By David Casterline
Production Specialist, TriVision
After my first blog post, readers sent in requests for an extended list of handy items that aren’t in your usual production equipment arsenal.
1) Spare Change
Tripod plates keep your camera attached to the tripods and a screw keeps your camera attached to the tripod plate. But these screws can be difficult to tighten by hand, and can also bend your house key. A small coin in the pocket can act as a screwdriver to make sure your camera is securely attached to your tripod plate. I keep a coin in every camera bag.
2) Plastic Bag
Whether it’s video or photography, a plastic bag can save your equipment and your assignment if a pop-up rain storm arrives. I’ve even resorted to sticking an umbrella handle down the neck of my jacket and balancing the rest on my head, which wasn’t fun. If you were not prepared to cover yourself from the rain… better you get wet than the camera. I place the camera and my hands in the bag, and poke the lens out of a ripped opening.
3) Rubber Bands
Rubber bands can be helpful in a number of ways. If you have a lens with a lens hood, the rubber band can seal a plastic bag from the previously mentioned item, around the lens hood. A good rubber band can hold things together, like a DSLR mic with a broken attachment piece. I’ve also used a rubber band to take long exposures, holding the shutter button down for over an hour.
For those long conferences, or weddings, or any event that will cause you to skip a meal, a few granola bars or peanut butter cracker packs can get you through the day. As an extremely picky eater, I am always prepared to feed myself in case of a lack of options from a venue’s catering.
5) Business Cards
If this was in order of business importance, this would be number 1 for obvious reasons. However, for practical reasons, it is an easy way of giving your number to an on-site client so they can track you down throughout the day. I have business cards in my wallet, car, every camera bag, and even pretend to “drop” a few on some hotel lobby coffee tables. You never know.
6) Small Flashlight
You never know when you will be in a dark place, or looking under a dark table for an outlet, or at the back of a mixer searching for the right input. A small flashlight can make your life a whole lot easier.