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Cinematographer's toolkit - What do I need?

tools grips useful consumables

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#1 Stephan Guldenpfennig

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 03:07 PM

Good Day

 

I am going into a three-day shoot for a student film as the cinematographer, essentially being the DOP of the shoot.

 

I would like to get some input on what the essentials would be for a cinematographer to have on set - I am talking consumables to make the shooting process easier, not any kind of gear.

Here is a list that I've made so far, please feel free to add to the list if there is anything useful that you have found.

 

Gaffer gloves - for preventing barn doors and lights from burning your hand off

gaffer tape - for, well, everything.

plain markers - marking gear, making notes and for focus pulling

Black wrap - that magic black stuff that wraps around any light to flag off spill light

Washing pegs - for putting gels on lights

dust-off - an absolute necessity

deodorant - if someone marked the clapper board with a permanent marker, works well to get it off. Plus it's just convenient for everyone else if you don't smell like a hobo

Maglite - taking focus, finding things in the dark

Lens cleaning kit

screw driver set

Allen keys (also known as hex keys)

multitool - the one with the toothpick, you never know when it might come in handy.

 

Please add things that you may have found to be practical and helpful to getting things done easier on shoots.


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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 03:42 PM

If you're actually the DoP the only thing you'd really need is your eyes. That's about it. In truth you shouldn't be touching lights or measuring focus ect, as those are other people's jobs.

Now, that said, this is a student shoot, so that'll never happen, and even I don't follow those rules when we're running behind much to the chiding of my own crews. So, this is what I keep in/on my cine-bag.

 

Setware fingerless gloves (for when i'm operating/moving things)

Setware Hot Hands (for lights/hot things/to lend out if someone forgot theirs.. though i hate that)

Multi-Color Shapries

China Markers black and white

clothes pins

ASC Manual

pad of paper

Panchro

lens tissue

q tips

microfiber

blower brush

carabeaners, multiple sizes (also called d rings)

Multi Tool

2 blades

extra razor blades

allen key sets

2' adjustable wrench

assorted tables (flicker free, safe speeds, ect, just incase i'm having a brain fart)

2x light meters (sekonic 758 and studio deluxe II for backup)

Minolta color meter

Pens

Pencils

Altoids

Chamois for eye cups

2 Panchos

2 maglights

Spare AAA batteries and/or AA

Headlamp

Hand Warmers (i'm from the NE, but you never know)

I have a small peanut bulb set up to take 12v XLR... just in-case I need an eyelight for an ECU. 

And I'm sure i'm forgetting a bunch of other stuff in my bag... I mean.. I keep spare 16mm and 35mm cores, a spare film-black bag, and sometimes a spare 16mm can in my bag if it'll fit. Also Macbeth chart and Grey card and there's even a slate I picked up.

 

However, for all that stuff, most of the time, I'm only using the gloves, the light meter, the headlamp.

 

ALSO, very important, you should pick up and keep on you sugar/creamer (powdered stuff) and coffee stirrers. You never know. I even have some tea in there for myself, though I much prefer coffee.

I just came back from a wonderful travelodge hotel in NJ, and I stocked up on their pre-wraped coffee preparation things for rooms.

Also hot-sauce. Sometimes... you just need something to make craft taste edible.

 

I also have a first-aid kit in my truck, a small camping one, that I should really figure out how to throw into my cine-bag. Last thing I want is my blood or someone else's blood all over the camera.

 

 

Ok, that's really all I can think of.

You my want to grab a ground lifter and/or a multi-meter and a cube tap and keep them on you. I have those which i'll put in/take out sometimes too.


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#3 Stephan Guldenpfennig

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 05:12 PM

Good day Adrian. Thank you for your thorough and detailed reply, I am certainly updating my shopping list. I have a few questions about some of the things you mentioned, which google didn't manage to help me out with.

What is (a) Panchro?

Also, what are Panchos? I only managed to find a Mexican buffet restaurant, which I assume is not what you were referring to.

Otherwise, I will try and get all of the above-mentioned. 


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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 07:08 PM

Panchro is lens cleaning fluid :

 

http://www.filmtools...nlencleanf.html


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#5 Kieran Scannell

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:20 PM

You also need "Thick Skin" not sure where you buy it though:-)


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