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Everyday Items to Place in Your Video Production Bag

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 1/6/2010

Learn about a few items that are both cheap and essential to keep with you everywhere you go in production.

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    Video Production Bag Essential

    Many people consider a production bag something that professional cinematographers or those who work in the film industry prepare with expensive equipment. In reality, many of the most common and indispensable things that are included in a video production bag are every day items that double as video equipment. Here are top items that can be cheap and perfect for a production bag and can be found at most "big box" stores.

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    Mini Mag Light

    The first thing that you are going to have to have is a miniature mag light or some other type of small yet powerful flashlight. So often you are going to have to look all around locations while planning on how to arrange the location for production and find places to arrange lighting with your kits. This is going to have to be a sufficiently bright and reliable flashlight that will be versatile for almost any situation.

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    Batteries may seem standard to most people, yet they are the most forgotten item in video production bags. Extra batteries can be used in a variety of different areas, ranging from certain types of portable video production lights to powering wireless lavaliere microphones. Assess anything that you may use in your video production situation and then put extra batteries compatible to those uses.

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    Electrical Tape

    Electrical tape is going to be useful anytime you are using large number of extension chords and other electrical equipment. Since you are going to be using light kits and a variety of electrical outlets you are going to have to secure wires in a variety of areas. Gaffers tape is essential for all video production, but electrical tape is a common addition that is used simply to secure these electricity specific situations.

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    Thick work gloves that can resist high heats is one thing that you cannot do without if you are going to use any video production lights at all. If you have portable light kits, and most small productions without large scale HMI lighting do, you will have to adjust and move hot lights constantly. If you do not have adequate gloves it will be impossible to constantly change the position and look of the lights as often as a proper director of photography or gaffer should.

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    Clothes Pins

    While keeping the gaffers position with lighting and electricity in mind you will have to bring several clothes pins with you at all video production shoots. Clothes pins are perfect when working with light kits and other standable temporary structures where you will have to add small attachments and make brief adjustments. For example, often times colored gels that are used to alter the color temperature of a standing light will be pinned onto the barn doors of that light with a clothes pin. You can get packs of several dozens of clothes for cheaper than almost anything else on the list.

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    White Card

    A white card of some sort must stay with the production crew at every single shoot. This white card is commonly used to white balance the video camera, letting it know what the "true" white is so that colors are balanced correctly. White balancing needs to be done in every lighting situation, so make sure that a small white card is available at all times.

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    Marble Hair Ties

    Boom poles are commonly used with shotgun microphones for large scenes in video production and it is important to keep the boom operator prepared for working with it. Usually the cord running from the shotgun microphone to the sound mixer or video camera will be wrapped around the outside of the boom pole. What most people use, ranging from amateurs to the top professionals, are hair ties with small marbles on them. These can be use to secure the chord tightly to the boom pole and are cheap at most stores.

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    Basic Tools

    Basic tools are always going to come in handy when on set, especially a couple of different screwdrivers and a hammer. Several different pieces of video equipment, especially light stands and tripod heads require you to screw and unscrew attachments, so having these ready is a great idea.