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essential gaffing kit


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#1 Michael Armstrong

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 11:16 PM

I'm trying to put together my first gaffing kit.
I'd like some advice on what the essentials of a good gaffing kit are.
What I need as opposed to what I want to put in it.

Thanks,

mike
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 05:03 PM

I reckon all the basics that usually aren't included in your basic rented grip/gaffer kit. Leaving mostly expendables & tools.

I always have a good collection of wrenches, pliers & screwdrivers, gaffers tape, gels, C47's, gloves, mini-flash light with mouthpiece and your own light meter (calibrated to match the DP's meter). And since you're a gaffer, it's a good idea to have it all on your person, on a toolbelt.
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 05:28 PM

...and your own light meter (calibrated to match the DP's meter)...


The calibrated thing is especially important. I don't know the reason but meter of all kinds wander for some reason. I've compared my meter to other people's and it can be surprisingly different. I actually just got rid of a meter that, no matter how often I calibrated it, would wander in a few weeks. I caught it being nearly a stop off before!
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#4 Patrick Lavalley

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 09:16 AM

Out of curiosity, how do you go about calibrating your meter to your DP's meter? I thought calibrating a light meter was only something that the manafacturer did? It sounds like a good idea to calibrate your meter to the DP's meter, I just wouldn't want to screw anything up.

As for the kit, most of the expendables and gear (tape, duvetyne, c-stands, etc etc) should be covered by the show. I think it's important to have good set of gloves, comfortable shoes, a leatherman (some people prefer gerber multi-tools), a 10'' crescent wrench, a headlamp and a flashlight, a good comfortable belt, laser pointers come in handy a lot when you're checking frame lines and such. A good insulated coffee mug is also a must, as well as a t-shirt from your favorite local grip house....
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#5 Josh Brokenbourgh

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:10 AM

Always wear a black shirt, nothing reflective at all if your near the shoot.
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#6 Alex Wuijts

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:29 AM

Out of curiosity, how do you go about calibrating your meter to your DP's meter? I thought calibrating a light meter was only something that the manafacturer did? It sounds like a good idea to calibrate your meter to the DP's meter, I just wouldn't want to screw anything up.

As for the kit, most of the expendables and gear (tape, duvetyne, c-stands, etc etc) should be covered by the show. I think it's important to have good set of gloves, comfortable shoes, a leatherman (some people prefer gerber multi-tools), a 10'' crescent wrench, a headlamp and a flashlight, a good comfortable belt, laser pointers come in handy a lot when you're checking frame lines and such. A good insulated coffee mug is also a must, as well as a t-shirt from your favorite local grip house....


I know that with Sekonic lightmeters like the l-558 cine that I own, you can calibrate your meter in the Calibration Compensation menu in 1/10 step EV increments.

Michael: What you also need is tools to measure electricity, like a multimeter. You can keep that in your box while you carry one of those handy screwdriver/voltage seekers with you on your toolbelt.
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 11:38 AM

Out of curiosity, how do you go about calibrating your meter to your DP's meter? I thought calibrating a light meter was only something that the manafacturer did?


It's not a calibration as in a manufacturer's calibration, just make sure your meter and the DP's meter match up. If both meters are at 500 ASA and yours is about a 1/3 off from his/hers, then you can adjust your meter's ASA accordingly.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 24 July 2007 - 11:39 AM.

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#8 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 12:40 AM

Always wear a black shirt, nothing reflective at all if your near the shoot.

You've obviously never shot in the middle of the desert at 3 pm in August. :blink:
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#9 chris kempinski

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 01:26 AM

I am shocked that no one has mentioned an inclinometer to measure the sun's path, and a color temp meter. I guess the color meter isn't as important with the digital side.
I would also recommend a gaffer's eye or contrast glass, and I always have both the harry box's handbook and the cinematographer handbook handy, both for charts and angles or in case the DP wants something I haven't used before personally.


Oh and a long tape measure, for a bunch of reasons. and the color swatches from rosco and lee.
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#10 JD Hartman

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 02:38 PM

A 25 or 30 foot tape measure. I disagree with the lightmeter requirement. Unless you are shooting film, you can easily get by without it. I'd add an "outlet checker", a plug in that tells you if the receptacle is live, grounded properly and wired correctly. Like this one: http://www.elexp.com/tst_9610.htm Any brand will be fine. Quicker than using your VOM. I wouldn't buy a voltage tick. Carry an assortment of screws, some drywall screw of different lengths and some machine screws (6-32, 8-32, 10-32, 10-24, 1/4-20 vaious lenghts) for repairs. Keep a two foot lenght of trick line in your pouch and some tie-wire.
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#11 Hal Smith

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 07:03 PM

Shameless Commerce Department: I've got an extra copy of the Third Edition of Harry Box's book. I'll take $20 + media mail for it.
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#12 Josh Brokenbourgh

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 07:15 PM

You've obviously never shot in the middle of the desert at 3 pm in August. :blink:


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#13 Chris Keth

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 08:00 PM

I disagree with the lightmeter requirement. Unless you are shooting film, you can easily get by without it.


I disagree with your disagreeing :P

You're main task is lighting. How are you supposed to do that without a meter? Are you supposed to be babysat by the DP and his meter? Hover over the monitor the entire time annoying the DP and director? I think a meter is very important, whether the medium is film or video.
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#14 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:39 PM

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Oh, THAT black t-shirt! :lol:
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#15 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 01:14 AM

Oh yeah, and Excedrin ;)
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#16 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 02:15 AM

Tylenol, it works better on muscle aches and fatigue. B)
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#17 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 03:28 AM

Tylenol, it works better on muscle aches and fatigue. B)


Ahhh yes, hell, might as well keep a whole cocktail of pain relievers on hand...just nothing narcotic ;)
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#18 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 06:24 AM

Black Streaks n' tips.
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#19 Hal Smith

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 09:55 AM

Harry Box book is sold.
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#20 Tony Brown

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 04:26 PM

English Gaffers never carry meters. Quite right too, annoys me intensely. Fair enough if they're off doing an advanced pre light and you need a certain level, but otherwise its intrusive.

Its not necessary. Should the grip wander around with a viewfinder and lay track marks? No.

I also dislike people taking stills on set :)

Seriously. Winds me up big time
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