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Monday, April 28, 2014


I was asked to help out on a commercial shoot as a gopher/assistant so I had to scramble to put a kit together. My last commercial photography shoot for a catalog had me bring everything I could think of but then I had to bring strobes and softboxes and I was the lead photographer. As an assistant, the photographer or lead videographer would have all that stuff and they DO the shooting. The assistant is really more of a grip. So leave your DSLR and shooters stuff at home.

This is what I brought with me along with a positive attitude, sense of humour and a thick skin (hey gopher get me coffee!)
  • Screwdrivers; Phillips & Flat Head – standard size
  • Screwdrivers; Phillips & Flat Head – fine size for camera repair
  • Hammer - metal and rubber head
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Work gloves (Mechanix style)
  • Zip Ties
  • Hex Keys / Allen Keys (Imperial)
  • Hex Keys / Allen Keys (Metric)
  • Sharpies
  • Dry Erase Marker with small dry erase board
  • LED Flashlight
  • Super Glue
  • Hardware kit with ¼”-20 nuts, bolts and washers
  • Measuring Tape (Soft, Hard, or Laser) really needed for pulling focus
  • Marking Pen
  • Camera Tape (non-marking)
  • Duck Tape
  • Velcro straps
  • Compressed Air or Blower
  • Lens Tissue
  • Lens Cleaning Fluid
  • Assorted Office Supplies: Pen, Pencil, paper pads, stapler, Clip board, Post-It Notes, Markers, Clipboard in a LowePro Pouch
  • Leatherman or Victorinox Multi-Tool
  • Advil, Immodium, Hand Sanitizer, Rolaids, Kleenex and a first aid kit
  • Sandbags
  • Garbage bags, Zip Lock bags
  • Screen Wipes
  • 50 foot extension cord
  • Camel Hair Brush
  • Batteries (Assorted)
  • Power Cube Taps
  • AV Adapters (Assorted)
  • Assorted BNC to RCA Adapters and cables
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • 2 way radio with a hand microphone (FRS type)
  • Space Blanket
  • Garbage bags
  • Zip Lock Bags
  • Carabiners from Niteze and Petzl
  • Grip Clips
  • Manuals in pdf format on tablet
  • Rope and 550 Paracoprd
  • Lighter
  • Laptop and or tablet
  • SD/CF Card Reader
  • Miscellaneous Computer Cables
  • Cellphone and tablet chargers
  • Headphones
  • LCD 7 inch monitor with battery packs
  • Point and Shoot camera (Nikon V1)
  • Sewing Kit
  • Folding tool
  • Voltmeter and AC Outlet Ground tester
  • Golfers Umbrella
  • 20 x 10 Tarp
The Toolbag Case

I am not rich like Joe Mcnally so having the Think Tank Logistics Manager ( ) is out of my budget, however if I was doing this on a regular basis or as a professional then that would be the way to go. Cinebag and others also have purpose built equipment to make life simpler. A great shop in Toronto is The Source These wonderful people supply everything needed in the film industry including Canada Goose jackets for the California movie stars.

I did use my Think Tank Roller and a Stanley rolling toolbox and a Pelican Roller.

One thing I did forget was a folding stool, a thermos, sewing kit, a change of clothes (we went out for dinner later on in the day) and golfers umbrella. One thing that I think would be more important is some kind of 12v power supply with an invertor or even UPS system but normally I would expect the production truck to have this but in this case that truck was someones mini-van. 

if I forgot anything , please feel free to let me know. Oh yeah a stepladder of sorts could be handy

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