5 Basic Filmmaking Tools for a Faster Shoot

What do you take with you on set when shooting a film? Cameras, Lenses, lights, microphones, these are the obvious tools you would take, but what about the peculiar ones.

In this video we are going to talk about the 5 things we think YOU should be carrying when on set and why this crocodile clip is the most important one. These are the 5 things that make up my daily carry when i’m on set shooting a film. Let's start with the crocodile clip.

Crocodile Clip Filmmaking

Crocodile Clip

Before we shoot a film, we create a shot list. This will be printed off and placed in a production folder along with our storyboards and a script.

We will have a few versions of this production folder hanging around on set, with the main one being with our 1st assistant director and producer who is the person running the shoot.

At any point during the shoot, you can go to your 1st AD and check the script, storyboard or the shot list with them.

As the DP I want to spend as much time next to the camera as possible, so I always create a smaller version of the shot list and clip it to my right front pocket. This means all I need to do is look down, see what shot is next and move on to that shot.

crocodile clip - Shot list

I’ve found this to be a great way to be more efficient on set, and it allows our 1st AD to concentrate on directing other areas of the production, but I always know they are there when I need them.

This also comes in super handy if you have a very small crew or you are your own 1st AD, DP, and director. Having this shot list clipped to you means you spend less time away from the camera finding and looking for the shot list.

Even if you are just a runner or production assistant, ask the producer or 1st AD if they have a spare shot list for you to have. This way you can keep up and be prepared with what is happening on the shoot, and they will be impressed you took the initiative to ask for one.


Filmmaking Torch

You can use a small torch like this to shine on your clapperboard when shooting in a dark situation. This means you do not need to change the exposure of the camera to be able to capture and read it.

Also during a shoot, when changing rig parts, it has come it handy to shine a light on HDMI sockets when trying to plug a cable in and to shine in a bag when looking for another piece of equipment.

It’s much easier than getting your phone out, unlocking it, finding the torch app and turning it on.


dirty rigger gloves

I use these dirty rigger gloves when carrying and rigging up equipment, but also when operating the camera handheld as they give you that extra level of grip.

These ones have a hole already in them so you can put a carabiner through and clip it to your belt holder. I clip mine to one of the back clips so they do not get in the way when I’m not wearing them.


The two tools I use on this multi-tool are the pliers to help to tighten up camera rig screws and also the flathead screwdriver for camera plate screws. I use the flat head screwdriver the most so I added a little gaff tape tab to it so I can quickly see and access it.

This multi-tool is very cheap but the quality of it is super high and only costs around £11 or $20.

The reason I went with such a cheap one is that I did not know how much I would use it, which turned out to be only when we are shooting films.

A piece of advice we always give to people is before you buy equipment, is to work out how many times you are going to use it, which will tell you if you really need it.

If I went out and bought something like a Leatherman which is anywhere from £70 to £100. That’s a lot of money just sitting there waiting to be used when the cheaper version was the better option, for me anyway.  

Pen - Notebook

Filmmaking Notebook

The last thing I carry is a pen and a small notebook that fits in my pocket. I use this to refer back to notes or make them. The pen also allows me to cross off a shot when it is completed on the shot list.

Links to everything I have mentioned can be found in the description below.

🎥 This episode's kit/gear/equipment:

🇺🇸 US links:

Crocodile Clip - https://amzn.to/2PYxGwB
Multi-Tool - https://amzn.to/2Q90jHS
Torch - https://amzn.to/2JntJzc
Gloves - https://amzn.to/2ENTD0o
Pen - https://amzn.to/2PYwBVz
Note Book - https://amzn.to/2Q3Q8Ea

🇬🇧 UK links:

Crocodile Clip - https://amzn.to/2zaVrul
Multi-Tool - https://amzn.to/2OX4wln
Gloves - https://amzn.to/2OdWnDI
Torch - https://amzn.to/2EKK3eG
Pen - https://amzn.to/2CMnJyS
Note Book - https://amzn.to/2OYstbI

Things I don't carry when shooting on set are my keys and generally my phone which I store in my bag. The reason for this is because I don’t want to have any distractions when shooting and phone notifications can do this.

If you are using a phone on set make sure it is for production or emergencies uses. Otherwise, it can look very unprofessional.

This is just a personal preference and the only thing I would use my phone for is the time, but I have a watch for that so I guess I carry 6 things.  

This is just my daily on set carry, but there are a bunch of other pieces of filmmaking equipment you might need. We actually made a video that shows what our 2nd assistant camera person carries when shooting. His utility pouch puts Batman to shame and it always has everything we need when shooting and is probably the reason I carry so little.

You can find a link to that video via a card in the corner of the screen or in the description below.

This video was Sponsored By

🚀 http://bit.ly/rs-aspect - Give your video a clean look with Aspect by RocketStock. It features over 200 logo reveals, intros, lower thirds, overlays, icons, and transitions.

🎵 http://bit.ly/track-hot-fusion - Click here to download this episode's track. Check out Premiumbeat.com to discover a huge range of exclusive royalty free music!


Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!