Production Gear Tools For Filmmakers – If you have ever worked on a film set, you will know that the days are long, and the longer a shoot goes, the race to the finish can be a struggle. But, if you have the right production gear while you are on a set, you can be ready to take on the day for the race to the finish.
The great thing about many productions moving towards digital workflows, it’s good to have a list of the essential gadgets to make your paperless production effortless. Everything from digital tools to keep you organized to reusable dish-ware for snacks, here are 10+ must-have on-set production gear tools.
10+ Best Production Gear Tools For Filmmakers - 2021
BEST PRODUCTION GEAR - Apple iPad
With many productions going paperless on a set because it’s environmentally friendly, having an iPad in your production gear kit is key. Scripts, call sheets, schedules, and more are all editable at your fingertips via an iPad.
Plus, you can Airdrop notes and files to other members of the crew for contactless collaboration. I like the new iPad Pro as a fantastic tool for filmmakers on a set because I can pull out a storyboard app to show my camera crew what I want the shot to look like, and it can be used as an extra monitor in a pinch, and so much more.
BEST ON SET GEAR - Final Draft 12
See your ideas take flight! Trusted by studios and recommended by filmmakers worldwide, including Guillermo del Toro, David Lynch, J.J. Abrams, and Sofia Coppola. Final Draft professional screenwriting software gives writers the tools and freedom to explore, create, collaborate, and automatically format stories, transforming ideas into screen-ready scripts.
Securely share and work with writing partners nearby or across the globe. Collaborate simultaneously in real-time on both the script and the Beat Board. Brainstorm ideas with the convenient chat pop-up window. Track changes, recording edits to your screenplay, and then choose whether to accept or reject them.
Whether creating at your desk, traveling to a location, or producing on the lot, Final Draft goes where you need it. Write and edit scripts using Windows, Mac OS, or the Final Draft Mobile app for iOS. Instantly send or share files between multiple platforms, and always be on the same page with Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud integrations.
ON SET GEAR - Apple Pencil
For those using an iPad on set for everything production-related, having an Apple Pencil is a perfect on-set production gear tool companion. The apple pencil is ideal for jotting down script notes, drawing quick storyboards, or diagramming a specific shot.
With Apple Pencil, you can turn the iPad into your notepad, canvas, or just about anything else you can imagine. The newest Apple Pencil (second generation) is compatible with the iPad Air (2020), the first generation 11-inch iPad Pro (2018) and later, and the iPad Pro 12.9-inch third generation (2018) and later.
Plus, unlike the older model, this version magnetically attaches and automatically charges right on the side of your iPad. You never even need to think about charging it.
Have an older iPad? The first-generation Apple Pencil is compatible with 9.7-inch iPad Pro, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 3rd Generation iPad Air, 6th Generation iPad, and 5th Generation iPad mini.
ONSET GEAR - Magnetic Sleeve for Apple Pencil
A Magnetic Sleeve for an Apple Pencil is a production gear tool you will want to keep your investment safe. 6 magnets embedded into the silicone sleeve side. The magnets allow you to attach the Apple Pencil quickly to the front side of the iPad Pro, the front sides of a magnetic smart cover, or pretty much any magnet-friendly metal surface.
The pencil sleeve comes with two extra self-adhering metal strips, that you can stick to any surface to quickly store your Apple Pencil wherever you want.
The soft silicone grip hugs your pencil tightly to prevent relative sliding, you have a larger area to grip onto, which helps keep your fingers from locking and protects your fingers.
Easy to install, you can adjust the placement of the thin sleeve on the pencil to suit your preference.
ON SET GEAR - Waterproof iPad Case
I live in the Pacific Northwest area, and it rains quite a bit unexpectedly. So I find that when I am working at a location shooting outdoors, there always seems to be rain in the forecast. You might think that all iPads waterproof, but unfortunately none of them are – at least officially. The reason why no IP ratings (certifying water and dust resistance) are given for the iPads is that the devices are not IP-rated, and make no claims in this area.
So if you want to keep your Production Gear Tool iPad safe in the event of a possible rainstorm, or the possibility of a full coffee dropping on your iPad, adding a waterproof, shock-absorbent case is your key to the success of maintaining an operational iPad on set.
Look for a case that is water and snowproof, and can be submergeable to 6.6/2 m for 1 hour and sealed from snow, ice, dirt, and dust particles.
ON SET GEAR - iPad Hand Grip
Having an iPad on-set will be your go-to production gear tool from the first minute on-set to the last minute of the day.
But with using an iPad so much throughout the day, there is always the risk of dropping it if you are not careful. For easy access and keeping an iPad secure in your hand, adding a handgrip to your iPad is your best bet. You won’t have to worry about butterfingers ruining your shoot.
