As a professional photographer or filmmaker, you probably have quite a lot of equipment. But there are some items you may not count as essential part of your gear, yet they could be a lifesaver when you’re on set. Peter McKinnon shows you seven gadgets that may seem stupid, but you will find them super-useful in plenty of situations when you’re on a shoot.
These clamps are small, but sturdy, and you can use them to attach almost anything – backdrops, drapes, clothing, acoustic blankets and so on. They also have a hole in the top, where you can add a thread and use it to mount stuff on it.
Little red cable ties
Elastic little red cables can be useful for a bunch of stuff. You can use them to attach things or to organize cables. Essentially, they help you organize the gear so you can easily find whatever you need.
Gaffer tape or gaff tape is something every photographer and filmmaker needs to have in their gear bag, we’ve mentioned this before. There are plenty of ways to use them, such as attaching cables to the floor or join stuff with it. It comes in many colors, so you can use it to organize the gear. It doesn’t leave any residue, which means you won’t have sticky cables or gear after you remove it.
Body cap + lens cap
This is a pretty ingenious little trick to help you organize tiny things like Micro SD memory cards, adapters and the like. Nestle a body cap with a lens cap and create a tiny “box” for all these small items. It will rattle in the bag so you will find it more easily, and you won’t lose those tiny bits and pieces anymore.
A grip head is another versatile item that should be in your camera bag. It slides on top of your light stand, and you can use it to mount all sorts of things onto it. You can use it as a clamp to stick a sheet of foam core in there to bounce light.
An acoustic blanket can be used in all sorts of ways, not just for blocking sound. If a light on set is humming, you can throw the blanket over it to tone down that noise. If you’re recording voice for your video, you can cover yourself with it and block all the outside noises for the crisp sound. Yeah, it may seem weird, but it doesn’t matter as long as it works.
In addition to sound, these blankets can block the unwanted light on the shoot. Finally, you can use them to cover your gear in the car and protect it from the sun (or from the prying eyes).
With the right friction arm, you can mount almost anything, and then clamp it anywhere. There are several sizes of these and they can hold different things, and with a couple of these around, you can solve plenty of mounting challenges.
As a photographer or a filmmaker, do you have any of these items with you in your gear bag? What’s your favorite life-saving item to always have around? Share your thoughts in the comments.
[7 stupid things you NEED to have as a filmmaker!! | Peter McKinnon]