By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Filmmaking is all about problem solving, and the key to making a successful film is to plan ahead. We’ve all had that drummed into our brains since the first day of film school. And if you have every tool you need within reach, then you can handle anything that comes your way. But if you have a Batman like utility belt on your hip to carry it all, so much the better. Here’s how one filmmaker does it.
Technically, cameraman Adam Opie hasn’t created a belt, so much as a pouch, but it sure does carry a lot. The pouch has pockets within pockets, with belt loops, sippers, and enough room for everything from spare AA batteries, to lens cloth, a multi tool (a must have), velcro straps, a flash light, and even your business cards.
Attached to the belt, the ouch also gives far more options, including a carabiners with a pair of fingerless gloves, and a pair of heat resistant gloves. On the outside, there’s a pocket for his radio, sharpie, and anything else you need. The utility belt has enough attachment points via a “more strap” system to handle not only the utility patch, but dry erase pen and wiping cloth for the slate that will be attached. There’s also a place for several “t marks” made from t brackets and gaffer tape of various colors, and speaking of gaffer tape, a strap filled to the gunnels with every conceivable width and color of g-tape you’ll need on set.
Here’s a complete breakdown of what Adam puts in his pouch system:
- Pouch – The OneTigidris Molle EDC Pouch. There’s plenty of room for everything that follows.
- Fingerless Gloves
- Heat Resistant Gloves – Important for handling hot lights when you’re on a non union shoot
- Ear Protection: DownBeats HiFi Ear Plugs.
- Sharpies (the twin tip variety are especially useful) and Ball point pens. A pencil tucked behind your ear wouldn’t be a bad thing either.
- Rechargeable Batteries
- Lens Cleaning Kit
- Microfibre Cloths. There’s probably on in the lens cleaning kit, but you can’t have enough, am I right?
- Multi-tool – This one is made by Gerber and it’s built to last. The one I have even has a tripod mount and tripod legs built in. Very cool.
- Hex/Allen Key Tool – You can get one of these for as cheap as $1 at the dollar store. But better to get a Stanley. It’ll last longer.
- Velcro Straps and Bongo Ties (that’s my suggestion, I even 3D printed mine and attached them to rubber bands)
- Tactical Mini Flashlight
- Walkie talkie radios. These come in a 4 pack for under $60. Bargain.
For the Belt:
- OneTigris Molle Padded Tactical Patrol Belt
- Clamps & Carabiners: (I save up all the free swag carabiners I get at NAB for this occasion. Some even have retractable leashes).
- T Marks (just add tape!)
- Gaffer Tape, various sizes
I’m sure there’s plenty more that can be added. The point is, having your own filmmaker utility belt sitting on your hip shows you’re prepared and ready for anything set life throws at you!
Hat Tip – The Film Look