All you have to do is tighten the hand strap to fit your hand, lock it into the accompanying case, and you’re good to go.
Plus, having a hand strap attached to an iPad makes it easier to use an Apple Pen for jotting down notes.
ON SET GEAR - Waterproof Backpack
Always be prepared! That’s my motto, and it should be yours as well for when you are heading out to a film set. With so many valuable production gear tools that you will be bringing to the film set, you need to be able to carry and comfortably protect your tools.
That’s why adding a waterproof backpack to your production gear tool arsenal is key for a successful day on set. Having a backpack from brands like Osprey and Nomatic (pictured above) offers tons of storage and added durability, you will be ready for any location or a quick backpacking trip through the outback.
When you are on a film set, you will be relying on electronics like an iPad and smartphone to get you through the day, but with having electronics on set, having time to recharge them may be a problem for those on the go.
That’s why having a portable charger in your production gear tools bag, will help you in times of need. With many of the top portable chargers out there, they can charge a dead iPhone battery 2.5 times or an iPad to one full charge which is all you need to get you through a full day on set.
ON SET GEAR - Charging Station
If you are a producer or director assistant, and close to a video village throughout the day, having a charging station with multiple USB ports that you can plug into a power source nearby is a valuable asset to have.
I love having a charging station on set because it’s perfect for plugging in several devices for you or other crew members who need to charge while on set.
ON SET GEAR - SD Card Holder Case
When you’ve got a lot of electronics, you would like them to be easy to find and store. Everything you shoot, whether it’s footage from a camera or sound from an audio recorder, you can’t be throwing those cards into a gear bag and forgetting which pocket you tucked them into.
Keeping things organized and protected in an organized case is important for ease of mind on set. This type of production gear tool can prevent SD / Flashcards from sliding out when the case is open is also a key to organization.
Want more vlogging content? Then check out our guides to the Best Microphones For Youtube Vlogging – 2021, 10 Best Vlogging Camera Gear For Youtubers On Amazon, and 5 Best Vlogging Cameras And Tools For 2021 – Vlogging Kit
Gaffers tape is expensive! I found that out a few months ago when I had a production assistant run to the hardware store to grab a few rolls, and when I saw the receipt I almost fainted at the sticker shock.
Since gaffers tape is very expensive, having Waist Tape Holder Lanyard to hold your gaffer’s tape is key to making sure you never have someone accidentally steals your gaff tape on set.
Defiantly one of the many important production gear tools you will need every day on set.
GEAR FOR FILMMAKERS - Reusable Coffee Mug
Do you constantly go to crafty throughout the day for coffee to survive long production days? If so, do you use a disposable cup from the crafty station or a reusable coffee mug? Why am I asking, because if you grab and go throughout the day using a different disposable coffee cup it is not exactly environmentally friendly.
Now, one disposable coffee cup won’t pollute an entire ocean but think about how many coffees you buy or get at the crafty station in disposable cups each year. It can add up fast. I like having a reusable coffee mug with me on a film set because it can keep my coffee piping hot in winter or ice-cold in summer.
GEAR FOR FILMMAKERS - Reusable Water Bottle
Besides coffee keeping you going through a long production day, staying hydrated is just as important. One of the most valuable production gear tools is a reusable water bottle.
Recently I worked on a major Netflix show as a set dresser, and the number of plastic water bottles that production went through was insane. I can’t imagine how much plastic waste happened throughout the 10-month production.
Adding a reusable stainless steel water bottle to your production kit is key to staying hydrated and helping you do your part in saving the earth from another wasted plastic bottle clogging our oceans.
GEAR FOR PRODUCTION - Portable Cutlery Set
In the United States alone, more than 100 million plastic utensils are used every single day, meaning that we throw away billions of plasticware every year. Just like plastic water bottles, throwaway cutlery can take centuries to break down and can even sit in landfills for thousands of years.
Also, cutlery is one of the most common items found during beach cleanups which is deadly for marine animals, sea turtles, and birds.
So how do you circumvent this on a film set? Adding reusable utensils made from bamboo, steel, and other eco-friendly materials in your film production kit means you are doing your part for the earth.
Also, have you ever eaten hot food with plastic utilizes and watch the plastic begin to melt each time you dig into your food? I have, and it’s probably not good for your body.
If you liked this article, please help me share it via a tweet, stumble, pin, or Facebook share would be much appreciated!
Browse the best camera equipment deals available at your favorite retailers:
- Shop All Filmmaking Equipment Deals At B&H Photo/Video
- Shop All Filmmaking Equipment Deals At Adorama
- Shop All Filmmaking Equipment Deals At Amazon
Trent has spent 10+ years working on an assortment of film and television projects. He writes about his experiences to help (and amuse) others. If he’s not working, he’s either traveling, reading or writing about travel/film, or planning travel/film projects.