There is a consensus in the industry, that camera teams, are the geekiest, most kit-obsessed people on set, on any given day. Unfortunately for my purse, it's a valid perception. I love new kit, ESPECIALLY if it's something that I can use to film with.
Depending on the finish that I am looking for when I shoot, I use comparatively little equipment; as compared to kit I use when I am assisting on set, which varies wildly from my own actual filming kit.
There are however, a series of items that are considered important to have in your on-set kit as an assistant camera or loader as part of a professional team. This list was compiled as an amalgam of of the kit between two loaders that I assisted on a high level production; and whilst not complete (you'll need to add and take away according to what you best feel suits your own team's needs), it is comprehensive. One last word before you go out shopping...! Beg, borrow and steal from what you have at home, in your family DIY toolkit, and from friends. Where necessary, I have indicated where only the best quality that you can afford will do, also notes and explanations are included where needed. Otherwise, save money, re-use, buy second-hand. Don't worry about how things look. Only that they do the required job effectively. List after the jump!
Large Kit Bag - stays on your Magliner.
Smaller Floor Bag - Travels around with you on set, and stays by your side during takes.
Loader Pouch - Small (for important immediate items) Comes off only at lunchtime. I initially used an old running bumbag for this and people ALWAYS ask me where it's from. Some assistants use a chest mounted pouch as they find bumbags can get overloaded and put unnecessary pressure on their sciatic nerve.
Notepad - Policeman style for camera notes.
Scissors - Fiskars are excellent. Keep them sharp.
Chalk/ Chalk chuck
Panchro - Small lens spray
Black marker - Pentel N50/N60
Staedlter non permanent felt tip - F or S type. Green, red and blue.
Staedlter permanent felt tip - F or S. Black.
T - Bar (Flat head) - The single most key piece of camera kit you will use.
Leatherman Wave - A swiss army knife won't do. Accept no substitutes. Essential. NB: I don't use one!
Torch - Invaluable. Try to avoid ones with flashing settings, they are annoying as hell on lit sets. I use a cheap BRIGHT cyclists torch.
Finger wedges - Small, wood, cheap. So useful for kit and camera adjustments on the fly.
Lens arrows - Teams usually make their own with brightly coloured tape. Crafting heaven. Not.
Croc clips - I get mine from cheap DIY and pound shops and mark them with pink nail polish. These go walkies at a moment's notice on set. Get many sizes and types.
Cable pouches - To store things in.
Soap on a rope - See the Glossary section for more on this. Unrelated to personal hygiene.
Batteries - AA, AAA, C123 at the very least.
Domke lens wrap - I can sew, so I make my own. Consensus is that they have to be fancy. I disagree.
Spirit bubble/ level - Make sure it's decent.
Small adjustable spanner
Full set of allen keys/hex keys - Imperial AND metric. Kit comes from all over the world.
Marks stick - Have fun here, I have seen MANY types. Camera teams make their own.
Screwdriver - One Ph, one flathead. No more, no less. Useful like you'd never believe.
Small/ mini clapper board
Kenair - An ugly necessity. Focus pullers love it, I personally think that aerosols are unnecessary (and dated). Seek out greener alternatives for entrance to Heaven, and upset the zeitgeist in order to instigate change.
Small set of Jeweller's screwdrivers - Very useful. Mine were from a Christmas cracker and are PERFECT!
2" paintbrush - Soft bristle. Avoid plastic (see above, about being green), avoid animal bristle to be truly cruelty-free and further increase chances of inbound heaven acceptance.
Thats it! What is your favourite piece of kit and why? Tell me in the comments section below what your thoughts are on this list...