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New Blog Series: Film Production Gear

by on Jun.11, 2012, under Gear

On a film set, the most useful tools are often the simplest.

I’m launching a new series of blog posts on to talk about film gear.  There are tons of great sites on the Internet dedicated to the latest new camera or other filmmaking gizmos, but I haven’t found any that talk about the real gear that filmmakers work with every day.  Cameras are advancing in technology every moment, it seems.  C-stands and gel frames, not so much.  But these more common, less flashy tools of the filmmaking trade are often crucial to allowing a film crew achieve the look a director or cinematographer is after in a way that is efficient, reproducible, and safe.  In this new film gear series I’ll talk about a lot of the basic tools of the trade—things that I use regularly to make my shoots go better.

Frankly, there are so many invaluable piece of film set equipment that I’m a little giddy knowing where to start.  So with no great plan, I’m just going to dive in, grab something I think is cool and useful from my film stuff, and start talking about what it is and how I use it.  (In my mind I’ve already dubbed this series Random S#!t from My Kit.)  I’ve had the benefit of working on a lot of sets, so even though my kit is very compact, I have a lot of surprising tools that you may not always see on smaller productions—because I’ve learned the value of this gear.  It’s not uncommon for me to hear people on the crew say, “What is that thing” followed not long after with, “I’m getting one of those!”  Everything in my kit needs to earn its place both in the value to purchase it and to load it in and out of the truck for each shoot.  I’ve become mercenary about what goes out with me—and those are the kinds of tools I plan to write about most.  I’ll probably keep things short but I’d love your questions, experiences, whatever, so please jump on in with the comments!

This blog’s primary focus is still: Make great content.  Reach your audience.  This Film Gear series is for fun, and falls under the “Make great content” part, but I will still be posting about independent series and reaching an audience. Popular Uprising‘s first series, DIVERGENCE is hitting some big milestones as we prepare it for our Comic-con showing and the release, so I’ll have a lot to say about that shortly.  And the Seattle International Film Festival just wrapped up and I have a lot of great experiences to share that grew from SIFF.  So stay tuned.

The first installations of the Film Gear series are about Clamps and Fire Extinguishers.

Douglas Horn is a feature film writer-director and a creator of independent series.  Douglas and Dan Southworth founded the web media company Popular Uprising.  The company’s action/sci-fi series DIVERGENCE will release its first season in 2012.  More information at:

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2 Comments for this entry

  • James K.

    back in college when i was doing location sound my gear kit included a bunch of trinkets like: boom pole, short/long mics, lavs, gaffers tape, lamb skin (for lavs or noisy shoes :P) xlr cables, extension cables, lots and lots of blankets (stupid street noise)…can’t forget the headset, mixer, recorder, and for me since i’m only 5’8 and doing long shots with booming sucks….APPLE BOXES!! When i wasn’t doing location sound i did foley/sfx and my car had boxes and boxes of just random shit of awesome stuff that made great and unique never knew when something might work or you might want to layer something….ah i could go on forever lol. But i think we both can say that Gaffer’s tape is a must no matter what side of production your own.

  • admin

    Oh yes, the gaff tape. I’m planning to hit on that one soon.

    Sound guys have a set of toys all their own. I have a small location sound kit that does the job on smaller jobs, and there are a few really fun gizmos to talk about–like the boom pole holder or some of the little lav holders or Quiet Soles (thin adhesive foam rubber for applying to the soles of shoes like the lambskin you mentioned). Oh, the stuff you can get!

    Thanks for your comment James!

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