The essential gear you may not be using on set

No they’re not as sexy as the latest cameras you saw at NAB, but at least they’re shipping.

Generations of filmmakers have refined the tools we use to make movies. But if you haven’t been on a few pro sets you may be missing out on using gear that will save your bacon (or tofu–trying to stay politically correct here). What may just be a wooden peg to everyone else is a precision tool to a film professional.
So to help catch you up on the many expendables that might be missing from your kit, cinematographers Noam Kroll and Daniel Brea have put together a nice round-up of essential gear in the latest webinar, airing at 11:30 am PST on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.
Some to the items covered in the webinar:

TapeSet tape
You’ve got your gaffer tape, your paper tape, your felt tape, duct tape, rescue tape, phosphorescent tape…the list goes on. The important thing to know is when and how to use a specific tape to keep things supported without destroying the set or starting a fire.t-markers
Actor markers
Keeping focus and making sure your actors hit their marks are essential tasks on a film set, made easier with the use of markers. Noam and
Daniel cover off the various marker options and when to use a T-marker over a regular one.
Dry erase markers
The other kind of marker. A standard item to go with any slate–but did you know they come with built in erasers?
Compressed air and rocket blowers
Learn when to use one and not the other. And learn how to clean your lens or sensor without destroying them.
Fog in a can
Think smoke and haze effects are for 1980’s music videos like Thriller? Think again. Haze effects are one of the most common techniques used by modern cinematographers to enhance atmosphere in subtle ways. Daniel covers off the uses for haze spray, including duration of efficacy.
sprayMultitools and tripod screwdrivers
The multitools carried by industry grips will leave Swiss army knives with a profound sense of inadequacy.
Dulling spray
When to use it and a few tips on how to avoid the need for it.
Another simple household item that you can’t afford to be on set without, especially when the sun sets. Noam and Daniel discuss some of the reasons you may not have considered for keeping one close at hand on set.
Pro batteries
Are you aware that there are professional-level AA, AAA and 9V batteries out there? These are designed for predictable, consistent output and will keep you from losing a take due to battery failure. And they typically sell for about the same price as standard batteries.
C47’s & Bongo ties
It’s the little things. Both of these items are must-haves for many film professionals, but if you don’t know how they apply to a set, it’s worth checking in with Noam and Daniel on these ones.
Like it? Buy it.
As a cross-promotion with the webinar, is offering a 5% discount on mentioned items. Visit this custom Filmtools page and use the coupon code noam2016 upon checkout to secure the discount.

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Damian Allen

Damian Allen

Damian Allen is a VFX supervisor and pipeline consultant based in LA. He specializes in stereoscopic and picture-lock emergency effects work through his company Pixerati LLC. In addition to his hands-on production work, Damian lectures and trains artists around the world in compositing theory and technique.