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 06:07 PM

Any competant cinematographer should have a utility belt rivaling batman?s- light meter, color meter, frequency meter, compass ( preferable a GPS system), laser pointer, viewfinder, contrast viewing glasses, palmpilot with the latest cinematography software and jetpack to name just a few tools.
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#3 Aaron_Farrugia

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 07:48 PM

ha im still working on the jet pack...
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#4 Aaron_Farrugia

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 08:02 PM

i question whats the frequency meter used for?
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#5 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 02:26 AM

A very thin attache case that's just big enough for a Wall Street Journal.
The killer 1st AC and gaffer has all the other stuff.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 02:49 AM

I have a toolkit of stuff but I stopped bringing it to sets because I never used it. All I bring, besides weather gear (raincoat, coat, sweaters, gloves, sun hat, sunblock, etc.) are my two incident meters (and I only got the second one recently because I thought a back-up would be good), my spot meter, and my digital still camera.

I also have a diopter for viewfinders to allow me to focus when I operate. I have a contrast-viewing glass but I never use it. I do also carry a compass.

In the future, I may expand things to include a DSLR and a laptop on the set to view preview photos.

If I'm on location, I have a portable DVD player that plays all the different formats (but not multi-region) for viewing dailies; usually I hook it up to a bigger monitor than the onboard.

The gaffer should have the color temp meter and the frequency meter.

If I did start investing in more equipment, it would probably be filters mainly. Maybe one of those LED lights that can be used on the camera as an Obie.
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#7 Aaron_Farrugia

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 04:37 AM

aaaa cool
yeah cos i started buying tools and was thinkin of buying a colour contrast viewer but wasnt sure weather id actually use it also

maybe money would be better spent buying some spare tapes and a firewire cable for the super 16mm camera im using in a shoot later on in the year :P

still dont know about the jet pack though
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#8 Michael Nash

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 04:23 PM

The reality for a graduating film student is that you're likely to end up working in a support capacity like grip, electrician, or camera assistant while starting out. On "real" gigs you're going to need tools specific to these jobs, and they do cost money. Don't blow all your cash on DP tools yet, other than what you really want or need for the projects you do shoot.

The list of tools and gadgets is endless. I've got maybe 50% of all the right tools for each job I've done (AC, grip, electrician, gaffer, camera op, DP); some tools I thought were a good idea but never ended up using, and some oddball things I've come across that I use almost everyday. One stupid little silly item I can't live without is the cord that holds my sunglasses around my neck!

I have a bag that's just my "survival kit," mostly for camera operating but can be used anywhere; fowl weather gear, sunblock, insecticide, kneepads, saftey glasses, spare gloves, a long sleeved black shirt, chemical heat packs, water, etc. I should get a first aid kit...

I have other goodies I bring separately depending on the shoot I'm doing, and job I'm performing (I work as DP, camera op, and gaffer). Meters, reference books, gel swatchbooks, Thomas guide, barrel connectors, spare zip wire, tape (Betacam, MiniDV, paper) cube taps, gray card, framing charts... somebody stop me...
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 04:33 PM

Yes, the same for me -- if I happen to go out on a small video shoot, or a pick-up shoot, my kit seems to consist of an oddball assortment of things like clothespins, a Mayfer clamp, adapters for 2-prong outlets, power strips, Chinaball rig, rolls of various tapes, sharpies and other pens & pencils, baling wire, trash bag ties, spring clamps, different types of light bulbs, an assortment of gels, not to mention the eyeglass string too. Plus pieces of white card and my old, beta-up 3'x3' diffusion frame of 216.
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#10 Chris Keth

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 07:16 PM

i question whats the frequency meter used for?



It helps you avoid flicker in HMIs, and helps to get rid of rollbars when you have to shoot monitors.
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#11 Aaron_Farrugia

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 08:20 PM

yeah cool thanks heaps guys, i realise once im out of film school im not gonna jump straight into a dp job, that it will take time to work up to that level.

i guess i have enough equipment equipment to get me through a couple of shoots im DPing at later in the year, i was under the impression the cinematographer would bring much more to the shoot but i guess im still in student film mode.

i guess the kit i need to build up for these shoots is more of a camera assist / op kit, as it is with these kind of films you end up multitasking a HEAP, im halfway there,
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#12 Ram Shani

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 12:28 PM

david

what digi cam you use

do you have director view finder


for me its light meter, viewing glass, the cinematographer bibel

still cam canon A-620

behind the lens filters with I-ring
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 01:16 PM

I have a Canon A-620 as well, for taking snapshots. Someday I'd like to get a DSLR, maybe the new Nikon D200. No, I don't have a director's finder.
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#14 Andy Sparaco SOC

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 01:50 PM

I always carry a stainless steel knife/fork/spoon set. It's hard to cut "Mystery Meat" with a plastic knife
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