Quite some time ago, I published a post on what basic items you should have in your camera assistant kit. You can find that post here. A number of folks just getting into the camera department found the post useful, so I thought I’d build on that.
Do you know how many times I need just the right connector or cable to make a camera or monitor build work? Many times. All the times. Some of the times.
The fact is, sometimes when you’re working with someone else’s gear or renting a kit from someone, you might be surprised when one or more cables is missing, or you need a special connector to make something work.
I’m going to introduce you to my tackle box of connectors and useful screws and well as the common cables I keep in my kit.
One of the great things about working with other AC’s, camera operators and DP’s is I can see what they have in their kits and ask them what works best for them. Shop talk like that helps everyone build on their knowledge and slowly add in new pieces to their kit that will help them on future gigs.
The Tackle Box – Screws and Adapters
Many, many times I need a specific size screw in order to mount the camera on a pair of sticks or a Steadicam. I’ve slowly been adding to my pile of screws, but the basics will always be 1/4″ 20s and 3/8″. Having a couple short and long ones, as well as a washer for that rare occasion when there’s a gap between the screw and the mounting plate is crucial.
I got this little box at a craft store, but you can find a similar one in the fishing section of Walmart, so I call it my tackle box. It helps keeps things organized and neat, and when I need to send a 2nd AC to grab something, I only need to say “find the clear tackle box” and they find it right away.
Some items I have in the tackle box:
- SDI Splitter
- barrel connectors
- Screws of various sizes
- HDMI to micro HDMI adapter
- Double ended screws, different sizes
Wires are essential to get a video signal from Point A to Point B. There are many ways to keep and organize your wires. For now I’ve settled on different colored pencil cases. I usually have three cases with me: 1 for SDI cables, 1 for HDMI (on Blackmagic shoots) and 1 for “Other” – for me it’s Steadicam related wires.
My commonly used wires include:
- SDI cables – coiled and regular, several sizes
- PTAP splitter
I recommend not buying the thin “spaghetti strand” SDI cables. I’ve had them several times and they always fail. A thicker gauge wire is a safer bet.
Also good additions to this are: