Keeping gear organized

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    • #39710

      Im just getting started with serious video, though Ive made a couple of two-camera DVDs of local theater. Im associated with an Arts Center, and the center has a bunch of equipment available: a Canon GL2, a Canon z500, a Canon digital SLR, a bunch of batteries and chargers, a few medium-quality mikes, a Marantz PMD6600, a couple of tripods, a couple of silver/gold reflectors, a camera-mounted light (hmm), SD cards, Compact Flash cards, cables, adaptors, tapes, lenses, headphones, lights, and other odds and ends. My question is basic: how do you keep track of all this stuff when youre not using it, and (worse) when you go out to shoot? For a shoot, do you keep six or eight boxes containing related items, and an everything-else box? I hate to be digging around in boxes, wondering if what Im looking for is mis-boxed. Or do you rig some big trunk-like carrier so that you can see all the contents when you open it? Then when youre not shooting, do you construct a storage wall with a couple dozen compartments? Do you (for example) keep the cables together and the batteries and chargers together, or do you keep the batteries and chargers with their cameras? Do you jumble similar things in plastic bags? I do have all my batteries and chargers and cables labeled with p-touch labels so I at least know what they are.

    • #171385

      at home I use large mechanics styled tool boxes…solid, lockable, on wheels.
      when travelling I try to use back packs and or lockable tool boxes (Pelican cases would be nice…but expensive)….and have a sorting system so I can tell at a glance if anything is missing.

    • #171386

      Each camera gets a bag, each expensive small item gets a small leather(ette) case, anything that is related to a camera goes in the camera bag (if you usually use mic1 with cam3, put mic1 in camera3’s bag), lighting stuff gets a bag or a hard case, if you need another bag for audio, you have another bag for audio.
      Note that these are all good bags, nothing cheap. Some are porta-brace, some are petrol, some are from the equipment’s manufacturer, some are hard cases (lowel makes nice cases for their lights that come with kits, most expensive little things come with one of those little black zipper cases, etc). Also, we keep battery chargers on a cart, plugged in, simply drop the batteries in and they charge, take them off when they are done, put any other dead ones in (we have a 3-battery charger for a type of battery that we have 9 or so of), there is a position on this cart marked for charged, a position marked for dead (masking tape + sharpie), so that at a glance you know whats charged and what isn’t. Then when you go out, you take the batteries and put them in the camera bags.
      The one thing that usually doesn’t get a bag is the tripod. We have bags for them, but it is usually pointless to put something as solid as a tripod into a bag, and the bag is probably more easily lost than the tripod (unless you are going to a clients location or somesuch and you want to show how fancy it is that it is in a bag…. [ah, consumerism]).

    • #171387


      Check out my blog here at Videomaker.

      It’s a bag that houses 2 camcorders and an SLR, and a laptop. I like it because somehow I feel more organized with everything in one place.

      andrew @ videomaker

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