Film crews need a variety of tools to ensure that production projects are completed efficiently and professionally. The tools you bring on set will vary with each individual project. However, there are several items you’ll need each time that will form a foundation for your camera department.
Many of these items are expendables—smaller items that you’ll replace with every shoot. Since they’re used and replaced often, it’s important to keep track of these essential items. To help you stay organized, here are nine camera expendables your film crew needs for every production project!
From camera supplies and PPE to tape, craft services supplies and so much more, Wits End offers a large selection of affordable expendables for use on your next production. Shop Now
Batteries power a variety of equipment you’ll have on set, such as microphones and hand-held cameras. There is nothing worse than realizing that you can’t continue filming because you’ve run out of power and don’t have extra batteries on hand. Every crew member should have quick and easy access to a supply of various batteries for their equipment.
Markers, pens, and pencils are some of the most important expendables you can have on set. From filling out daily paperwork to marking the slate, you’ll need writing tools such as:
- Expo markers or other dry erase markers
- Sharpies and permanent markers such as Staedler Lumocolor Markers
- Ballpoint pens
- China markers (also known as chinagraphs or grease pencils)
- Pencils and pencil sharpeners
- And more
Also known as viewfinder cushions, these eyepieces are soft, round pads that wrap around the camera’s viewfinder. Not only do they make it more comfortable for the camera operator to look through the viewfinder, but they also help protect against eye infections.
Viewfinders tend to be used by a variety of people, and if one person has an infection, it can easily spread to everyone. It’s important to ensure proper hygiene by using a variety of chamois eyepieces and changing the cushions regularly.
Every film production will need a large supply of various kinds of tape. From marking where actors stand to taping down electrical cables and preventing tripping hazards, you’ll need tape such as:
- Gaff tape
- Topstick (double-sided tape)
- Masking tape
- Hazard tape
- And more
Although it may seem like a small item, tape actually is an important expendable that helps to keep people safe and ensures smooth film production.
It’s essential to keep your subject in focus as you film. Accomplishing this is known as “pulling focus”. To pull focus, you will need to measure the distance for it—which is why tape measures come in handy on set. Beyond measuring for focus marks, tape measures can also determine reference marks and are useful for a wide variety of applications.
Many camera components, such as filters, sensors, displays, and lens elements, are very delicate surfaces. To properly clean these components without causing any damage, film industry experts use canned air. Canned air will gently clear dust and other debris from your camera. Dust-Off is a widely-used air duster that you’ll find on many film sets.
Lens Cleaning Supplies
It’s universally agreed in the film industry to refrain from physically cleaning a lens unless you absolutely have to. Typically, canned air is sufficient, but you may need to give your lens a deeper clean. In these cases, it’s important to be very delicate and careful so your camera isn’t damaged.
The supplies you’ll need to clean your lens include lens tissues and a cleaning fluid. In a pinch, you can find fluid and tissues at your local pharmacy. However, it’s recommended to use cleaning wipes that were specifically made for cleaning delicate equipment and camera lenses. A popular choice in the film industry is Kimtech Kimwipes, which are paper fiber optic cleaning wipes that contain a low amount of lint to reduce the potential for damage.
Bag-Its are all-weather bags designed to protect filming equipment from rain, dust, wind, and sunlight. These bags are reusable and come in a variety of colors and sizes, so you can ensure that your equipment is protected no matter which type of camera you use or which location you are filming in.
Another valuable camera expendable, Velcro can help your crew in a variety of ways. You can use Velcro to mount accessories to your camera or to secure loose cables. Unlike other items such as zip ties and tape, Velcro is easy to remove and reuse. It also doesn’t leave any type of residue behind.
Find All the Camera Expendables You Need at Wits End
Chances are, each time you film, you’ll encounter a situation in which a needed item isn’t at hand. The more production projects you complete, the better you’ll get at nailing down a dependable list of items that you’ll need.
For camera expendables, the items listed above are a great place to start. When you’re ready to purchase your camera expendables and supplies for all of your departments, consider ordering from Wits End. Wits End has all the expendables and film supplies you need to ensure your crew has everything needed for a successful production.